GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010): (A REVIEW)
Tim Rogers is a man I respect. We’ve never met or corresponded directly even, but viewing him from afar via his work, I know he does things I cannot.
Tim’s (present) claim to fame is his work on Kotaku.com which is best described thusly: “They tell me not to wave that around as a credential, though to be honest, I think I’ve written more words than anyone else on the website.” (Tim’s words, not mine).
His columns are notorious for their length and his ability to ramble is legendary - I suppose these two facts are inexorably connected. While writing about his love of “stupid” games, he opted to insert an 800-word review of the game God Hand with nearly 10% of those words being “God Hand.”
Tim Rogers lives in Japan (a fact that comes up in nearly everything he writes) but he made the trip to E3 last month and documented his experience in the film GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010). It is the best representation of a trip to Los Angeles to attend a trade show I have ever seen (it’s also the first, but don’t hold that against it).
I’ve never been to E3. Hell, I haven’t been to Los Angeles in over twenty years, so my knowledge of both is limited to complaints on Twitter and whatever details other writers pepper their stories with. Since most E3 stories are dedicated to describing the latest screenshots of a game that may or may not be released in Q4 2010, this leaves me with little information to go on. In this regard, GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010) is tremendously educational.
There’s very little gaming in GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010). Most of the film is Tim Rogers and Robert Pelloni driving or wandering the show floor with uncomfortable expressions on their faces. These awkward looks could be (A) genuine reactions to the sensory assault of a video game trade show (B) unintended side effects from consuming too much caffeine in energy drink form (C) mugging for the camera or (D) all of the above. My guess would be (E) A + B.
The best part of GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010) is the frequent use of the Mortal Kombat soundtrack and the wardrobe. Both Tim and Bob are wearing track suits throughout the film. Indeed, there’s very little indication that they wore anything but those tracksuits throughout their trip, as they discuss on camera their lack of proper accommodations, bathing or sleeping.
The worst part of GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010) is the Nintendo press conference segment which is as achingly dull as a real press conference, only it’s been edited down to a fraction of its actual length. However, rather than edit out the boring pauses and focus on the material, the stars/photographers/co-directors decided to focus on the boring pauses and ignore the rest.
Contrast that with their coverage of the Sony press conference: rather than sit through the corporate droning the two of them opt to leave the auditorium. I suspect this freedom made them the envy of the other attendees, some of whom follow them outside.
GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010) doesn’t have a lot to say about video games, which is a real shame because that’s why I like Tim Rogers’ columns: even when he goes off on tangents his work is full of fascinating analysis of what games do right (or wrong). If you’ve got the time, go read his glowing review of Cave Story and you’ll see what I mean.
Given this complaint, I still enjoyed GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010) as a twisted travelogue. This is the story of a vacation I will never take. Oh sure, I might return to LA someday and I might even attend E3 in some mythic future where people pay me to opine about entertainment products. But there’s no way in hell I’ll combine either of those things with a rugged road trip in a single, attention-grabbing outfit and a minimum of creature comforts.
I’ve done the “travel without a hotel room” thing and I’ve attended trade shows before. These are, in my personal opinion, extremely incompatible experiences. When I spend six hours carrying a bag and pushing through crowds, I am begging for a bed at the end of the day. On the one occasion I attempted to party at night and then work the following day, I spent the next 48 straight hours in a fog.
GET BONUS: THE MOVIE (E3 2010) is a vision of a future I can’t have. It’s not a future I want, mind you, but it’s fun to watch.