SANTA MONICA, Calif.--It's an interesting sight: a top-hat-coiffed, shirtless man on stilts, draped in black, rocking a cigarette in one hand and a red, frat-party Dixie cup full of booze in the other. More so at a funeral. But alas, such was the scene at Gamecock's send-off of the old Electronic Entertainment Expo on Friday night.
Kicking off not-so-promptly at 4:20 p.m., the The Nightmare Before Christmas–esque procession--full of misfits and degenerates, game programmers and game journalists--ambled forth from Gamecock's swanky setup at the Hotel California on Ocean Avenue, unceremoniously halting traffic without the typical police escort, much to the dismay of bewildered motorists stuck on one-way streets.
Once on the beach, a contingent of Santa Monica's finest did arrive, though seemingly only to chat up the scantily clad dancers in the procession. As the spectacle meandered on, a palpable wave of discomfort was left in its wake as the otherwise pristine day on Venice Beach was marred by a marching jazz band's upbeat death fugue and Gamecockers ran up and down the line, herding the throng along. By far the highlight of the brief jaunt was an unfortunate, and ongoing, string of wardrobe malfunctions experienced by none other than Gamecock cofounder Mike Wilson, as the hospital gown he was wearing flapped in the wind.
At long last, the parade reached its destination, a phallic concrete outcropping outside "on the waterfront cafe" on Venice Beach. Here, Gamecock's other cofounder, Harry Miller, delivered a brief yet succinct eulogy for the metaphorical bloated corpse the group had come to bury and called for a new era in game development that is dominated not by sequels and annuals, but by creativity and the reemergence of quality.
For Gamecock, that means publishing upcoming releases such as Hail to the Chimp, Dementium: The Ward, and Insecticide. As Miller wrapped up his speech, the wake closed with another ditty by the marching band, accompanied by a rousing performance by the conspicuously limber dancers. And, with that, the sun set once more on the Electronic Entertainment Expo.