Monday Dec 14, 2009
I’ve never really been legitimately freaked out about crashing while flying on an airplane before. Sure, sometimes you get some turbulence here and there – but usually nothing major enough that everyone starts looking around, afraid that this is about to become that one scene from the first episode of Lost.
That all changed last weekend as our plane from San Francisco made its way to Los Angeles. After the turbulence continued for almost ten minutes, it was hard not to wonder when the oxygen masks were inevitably going to drop from the ceiling. (Thankfully, they didn’t.) But following our hour through rough skies, we finally touched down in the land where winter feels like a spring day in the midwest, ready to head out to that evening’s 2009 Video Game Awards, for which one of our favorite games, MADWORLD, had been nominated for best game on the Wii.
After a quick lunch of Japanese Ramen in Little Tokyo, we regrouped at the hotel, changed into our fancy clothes, and took off towards the check-in area, which was only a couple miles away. It was raining, sometimes in heavy bursts, and the streets of LA (which generally don’t get that much rain), were starting to flow with water. A few tickets and some walking later, and we were nice and dry inside the awards area.
You almost got nominated for game of the year, Jack. Maybe next time.
They somehow managed to give us tickets to seats that apparently didn’t exist, so after some Walkie-talkie action the organizers set us up with a new pair of tickets, which were a bit more towards the middle – no problems there! The seats filled quickly, the awards began, and the next thing I knew Jack Black was only about a hundred feet away from me, smashing his new trophy and being escorted off the stage. Win!
MADWORLD may not have officially won the award for best Wii game at the show, but I think the fans hard work is very commendable here, especially for the only game on the Wii list that was A: Rated M, and B: Not made by Nintendo! Special thanks as well to the guys at PlatinumGames, who put in the black, white, and red that made the game what it is.
Two special guests also had live musical performances – First up was Snoop Dogg, who kept making me think about that video with the Kirby theme song – and second was The Bravery, who I think maybe three people in the audience actually enjoyed. (Sorry, Bravery!) But we did have some pretty nice stars show up to present the awards, including Samuel L. Jackson, Mike Tyson, that one guy from Scrubs, and many more.
After the awards were over, we all headed to the after-party. The after-party, for those of you not familiar with the industry, is where you get free food, drink a lot, talk with other people in the industry, drink some more, move to a different bar, and then finish things off with some more drinking for good measure. Some go for the social aspect – some go for the alcohol. In either case, you’ll almost always be getting a bit of both.
Once the after-party – and the after-after party – was done, we headed back to the hotel. I opted out of the after-after-after-party (yes, there seriously was one), and instead went back to get some sleep so I could revisit parts of the town the next morning.
Sunday Morning offered just a couple hours to explore the parts of L.A. I used to visit when I lived here, so I spent my time in Little Tokyo getting Mochi and picking up some special gifts that I’ll be taking home to the midwest next week. If you guys are ever in LA and enjoy Japanese culture, I highly recommend you head over to Little Tokyo, get some Ice Cream Mochi, and check out what they have to offer.
Things ended with all of us heading back to LAX, hopping onboard our plane, and arriving back in cloudy San Francisco – with a much smoother ride on the return.
Special thanks again to all the MADWORLD fans who voted for the game, to my two awesome stylists, and to Spike for organizing and setting up the event!
Until next year!
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