My brother, the enthusiastic and concerned convention-goer.
Another highly anticipated E3 has come, and is soon to be gone, (depending on when you read this of course). And while everyone's hard at work discussing the latest happenings and expo surprises, I'm left wondering simply what my brother would think about all this news. Unfortunately my brother isn't around anymore to make any witty comments about the downsized expo on his blogs idorkas.blogspot, and ryohazuki.1up -- someone whose opinions I respected, and enjoyed hearing, is gone.
What would he say about FFXIII on 360, Gears of War 2, and the overhauled XBL dashboard with avatars? I'm sure he'd be thrilled about it all, especially the 'Mii wannabes' for the 360. It just feels so weird to be unable to discuss with him the everyday blurbs from the game industry, or the newest movies coming out like, The Dark Knight, or to just share a joke or have a conversation with him. I feel like a part of me is missing, and indeed, it is.
My brother Christian, better known around these parts as Ryo, had been attending the expo since 1999, his last one being 2006, after it was announced E3 would be changing it's format. He loved the show, (he has the collection of badges to prove it), and he loved sharing his event coverage with his readers. He would really get into the fun of going to a Con. We would always push each other to see who could turn out the better blog, rushing to do a writeup that included loads of pictures, and details about our experiences. In my mind, my brother made me a better blogger because of our brotherly competitiveness that extended beyond blogging and games, but with everyday life as well.
Unlike most videogame enthusiasts out there, my brother never wanted to write officially for any game publications. He never wanted to be a 'game journalist', or anything associated with being a game journalist. He wanted to operate independently to be able to deliver content, the way he wanted to, without any organization filtering his interests or directing his posts. He wrote from the heart, and wanted to keep it that way, posting about things that mainstream press didn't bother to cover, obscure niche games, and more.
He loved being a convention-goer, so naturally E3 wasn't the only show that he would regularly attend. He had been to CES for several years because he's a total gadget freak, and every time we would see each other over the Holiday's he'd ask me if I wanted to go to CES in Vegas which happened a few days after New Year's. I always had an excuse not to go, thinking about it now, I definitely regret never taking up his offer.
He always wanted to make sure his friends and strangers, had opportunities to experience things that he enjoyed. Like I remember one year a 1UP member expressed their desire to attend E3 but they were running low on funds or something like that, so they put the word out on 1UP. When my brother ran into that person who actually made it to the expo, he remembered what they had said online, so he offered to take them out to eat. And he did, I was there. Tired and hungry after a long day at E3, the three of us walked over to a Firehouse restaurant in downtown LA not too far from the convention center. We all looked like touristy teenagers, and you could tell that this Firehouse restaurant (Engine Co. No. 28) wasn't the type of place for us, but rather an older crowd of business people, and office workers. And yet my brother didn't care. He walked up in there, and asked for a table. I could tell they were a little put off by servicing the three of us with all our convention swag bags, but my brother didn't give a damn, he was hungry, and he didn't care what they thought. We ordered whatever we wanted from the menu, and he paid for it without hesitation. Always so generous.
After the restaurant, I remember there was a homeless guy who approached us asking for money as we walked back to the convention center. My brother literally opened his wallet, and gave him a few dollars. Me and the other 1UP member were pretty surprised. I told him afterward that what he did was pretty dangerous, the guy could have snatched the wallet from his hands, or worse. Again, he didn't care, he felt like being generous.
So, thinking of E3, will always call to mind some really good memories of my brother. E3 2005 in particular was very memorable. My brother did some great blog coverage too. As time goes on, I'm constantly reminded of him, which is good, because I would rather remember him, then to go on with life without thinking of my brother. Read his past E3 blogs Here.