And Then I Went To The Eurogamer Expo, pt.1 – The Journey

24 Sep

Famed philosopher and poetry warlock Edward Monkton once wrote: “It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride“.

Monkton, I will box you right now, because that statement is about as accurate as a blunderbuss loaded with styrofoam. Travelling anywhere is a tedious gauntlet of physical exertion, crushing boredom, constantly increasing monetary expenses and queues. Flying is probably the worst, partly because of the unavoidable lack of privacy and concessions to personal space but mainly because the descent has always caused a hugely irritating sensation within my ears, both of which stubbornly refuse to pop, and could perhaps best be described as feeling like someone is squeezing my head in a vice while the resulting brain-juices dribble out the two canals. Basically, unless the hotel is filled with snakes, the chances of the ride somehow being more worthwhile than time spent at the destination are, in fact, slim.

All things considered, the drive, Tube and walk to London’s Eurogamer Expo (my first) could have been worse. Driving from my home in Cardiff to a 24-hour multistorey car park in Hammersmith means roughly 130-odd miles on the M4, one of the South’s longest and most nondescript motorways. Entertainment, therefore, came in the form of two of my legendary mixed CDs, which included such material as:

  • A Bollywood-styled song intended to promote the second-most-recent series of a popular online sitcom
  • Biffy Clyro, lots of
  • Four songs based on a certain creation of Lauren Faust’s, one of which being an incredibly skillful rap
  • Zebrahead’s magnificent cover of Wannabe

London does, of course, hate cars like it hates eateries which aren’t Pret A Manger. I’m enormously grateful that a convenient place to stash my Clio for a few hours is located in Hammersmith, which is just far enough out of the heart of our capital to avoid becoming an impassable labyrinth of dense traffic and one-way systems – yet close enough to contain a robust Underground station. Earl’s Court, where the Expo is held,  is two stops away – ample time to give my carriage a scan and ponder if anyone else is headed for some fresh videogames. Many are wearing suits. A handful are at least in their fifties. Some are fast asleep. Possibly not, then.

Moderately sure I hadn’t stepped foot in this part of town before, I’d been sure to check for directions on Eurogamer’s site. Luckily, they said the station was right in front of Earl’s Court itself. There was no small degree of unease when I crested the exit’s stairs and found myself looking at a branch of Subway.

Next Time: I actually find the damn place, and play some games.



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