Edinburgh Interactive Festival 08, EICC – Day One

I’m fizzing slightly – no it’s not due to too much bicarb, it’s because I’ve been up since 5am and via a bus, a very fast flight and the 100 bus I’m back in lovely Edinburgh.

About two hours ago it was unbearably hot and as I battled my way through performance artists and tourists up those bloody steep stairs to the top – the Golden Mile – I felt like a packhorse with my stoopidly heavy backpack and hot like I was going to faint like a pale wee thing, but although pale I happily made it to the fantastic Backed Potato shop for my vegan haggis potato with lashings of vegan marg J

I love the Baked Potato Shop, so much that was top of my list for things to do on arrival I ate it whist watching a rather eccentric man engage his audience with knives and humiliation of passing tourists – he was very funny! Then on the way down the other side it pissed down and now I’m soaked – the Mac, DS & GP2X are okay – I angled my prolly to protect my precious cargo before saving myself – well I’m waterproof mostly and can take it. Oh the fizzing? That’s me full of diet coke that got shaken up on the way and caffeine has never really agreed with me!

You’re not really here to read about my baked potato habit or the weather though, so here you go… The ‘Screening Day’ of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is a mixture of industry talks and fun gaming opportunities. Nintendo, Sony & Microsoft are all battling for attention. It’s a mixture of kids n dads & longhaired gamer types. There’s a few girls here, but not many and they seem to be stewards or demo-ing the games.

So picture a chef from Nintendo cooking up a storm with his Cooking Guide, he’s in a makeshift kitchen with all the shiny apparatus you’d expect, surrounded by a breakfast bar complete with about 15 pristine white DS and menus – hey we’re going to cook together!

The burly chef offers me some chicken tikka masala as an incentive to join them, but I smile sweetly and just watch – I don’t think a conversation about my being vegan would enrich the flow of his patter – anyways I enter the Nintendo competition to win lots of swish kitchen appliances instead! Bar the chicken, I wonder if I’m his target audience J

There also a whole island FWOABW of screens and cosy seating for Little Big Planet – ‘The Next Big Thing’ from Media Molecule for PS3 – I have a chat with one of the designers to find out what’s going on – he tells me that it’s the most fun eva – basically it’s a very cute MMO (or play on yer own) where you swing around, collect things and the best thing is it’s got user modification coming out of its ears! Through various menus you can change the whole look and feel and via the eyetoy you can put your ugly mug at the centre of the action! If that’s got you all excited then the release is sometime in September, apparently.

Oh I must mention the Wiis, they’ve got very sporty looking ladies & gents manning them in white tracksuits. From watching they’re very popular with the uninitiated and so I feel I should wait till later in the festie to show of my 1337 WiiFit 5|<i11z – oh yes, they get you to put on special while socks with those grippy spots on to play – I like these people, they understand my OCD tendencies towards other people’s feet 😉

There’s also a square full of XBOX 360s playing various car games, very laddy and from where I’m sitting I can see that it’s been populated by schoolboys for most of the day. I’ve seen one girl play so far – it comes forth in my choice of hangouts – ho hum…

Okay, before I forget I went to a couple of interesting talks today, one was about advertising and gaming – product placement and ads within games – I took photos of slides instead of notes as I was a bit doolally from my 5am start, so I’ll let them do the talking.

I also went to a talk/demo of Multiwinia, by introversion – the fine people responsible for the excellent, but very difficult Defcon ‘everybody dies’ game 😉

Will write some more on these later – running to the last session of the day!