E32K2 Impressions

Nicole "Sumire Kanzaki" Kirk's Impressions – A Blow by Blow Account –   Page 1 | Page 2
Day One – Departure

I didn't sleep at all the night before...too busy making mix cds and talking on the phone.

My mother's boyfriend dropped me off at the shuttle pick-up and I slept for the entire two hours to Nashville.  Now I'm notorious for having extremely screwed up flights, so what happened next was nothing new.

So I picked up my usual trashy People mag (the only time I read that garbage is on trips) and settled in for the 2 ˝ hour wait before my flight.  After about an hour, the flight was pushed back an hour and I would have missed my connection in Minneapolis, so I was given about five minutes to catch a flight to Memphis; I was assured the connection there went right to LA. I get there, find my connecting gate... and it's going to Minneapolis.  F***.  So I finally get to Minneapolis and check to find what gate my flight to LA is leaving out of.  I'm informed it's been overbooked.  Lovely.  I'm promised a free ticket if I take a flight to Ontario; I bargained for a free shuttle ride to my hotel and it was a deal.  Besides, the guy at the desk totally dug me...he ran up to me later and told me to tell the person I was using the ticket to go see that he was a lucky guy (Hey, lucky guy, I hope you're reading this!). I'd had my cell off in the meantime so as not to waste my already dying battery.  I caught my shuttle and proceeded to basically be given a grand tour of upper SoCal.  Somewhere in Chino I finally called Stephen to tell him I was enroute to the hotel and to grab dinner without me (I'd already had a bowl of soup and a spicy Bloody Mary).  Only ten minutes from the hotel, I get a call back asking me to get dropped off at City Walk, since that's where the group was.  Basically I proceed into a manic fit goaded on by how incredibly tired, frustrated, and annoyed I was...everyone quickly agreed that it was best just to pick me up at the hotel. I can be such a diva. :)

Luckily for me, Nathan had left the case of Smirnoff in the fridge, so I could at least have one and relax till Eric and Stephen came to get me.  The two finally show up, I slip a couple of Smirnoffs in my purse, and we're off to Citywalk.  When I finally see Nathan, I start running up to him to give him a hug... but there was a problem.  Basically NONE of my jeans fit me any more, but I hadn't really bothered to notice before I left, and I have something against belts.  I had on some low-rise ones that you basically cannot wear underwear with.  So I started running up to Nathan... and my pants start to fall down in the back, giving Eric and Stephen a nice view of my ass.  Like I cared; I just giggled and hitched them back up.

We finally get in the theater to see Episode II... I don't see how anyone can like this movie unless they're intoxicated.  Stuff was funny only because I was drunk.  Cameron and I were having a good time laughing at Natalie Portman's OBVIOUS coldness, and I was yelling at the fanboys.  Good times.

Day Two – Cabs Are Your Friends

We're up at the crack of dawn so we can all go to the Sony press conference in downtown. Mike B. walks over to our hotel room to meet us, since he's staying in the ultra ghetto fabulous Comfort Inn.  Eric and Mike drive, since they're the only two with cars... and proceed to take us 10 miles in the opposite direction of where we need to be.  Finally after much sorting out, we hit the Sony sound stage, only to find out that there was a guest list for the conference and only Nathan and myself had bothered to RSVP.  Oops.  The two of us decide to go and agree to meet the rest at the Nintendo press conference latter in the day.  I ended up seeing a few people I wanted to see...and a few I had wanted to avoid.  So the two of us get seated in these horribly uncomfortable chairs; they're made out of metal with these big metal balls along the backs.  My back was killing me by the end of the show.  We did get these kick ass flashing pens and metal notebooks though.

All in all, the Sony press conference was pretty lame.  Mostly it was just SCEA's president, Ken Kutaragi, giving sales numbers, etc.  Remember this point, however: “The console wars are over.  Second place is moot.”  Only about 3 games were shown (Ratchet and Clank, SOCOM, and Madden Online), which out of all of them, Madden Online had the most entertaining segment, and I HATE football.  Dante Culpepper, John Madden, and... that other guy were all really funny. By this time I'm freezing to death in the room and bored out of my mind, so it was quite a relief to finally get back into the sun.  We grabbed our PlayStation 2 bags and hopped into the shuttle that took us to the Biltmore, where the Nintendo press conference was.

We met Cam at the hotel, but I had to duck into the bathroom to refasten my bra, which continued to pop open the rest of the day due to being one of those front-closure things.  By the time we get into the ballroom, it's pretty obvious that not only is this place much smaller than where Sony had their meeting, but we were going to have to stand.  My feet are totally killing me by now, since I opted for the sexy shoes instead of the comfy ones.  No matter, I just stand against the back wall and take them off.  I even got to run into my friend Wade, who's the editor-in-chief of Silicon Magazine; we got yelled at by some fat guy in front of us for talking too much.  Nintendo's press conference went much better; the focus was on the games, not sales numbers, and we're treated to video of Mario Sunshine (which looks cooler than the name implies), the new Metroid, Zelda GCN, and the GBA Zelda.  We even got to watch the developers play Four Swords and beat each other out for first place.  Not sure who won, but the guy from Capcom was kinda cute!

Then it was back to the hotel room, killer heels exchanged for comfy pink Pumas, and we're off to the convention center to pick up our badge holders.  We were pretty lazy the rest of the day while we were waiting for a few more editors to arrive.  Not really much more of note that I can remember.  I'm just going to do highlights and sucky stuff about the actual show days, because so much happened it's hard to remember it all in sequential order.

Day 3 – I'm Not Really A Goth


- Getting to see someone special at his company's booth.
- Playing Dark Cloud 2 at the Sony booth
- Talking to Gail from Atlus... we both have sarcastic senses of humor, so we always get along great.
- Not paying $10 for lunch this year!  Media Hospitality is so the way to go.
- My outfit... it rocked!  Well, except for the panty hose. Much to Nathan's disappointment though, I never did forego the tanktop to really show off the black shirt's see-throughness.
- I got an upgrade this year!  No more cold bathroom floor; I got an actual bed!  And the Miyako is a really nice hotel.  Makes it kind of interesting when you run into someone from a company though... and you're wearing the same clothes they saw you in the day before. Now I just wonder how many solicitations for sex I'm going to get this year...yes, I received some last year. No, I didn't take any of them up on it. What kind of girl...okay, never mind.
- Free alcohol at the Wild Tangent booth.
- Korean BBQ
- Seeing Matt Groening (creator of the Simpsons) at the Enix booth.

Sucky Points

- Running into people I DIDN'T want to see.
- The lame ass Microsoft party, which basically consisted of REALLY bad alcohol, girls running around in stupid green fairy costumes, and not getting to see Garbage.
- Sucky free alcohol at the Wild Tangent booth.
- Trying to get around 15 people to make a group decision... it usually takes about two hours.
- Getting felt up in the bathroom.

Day 4 – Braless Days Are Good Days


- Crashing the interview with above mentioned special person.  Hey, I was still professional!
- Free massages at the Wild Tangent booth
- My outfit yet again... strapless dresses rule!
- Margaritas
- Square
- Another night at the Miyako.    I'm sure my bed buddy Nathan missed me so much... I missed Woo's snoring.  The snoring I had to endure both nights at the Miyako was horrible...but oh so worth it. :)

Sucky points

- Feeling sore for a week after the Wild Tangent massage.
- PC developers from Atlanta hitting on you, telling you come from a dirty city, and then calling you up at midnight after you've passed out from a margarita to see if you want to go out.  Suave.
- Not getting to go to the Sony party this year... stupid cut lists.
- Dumbasses from other sites talking to us.
- Giving away my lunch salad to Justin.  
- Passing out from a single margarita, since I hadn't eaten the entire day.

Day 5 – Crack Chickeeeeeeen


- Getting my cute as hell Ragnarok Online figures. Though I had to keep an eye on them constantly while I was playing RO at Gravity's booth; people kept trying to make off with them!
- Getting drunk in the hotel and acting like a goof ball.
- Scouring Rudo's laptop for porn while he was gone.
- Depositing bikini pics onto Rudo's work laptop.
- Standing in line for crack chicken and wondering what the hell the fuss was about. We figured that either they did indeed putting crack in the chicken (we WERE in the middle of some Hispanic/Korean ghetto in downtown LA) or the place took foodstamps.
- Finding out what the fuss was about crack chicken...there had to be crack in it.
- Displaying my (not so) mad DDR skills... and managing to stay in my bra while I do it.

Sucky points

- No third night at the Miyako.  
- Dodging a certain product manager who kept looking at me like a lost puppy... get the hint man, I'm not interested! I was playing a game, and he kept inching closer and closer to me while talking to some journo. I basically just proceeded to tell him my freelance woes for about 5 minutes, then blew him off to go to Capcom with everyone else. He's a nice guy...just kinda creepy.
- Being told I'm, “So cute,” by a Konami PR chick.  Great, I felt about 5 years old then...or that she was hitting on me. I dunno how I feel about that.

Day 6 – Impromptu Karaoke

Cameron had to leave that morning, which really sucked for all of us except Woo, who got a bed to himself.  We had originally planned on going to Santa Monica during the day, because Rudo and Eve wanted to go...we all thought it was kinda lame and decided we wanted to go to Little Tokyo instead, besides the fact Evan had to catch a plane that evening and we'd barely get to see Santa Monica by the time we finally left the hotel.  Mike and Eric did not want to drive anywhere...but we reasoned that it'd take us too long to walk to J-town, so it wasn't TOO hard to convince them.  On the way over, Eric pulled out of the hotel parking lot first... meanwhile, some car was just going to turn into Mike, who eventually had to honk his horn to get the guy's attention.  All of a sudden, Woo just gives the guy the finger!  We were in shock, but I found it absolutely hilarious.  I guess despite someone looking calm and mild-mannered, there's still certain New Yorker traits.

It's no secret I think Mike has horrible taste in music for the most part, and both him and Eric love to listen to game music in the car.  As much as I dig game music... not in the car.  So he puts on some No Doubt and I'm totally belting out in the car.

Little Tokyo was pretty unimpressive... we ate some crappy Japanese, watched Woo spend $497 on some import anime DVDs, and I tried mochi ice cream.  Oh, also, Eric actually looked at hentai posters with us! Well, not so much looked as came over to see what we were doing and chastized us for being so perverted. There's a picture of most of the staff in Little Tokyo...my hair fro'd out that day since I finally let it go curly.

We headed back to the hotel so Evan could catch a cab to LAX, and we decided to head down to Santa Monica for the evening.  Nathan, Rudo, Eric, and I paid about $3.50 to go on some crappy spinning ride on the pier, and Mike and Liz paid about that much to go on a REALLY pathetic roller coaster.  Ken, Eve, and Woo opted out... they're p*ssies.  :P

I've been going out to California about 3-4 times a year for the past two years, and in all that time I have never been to the beach.  Neither had Eve, so we decided that we were going to be retarded and get in the water, even though it was soooo cold and windy that night.  I rolled up my jeans and left Nathan with my shoes, and Eve took off hers and hitched up her skirt.  We ran towards the water, which made us look even more retarded (everyone said the scene would've been complete had we been holding hands).  We're in the water; I'm jumping up and down... and then come this big wave that got both of us so wet.  I think Eve ended up flashing her underwear to everyone [Ed's note: Hey! I didn't! I just had to keep my skirt away from the water...].  All in good fun.  It was like our own “When RPGFan Editors Go Wild.”

We finally get out of the water, reassemble, and head to downtown Santa Monica to find some place to eat.  Rudo and Ken were pretty insistent on Hooters, but the rest of us won out and went to Fatburger, though I ended up spending most of the meal on the phone arguing with SOMEONE. It was almost 10 about now, and while we wanted to go shopping (I wanted to go to the Diesel store so badly), everything was starting to close.  Nathan tried to get us to go see Spiderman, but Eric had to drive him, myself, and Eve to the airport at 5 the next morning, so we kinda figured it wasn't the best idea.  On the way back from Santa Monica, Rudo, Ken, Woo, and I were riding in Eric's car with Mike following... and they got the bright idea that we should make it look like we're having a threesome in the back seat.  So first Ken and Rudo start “kissing” my neck, then...well...it got pretty bad.

Back at Quality Inn, we all spent the rest of the night sorting through all our swag, giggling over the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog (mmm...naked male models) and packing... till we just couldn't take it anymore and tried to get an hour and a half of sleep before three of us had to catch our flights back.

Day 7 – Back to the Boonies

Pretty uninteresting day actually except for the drama in the morning.  Eric had said he wanted to leave by 5:30, to give Eve plenty of time to catch her 7:30 flight.  So I get up at 5, get ready, get Nathan up... and no one's coming to our room yet to see if we're up.  It got to be almost 6, so I sent Nathan next door... Eric and Eve had overslept [Ed's note: The hotel forgot our wakeup call, actually :P].  Eric totally hauled ass to LAX, we get Eve checked in and all that good stuff, and Eric drops Nathan and I at our terminal (we were on the same airline, just different flights).  We have breakfast together, I spray some really nasty perfume on myself at the duty free shop... and I head back to TN with about $1 to my name.

Conclusion – I had a lot more fun hanging out with the editors this year than some of the lame industry people I ended up with last year.  It's also nice to share a room with someone who isn't always walking in on you when you're changing.  Next year though, no more staff decisions; we're just going to make our own plans, because waiting around two hours to go to dinner because people can't decide if they're coming or not is really not cool. I'm already excited about hanging out with everyone next year... oh yeah, and the games were cool too.

Top 5 Best Things about E3
  1. Getting to hang out with everybody, and see a lot of people I only get to see once a year.
  2. Nights at the Miyako.
  3. Good swag.
  4. Skyy Blue and Corona...but damn us for not having any limes!
  5. Sexual novelty items in Japanese convenience stores
Top 5 Worst Things about E3
  1. Being pined for by a certain product manager... it got kinda creepy feeling really.
  2. Lines
  3. Crappy swag
  4. Inattentive PR people
  5. The parties.
You gotta make a statement of intent!
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WooJin Lee Ken Chu Mike Bracken Nicole Kirk
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