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Partying Nintendo Style!

by Ed Shih - October 11, 2001, 4:05 am PDT

A red carpet event, chock full of Hollywood celebrities hanging out at Nintendo's L.A. Cube Club...and PGC was there to soak it all in.

On the last night of the Gamer’s Summit, Nintendo held a star studded Hollywood premiere party at the L.A. Cube Club. The invitee list ranged from the likes of Fred Durst to Fred Savage. For one night, the Cube Club became a red carpet affair where many celebrities could have a drink and hors d’oeuvres while dancing and gaming the night away. Stars and starlets rode in limousines to the Cube Club, walked down the red carpet where so many cameras captured their beautiful happy images, and entered a loud hip party complete with DJ, several bartenders, and a crew from E! Entertainment...and Nintendo was behind the whole thing. Who says they aren’t trying to reach an older audience?

And amidst all the beautiful Hollywood hipsters was me. I must thank Nintendo for inviting me to what will probably be the trendiest party I’ll ever attend. It was truly a party the likes of which I’ll never see again. I had a good time but for a while I felt a bit like a fish out of water. Mandy Moore, Jason Biggs, Mila Jovovich, Orlando Jones, Ed Shih...which of these names doesn’t belong and why? Being a fairly quiet, laid back guy who prefers hanging out with a few good friends rather than partying made me feel even more out of place. Still, there were games to be played and an event to be covered, so my task was clear.

Actually, for the most part, I was oblivious to most of the famous celebrity types. I wish I could’ve picked out a few more faces from the crowd, but I’m a gaming geek at heart. I’m more likely to recognize gaming industry figures like Shigeru Miyamoto, Sid Meier, Jason Rubin, Warren Spector, or John Carmack than most TV and movie stars. In fact, the only 2 people that I recognized for sure were Orlando Jones (Mr. “Make 7 ‘Up Yours!’”) and I’m pretty sure I saw Carl Lewis getting his picture taken with Peter Main (Co.), though in reality, it was probably the other way around with Mr. Main getting a picture with Mr. Lewis. I know there were plenty of beautiful young women there, too (particularly one that I taught how to play Super Monkey Ball)...but I’ll be damned if I could attach a name to any of their faces. Hey, what can I say? I’m working hard on becoming a great game designer. The only TV I watch is on ESPN, the Cartoon Network, the Simpsons, and various Star Trek shows. Of course I’m going to fail horribly at star gazing. Ah well, such is life. Suffice it to say that there were many more stars at this Nintendo event than at anything else the company has done. After all, the Cube Club Premiere Party was certainly the first of it’s kind for Nintendo. Even Matt Casamassina, IGN’s resident Nintendo guru noted that Nintendo has never done anything quite like this before; last year’s Perfect Dark premiere in Las Vegas being the closest the Big N has previously come to sponsoring a trendy event.

So what was it like then? Well, I imagine most of the over-21 Cube Club nights are fairly similar to the Cube Club Premiere, minus the celebs, of course. Loud club music played throughout the night, alcohol was a plenty, and plenty of people were dancing and lounging around in addition to gaming. Actually, for the most part, it was not too hard get your hands on a controller at a kiosk. Waits were fairly short (except for the sports games) which isn’t too surprising since I don’t think there were too many hardcore gamers in the crowd. This is not to say that people weren’t impressed. In fact, I overheard several comments marveling at the beauty of such games as Wave Race and Rogue Leader and I don’t remember anyone saying anything negative about the games.

All in all, I’d say the Cube Club Premiere party did a nice job of impressing the people that were there, though it remains to be seen how much this will help promote the system in the long run. Still, it was a fun and unique experience. The party definitely showed that Nintendo is not going about business as usual when it comes to promoting the GameCube. Maybe in the future, Nintendo will hold something like this again. And maybe this time I can get the name of that attractive young blond that I taught how to play Super Monkey Ball.

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