Taiwan days 15-18 05-08/02/04

The TGS – Taipei Game Show 2004
The TGS is very much like E3, only very much different. The size of the show is about 1/3 of what E3 is, but the number of visitors is more then twice. So this show was SO full of people you’d get stuck in human traffic just trying to get back to your booth. Unlike E3, I didn’t find any games that made me want to play just by going around and looking at games. Most of them are only in Chinese and even those who aren’t originally in Chinese, like Lineage 2, aren’t so temping, because if you’ve played one, you’ve played them all. And the “eye candy” of all the games is pretty much the same, there aren’t any breakthrough graphic improvements, and by just walking amongst the booths nothing captured my attention. Bob told me that I was right, and the main goals of the game companies aren’t to make people directly play the games, by showing them the game but exactly the opposite. They brainwash you by repeating the company’s or game’s name over and over to you. But how do they manage to keep you by their booth for long enough for you to hear the company name a few hundred times ?
Booth Babes. Or Show girls, as they are called here. If you’d havn’t figure out what they are, and I must explain, they are models, wearing a company issued outfit, which makes you want to keep looking at them. If still you don’t know what I mean, then you’re a lost cause.
I must say that the show girls in TGS are far more effective and good looking then the ones in E3. Compare pictures if you wish. I know I took a lot of pictures of show girls.
The other thing that keeps the audience still standing at the booths, or stages, are free gifts. After all, who can stand and look at the same, minimal outfit girls, for hours ? and what if you are a girl yourself (there are a lot of girl visitors to the show) ? Bob also agreed with me that the main reason people come to the show is not the games, but the gifts. They don’t care if they’re standing next to the Wayi booth or Ballerium booth, and long as they know that if they’re standing there they might win a new expensive GeForce video card, or a pen. You wouldn’t belive the way they fought about pens!
Sanctum gave away these nice sponge made swords, which were made by one of Bob’s friend’s factory. I took a bunch of those swords and walked around the other booths and did a lot of trading. I gave them swords and I’d get all sort of cool stuffs in return. T-shirts, dolls, make-up (!!!), and other knick-knacks. That’s what I like. That’s why I go to those shows. It always have been. Just like in the Tel-aviv University job fare. I’d hand out 100 copies of my resume to companies just to get a free toy, even tough I had a very nice job which I never meant to quit, at the time.
It’s amazing how show girls loose all their charm once the clock hits 17:00 and the show ends. They wear their regular clothes and they turn into regular girls you wouldn’t turn your head over when walking past them in the street. Clothing and make are obviously important. But I never saw it to this extreme, other then the first day of summer when you go to the beach and there are girls in Bikinis, which is a sight you’re not used to see everyday. But then when you get used to it, it goes right through you. At the last day of the show I couldn’t care less about the girls, but only about this toy I wanted. The second most successful game in Taiwan right now is a game called ”Seal Online”. It’s basically an everyday MMORPG (god knows that there are a thousand more of those out there), the only difference is that the characters and the environment is Cartoonish-Anime looking. I’m 100% sure that if there was an English version to this game I’d be online right now playing it. It’s so cute! Their mascot is this cute bunny-rabbit with sharp teeth that goes like rwwaawwr (imagine me doing that thing that Tim the wizard does in “Monty python’s Hole Grail”). They gave out dolls of that bunny-rabbit to their game members who attended the show. I tried to trade some sword for one, but they told me that they couldn’t spare any, and I should check them out in the last day of the show. I did, and I got myself one of those, without bringing any sword to them, just by being nice, and say please. In English. A language most of them didn’t understood. But pointing to the rabbit doll and saying please worked. I then went back to the Sanctum booth and brought them a bunch of sword, just because they made me feel good.
I have no idea how the people in my old work place always said that they can’t understand the Taiwanese or why they like these kind cute of games. But then again, almost no one there played the SIMS and it’s one of the best selling games, and also no one but me likes Jar-Jar Binks. I’m different. I’m better because of that. Jar-jar rules. Yousa Kwazy.

A lot of pictures can be found In my picture gallery here

I’m just coming back from the second half of the office, where there was an actual fire, and smoke, and blazes of hell!
I was watching smallville in the conference room on one side of the office and I hear this noise that sounds like a car alarm. Being used to hearing cars annoy me all of the time, and not owning a car with an alarm myself (or any car here in Taiwan), I simply ignored it. Apparently it wasn’t a car alarm, but the office’s smoke alarm. When the show was over, I stayed here for a few more minutes, and then the phone rang, luckily the woman on the other side managed to say something about her living in 3rd floor and smoke alarm coming from the office. I told her I’d go check it out. The entire other half of the office was filled with thick smoke, and the alarm was indeed beeping. I started looking around for the source, but didn’t see it at first since everything was dark. I gradually turn on very cautiously the lights. I get to my room, which was the only one that was lit when I came in, and is in fact in the furthest corner of the office from the direction I’m coming, and I was afraid the fire was caused by something I did. I moved my computer from my room to the conference room, so I could watch Smallville, so I was afraid something I left there cause a shortage and a fire. I looked in my room for a couple of moments but didn’t find anything! I decided to turn some more lights. After a while I saw that the glass between Bob’s room and Mark’s (and sterling’s room) wasn’t clear as it was before, but instead BLACK, opaque and it’s lower half – broken. No fire, only a lot of smoke. Luckily for me, the fire probably calmed down and exhausted by the time I got there. I called Bob, and with the help of Ivy, one of Bob’s bagel shop workers, and a local resident of a small room here in the office, I managed to switch off the power supply to that room and opened all the windows. Since there wasn’t any actual fire, and it’s not the first time I’m encountering fires, I didn’t bother to panic. Plus I don’t usually panic anyway, unless there’s blood involved. Ivy was a bit nervous. It’s her first fire. And, well.. after all, My bible says “Don’t Panic” on it’s rear cover, in nice friendly letters. I am very lucky nothing worse happened.

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