Last Wednesday, I left for Los Angeles, pretty excited about Next Island launch and the VGAs and meeting the guys in LA in person at last, and all kinds of adventures. I drove myself to the airport, parked my car in one of the economy lots, a half-paved wilderness in the zipcode next to Newark Airport. My fifteen-year-old car still holds a cardboard box of shoes in the backseat, a casualty of my recent move and a physical symbol of the manic-depressive extremes in my life now, but I figure the only thing in my car worth stealing is my GPS, so I shove it in my bag.
The next hours are a blur of reading Snow Crash on the plane, wrapping myself up in the cyberpunk awesome and starting to giggle. I also brought my Beijing bookstore edition of Out of Africa, because even through I’m fascinated with social gaming and the wild new uses for gaming tech, I still have a low-gadget expat side.
The next morning, I literally walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the studio, where I meet wildly talented guys and have amazing conversations about gameplay and the future. I think, again, of Hiro Protagonist, and although everyone is quite nice to me, I feel nervous, like the cool kids are letting me sit at their table.
My boss interrupts to tell me we have a last-minute demo in Santa Monica, could I stop what I’m doing and come with him to help? And also could I help him get directions?
“Actually, boss, I have a GPS in my purse…”