What I saw at Gamescom.
So I recently had the outrageous pleasure of attending Games Comference 2016 and while I was there I went to many fabulous and expensive industry parties. There was exclusively young and sexy people there and it was great. So great. But at points I wondered why the age-balance was so heavily biased towards the young. This is an anecdotal (dont know what this word means) story about why I think this is the case.
On the Wednesday of Games Comference 2016 I was invited to the most notorious secret party of them all by Andrew Gleeson. Now I don't know Andrew Gleeson too well but he approached me by doing 6 forward rolls in a public bathroom at the comference, coughing up an invitation onto my shoe and then scuttling away on his back like a spider. I have incredibly bad judgement and so decided to go to the party.
I approached the old abandoned warehouse that the saliva covered invite told me to go to and Rami Ismail was working the door. He knew who I was and didn't beat me savagely...
I was one of the lucky ones...
I progressed inside to the party and sat down on some beige bean bags next to two indie people who aren't chill enough to be cool with me mentioning their names so I won't do it because one day I might have work submitted to a festival with them on the jury and I don't want my last experience to be SCOTT BENSON IT WAS SCOTT BENSON & HIS FRIEND WHO I FORGOT THE NAME OF THEY WERE TAKING DRUGS-
So I get up and start mingling, y'know handing my business cards to people. Telling people how important their work is to the industry. Vital stuff. Vital stuff. You're doing great work and there needs to be more people like you. Seriously. But then Cara Ellison hits this giant gong and tells everybody that The Event is starting and I notice people milling towards the centre of the warehouse.
So I push to the front because hello William Pugh I'm not standing at the back and I see that there's been this giant arena carved into the centre of the warehouse and I briefly stop and think "y'know whoever organised this event put lots of love and care into this and I don't think events organisers get nearly the credit they deserve" when suddenly everybody around me starts stamping their feet. I don't know what the fucks going on it's like PAX Prime all over again so I just keep my mouth shut and watch.
So out of one end comes this middle aged guy with no shirt & shoes. He's not like "old" but he probably made games for the early Nintendo 64. I'm talking middle aged. No judgement. Everybody gets old. Anyway- so he comes out of one end and then fucking Alex Bruce comes striding out onto this platform like he's the big boss of everything (btw it was later made clear to me that he was the big boss of everything) and he starts reading this speech. It went like exactly word for word like this:
"Alright so. um. Hello everybody! I'm Alex Bruce I made Antichamber and we all know why we're here today. So uh- Sorry one second. I've got this on my phone. One second. It's in my notes. It's in my notes. Uhh.. Okay yeah. So- so- Um- shit. Yes. Yes. One second. One- yes. One second. Okay got- got- got- one second. Just ab- just ready- okay it's- okay so- yes. Yes."
Then absolutely everybody started applauding like crazy. People are going mad.
"Now that the speech segment is concluded. I introduce the opening contestants. On the left we have GODUS!"
People start cheering for the man who had already stepped out. He raised two fists in the air and stomped around the arena. I looked closer and saw that it was indeed Peter Molyneux.
"And facing him today: DOOM!"
Everybody starts cheering again - from the other side of the arena emerges what at this point I just assumed to be a shirtless John Romero. I didn't look that closely. Without even waiting for Alex Bruce (Antichamber 2013) to signal the beginning - they charged at each other. Violently grappling in the mud - two industry legends fighting to the death. The crowd was in a rapture of screaming, hugging and violent masturbation. Scott Benson from earlier was frantically taking bets whilst Spider Andrew Gleeson was devouring a baby whole. It was at this point that I started to feel like something might be wrong.
Just as I turned to make a bet on GODUS however a shadowy figure approached me. In a dark cloak. I was grabbed by the arm and lead swiftly out of the warehouse. I was taken to a quiet room where the chanting of the game developer crowd was a faint echo. The cloaked man spoke.
"William. You have wondered what happened to those of us who grow old within the games industry."
"Dude I love your cloak" I responded.
"We are pitted against each other in combat to the death for the amusement of the young." He spoke gravely.
"Ok" I responded.
"You must help me break the cycle. Help me stop this evil once and for all."
"Uhhh - look I'm really sorry but I've met so many people this week, what's your name again?" I asked,
"Behold! It is I!" He pulls back his cloak.
I sort of recognise him but jesus fuck I have no idea what this guy's name is.
"Oh shiiiit! It's you!" I say unconvincingly.
"Yes it is I." he responds
"Soo.. What have you been up to man? How's your projects going?"
"My only project is to end the needless suffering of this barbaric tradition."
"Cool. Cool." I respond, hollowly.
"Well are you prepared to fight with me to defeat the evil of this horrific cult?" the guy (who i'm pretty sure was ed key?? maybe???) said
so I responded "Yeah totally dude I'll tweet about it for sure."