Part 10 - Erik in the Main Hall


Above: A Kentia Hall exhibitor falls asleep during her magazine and cardboard box guarding duties.
Most of the people in Kentia Hall are either too depressed or too curled up on a dirty pile of blankets making snorey sounds to talk much. So it's actually kind of relaxing there.  The two main halls, however, are a different story altogether.  Every person there is eager to tell you all about his new groundbreaking product.  After a few discouraging minutes of listening to various people describe how brilliant they were without ever once stopping to give me some small compliment, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.  Sean didn't appear to be as upset as I was about the situation, but he agreed that I should probably take matters into my own hands.  "Whatever that means," he added.

I decided that what that meant was I'd counter every statement a developer or PR person made about the game he was pushing with an interesting fact about myself or the details of some invention I'd dreamt up.  That way, it would be much harder for developers to diminish me, as it would be more like we were having a polite conversation or at least having overlapping polite monologues.

Microsoft's Dungeon Siege was the first game we looked at after deciding to "take back the night", which was right after Sean decided to steal our official slogan from the women's anti-night movement.  It was a good test case, because the Microsoft guy was pretty obviously quite pleased with himself.  The first thing he told us was that he was such a goddamn genius that Dungeon Siege wasn't going to have any load times. "Thanks to the view frustrum we've implemented," he said.

"Really..." I said, "I've just recently finished thinking up a clever name for an Internet Cafe... Net'cetera!"

Sean had arrived a few steps behind me, so the guy didn't realize that we were together.  "Please tell me more about this intriguing name for an Internet cafe," Sean told him.

"That was that guy's idea," the Dungeon Siege man told Sean, pointing at me.

"Oh," Sean said, "Huh. Well, the view meniscus or whatever is pretty good too I guess."  He made a half-hearted glance at the monitor, then added, "Very scary meniscus..."

Dungeon Siege guy went on to tell us that Dungeon Siege would let you drink half a potion and save the rest for later. "We're the first developer to think of that," he said.

"That's nothing," I told the small crowd that had started to form. "Next Halloween I'm going to open a haunted drive-thru window."

At this point, Sean let loose with one of those gasps that's like the wave for crowds who are experiencing frank shock.

"That's right," I said, "You'll drive up to a giant gravestone and a spooky british voice will come out of a speaker hidden in the gravestone and say 'I am the ghost of a European stuntman who was killed attempting to jump a hearse over the Indian burial ground on which the civil war battlefield that this cursed tomb was built upon rests.  How can we scare you today? Scare you more, I mean!'  Then you can order either a Mummy or an upside down vine covered cracked in half Statue of Liberty or a Frankenstein or a Jason or a Dracula. You can also ask for 'Extra Horror', which is the regular version of any of the monsters only covered in Chucky dolls.  Once you order, the voice says 'Thank you, please drive up to the next window... If you dare!'  At this point, there'll be a runoff lane so that people who realize that maybe they're in over their head can still escape before the real terror starts.  When you drive up to the next window, you'll spend a few seconds listening to windy whooshing sounds and clanking chain noises before the window pops open and the monster you ordered lunges out and goes 'RAAWWRRR!'  At this point, most people will involuntarily floor the accelerator, which brings them to the third window where a trained grief counselor will collect three dollars.  If anyone doesn't slam on the accelerator and is instead paralyzed with fear, the monster will eventually just tell the driver to drive to the next window.  There won't be a runoff lane at this point, and the monster will make it very clear that there's nothing to be scared of at the next window, so they should go there because they have to pay the three dollars now. When the lady at the last window rings you up, she'll say 'Here's your change. Though I don't think you'll be needing it... BECAUSE YOU ACTUALLY DIED AT THE FIRST WINDOW!'"

After this, the Dungeon Siege guy tried to tell everyone about some kind of special elf he was working on, but nobody was even listening to him anymore.  As we were leaving, a group of Japanese businessmen in the back of the crowd thought that the haunted drive thru window was called Net'cetera and they asked Dungeon Siege about it and he had to explain to them that that was actually a completely unrelated idea I'd had.

This is me with the CEO and head of the sign-making division of  Snotragg Productions playing the company's new 2D fighting game, something or other fury something.  He said the game was going to feature over seventeen hundred moves.  I informed him that I'd invented the world's smallest gymnastics trophy, and to prove it I showed it to him by using slight of hand to make it appear that I was pulling it out of his ear.  It turns out that I'd heard him wrong and the game only had seventeen moves.  Obviously, the magic trick had kind of pushed my ongoing E3 demonstration of cool things I do way over the edge in this case, and the Snotragg guy started to cry a little.  He tried to shut off the monitor, but Sean stepped in and explained how I did the trick.  Then we played the game. After I let him almost beat me, Sean awarded him the little trophy for 2nd place in fighting but 1st place in bravery.


To give you some sense of scale, here's the trophy next to a giant novelty penny. 


And here's the penny next to a couple of regular size paperclips.
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