Kyle Orland

Kyle Orland: “Was he super-excited to see the Beatles?”

This was, apparently, the first and only thing my father-in-law asked my wife about my trip to E3 this week — the only bit of news about the gaming show that had broken through to his decidedly non-gaming consciousness. Unfortunately, my wife had to report that I didn’t have any reaction to the appearance of the remaining Beatles and their widows at Microsoft’s pre-show press conference. Because I was in an airplane at the time. Flying out to E3. To cover the week’s big events. Like the FREAKING BEATLES showing up at the FREAKING MICROSOFT PRESS CONFERENCE that I FREAKING MISSED.

E3 2009: Post-Post-Post-PostmortemI’m a pretty huge Beatles fan myself, so you can imagine my distress when I finally landed in L.A. and saw the MTV Games PR email announcing the Beatles appearance I had just missed. For over a day I beat myself up for my poor planning and the vagaries of Southwest Airlines’ fare structure, which caused the situation.

But then I caught an archived video of the Microsoft presentation online and, quite frankly, I got over my disappointment quite quickly.

Had I been in the room, I’m sure I would have been caught up in the emotion of the moment, and taken part in the standing ovation that greeted Paul and Ringo’s appearance. But from my detached view on a hotel-room bed with a laptop, I didn’t see what the big deal was about their awkward, 30-second photo op. They didn’t play a song. They didn’t play the game. They didn’t field questions from the press or give any insight into their storied careers or even talk about the experience of helping design their first videogame. They just came out, bantered awkwardly about the incredible awesomeness of themselves and their game for a bit, then left as quickly as they’d entered.

None of this really matters, in the end. The appearance did its primary job of giving mainstream news outlets the hook they needed to break through both my father-in-law’s awareness threshold and the wall of indifference with which they greet most videogame news. But it almost seems like a waste that these two amazing musicians, who no doubt still have a lot to share with the world, have so far been reduced to mere promotional puppets for their first foray into the videogame industry.

Not that I mind too much. If I’d missed a full-on performance or an in-depth interview with THE FREAKING BEATLES because I was on a plane, I’d probably still be bawling softly to myself.

(full article)