Originally published on Trevor Trove on August 29, 2015.
In July 2014, I started what I considered to be my first really “adult” job. I’d been a salaried employee for a couple companies in the years prior but they were entry-level positions (or at least entry-level pay). This new job doubled my salary so I found myself with far more disposable income than I was accustomed to spending.
Fast forward a couple months to when PlayStation announces this PlayStation Experience convention, a two-day event specifically for their fans. For years, I had wanted to attend conventions like E3 or PAX but never had the means to do so. But this convention was going to be in Las Vegas? “That’s only a five-hour drive from Phoenix,” I thought. So I treated myself to a weekend getaway to see what this new thing was actually going to be about.
I got in Friday night and checked into the hotel, picked up my event badge, and walked down to where the convention was going to be to watch them set it up for a little bit. Not much else to do, so I went back up to my room and watched the Video Game Awards, which was just about the perfect way to get amped up for the event starting the next day.
Saturday morning, I got up early and headed down to the line to get into the Keynote: Vita (and 3DS) in hand. Now, by nature, I consider myself an introvert. I can interact and visit with others, but it’s definitely not my naturally state. So as I waited in line, I played Freedom Wars and listened to the excitement of those around me without interjecting my own. A couple hours later, the line began to move and the electricity in the air was palpable.
Much closer to the entrance, but still in line, I came up alongside the Media check-in table and saw people like Geoff Keighley, Malik Forte, and Destin Legarie. Coming up from behind us, none other than the Podcast Beyond crew of Greg Miller, Colin Moriarty, and Vince Ingenito, the crowd heralding their presence with screams of “BEYOND!!!” The three of them graciously took time to say hi to as many people as they could on their way into the event.
Finally, I was through the bag check and on way my into the show. The convention center felt like walking into an airplane hanger. We all walked across this floor to the thousands of seats and stage setup. I looked around and found myself smiling ear to ear, even welling up with tears of joy. As I walked, I saw Greg with a line of Beyond fans in the aisle waiting to meet him. I figured I would see him the next day at the Beyond panel so I focused on getting a seat, instead.
The center section was reserved for media and I noticed PlayStation VIPs like Neil Druckmann over on house right, but house left seemed like it was fair game. I headed that way and found myself getting closer and closer and closer. I finally plopped my stuff down in the front row and kept waiting for somebody to walk over and say “I’m sorry sir, you can’t sit here.”
But it never happened.
I got to watch the inaugural PlayStation Experience Keynote from the front row (next to some of the Bloodborne team from FromSoftware, nonetheless). I sat there, surrounded by thousands of fellow PlayStation fans, developers of some of my favorites games, and media personalities I admire, and thought to myself: THIS is what I want to do. I want to be around this.
That Keynote was amazing (Final Fantasy VII troll aside)! The games I played on the show floor that weekend were amazing (I’m still waiting for Severed on Vita from the guys at Drinkbox Studios)! The panels I attended were amazing (I was even responsible for giving one lucky fan of Beyond a copy of Freedom Wars)! And, in one of my favorite moments of the trip, I sat down for a late lunch and looked up to find Greg and Colin visiting with Adam Boyes as they ate. Not wanting to interrupt, I waited until they finished up. I introduced myself as the Beyond fan who had mailed in the aforementioned copy of Freedom Wars. Greg was just as gracious and fan-friendly as he always presents himself. Colin was, like me, out of his element interacting with strangers out the gate, but still gracious for the support. My phone was dead so I wasn’t going to get a picture. As I mentioned, THIS was what I wanted to do now, so I knew I’d have my opportunity later. Sure enough. A few months later…
And now I’m here: launching
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