Friday, my only day at San Diego Comic-Con. I contracted necrotizing fasciitis from the Slave Labor Graphics booth during that evening, and so had to be airlifted out that night, but adventures were plentiful during my short stay. Embarrassing, deeply wounding adventures.
My first foray into the seething morass led me to to the LucasArts booth, situated on a appropriately-raised dais and crammed with Wii. I’ve said it before: of all the game industry people with whom I’ve come into contact, the Lucasians are the most friendly, sociable, and generally pleasant. I try to hang around them at cons as much as possible, as I find they offer an oasis of less-than-sweaty palms, confident conversation, and a total lack of body odor.
“Soooo…” I said, sidling up to one of the cheerful Lucasbooth boys, “I heard you talking about … lightsabers.” It was true. While standing in front of one of the demonstration Wii and watching a handful of grade-schoolers pick away at the latest Lego Star Wars, I overheard the Lucas Comic-Con party line several times over: “Yes, Lego Star Wars for the Wii is the first time you will ever use the Wiimote as a lightsaber! But,” and here the booth boy would lean close, taking his new best friend into a sacred trust, the clean scent of soap and sugar-free gum wafting through his businesslike aura, “it won’t be the last.”
Intrigued, I pulled my top-opening reporter’s notebook out of my breast pocket and thumbed my fedora back to a jaunty angle. “Lightsabers you say.” I drew a quick picture of a bunny robbing a taco stand, but made it seem I was keenly taking notes. “How do you respond to the accusations that LucasArts has been all talk and very little saber since before the Wii came out? You guys have been teasing our (robot) cocks with your one-to-one, wiimote-swinging, limb-severing sabertalk for years.” I leaned in close, my pencil bobbling between my teeth. I was on the trail of a genuine SCOOP, and nothing would put me off the scent! “This is serious business, gentlemen. It comes straight from THE INTERNET. I’m sure you watch the news. You know what Those People are capable of.” I slyly added a mustache to my bunny drawing.
My boothboy was nonplussed. I was small potatoes. He’d been dealing with five-year-old Obi Wan fans all hyped up on Pocky for 24 hours already. My sloppy blue dye-job, sickly pallor, and German-DJ glasses were no match for the bronzed amazons-for-hire stalking the hall. As he crossed his arms and smirked over his name tag at me, I decided to take a different tack. I spread my hands obsequiously.
“Look guys, I really just want a really good reason to buy a Wii. I’ve already played Lego Star Wars, and on the 360 it looked a lot nicer. When the Wii was announced, I heard a lot about the incredible sword-swinging potential of such a system. Red Steel flopped. Can you, maybe, give me some hope, here?”
But by then, the ugly side of Comic-Con had manifest in the form of booth-goons, and I was frog-walked off the dais and back into the fray. The smaller of the goons meaningfully dusted off the meatloaves he called hands. “And stay out,” he rumbled.
Behind me, the sweet sound of the chuckling booth boys went through me like a church bell. Surely this was symptomatic. No good would come of this Comic-Con. I sadly squidged away.