E3, Comedy, and Me
E3 used to be one of the highlights of my year. In high school, I skipped lunch to watch choppy barely above 56K internet stream Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft’s press conferences. After school, I’d spend hours on video game forums debating who won E3, figuring out which rumors were true, and just generally nerding out. E3 was basiscaly when I could start making my Christmas list.
This year, I didn’t even know when it was.
Well, that isn’t totally accurate. I knew it was somewhere around May or June. I think one time recently they even pushed it as late as July. If not for “Wii U Gamepad” trending on Twitter, E3 might have come and gone without me even noticing.
This change really shows how much a change in identity can make former highlights seem silly. Up until college, I identified as “video game nerd”, but since college, I’ve firmly transitioned into “comedian”. Both are pretty silly, since I was almost always more of a fan of the fanboy forum console list warz, than the games themselves. Even though I’ve been writing and performing comedy for almost five years, I feel like I should be able to make some sort of money from it before I can seriously even consider calling myself a comedian.
My main hobby from 2002 - 2009.
Even with all of the time I spent arguing with friends and on forums about video games, like which version of Soul Calibur 2 had the best exclusive character (Answer: Gamecube, easily!), I never felt as separate from my immediate surroundings as I have since fully pursuing a comedy career. It’s a time consuming slog through dive bars and five-person audiences. It is tough explain to any non-comic why it is absolutely necessary to stay at bars for hours on end just to perform for 4-6 minutes. I can almost guarantee that you’ll be met with a “you must be crazy” look, mostly because I’ve seen it before.
Technological democratization has allowed for so many more creative comedic outlets, but on the downside, everyone else can have their own blog, podcast, tumblr, and sketch group too, so aspiring comics have to work even harder to stand out.
Some have praised the democratization of technology for destroying the calcified traditional comedy club -> Late night appearance -> comedy central -> fame and/or depression business model, but at least it was a plan. As someone who is uncomfortable with the current state of comedy’s chaos, I kind of long for a simpler plan (perfect).
That might be the biggest difference between my old gamer identity and my current comic identity. Games have a process and an end. They are finite by nature. Whenever I got stuck in an game, I could go to GameFAQs to figure out exactly where I was, how far from the end, and what I had to do to get there. None* of that exists in comedy, and it’s absolutely terrifying.
Comedy’s sole saving grace for me is that I really enjoy doing it. A lot. I enjoying stand up, writing, improve, sketch, blogging, and Twitter. When everything comes together, I feel the gears in my head perfectly clicking, giving myself that spark to keep going. Maybe I should have mentioned that earlier: I’m an android, but that is not entirely relevant here.
*”The Comedy Bible” exists, but it was written by someone who never really made it in comedy, so it doesn’t really count.
EA Announces Kony 2013 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
SCANDAL: Solid Snake Joins Cast Of Sony Smash Bros, Betrays Nintendo
Sony announced a new fighting game last month featuring many of Sony’s most popular characters. Comparisons were immediately drawn with Nintendo’s wildly popular Super Smash Bros. series. Many fans wondered if Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series, would appear in Sony All-Stars. Snake would make sense, considering that every major MGS game has been released on a Sony system, and the original MGS was one of Playstation’s most popular titles.
However, some thought that Snake’s appearance in 2008’s Super Smash Bros Brawl might prohibit an appearance in the Sony game.
Today, IGN found a tweet from a Sony All-Stars voice actor, which implies that Snake, along with Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Cole from inFamous will all appear.
This isn’t a shocker but, it will be interesting to see how fanboys react to this news.
Sony Announces “Playstation All-Stars”, A Smash Bros Clone. Can it Revive the Console Warz?
Today, Sony formally unveiled Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale its
clone answer to Nintendo’s popular Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games. While at first glance, the games look similar, they are not identical. For instance, All-Stars uses Sony characters, while Smash Bros. uses Nintendo characters!
There do seem to be a few changes which will make for a similar, yet fresh game to compliment Smash Bros. Instead of knocking opponents off the screen to win a fight, players build up a super meter that is in no way like Smash Bros. Final Smash attacks in order to win.
All-Stars’ cast is truly a who’s-who of Sony’s large stable of beloved characters, like that guy from Killzone, or Fat Princess from the game everyone only played for a week until Street Fighter 4 came out.
An even larger question is related to the meta-discussion about this game.
Nerds Nintendo fans and slightly less self-aware nerds Sony fans will debate All-Stars’ authenticity for long after the game’s release. Some experts believe that the tension betwween the two fanboy groups could return video game message boards to the PS2-Xbox-Gamecube levels of the mid-to-late 2000’s. God help the forum mods if Solid Snake is announced for All-Stars.