Op-Ed

The Ocean Rolls Back

| 5 May 2006 16:19

Is it too soon for a tsunami metaphor? I really hope not, because it's just so damn apt.

It's Friday; Cinco de Mayo, no less. It's the last workday before E3. Today's been ... weird.

The day began with our Commander-in-Chief, Alex, briefing us on this year's battle plan for E3, which sounded a lot like Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump's instructions to Forrest and Bubba the first time he met them:

See the platoon sergeant. Draw what you need for the field. If you boys are hungry, we got steaks burning right over here. Two standing orders in this platoon: 1-take care of your feet, 2 - try not to do anything stupid, like getting yourself killed.

In the immortal words of Tom Hanks, "I sure hope I don't let him down."

The rest of the day has been a hodgepodge of pre-convention panic, giddiness and steady preparation, depending on who you talk to, and when. Some of us are dreading the long hours, shuffling through crowded corridors among thousands of Zelda fans in order to bring you, Dear Reader, the coverage you deserve. Some of us are really looking forward to the long hours, shuffling through crowded corridors among thousands of Zelda fans in order to bring you, Dear Reader, the coverage you deserve.

Make no mistake about it. That lack of big news over the past week or so is because everyone's been holding his breath, waiting for the deluge. The ocean has rolled back, and the tidal wave is coming.

Some of us are wise birds, noting the ocean's withdrawal and recognizing it for the carnage it's about to bring, the instinct coming from some long-buried evolutionary memory designed for this very moment to tell us one thing, and one thing only: flee. And some of us are surfers, chasing the ocean to wherever it's running, hoping to ride the wave of our lives.

Some people dig the wave and some people don't. Me, I love it. I like concerts and sporting events because I like being mashed into a throng of humanity all united in one common thread. They're peaceful examples of what 100,000 people can come together over, even if it's something as silly as rocking out to a power ballad or cheering on your favorite player. Or, in E3's case, watching Mario pronounce "Wii" in his faux-Italian accent for the first time.

If AGC is gaming's Burning Man and GDC is its Academy Awards, E3 is gaming's Super Bowl and Woodstock combined and amplified. And like all great spectacles, it's not about the subject matter, it's about the event in all its glory.

Stay tuned over the next week to read our unique take on E3.

I really can't wait for this wave to roll in.

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