Whenever I shoot San Francisco, I think it JUST might be the very last shot before the big one hits. They say they pyramidal Transamerica building is fairly earthquake-proof, but I don’t really believe it.
I think if there was a big one, I would just climb out the window and slide down the outside, just in case. That seems like a pretty solid plan.
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I had to spend about $300 in order to pay all the homeless people to get out of the way of this shot, but I think it was well worth it.
I like how cities are doing this artistic stuff and contracting with local artists. I’m not a fan of tax-supported public art, however. I heard that in Iceland that if you are a recognized, but unemployed artist, that the government will actually give you a regular stipend. Anyway, I digress.
Each corner of Union Square here in San Francisco had some uniquely painted heart. I thought this one was the coolest with the sky that day, so I had to grab a shot.
I am here in San Francisco for the Game Developer’s Conference. Believe it or not, I’ve had over 45 meetings so far and it’s only four days into the event. I’m so tired that I could barely even refuse when my friends at CCP Games in Iceland invited me to their little party tonight after dinner. Little did I know *what* kind of party it would be.
I show up, and it turns out that I am suddenly in this goth-vampire club in SOMA and the CCP guys have called in the cavalry of SF goth girls, vampiric wraiths, suicide girls, and the kind of people that sleep on leather sheets. I honestly don’t know where they found these people or where they were able to purchase insurance for this event.
The party was to celebrate Eve Online and its amazing success with over 180,000 players. They are also making a new announcement soon about something new they are doing (did they announce it somewhere)? Hilmar could have just thrown a little party in his hotel room and we could have ordered room service and had pillow fights, but he went with Reynir’s suggestion and decided to get whipped by women with a lot of iron in their blood.
I did not stay for too long because I started seeing strange things that can only be described properly with grunts and wild gesticulations. It shocks me how much these Nordic types can drink. The drinks were free, so it was like a non-stop Italian soccer match around the bar. None of them understood why I just ordered a Sprite. They looked at me like I didn’t like rotten shark.
Below you can see Reynir, the founder and visionary of Eve, with the dark hair. You can also see Hilmar, the CEO of CCP, with the sadistic faces and shock of red hair.
Below you can see Hilmar taking out years of frustration on Reynir. It was all in good fun until he sucker-punched him in the kidneys.
You may think that the face below is of Hilmar in pain, but this is how Hilmar usually looks. This is my payback to Hilmar for forcing me to eat Rotten Shark and Lamb Heart in Iceland.
All of this reminds me of my time in Iceland (other Iceland pics here), where I had a great time visiting their studio and the city. I think I know where they get their unique vision; everything there is so isolated from the self-replicating creative patterns in the rest of the world. Plus, they are surrounded by unique Eve-like architecture like the building below. How can you not want to make cool games when you have stuff like this you see every day?
Here are a few pictures from GDC. Most of the things I did there were fairly boring and not picture-worthy, unless you consider talking to industry magnates in the Fairmont hotel bathroom to be exciting.
Below is a picture of a windswept Will, who is generally more hairy than me in almost every conceivable manner. The second picture is from inside the Fairmont as we are waiting for some sort of meeting that seemed rather important at the time, but I can’t remember what the heck it could have been about now. The third picture is my dad and Will trying out some of the force-feedback steering wheels. In that outfit my dad looks like George Steinbrenner.
We had a pretty good time hanging out at GDC in San Jose. Last year it was in San Francisco, and I like it a bit better there for some reason. Here are a few pictures from the Hayes Mansion, where we stayed. It was built back in 1904 and its unique construction enabled it to be one of the only surviving buildings since the big quake.
Below that are pictures from around downtown San Jose, including a very expensive tax-supported statue that looks like a pile of dog poop.
We arrived in San Jose for the Game Developer’s Conference that is going on this week. There are interesting things that happen there, and I always get to meet some cool people with fresh perspectives. I tend to really like and appreciate the creative types, but I have little tolerance for the “tragic artist with false sense of entitlement” attitude that is fairly pervasive. The thing I hate most about the conference is all the incredibly bitter game developers that moan and groan about how horrible the industry is, yet they a) choose to stay in it b) continue to feed the system they hate. I don’t get it…
Will booked us at a place called the Dolce Hayes Mansion – here is a picture below. If you look close, you can see Will scaling a palm tree to get a coconut for our breakfast.
Of all the weird things that happen in my life, here is one I forgot to mention a few months ago. When I was in LA, I was staying at this fairly high-tone place called “Shutters,” where a lot of famous people end up gravitating from Hollywood. Anyway, while I was in the lobby answering email on my laptop, drinking a hot chocolate, and watching The Big Lebowski up in the corner of my screen, Jerri Manthey came up to me. Remember her? Jerri from Survivor… you know, the gal that was all into Colby? These are facts I remember thanks to my familiarity with reality TV.
She was really into this movie I was watching and aghast that I had not seen it. I told her to shut her pie hole and then she gave me her email address and I got hers. Since then, she emails me about all these various Hollywood-ish events she is in. I’m really much too busy playing computer games and reading magical fantasy novels to attend, but she is nice enough to keep inviting me. Here are pictures from one of her recent events, where she was raising money for the hurricane. I told her I was against hurricanes, and I would not support her cause.
I think she was giving away a car or something. I’m not sure.
(Pictures did not win the Immunity Challenge, which is a shame, because they really tied the room together.)