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Archive: E3: After Hours

Posted at 2:59 AM ET, 05/11/2006

I Would Play Sega With Harrison Ford ...

Game publisher Capcom threw a neat party last night in an art gallery on trendy Melrose Avenue that features an exhibit of art inspired by vintage video games, called Gallery nineteen eighty eight.

The show's co-curator, Jon M. Gibson -- a freelance writer who pens cartoon shows and video game manuals -- offered a walkthrough, as a group of game industry folks checked out the art or played '80s-era arcade games while hanging out in an open space behind the gallery. The exhibit explores the worlds of Mario and Pac-Man with oil and acrylic, in works that have titles like "Donkey Kong's Last Supper" (acrylic on canvas, $500, by an artist named Misha).

Gibson pointed out "No One Wants to Play Sega With Harrison Ford" -- a portrait of a displeased-looking movie star holding a Sega system under his arm as he is coldly ignored by a couple of Nintendo-controller-holding guys.

"It's a very potent statement about the '80s gaming scene, when everybody just wanted to play Nintendo," he said. "Even with celebrity, Nintendo still takes over."

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Posted at 2:40 AM ET, 05/10/2006

Gathering Beads at IGDA Party

The other party I attended last night was for the International Game Developers Association. Funny thing is, the guys who actually make the games don't always get invited to the swank parties, which exist largely to build up good vibes with retail buyers.

The organization devised a little game to serve as an icebreaker. Attendees received a random handful of beads on entry. To get a drink, attendees had to swap beads around until they have five of the same kind, which they could redeem for a drink ticket. Game designers aren't always outgoing and social folks, so this was a pretty savvy way to get people talking to each other.

One guy i talked to does the writing and research for Ubisoft's Tom Clancy games. He could "neither confirm nor deny" he was doing work on the company's next Splinter Cell game. When I pressed harder, that turned into "I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you."

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Posted at 2:23 AM ET, 05/10/2006

'Land Straight'

This was mentioned to us in the Wilshire Grand's elevator, the legendary Tony Hawk (a man who has more than proven that falling on concrete doesn't hurt after a while) murmuring it to us through a sheepish grin. For some reason, we entered the elevator only to find one of the greatest skaters the world has ever known leaning against the wall, the lanky one looking tired but happy as he rode down to meet his friends for dinner.

Not bad advice.

E3's parties are in full swing, attendees comparing invitations and events on a near-competitive scale. Get into the Microsoft or Sony party and you're made, your ego glowing with fulfillment. Swing your way into a lower-key, mellow event and this will receive a nod of appreciation, although it would have been infinitely cooler had you been invited to the major parties with the name acts, unbelievable food, opulent giveaways and jaw-dropping advertising/PR budgets.


Party-goers mingle at Nintendo's pre-show event at the Highlands in Hollywood. (Chris Barylick)


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Posted at 12:14 AM ET, 05/10/2006

Will.i.am's Link to Hollywood

Just leaving the Nintendo party ... the Black Eyed Peas played most of an hour, including a great short version of "Sweet Child of Mine."

During a break Will.i.am told the crowd, "I can't wait until the day there's a Zelda movie. ... [Expletive verb] that 'Lord of the Rings' [expletive noun]!"

He told the crowd he's been pitching a Zelda movie to the Nintendo people, telling them who he would play -- which would not be the main character, who as Will pointed out, is not African American.

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Posted at 9:53 PM ET, 05/ 9/2006

Encounter With the Birdman

Chris, Jose and I were in a hotel elevator and ran into Tony Hawk.


Legendary skater Tony Hawk at the Grand Wilshire Hotel. (Chris Barylick)

We asked him what he was up to -- he said he was going out to dinner with some Activision people. I apologized for making his head bleed in the game so many times.

His advice was: "Hey man, land straight."

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Party Hardly

E3 without E3 parties is like the Oscars minus the Vanity Fair party, like the Superbowl minus the half-time show, like ... well, you get the point. Year in and year out, E3 parties have been legendary: very, very VIP, though with lots of Ps and not enough Vs and...

By Bob Greiner | May 9, 2006; 03:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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