retail memorabilia gaiden: that time i was at a kotaku event

I should open this with a disclaimer here: the events that I’ll be recounting happened all the way back in 2011. I was also very, very drunk at the time. As a result, I would pre-emptively ask any forgiveness if my memory tends to be hazy or incoherent at times during this post.

Anyways. Back in 2011, things were a little weird for me. I was at home, sitting at my computer, drinking my morning coffee, and checking my messages. While I was doing this, I heard a very loud hissing sound. There was a lot of construction going on outside my apartment at the time, so I ignored it. But I could no longer ignore it when I stepped into my bathroom, and noticed that the floor was extremely wet. That wasn’t construction work outside, the pipes in my bathroom burst, and now my floor was rapidly starting to flood. Long story short, my carpet had to be torn out and completely replaced. Twice, actually, because the first time was an incompetent rush job. And because the plumber took his sweet ass time showing up and shutting the water off (the complex’s water supply is locked, you see), I ended up with black mold on and in the walls, which meant I couldn’t stay there until everything had been fixed and cleaned up. So for the next month, I lived in a motel. Luckily, this stay was paid for by my landlord, so it cost me nothing but the headache of having to be here in the first place. I ate a lot of pizza and brownies, played a lot of Pokemon White, which had just come out (I got White because I accurately predicted everyone I knew would get Black), and got some really good sleep on a surprisingly comfortable bed.

I didn’t really have much else to do at the time, other than wait for my home to be fixed. This was also around the time that Japan had been rocked by that horrible earthquake and tsunami. In response to that, Brian Crecente decided to host a charity event. Because he used to run Kotaku, and Japan=video games, apparently. Not because it was the right thing to do or anything. This was still back when Kotaku was a garbage website with no real quality, before it had its renaissance of having a couple good pieces, mixed with “Why Agent 47 Is The Queer Representation We Need” and “Why Masturbating To Child Pornography Is Good, Actually.” Side note: that fucking child porn article caused me to have a CSA-induced flashback/breakdown combo. So thanks for that, assholes.

Crecente and I both live in Colorado, and the event was held within walking distance of the motel I was staying at. It was at Cervantes Ballroom, a place I hadn’t been to since 2005, when my old roommate and I went to see Chiodos and Portugal The Man in concert. I’m hoping the venue was chosen because its relatively large size, and not because Cervantes also happens to be the name of a Soul Calibur character.

At risk of sounding like I’m too cool for the room, because after all, I was attending an event hosted by a video game website, this was exactly what you would expect. Lots of stereotypical nerds with no real social experience huddled around game merch and a couple of consoles hooked up on the ground floor. There was a small LAN center on the balcony, so if you wanted to play Counter-Strike or Starcraft (AND NOTHING ELSE), you could do that. And on the stage? You think maybe because this a music hall, there would be a band performing? Of course not. It was only a projector, and XBox 360, and a copy of Rock Band. For anyone who is unaware, Denver has a great music scene. A lot of amazing bands would certainly be available. Or, you could watch a bunch of random weirdos play plastic instruments. That works, right?

I realized pretty quickly that I was out of place. Sure, I love me some games, maybe even too much. But I’m not, and never will be, a “gamer.” I came in wearing a nice shirt, nice pants, a sweet jacket (it was cold this time of year), things you would wear if you were out at a nice club for an event. Everyone else was wearing shitty jeans and shirts with mystery stains. Not exactly “club” material.

pictured: me in formal attire (at the time, anyway). my scarf makes it look like i don’t have a chin, sorry about that. not sure why i put my hair behind my glasses frame, i’ll chalk it down to being drunk.

So as you do when you’re out at club and things are weird: you go and get drunk. And drunk I got. Apparently, as the bartenders had informed me, I was literally the only person there who ordered anything besides a glass of water. As a result, they gave me my “usual” a vodka/Red Bull combo in the Long Island Iced Tea glasses. If you’ve never seen one of those, understand that that level of alcohol, in that glass, got me fucked the fuck up in a hurry. This is where things start to become a bit of a blur.

One thing that sticks out to me is when I needed to use the bathroom. There was a line outside the men’s room. The first thing that comes to mind is, what the fuck? Why would there be a line to the bathroom at a club? They are designed to hold a large number of people. So I ask the guy at the front of the line what the deal is. His answer?

“Oh…there’s someone in there already.”

Now this is the part where I’m too cool for the room. I open the door, to show everyone that in public venues such as this, there’s more than one stall! And guess what? There was nobody in that bathroom! These people, who were all apparently adults, did not realize that there’s no line to a club bathroom. I took a piss, and walked out laughing.

Because this was an event for charity, here’s where the money raising things started to happen. Aside from the $10 cover charge, there was also an auction for various game memorabilia happening. If I had the money for it, I could’ve gone home with a physical copy of the Mega Man 9 box art, eternally tying me to that cursed game.

POINT OF THIS BLOG POST NOW

At some point during the night, I somehow managed to actually socialize with a small group of people. One of them was a cute girl in a Symphony of the Night t-shirt. That’s about all I remember about any of them. But while this was happening, and I was shaking my head at Brian Crecente’s incredibly cringe-worthy stage presence (complete with wearing a Denver Nuggets jersey and trying to speak “jive”), someone had approached us holding a small cardboard box. He informed us that it was a Lego model for some Lego game that was meant to be put up for auction, but the guy dropped it, causing the pieces to break off and leave the model unfinished. In his embarrassment, he asked us if any of us wanted it. Me, hella wasted, said yeah. I didn’t have to pay for it, and plus I got a free box to put my motel shit in. Things get really hazy after that. The cute girl talked me into going up on stage with her and her friends to play Rock Band. I think we did a Muse song. Was Muse ever actually in Rock Band? I don’t remember, and neither do you. Thankfully, for all the official Kotaku pictures taken that night, none of them feature me. Simply admitting this is embarrassing enough.

The next morning, it was dark, it was cold, and I was hung over. I spent the day opening up that box, and putting the model together.

And here it is, pictured taken literally the moment I finished it.

My apartment was eventually fixed up. I still live there now, actually. And Wall-E still sits on my desk, next to my other collectible toys.

I end this post by doing something Brian Crecente didn’t have the wherewithal to do: actually showcase a local Denver musician.

ivory circle- insomnia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *