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
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
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.
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