Let's go Cena
It's about 9:30 AM on a Thursday, it's an unheard-of-for-Los-Angeles 55 degrees out made worse by intense winds, and I'm ready to see the Nintendo Switch for the second time, days before the console launches. The Switch is ostensibly the reason for my visit, but everyone knows that's only a formality. I don't know that I need to see that Zelda E3 demo for a record-breaking third time. But if I'm not here for video games, why would I trust people that I've never met to drop me in the middle of nowhere?
I chose to put my life in the hands of some Nintendo employees because I heard this media event would feature the John Cena, not unreasonably far from Los Angeles. When you hear about an event where John Cena will be playing some video games, you do whatever it takes to get there. In my case, "whatever it takes" boiled down to "email the PR people and borrow my roommate's car." I needed the car because this wasn't just a regular preview event that also happened to feature John Cena, otherwise I would just take an Uber or something. I had to drive up to Santa Clarita -- which is in the middle of nowhere -- and take a shuttle from the eerie Blue Cloud Movie Ranch to a shack Nintendo constructed in the middle of the desert. Supposedly, this is meant to play off the idea that you can play the Nintendo Switch anywhere you go, but that's real easy for you to say when you can build a fake living room with power and heat in the middle of nowhere.
After spending five minutes in Santa Clarita, I understood why someone would set a horror TV show in this suburb. Being there felt like I was actually in the uncanny valley. Its rolling hills are plastered in rows upon rows upon rows of nigh-identical McMansions, like a neighborhood occupied exclusively by a hive-mind. There's a Westfield mall. There's a Chick-Fil-A. Don't go to Santa Clarita, even if you think seeing the empty sets at the Blue Cloud would be worth the trip. I should have turned around and left as soon as possible, but the allure of Cena was too great. I had to see the man who cannot be seen.
( about 6 minute read, 1274 words )