My PlayStation Experience – Never Underestimate the Power of PlayStation
Admittedly, as I write about my personal experience attending the PlayStation Experience event late last year in Las Vegas, I can’t help feeling a little awkward about the irony of my current situation. You see, I didn’t come armed with a vaunted media badge around my neck signaling immediate privilege. Instead, I came as an unencumbered, unadulterated admirer; happy to celebrate 20 years of playing with PlayStation amid thousands of like-minded players ready to do the same.
This happened before I came to throw my pen back into the proverbial inkwell of games journalism – or if you rather, gave myself over again to the world where passion, gaming and trolls all coincide and collide at once – this special ether where opinions live forever called: The Internet. As such, I could well afford to fully enjoy and immerse myself in the experiences that laid before me with an abandon that a less intimate venue can’t provide. And that is precisely why the PlayStation Experience was a singular, one of a kind event. A concept collectively born at Sony and then crafted by PlayStation’s VP of Publisher and Developer relations, Adam Boyes. There were the usual suspects you’d expect: an all inclusive presentation of upcoming titles from Sony, demo stations featuring Sony products in conjunction with first and third party software, and of course, lest I forget, panels galore!
However, from that, something else came- new and different- to those veterans who had braved the convention circuit times before or those newly minted and wide-eyed; trying to not be overwhelmed by the spectacle. Developers, and high level Sony executives were freely milling around in the open; actively engaging with attendees whether it be fielding questions or playing Destiny with you on the fly.
Possibly as a result of the rise of Kickstarter and crowdfunding as a viable means for developers, publishers, and most importantly, fans to raise both their voices and to financially back what they want directly-a closer bond has formed between the industry and it’s consumers. Even though I held no title other than gamer, I was treated like a VIP in every way during my stay with Sony & company.
I was able to parlay with the likes of Dave Jaffe and explore the transcendental realms of thought with indie developer Jonathan Blow, revisit my childhood with Cosmic Star Heroine and experience the future with No Man’s Sky and personally demoed Sony’s Project Morpheus which gave me a tantalizing taste of what it might be like to game without limitations.
The staff I met and level of service I received at the event was amazing, but I really shouldn’t be too surprised; especially since Shuhei Yoshida himself sets such a positive example to follow. I attend many similar events throughout the year and I have to constantly contend with other fans; who in their zeal to get something for free or signed by someone they admire, leap over the back of my wheelchair on top of me in a bid to further secure their prize.
The Ask Me Anything Q &A was no different, with one exception. I had brought my first ever PlayStation console, an “Original Launch Day” PlayStation from 1995 which still works to this day. I thought it would be a perfect way to cap off the evening if I was able to have Shu sign the PlayStation that had started and culminated in this very event. Typically, the frenzy began, but this time I made it to the front unscathed, with signature and system in hand. When I tried to leave however, things took a different turn and chaos ensued. The crowd swarmed around me by the time I had gotten my console signed by Shu, who played an integral part of its creation. I was not allowed out of the crowd regardless of what I did; in fact, I was about to get trampled on when Shu graciously came down from the platform and asked them to give me room so that I could leave unharmed.
Again, I was grateful and pleasantly surprised how the situation was handled, but I suppose I really shouldn’t be too surprised – Sony was, who they have always been to me these last 20 years: Player 1 waiting for Player 2 to join in on the fun and press continue.
– Lindsay Berkovitz, (aka, Joystick Junkie), Staff Writer, Phoenix Genesis
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