If you were in Boston for the PAX East 2010 event, then you would know that well-known outlets were throwing parties all over the place for everyone to attend. Blogs like Kotaku and 1UP held parties, and even IGN held one. Lines of people circled around a block or two as fans of these outlets feverishly waited in the frigid cold weather to get inside and get their partying on. But it wasn’t any of these events that made our time memorable in Boston. It wasn’t any of these gargantuan well-known sites that had the party that was the talk of the weekend amongst both media personnel and fans alike. Instead, it was the Gamers Gone Wild party thrown by the up and coming SFX360 site (http://sfx-360.com/) – a party that wrecked all sorts of havoc and trumped anything that we experienced throughout our stay in Boston.
Throughout our stay in Boston, the DualShockers team partied like rockstars every single night. Whether or not the night was cold enough to freeze-dry our eyeballs wasn’t even important at that juncture. We were out to have a great time. During the day we were out and about covering everything we could at PAX. Once the sun began to set, however, we’d hit the streets like the rabid fiends that we are and tried to fulfill our goal of having a great time. We went out with this very mindset for SFX360’s Gamers Gone Wild – a party that surpassed the experiences we had by far.
Joel, Al, Chad, Francois and myself gleefully walked down Boylston Street as we approached Lir Irish Pub – the place where Gamers Gone Wild was taking place. Hands in our pockets to shelter our hands from the freezing cold, we finally approached our destination and witnessed a ridiculous line of people waiting to get in. Like the other parties, the line went around the block. It looked like a Jonas Brothers autograph signing except with much older men and women taking the place of adolescent girls and their mothers.
We walk toward the bouncer who was covered in layers of warm clothing (smart man), shake his hand and tell him that we’re there as VIP for the Gamers Gone Wild Party. He checks our IDs one by one, we get in, and Francois is stuck outside looking as helpless as ever with a sad look on his face. We sigh, we rush back outside, and we see what the problem is. The genius didn’t bring an ID. We shake our heads in disappointment, pat the guy on his shoulder, give him the peace sign and we walk through the Lir Irish Pub door. Like a ninja, Francois disappears into the night. For a moment, we feel extremely bad then, after thinking about where we were and who we were there to hang out with, Francois became an aborted thought. He understood and would have probably done the same thing to us if the situation were reversed. The only difference, however, is that he would have probably laughed his ass off in the process, point at us, and call us losers in the most nonchalant fashion of his.
Chad, Al, Joel and myself worked our way up a wooden staircase as good music (which isn’t common in the places we went to) filled the air. We finally arrived at our destination. We eyeballed the VIP-only area, nodded our heads in satisfaction and raced toward the bar where our good old friends whiskey and tequila idly stood waiting for us with impatient looks.
One of the things I loved about the event was that all of these media folk were there having a great time. No one was being douche bags; no one was arguing – everyone was just having an honest good time. And what made things even better was how the SFX360 crew made sure that everyone was taken care of in the sense of comfort. If you were there feeling uncomfortable, it was probably because you became too familiar with your parent’s basement and suffered from social anxiety. Other than that, it was nothing short of incredible.
From time to time, the SFX360 crew would go around giving away games (and good games, not games like X-Blades), movies, clothing, and even gaming hardware. A community raffle was held for the Child’s Play Charity in which the winner walked away with an Xbox 360, Tritton headsets were given away, and a very sexy Pikachu attained an Intel Core i7 processor after winning a dance off which I was too drunk to participate in. However, I made sure I cheered like a champ for everyone else as some intoxicated curly-haired dude kicked women in the shin in an attempt to breakdance, and one of the Tritton guys went Vanilla Ice and showed off his mastery of the running man.
HipHopGamer took the stage, Kung Fu gripped a microphone and began unleashing a plethora of lyrics that awed the crap out of us. The man Bruce Lee’d himself and almost ripped off his shirt as a surge of testosterone surged through his body and he began ordering, not asking, people do join him as he released a creative set of bars from his music. And yes, HipHopGamer is also a rapper amongst other things if you weren’t aware. Al, Joel and myself cheered him on and bobbed our heads to the almost non-existent beat that was playing (sound issues) as some bewilderedly looked about at what was happening. I’ll this much, HipHopGamer has a crap load of caffeine flowing through his veins. The surge of consistent energy that the man has is amazing, and he showed plenty during his rap session. At times, it felt as if he was just going to hop back on the stoop he was yelling from, and randomly punch people dead in the face. Thankfully, he’s humble and doesn’t get a rise out of caving people’s faces in.
As the night aged and alcohol was consumed, people began to get loose. No, not loose in that sense, but in the sense in which everyone was feeling brave enough to grab the microphone and sing on stage in SFX360’s 3-6-0 Rock Band Tournament – a tournament that has officially labeled our Deputy Editor Joel Taveras the worst Rock Band singer in existence. Joel, along with celebrity gamer Prod1gy_X (who, by the way, is just ridiculous on the drums), and two random bass and guitar players attempted to play Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” I say the word “attempted” because Joel, who was intoxicated enough to be labeled a sloppy hobo, was doing two things: 1) He sang with a non-working microphone which wasn’t connected and didn’t notice until he failed completely and 2) Sang with the working microphone and failed miserably because his atrocious mumbling drunken voice didn’t register with Rock Band’s precise use of pitch. I cursed him out and disowned him; as I did this, I made a fan as the person behind me laughed uncontrollably at my witty insults to Joel. I was called awesome, and I added a mental note to add 10 more cool points to myself.
After Joel’s failed attempt to impress himself as a singer, we rummaged around the jam-packed crowd of people and saw familiar faces quickly fill the room. Folks from 2K Games, Tritton, Gunnar, Intel, and Microsoft Games, just to name a few, attended the events and bought the DualShockers team drinks. Fellow friends of ours from other outlets (TheBitBag, Pixel Enemy, HipHopGamerShow, etc.) joined in having a great time with us as we destroyed good songs the Joel way by singing along.
Celebrities poured in and we even had Carlos Ferro (the voice of Dominic in Epic Games’ Gears of War) in there partying with us. The man was down to earth, humble and just an amazing guy overall.
But one of the highlights of that night, aside from the great time I was having, was actually seeing and talking to Adam Sessler from G4TV. Yes, he was there. We spoke, we hugged and shared jokes with him, drank a bit with the man, and took pictures. Sessler, out of all the most “famous” people in the industry people we’ve met, was probably the coolest and sincere of them all. The best part about this all is that while the SFX360 party was going on, 1UP had their thing going in ItsNotImportantAnymoreVille. People were migrating from 1UP’s thing to Gamers Gone Wild – that just goes to show you how marvelous this party was.
At times I was a bit aggravated throughout the night, but that had nothing to do with the party itself. It had more to do with the place being filled to capacity and anyone who went outside for a smoke or fresh air couldn’t get back in. And I felt even worse for the people who had to stand outside and wait. The funny thing about Boston folks is that in the midst of winter’s cold embrace with a temperature low enough to form ice blocks from your saliva, people waited with mere hooded sweaters, light jackets and, occasionally, shorts. Yea, I saw people wear shorts. What were they thinking you ask? God knows. But maybe, just maybe, freezing your ass off in light apparel is the new black in Boston. That’s my guess.
As the night came to a close at 1AM – which was the saddest part of the whole trip – and drunken people began to wonder why the lights began coming on as they shielded their fragile eyes from the blinding “get the hell out of here” lights, faces of sorrow began to form. People yelled to their gods as to why the Lir Irish Pub was closing; others like Joel glared in confusion like a deer at incoming traffic in the dead of the night, and the rest – like Torrence Davis from TheBitBag and myself – checked our watches and just sighed in disbelief that the great night we were having was finally drawing to an end. I cursed under my breath and Al, Chad and I just shrugged in dissatisfaction. Joel? He regained consciousness and was talking to the man of the night, SFX360’s Ross. We slowly etched our way to him as the angry crowd shuffled along. He was sitting at a couch and we all extended our hands to him in gratitude for putting together one of the most memorable nights of our lives.
I can honestly say that the SFX360 people sure know how to throw a damn party. Networking with new faces was amazing; catching up with old friends was great, and having experienced such a night was just a blessing to the DualShockers team and anyone else who attended. Working throughout the day covering PAX East was tiresome and great. The reward, however, came in the form of Gamers Gone Wild – a night that I’m pretty sure will be remembered for years to come, and a party put together by a community of gamers for a community of gamers that became the talk of the town above the aforementioned parties thrown by the big boys of the industry.
It was a heavenly night, and to be there with great people was the greatest part of it all. We sincerely want to thank the SFX360 team (Ross, LadyJ, Vicky, QueenofHeartsx, JVB, and everyone else from the team who made this happen) for showing DualShockers love and making this possible for the gaming community. You guys are more than welcomed to name my first born child.
That said, there’s not much else to add besides the fact that the party was so damn unbelievable, people from downstairs (the “open” area) were sneaking their way upstairs through a not-so-well-protected staircase in the back of the bar. Goes to show you how the SFX360 people party.
More pictures will be posted in a bit.