Sometimes things are wicked difficult. While at PAX I thought it may be fun to hang out with some of our forum/Twitter fans attending the Expo. It wasn’t a terribly involved plan, in fact it looked like this:
9/4: Put out tweet saying to meet us outside at 6PM. Go to Gameworks. Drink cold ones and play arcade games. Profit.
Feeling this was a perfectly acceptable plan we contacted Gameworks. Turns out they were already booked and we wouldn’t be allowed entry. I asked if they knew who I was. They didn’t. I concede that they have a point. At this point we had already sent out a tweet saying to meet us outside after the expo floor closed. Oops!
A new plan was needed and immediately. Taking inspiration from HMXHenry’s all-abiding, never-ending quest for donuts we change tact. A new tweet went out telling people the first plan was crap and instead we were going to meet outside at the same time but now we were going to walk in, ostensibly, a single-file line to a donut place that is awesome, purchase donuts, eat donuts, and enjoy like the displaced ruffians we were.
We’re feeling good, we’re feeling great. Then HMXHenry finds out that the donut place closes at, like, 4PM. On a Friday. For, as far as I can tell, no reason whatsoever. I am so angry remembering this that I can only express myself in non-sentence fragments. Apparently this was a new development, too. They used to be open until late at night to serve delicious donuts to the inebriated party-goers of Seattle. Where there once was glaze there now was despair.
At this point the floor is already closed, people are probably waiting outside for us, and HMXHenry has been sucked into an emergency vortex involving a laptop, suspicious wi-fi, and proprietary software that rarely works under the best of circumstances. We’re a man down, and we have nowhere to go. This is the worst idea I have ever had and our first tweetup is an unmitigated disaster. Yay.
I went outside – dejected and vaguely panicked. Then I see a large group of people waiting – some folks I have never met before as well as some friendly faces I know from previous events. @jwhypick1, @JetWolf, @Ultrace_v1, @toddster, @nickcummings, @nsblue, @Taquelli, @JohnL311, @PsychoCheerio (whom I have hung out with a bunch of times) were there along with several others. We’re talking like 20 or so people maybe? It was a lot.
I told everyone the bad news. Donut places are a racket run by people who hate fun, Gameworks is pre-booked, and I hadn’t yet developed a Plan K (or whatever the hell we were up to at that point). It’s times like this that lesser men/women would give up. Admit defeat. Buy a crepe and call it a night. Me? I solve the damn problem. I offered up a single criterion – we don’t go home until we have something delicious. One of the locals in our ragtag team of misfits points up the hill – there are drinky places over there. That is as good of an endorsement as I have ever needed to do almost anything so I start walking in that direction with the group. We all chatted and had a good time getting to know each other. We get to the drink establishment that was our goal and… packed to the gills. There is literally no way we are going to fit all of us in there without a shoe horn and some elbow grease.
We don’t quit at this point because clearly we are built of sterner stuff. We continue up the hill, bang a right, a left, dodge some criminal-sorts, bang some more rights/lefts, kill a kobold, hop over a fence, walk down a hill, bang a left, and we found it. A nice-looking, dimly-lit bar called The Capitol Club. The upstairs would never fit us all. But downstairs was a wholly unused room furnished with chairs and couches and a TV that we couldn’t get to work pretty much at all. Paradise. The waiter brings in a bunch of drink menus and many of us make the best choice of our lives – the Chocolate Bacon Martini. It’s basically a chocolate martini (nothing exotic there) but with some candied bacon tossed lovingly into it and a glass rimmed with bacon salt. Mission accomplished on the delicious criterion.
Now is it where it was really cool for me. I got to sit there with a bunch of Rock Band fans, talk about music, and games, and PAX, and RBN, and The Beatles. Everybody was really cool and I had a great time just hanging out talking. That is probably my favorite part of my job, getting to meet all the rad people out there who like our games the way that I like our games- people who genuinely care about music and what we do and want to talk about it. I seriously had a blast. After an hour or two we headed back out and walked as a group to the Expo hall.
First of all thank you everybody who came out, that was kick ass. Second – I want to do more of this in the future when we are on the road (or if we are doing something in Boston). If you want to be in the know for future stuff you should follow us on Twitter via @RockBand or me via @HarmonixSean. We’ll do something fun. We may even plan it further in advance (or maybe not as sometimes it’s more fun having no idea where you are going or what you’re doing and ending up somewhere great with awesome people).