The white man will not dance this year. No pasty booty will be a-shakin’ on Olympic and Figueroa, my friend. But Madsen will always be doing the Cabbage Patch in my soul.
The first time I went to E3 many years ago, the annual video game industry convention of full-blown insanity, I achieved maximum sensory overload in about an hour. Monitors and screens flashing and blazing everywhere. Thunderous sound and music flooding every orifice. Video game characters coming to life and handing you pamphlets. My brain jumped out of my skull and ran screaming to the nearest massage parlor, where it met and fell in love with a legless hooker named Tai.
Today was my third time at E3, and it wasn’t so crazy. One reason is because I’m not a gamer. Nevertheless some of the more impressive-looking games that caught my attention were GT4, Doom 3, Silent Hill 4, Final Fantasy XI, and Madden 2004. I didn’t even bother looking at the games that didn’t have numbers in the titles. Had to conserve my eyeball chi for the booth babes.
Like opportunistic lions that follow the migrating wildebeests, every time you have a massive gathering of tech geeks, there’s bound to be hot, scantily clad chicks hypnotizing all with their shiny heaving breasts. COMDEX and CES have their super strippers, and E3 has its booth babes. Some of the video game companies try to dress their booth babes up as one of their game characters under the pretense of marketing; and some companies just say “fuck it” and slap a baby-t and thong on their babes, marketing be damned. Click here to check some out.
I shudder every time I walk through the Activision booth. Once upon a time, I worked there for 15 months. Worst job ever. I was young and naïve and I needed the money. Playstation had just come out, and I thought video games were going to be huge. So I applied to Activision’s in-house ad agency with the intent to phase out of advertising and maybe try something else.
Right when I arrived, the creative director had quit and the senior writer went on maternity leave. So for three months I ran the show, and despite the hectic workload, I liked it because I had a decent amount of creative freedom. But then the senior writer eventually came back and, not too long after that, the creative director un-quit. And my nightmare began.
Objectively speaking, they were fucking awful. The sad Mexican guys who sell oranges at freeway entrances have more creative talent. Neither of the two had any ad agency experience, and it showed. One time, the creative director came up with the following line for an ad: “F*cking A!” The both of them thought it was the most brilliant idea ever, ranking up there with fiber optics and Velcro. I stared at the both of them, stunned, and then I looked around to see if I was on some hidden camera show.
The most painful part was that they forcibly tried to make me buy into their school of advertising thought. And when I say “school,” I mean the kind of school the ‘tard wagon goes to.
Problem was, Activision actually liked their stuff. The bad puns (“How would you like a big Mech with an order to fry!”), the awful clichés (“Size matters!”). I was in Bizarro World. I never thought I’d be miserable in a creative profession, but BAM, it happened. I wanted out. Unfortunately my partying self pretty much spent what I earned, so I didn’t have enough cash to quit.
One day, I came to work and discovered that one of my lines for an ad had been changed to “Time to kick some ass!” I sent an email to the entire company. “Out of whose ass did this shitty line come from?” I asked. I obviously knew who wrote the fucking thing, but I just didn’t care any more.
So I got fired. Spent months living off microwave burritos and corndogs until I was able to repair my badly damaged advertising portfolio. My only regret was that I wasn’t fired sooner.