I’m not a travel writer – not least because I don’t really travel enough with the main purpose being to write: holidays of mine have always strived to be exactly that so it’s hardly a surprise that I don’t usually tend to find myself sat in a hotel lobby at half five in the morning looking for something to occupy my brain. But here I am, amidst the hustle of cleaners and the faint, slightly nasally drones of a skinny but endearingly lovable Paisley-born folk singer over the music system. The irony isn’t lost on me, at least.
Yesterday morning – at least I think it was yesterday – I set off from Scotland towards Los Angeles, a trip of over six thousand long, enduringly painful miles, in order to cover E3 for TheSixthAxis. Tough gig? Pretty much actually, so far – it’s been what feels like nearly forty hours or so since I last slept; I’ve caught some disgusting communicable disease from the sniveling man sat next to me for most of the flight which means I now need to carry around tissues like a leaky child and I’ve come to the conclusion that no amount of coffee and Lucozade tablets will keep me going much past the next few hours.
A crash – it seems – is on its way. But there’s things to be done: I’ve got to sort out a pass for Microsoft’s press conference which kicks off in a couple of hours, then work out how I’m supposed to get from one side of LA’s grid-like Downtown to the other in order to catch whatever Sony are planning whilst juggling a good few meetings and prior engagements dotted here, there and everwhere – feeding myself and trying to stay awake in order to soak in the whole thing. After all, that’s why I’m here, to experience the greatest videogame conference in the calendar.
I moan, all too frequently perhaps, at the apparent constant trickle feed of me-too shooters and overhyped nonsense – the gaming industry is hugely wrapped up in an ever speeding snowball of announcement, advertising and disappointment – but right now all I can feel is raw, bubbling excitement. Whether it’s that that’s kept me awake or the simple chemistry behind shifting time zones and being forced to sit at ninety degrees for eleven hours is unknown, but there’s a magic in the air, even at this unholy hour.
And Nutini’s made way for some other background music that seems like it’s designed to bore you senseless. Probably my cue for another coffee, BRB.