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G.A.M.E. OVER...

 

I was very excited about attending the G.A.M.E in San Francisco to play for Gamespot. I had high hopes for this event that combined music and gaming. However I did have some hesitations as to how smoothly the event will run as the Gamespot guys were on a very tight schedule. The three day event was held at the Mascone Center in San Francisco. I arrived on Saturday. There were Dj’s, PSP’s, break dancers, Xboxes, live bands, and more games…

 

I registered at the show, had some time to wonder around before my matches began. Soon it was time to get started. The game of choice was Quake 4. I was looking forward to doing a live Quake 4 event. We had a few minutes to do the in game set up on stage. I was not able to test the machines prior to the show. I basically just walked up there plugged in my mouse and keyboard. (I am left handed) I adjusted my mouse sensitivity on the fly and the countdown had already began….

 The map was the Fragging Yard 1 on 1. It is a small, open map ideal for 1 on 1s. The one armor in a central location becomes a key factor for control. Due to the openness of the map it essentially becomes rail gun heaven. You can reach effectively to the far corners of the level dominating the map. 

Lucky guy #1. The first match of the day...

In the beginning I was nervous as usual. The familiar adrenaline rush always makes the first few matches a little scary for me. My opponent does not have much to lose by losing in front of a large crowd that gathered around to watch the huge projection screens that were showing the matches. On the other hand I do have to perform well as the “pro gamer” who was flown in for the event to take names without mercy… The pressure is on me. Especially at the very beginning when spectators and sometimes sponsors do not know what to expect.

 After the second or third match I calmed down and got more settled in as usual. We were playing standing up with the monitors suspended in the air above our heads. This was an unusual setup but it gave the spectators a better view of the players on the stage.

Concentrating on a match.

 We had a relatively short timeslot for the Kornelia Challenge. I would have liked to be able to play more people that lined up to compete. During the one and a half hour event I was able to play fifteen matches. Six people were able to get one frag against me. (In the majority of the cases we ended up killing each other.)

The cumulative score of the Quake 4 Kornelia Challenge was 109 frags to 1. (A few players finished in the negatives.)

The guy with the mike and I in between two games.

 The crowd and the challengers made this event a lot of fun! They were very friendly and personable. I really enjoyed being a part of this show that had such a unique fusion of non stop gaming and music. At times when I glanced over into the audience I saw a large crowd of people watching the matches. It seems that the spectators, challengers and myself all had a lot of fun. (I had a blast!)

Spectators watching the big projection screens.

 After my matches I wondered around the show to check things out of course. Tylenol as a gaming sponsor? We all have headaches I suppose… The Tylenol girls were very nice and surprisingly interested in gaming, which I can’t say about the more conventional (Underdressed with a perpetual smile) gaming expo booth girls.

I stopped by JINX.com. I cracked up reading some of the bumper stickers they had on display. I took off with their last “GAMER” iron on patch (No I am not paid off by Jinx to do a shameless plug for them. I simply liked their stuff.)

 I enjoyed meeting people at this event. Normally at shows I do meet a lot of people, yet once I leave the event we usually don’t stay in touch. I met several people that I kept talking about with Elizabeth during and after the show. The challengers and people running the show made the Quake 4 Beatdown feel like a nice cozy experience as opposed to a more distant and businesslike job.


 

Random notes:

 The stage setup at the main Gamespot stage was great. They had two big projectors on either side of the stage. They had couches up there for their discussion segments and plenty of space. I could not believe how well the crew kept to the schedule… They *were* on schedule which is very rare considering the amount of things that can cause delays at these events. Their fast pace did rub off on me because I did do the fastest setup ever for a gaming event. (Ok, I had 90 seconds so I hurried…)  Once I began playing I realized that I forgot to adjust the sensitivity in windows prior to firing up Q4, which never happened before.

 They had one gaming station with two back to back monitors. I found that playing while standing up is not as difficult as it seemed at first glance. The monitors were a little too high vertically which made it an unusual combination. (I was not accustomed to be standing up and having to look upwards while playing.)

 After the event when we looked at the footage that Elizabeth recorded I saw that during the matches both big screens were showing my point of view. The great thing about big screens is that spectators get a chance to follow the action as if they were standing behind the player with the benefit of seeing both views. That would have added a lot of flavor to the matches if people watching could have seen my opponents actions as well as mine at the same time.

Elizabeth at yet another gaming show.
She is taking a break from filming, looking at a match.

 I wish that I gave more play by plays as the games were being played. I had a mike, yet I was too nervous to commentate on the matches as they were taking place. (I get really focused while I play, but my intention was to be move vocal this time.)

 One surprising aspect to this event was the security. Normally if you are unfortunate (dumb) enough to walk out without your badge, (Yes, I am speaking from experience) you may have a tough time trying sneaking back in. (You have to have a friend go inside, ask someone for their badge, bring it outside and walk in…) Of course I walked out with my badge in my bag… inside. I had no problem walking past two security personnel at the door.