Weekend Reading: Life at CES

Before I start this article, I’d like to thank a mystery man named Adrian who was kind enough to return my backpack to the Lost and Found on Thursday at the Convention Center. You saved my ass big time.

So, now that CES is done and over with, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on my first tech convention, and give you all an insight as to what happened. I think this is important, because you should know that this wasn’t all fun and games; it was work nearly 24/7. I would say that most of us averaged 4 hours of sleep a night, and 1 1/2 meals per day, with Ron, Rob, and Niero getting even less sleep than that. And I thought I’d have free time. Haha.

So read on if you feel like hearing an account of my time at Vegas.

The flight into Vegas wasn’t a problem, and it was interesting to meet everyone. Puppet was the first person I met, and I must say, when I first saw him, my thoughts were, “Dear Lord, Ron is going to rape this boy.” Otherwise, people were just about as I expected them to look, except for Niero. It’s really weird to finally meet the man you’ve only known as a robot helmet. I didn’t have too much time to contemplate all this, as we were then heading off to the convention center to pick up all our stuff and then go crazy.

Let me tell you: CES is massive. Massive as in I walked through Central Hall for 20 minutes without stopping and didn’t reach the other side. In fact, I never walked the full distance of any of the halls, they were simply that massive. So on the first day, I ended up getting to meet the lead designer of Crysis, some of the people who worked on Shadowrun, and a ton of other game designers. Then, the big guns came out. I got to meet Peter Moore and Major Nelson! Want to see me act completely like a schoolgirl? You can’t, because the cameras weren’t focused on me. So by now, it’s around 6pm, and I last ate at 4:45am., and it being about the same for Niero, Ron, and Rob.

So now that we’ve headed back to the hotel, Ron, Rob, Niero, and Dale are all heading out to a private Microsoft event at 9, so the rest of us go and grab food for everyone at the Subway/McDonald’s across the street. So now it’s up to Puppet, Pedro, Fronz, CTZ, and myself to stay entertained. The Internet is $6 per hour for a 56k connection, so that’s pretty much out of the question. So, we’re out on the streets for a while, until we head back to the hotel room to dick around and start blogging. We end up crashing at around 1am, except for Fronz, who’s up until 3am, blogging for Destructoid and The Last Boss.

Bright and early at 8am is when we all get up, so that we can start heading out to appointments. I grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds, while Niero got a pastry at the Nyko event. Breakfast of Champions, for sure. From there, everyone is moving from the Vegas Club and Casino to the Flamingo while I go meet with Sandio Tech, IBM, and Ace Bayou. So by this time, it’s 3pm, and lunch stopped being served at 1:30pm, so I am out of luck for food. I head back to the hotel and we do some blogging, since that room only charges $12 per day to use the Internet, and it has a better connection. Around 5pm, All of us except for Ron, Rob, and Dale, head out to a private suite that Sony Online Entertainment. It was great to meet all these designers and have them tell us all about the games and to see stuff that isn’t going to be coming out for months. After that, we order some pizzas around 10pm and finally get some food in us while Ron and Rob went out to another party.

Let me take a quick moment to explain here that these “parties” do not consist solely of Ron and Rob having a good time. They’re introducing themselves and Destructoid to people at 1up, Microsoft, Sony, and many other big name companies that don’t know us really well, and telling them all about the site. So, it’s more work than fun.

So, back at the hotel, we’re up until about 3am blogging, while Fronz is up until 6. Wednesday was more relaxed, with us moving from The Flamingo to Ceaser’s, and then heading out to Sand’s to introduce to robot to the gaming section of CES. This is actually where we handed out most of our business cards, and hopefully are going to get some business opportunities for Destructoid. It was cool to meet a bunch of porn stars just by standing outside the entrance to the AEE. I actually got to talk to a porn star in Japanese as well! So, after all this, we finally get back to the hotel around 6 or 7, and we all go out to dinner together as a group. It may have been cheesy, but it was fun as hell to finally relax. We then head back to record our video podtoid, where Fronz cuts Ron in the ear with the robot helmet by headbutting him. We need to do more of these things.

Finally, it’s Thursday. Dale is gone, and now it’s time for everyone but me to go to AVN, mainly because I wanted to find some advertising opportunities for Destructoid while I’m at CES. So, I go and whore myself out at the Convention Center for a while, only to head over to Sands around 3pm, where AVN is also located. The guys are busy being filmed by G4, so after I get bored wasting time, I go visit Patrick Norton, who we met on Wednesday. We talked for a while, and then he took one of his co-workers and me out to dinner! The guy is totally awesome and really chill, and is a normal person with no sense of ego about him. Finally, it’s time to pack and head out home. I caught no sleep on the plane, which was fun, and now I’m back to functioning normally…almost.

So, you see, while CES was a blast, it was a hell of a lot of work. We were constantly trying to answer emails or make plans for Destructoid, or do whatever we could to make the site known to more people. It was utter hell, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Especially since I got to know everyone at CES better. I love all you guys. Yes, even Summa. He’s pretty cool if you actually interact with him in person.

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