What Salon.com Fails to Realize Is That I Dressed like a Pimp Long before I Became a Game Developer
Everyone be talkin' 'bout that vicious pimp-slapping posted on Salon.com recently in regards to tha Electronic Entertainment Expo, the world's largest gaming convention. Tha author says, and y'all listen 'cuz I'm quotin', "...at E3, you're treated to the sight of hot young developers swaggering across the floor, tricked out in pimp daddy raiment and boy-band hair, whose only groupies are mouth-breathing dudes in 'Akira' T-shirts." I considered this a personal assault on me: The Notorious Tony T.
Let's keep it real, thaz all I ask. 'Cuz Salon.com don't know I grew up in the mean streets of Anaheim, forced to work the Disneyland Jungle Cruise in order to support my gaming habit. And a man don't be hanging low with Snow White 'lest he learns him a little pimpin', all's I'm sayin' is, you grow up in the happiest place on earth you learn to show a little plumage, dig? You be competin' with the Mickeys and the Goofies out there, w3rd.
So now I make games for a living -- I crossed the line. Now I be dealin' the stuff, you know? I code all day. E3 is my one chance a year to be steppin' out. 'Course by now I earned the name "Notorious," I gots mad games under the belt. This year it be time to talk to the press on behalf of my latest. So there I was, in a back room of the E3 expo overlookin' the show floor like a sniper, ready for action.
Shannon, She's All Down With PR
Now I introduce y'all to Shannon, she be muh company's PR machine. I ain't walk by her desk any day of the week she ain't on the phone frontin' on behalf of Notorious. Now, Shannon's all worried 'bout the man. She says Tony T. gots to be careful around tha press. "These are some mainstream publications," she says, "So try to tone down the attitude until you see how they react. Be polite and don't lose your cool, they'll love you." I'm all noddin' 'cuz I know she's just tryin' to take care of me. So she says: "When they come in stand up and shake hands and introduce yourself, be formal for the introductions, just to make a good first impression. Then you can sit down and relax a little."
"Aw Shannon baby you don't worry nothin' about Notorious Tony T.," I told her. "I handle that press like I handled them hippos in tha Jungle Cruise. I gots mad social skillz -- I spend every night in IRC. W3rd."
She smiled, then straightened out a lock of my hair and tucked it tenderly under the hat. What's she gots to be nervous about? I'm the one was was gonna be doin' the talkin'. Now, I didn't want to show it to Shannon, but under muh crushed velvet collar I be sweatin' like I ain't sweat since drivin' that boat back in tha 'heim.
The Notorious Tony T. Works It With Tha Press
So the group of reporters comes in -- there be two women from some print pubs and then a third reporter, he's some dude from Salon.com. Right away I'm all over what Shannon be saying, I stand up and lay out muh biz cards like a pro. "Yo yo Tony T., Gaming D.!" I say, shaking hands. Befo' I sit down I glance back at Shannon and she smilin', she feeling good. Everybody cool. I relax a little, and Notorious jes' comes out. 'Cuz once you be talkin' 'bout games, you're in muh hood.
One of the women ask what I wants to see happen wit' tha gaming industry. We be drawin' comparisons to Hollywood. Notorious is flying high.
So I tells it like it is: I say that all games should be like Notorious Tony T. makes 'em. Fresh, Sm00ve, and Rich. FRESH: Games should be wreckin' it with the freshness, that means new, like no $10 DOOM clone whore, bitch please. I'm talking about FRESHNESS, like you be playin' this shit and you ain't never seen anything like it before. Then they gots to be Sm00ve, an' I tol' them write that down, tha's S-M-Double-Zero-V-E. Sm00ve means there ain't no hitchin' and buggin' to take you out the game, tha's why Tony T. goes over his code til it be fine. Lastly, games got to have the RICHNESS, I mean RICH, deep. Like there's got to be heavy with the gameplay, detailed with the world. Content-rich. Rich like Chocolate cake. RICH, I said, like CHOCOLATE CAKE! Those are the games Notorious Tony T. makes.
They all smilin', but they not takin' notes. Suddenly, before they can follow up on the richness and the sm00veness, tha dude from Salon.com busts out with a question.
"Tony," he says, sitting up. "Let's be frank. A couple years ago you dropped out of a promising college education in order to code a side-scroller that promised on the back of the box 'limb-ripping good fun.' Now you're 23 years old and you spend your life creating niche products for people who like violent top-down strategy games. You're like an icon among underachievers, you swagger around the show dressed like a pimp seemingly unaware that your only 'celebrity' is found within a minuscule subculture within a subculture that on the whole the mainstream finds largely repugnant." Suddenly I noticed that the women from the print press were eagerly taking notes. "How does that make you feel?"
I feel the heat coming on, hard and heavy. I see all those reporters looking at me, pencils hovering like switchblades. Why tha man got to have a problem with the way I dress and the way I live my life? So I look over at Shannon, and her eyes be saying it all, Tony T. be cool, don't be razzed by tha man. Be cool, Tony T. Be cool, Tony T.
I slammed my fists on the table, stood up, and yelled "I COULD KILL YOU WITH MY THUMB!"
It went downhill from there.
Notorious, Back on Tha Show Floor
Now I be back there on the show floor, done with tha press, but I caked in sweat, tryin to swig down a Dr Pepper 'til I feel my edge come back. But my edge ain't comin' back. Tony T. was down for the count. I was hurt, hurt bad.
In the distance I see some chick in a dog suit beating up some dude, and I wonder if it's part of the show. Some weird shit goes down at E3 man, that's all I'm sayin'. Suddenly my view is blocked by some homey's broadly smiling face.
He wore a black gaming T-shirt and had his hand out to shake mine. Standing next to him was a girl in a sweater with long blonde hair. Their Expo badges both said "Guest," not press, so I chill and relax muh guard. I set aside my cola and shook tha man's hand. "Tony T., Gaming D.," I said, weakly.
"Dude!" tha guy answered, shakin' my hand all frantic. "I just wanted to say thanks, man. I work I.T. for a big company now, but back in school, I remember playing your last game, War Elves of the Apocalypse, in the computer labs all the time. Me and my buddies? We'd get like eight of us in there and fire up team games and play for hours. My grades hurt, but man. I was trying to pull a double major, and if it weren't for those LAN parties I woulda gone crazy."
He motioned to his woman, who sorta shyly stepped up. "That's how I met my fiance here. She was the night-shift computer lab monitor."
She smiled and shook my hand. "I was supposed to lock up the labs at 2 AM, but these guys kept convincing me to keep it open later and later and hang out with them. Really funny guys."
"After a couple of weeks she was as good at the game as I was. Half the time we wouldn't know what time it was til the sun came up!"
His fiance giggled, then brushed her hair away from her green eyes. "Those were good times," she said. Them, suddenly all shy again, she added: "Thanks."
It was Time for Tony T. to speak. "Tell me my game was rich like chocolate cake," I said.
"...what?" they asked, all at the same time.
"Tell me my game was rich! RICH like CHOCOLATE CAKE! I just need to hear it."
"Rich? Dude ..." the guy said, looking all earnest. "It was puddin'."
Awwww ... yah. Notorious Tony T. BACK - IN - THE - HIZZ-OUSE!!
Remember that a vote for me is a vote for CREAMY FRESHNESS. Tony T. out.
Score: 8.12; Total Votes: 1510 as of 2009-12-09.