I find myself in Las Vegas, Nevada this afternoon at the Green Valley Ranch. This is my first time in Vegas – no, I’m not certain how it’s never entered my travel radar, but there you have it. The town is every bit as overwhelming and shiny and decadent as everyone says.

But even more overwhelming and shiny and decadent is sitting poolside, under a palm tree surrounded by gaming gods. I sat down for a bite to eat with Joseph Olin, the fellow responsible for DICE, after having just chatted with Sid Meier. He wants to read The Escapist, has been meaning to. After lunch, continuing a chat with Joseph, along walks David Jaffe, the God of War, himself. A brief banter back and forth about his speech later in the day, and he wanders off, leaving me saying, “Wow, he just seems like a really nice guy.”

The word of the day: casual. Casual attire, casual time, casual interaction. The type of environment where conversation flows, where ideas are shared, where friendships are formed and solidified. And despite all casual appearances, one has the sense that this is where the Real Stuff is happening.

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