Last week at E3, I got to do something for the very first time. Amid the chaos of the show, I was finally able to check out a demo and play a game with my coworker, the GIF/Indie Queen of the internet, Jess Conditt. That’s her up above. We’ve worked together for over a year and a half, talk practically every day and, above all, are very good friends. But we’ve never played a video game together.
That changed last Thursday when we sat down to beat the snot out of each other at the new DC Comics fighting game, Injustice 2. In a world where we’re all connected to each other around the clock, physically being in the same space with someone — especially in online journalism — is more uncommon than not. Trading smack talk without having to worry about your mic cutting out, the other person actually hearing you, or a typo being misread/misinterpreted, is something I’ve taken for granted.
Anyone who’s been to E3 a few times will tell you that the chances of actually playing a game with someone you know are pretty rare. You’re often lumped into a small room with a crowd of other journalists, GameStop managers on rumspringa, merchandisers and analysts while a producer or PR person leans over your shoulder telling you how to play their game. It’s chaotic and impersonal. More than that, it tempers some of the excitement of playing games that’ve just been announced, months (or years, in extreme cases) before they’ll actually go on sale.
But being able to do it with a close friend? That’s when it stops feeling like work and you’re just two pals mashing buttons and punching each other through Earth’s atmosphere.
For the record, she kicked my ass 2:1 and now I owe her shots. See you in September, Jess.