Here’s the second part of my diary. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest reading the first part. You can do that by clicking right here.
Hangover. Brush your teeth so you don’t taste the booze every time you breathe. This is a fact. Shower, stare at the backs of other hotels through a window that only just opens and only just closes.
Breakfast is mainly beans and mushrooms at a cafe with lobsters on the wall and maybe a marlin. Hemingway is mentioned. I sit quietly and fume because the menu said hash browns and there was only one.
There are things to do today. But I am wearing trousers and my legs feel like Vaseline wrapped Christmas turkeys. I am sweating so badly when I play the first two games in the indie arcade that I feel sick and I want to apologise and I know everyone thinks I’m disgusting and I am.
If I sweated on your tablet or controller I am sorry and I won’t come again unless it’s winter but even then they turn the heating on and sorry.
One game is called A Good Snowman is Hard to Build and I want to enthuse about it and talk about how you can hug snowmen and sit on benches but I feel like a fucking sweating neck beard prick and I just leave because no one cares what a fat sweating prick like you thinks.
I go to the press room but it’s in a different place and it has a different name. This time I’m brave, I sit down like hey what up, me again journo friends let’s tap out some classics. More like NOT free-to-play yeah? but actually I sit down on one of the leather chairs and get my iPad out.
This is my rhythm for the day. I see a game and then I go sit on my leather chair and write about it. I am constantly horrified at the idea of walking into the press office which is what it’s called now and it being full and then I’m naked and they’re all my mum. It never happens though.
I never know what to do on expo floors. It is not a big expo floor but there are booths and people are giving out T-shirts and I have to say no. I don’t like advertising brands I’m not truly engaged with on my chest. But just sorry in reality and no and sorry.
Most of it is not for me. I don’t think it is for me anyway. I don’t need vibrators for my controllers or a motion capture hat or a VR helmet or a university funding program. I’m sorry I don’t know why I’m here either.
One of the games is about delivering things and you flick boxes and it’s so bright and we’re outside. No one shows me a game that’s brown and about man killing. That is why I’m in the best part of the industry. It’s also the worst part sometimes. Our games go right in your pocket.
Another game is a quiz, and it asks you questions and I get some right. But we’re in a strange Italian restaurant and the owner’s son makes games and hey he actually does make games and these guys might know him but he doesn’t have long hair. He’s a very smart looking boy. This is a fact. Networking.
The second to last game of the day is a Vita not-shooter and it needs plugging in. We stand in a corridor leaning on a baggage drop-off hatch that’s closed and dodge through a maze of black stripes and lasers.
The socket is just in a corridor because the bar is full and this guy probably thinks I’m an idiot for not knowing where all the sockets are. I like corridor gaming. It feels edgy. Like an illegal trade away from the hum and buzz of bar-fuelled chat-working. Corridor expos should be a thing.
Gaming isn’t as formal as booths. This is not the way that I game. I never sit on a stool in real life. I never feel like I’m hogging the game or that I’m infecting it with salt and booze sweat. Sorry again.
I wish I’d played on the beach. I nearly did but we were shouted back because we had drinks. I don’t think I did at the time. The beach is silliness and sliding in sand, or pebbles. It’s splashing and falling and starting fires. It’s childish. Like we wish we were.
I say goodbye to the Hilton metropole because I am tired. I need to be away from business cards and the hard sell and the press room with its leather chairs that didn’t break in the end.
I’m pretty much always on my own at expos and conferences, but I’m never alone. I like to be alone. I think I’m quiet and nice and a bit naive and fun when I’m alone. Not drunk sweats and saying the same thing about your game three times.
I walk back up the hill to the station. It’s still hot. I do not know Brighton. I know two streets, and one of those is broken hotels and people nearly running me over, and the the other is small pavements and people walking too slow.
I don’t turn around to see the sea. I sludge into the station, back to sleep patterns and the cold north where we don’t rollerblade again yet. This is a fact.