What Happened at EA play: "The Hero of EA Play"
#EA #EAgames #Mixer #EAplay #gamerblog #progamer #fbstories
The day started like any other. I woke up early with a raging thirst and an unmistakable raging boner for nothing other than video games. I had planned to wake up earlier, but my lack of money, limited travel ability (due to my van being out of gas), and the general dislike of the crazy guys still following me was weighing down on my every move. So, in light of all of these hindrances, I grabbed wood; my trusty skateboard,"Plan B-Destroy," and rode as fast as I could to the actual event.
EA Play was 6.5 miles from where my van has been curbed. A treacherous hike of Hollywood hills and boulevards filled with homeless camps and hate-filled Hollywood wash-ups. The early morning started out with a fog, and I believe it was the understanding of many (not just myself) that this cool weather would stick around for the duration of the day or maybe the pre-noon hours.
I had packed a backpack with everything I would need to hold out in line. A liter and a half of Mountain Dew, my sketchbooks and some concept drawings (in hopes of talking to some developers or creative directors), and some deodorant just to keep myself fresh and confident.
This large weight of objects, however, turned out to be somewhat of a mistake, as it would be after a six-and-a-half miles hike that I finally found myself at EA Play. An hour late to the event and at the back of a very long line.
At the beginning of the day, it wasn’t so bad. Cool temperatures and shade from the building made things a bit more bearable than expected, especially considering that I was wearing my Malibu hoody just to fit in with the locals and stand out only in my level of accomplishment, qualification and expertise.
I had beaten all three Dead Space games on impossible, an accomplishment I was sure EA, with its ability to track peoples information through their gaming servers, would find to be something that stood out in the crowd. But, contrary to what people would think would happen at an independently hosted gaming convention where you assume only some of EA's top gamers would be invited, it was not something that gained me any attention whatsoever.
I mean I was a Dead Space master, something that I was sure would get me some type of certificate from EA for the expert level understanding of one of their biggest games. But instead, like the idea of Dead Space Four, I was to be abandoned in concept and in resolve.
I spent five hours waiting in line. Five hours roasting in the hot California sun as I was also subjected to some of the most humiliating conditions one could imagine could take place at a gaming convention.
Due to EA's underestimation of people's capacity to want and receive free stuff, the mostly outside venue was a poor decision made by EA's planning staff, who it seemed were placing bets on who would die or pass out while waiting in line.
Multiple times I had to keep the gay guy (because that’s always my luck, never in line next to someone cool and attractive, only some dude in shorts who abandoned his dog for free EA crap) standing behind me from cutting in front of me in line. Something that set the mood for the toxic community I would soon be dealing with.
I tried to start a few conversations, crack a few jokes, lighten the mood for everyone frying their brains in 90 degree weather for a company that planned on doing its own gaming convention in every possible way that any fan would consider to be wrong and counterintuitive to the very purpose of having fan-based convention to begin with.
I’ve got to say, EA pulled a sly one. The priority access entry, the restricted areas, the poor planning and poor preparation: it was like playing Dragon Age, except less painful.
It did get pretty funny at some points. The guy behind me desperately tried to convince me to go the gay pride parade downtown instead of going to the actual event. Then I tried to convince him (sarcastically) to euthanize his dog instead of picking it up from the pet grooming place.
EA would also torture people every so often by offering some sort of small comfort like water (cup DLC five dollars was the joke, and they would poor the water into your cupped hands and expect you to drink it that way before it spilled or evaporated) as well as the frosted towels (the running joke being that they where the jizz rags of EA's board of higher-up management pleasuring themselves to the suffering of their loyal fans) kept cold by the frost-like nature of whatever tundra-like hearts that the inhuman, pay-to-win promoting monsters of EA and their cold distance from basic human life and sanity had in their capacity for hate and torture.
So as everyone is wiping down themselves with EA's frozen semen, passing out from heat stroke, and cupping their hands for EA's rebranded water, There's me, J'mar Tarafa, standing in blazing hot weather with about 50 pounds on his back in paper and a skateboards, smiling my ass off, knowing I was making waves with my upbeat attitude and ability to crack jokes like no one else (the attitude that gained me the disdain of my fellow gamers, who quickly recognized that they were being outclassed, out-endured, and outdone by a guy who wasn’t even in the priority line). The true Spirit of gaming was with me that day.
The guy behind me would eventually leave, but only just before passing out from heat and starvation, and only after selling his dog to the Chinese restraint next to the dog groomer place... as someone’s PTSD comfort animal, silly.
Matt even showed up in line and touched me on the shoulder. The host from The Daily Show showed up as well (that one half-black, British comedian who I can't remember the name of because I don’t watch TV).
And apparently, when the frosted towels came around to the golden few able to receive them, it was my advice that saved a bunch of people standing in line. A lesson I learned taking a Nevada MSHA. "Don’t put the towels on your head," I said. "Put them on your neck so it cools your entire body because all the blood in your body passes through your neck." A first aid trick that would end up saving lives.
At some point, I even learned that the fire marshal had put the building at capacity, and this is when things got really dicey. For as it was, as many people who were now inside the gates able to cool themselves down, there were hundreds still outside in the sun with no shade.
There was a joke made at some point that in order to keep yourself cool, you would have to pee on something you were wearing, a real survival tactic I learned in the extreme heat of Nevada. The joke became that there would be a box passed around for people to pee on things called "EA Pee." But the box would be a five dollar DLC. And so would the pee. And you could either do it yourself or have someone from EA pee for you—EA Play, Plea EA, PEA on your shirt or you will die. The new game coming this fall.
It was my legal advice to EA that got the line moving. "Tell the fire marshal that there are hundreds of people out here who have been waiting in the sun for hours. If you don’t allow more people in and go with the lesser of two evils, then you stand to be sued by both EA and everyone standing in this line."
Soon after that, the line got moving and another funny joke came into play where pay-to-win, now being effectively illegal, meant that everyone who payed for early access was now guilty of a federal offense, and everyone in the first day priority line would be met by the FBI at the gate and go straight to jail. So that was also funny to watch.
Inside EA, everything went pretty smoothly. I had just saved a bunch of people a trip to the hospital, saving EA and the LA fire department from millions of dollars in lawsuits. I met a few people on the way and made a name for myself as the dude who kept everyone's spirits up in some of the worst conditions possible.
However the journey was not yet over, as the people in the line would soon make it known what it was they were doing.
As EA's event was free, it was where many vagrants and poor gamers had a proclivity for making it to EA Play to finally be recognized for their input and get the help and support they need to finally put an end to one of the darker conspiracy’s in gaming: "The Prison Punk Scam."
“The Prison Punk Scam” is a scam being run by what I assume is ex-cons, prison guards, police, dark web associates and the very mentally ill, alongside some of the video game policy writers who see their policy of "free suggestions = free games = have your top-suggestion gamers arrested in order to commit fraud and extortion." A few people don’t know this, but there is an underground crime ring of people who believe that they own you and have sold you to some type of prison already just because you have an idea that they want. They do things like stock you, harass you, make you look crazy, and then say that they are helping you by tacking on a 20-year charge to whatever small crime you committed, but only for the purpose of putting you through the system as someone's "prison bitch." Some of these guys believe this grants them some type of magic ability, because they are simply nuts.
A lot of these people had shown up and were trying to single out anyone who was becoming delirious in the heat. Often, they where caught by a few people as their attempts became desperate. Yelling at people to get out as they go about trying to covertly or obviously take pictures of you in order you sell you to whatever prison guards or criminals who have placed a price on you for sale. Paying anyone they can, except you, to aid in this abuse and “gaslighting.”
I’ve already been through this with my dismissed and dissolved charges of terrorism and knew exactly how the scam was being run. I knew what the men who were going around telling you either obviously or covertly to get out were doing, as it seemed a few were either scamming for I.D. cards (mandatory for entrance at EA play) or for people to freak out and commit assault against them so charges could be pressed.
It was only on day two that I manage to trap a few of the men in a line and expose them to the entire convention for what they were doing in front of media staff and in front of the general staff. As two men attempted to use information that had been passed through this scam system against me to try and get me to commit assault, one of them even came outright and said it, and being exposed and ousted by the entire convention, they were forced to turn tail and leave. And ironically out of the line for the trailer to Star Wars: The Fallen Order.
After that, a few of the staff started calling me a hero. Also, one of the developers watched me kick ass at Anthem (which was pretty cool for a first time play 😁) as well as do a badass pen drawing in front of a crowd of people who, from then on, recognized me as the wandering badass artist of EA Play.
I hope #EA learned a lesson from this that will influence a few of their policies and help them plan for the future, and I can only hope that these policies include no longer hiring trolls and scammers for their company, allowing for more access to content, and having a policy that allows for the submission of concepts and ideas for the sake of receiving scholarships and grants for prospective art directors, programmers, developers, testers, and team members.
If I can get an address soon here in LA, I plan to become a developer. But things like this are only possible (as is the lesson we have all learned from Fortnite's submission policy) with the help of those who need a little help starting out. EA knows that it's hurting for good team members, and if what I did at EA doesn’t qualify me, then EA will only continue to fill its conventions with everyone you would hope to keep out and keep out everyone you would want to let in. To make EA Play as big as it would need to be without looking like a huge waste of time for both the fans and the developers, it would take: tons of team members, hundreds of developer teams, a better submission policy for game concepts done by creative fans and loyal customers, a willingness to find, hire, and train amateurs, a possible change in EA’s inability to pay people for their suggestions and allow people to get credit and make money off of these suggestions as a means of boosting their own image, a provision of grassroots ads for their games, and the assuring of a better future of gaming for everyone.
E-sports and gaming are entering into a new era where the fans aren’t just customers, but heroes to a community of people who desperately need them. Evil gaming companies cannot and will not survive in a world where a single YouTube follower can convince fifty million or more people to not like your products in a three-minute video. It's time to consider that all companies require one thing more than money, and this is people, and if your CEOs and shareholders refuse to acknowledge that they were once normal people too, then it is time to petition for their resignations and impeachments without subtlety.