Angry Robot

My adventures at the Northern Digital Expo

So at very first I reacted like a hyperactive 12 year old kid in… well… a gaming expo. There were bright shiny screens everywhere and scantily clad Old Spice Models roaming around offering free samples. Truly this was a place of the Gods.

Okay, before I change tones and go on a rant I should let readers know that:

A) I hate Guitar Hero. I’m Sorry, I want to like it, but every fiber in my body cringes whenever I see it. When I play it I stumble over the keys like a drunk epileptic and struggle to understand why I should play any game with my pinky finger, and…

B) I’m a cynical ass.

That said…

MLB is… um… boring

I realized something very important; I’d rather play video games than watch them. There is something extremely draining about dozens of teenagers hunched over screens, slacked-jawed in mind numbing concentration. Some of the events were put up the large screen and they were still dull. How can people chainsawing each other in two be boring? I don’t know… but it was. I didn’t watch the Guitar Hero competition, which would have been much more entertaining because of energy involved. Unfortunately, like I said, I hate Guitar Hero.

As for the rest of the expo…

It was partially sponsored by Doritos, specifically the chili cheese lime flavour. They tasted like someone took all the sadness in the world and combined it with a steaming pile of ass and crammed it into a bag of chips. They were fucking vile. I ate the entire bag because I thought that maybe it’d get better, but alas, it tasted like death from the first bite to the last.

After I got over that I visited the various booths; Nintendo, X-Box and… uh Playstation? That’s strange, Playstation seems to be missing. Old Spice was there, Seneca college was there, Even Zellers was hocking goods from an enclosed version of their own store, but one of the staple three gaming systems was decidedly absent. Hmm…

<img src=”” width=”420″ height=”315″ title=””Um… Playstation? Hello? We’re all here. Anytime..”” />

I tried the HeadPlay gear. What is it? Well… it’s a helmet that you strap across your eyes and it allows you to play your games in (apparently) 3-D on your own personal screen. It was light, comfortable and surprisingly easy to view through. The adjustment was incredibly finicky, and I can imagine that if you were a little out it would be incredibly disorienting. At $499 I was hoping that it would be cooler. I was hoping that then you turned and tipped your head Master Chief (I was playing HALO 3, natch) would do the same. Sadly this was not to be. I wouldn’t say that HeadPlay was bad, it would be very handy for multiplayer, or for when your roommates are hogging the TV, but not $499 worthy.

There were some other shiny things to look at. There were 3-D TV screens, A Wii paradise with couches, Guitar Hero 3 (shudder), Naruto, even performances by some subpar falloutboy/AFI-ripoff, EMO bands that had the kids swaying in a typically melancholic manner.

Was it worth it? Well, the bottled water they were selling for $3.25 a pop was definitely NOT worth it, but I can’t claim it was a complete waste of time. I enjoyed the time there. It was small, and the expo itself was far too small to spend an entire weekend at unless you were one of the competitors at the open. Perhaps if it picks up in popularity next year there will be more to do. Cross your fingers and hope I guess.

Maybe next year there will be no Doritos.

3 comments on "My adventures at the Northern Digital Expo"

  1. D says:

    Similar experience at SFX a couple months back. To me, the Halo saved films is a step in the direction they need to go, which is acknowledging that for shooters, the locus of interest is not the teens staring at screens, but within the game’s action. And watching that from various 1st-person points of view is about as intelligible as watching a football game filmed entirely by helmet-mounted cameras.

    There was guitar hero going on at SFX too, and the contrast was great. I probably like Guitar Hero a little more than you – I respect it but it’s not for me. But as something to watch, it’s incredible since the focal point is the players, not the screen, which it makes it feel more like a traditional entertainment.

  2. Nadine says:

    GH 4VA ß!7©#3$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. smbm says:

    did you see chris bosh challenging anyone at git 3 or halo 3?

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