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Euston, We Have A Problem

Euston, we have a problem

There was a two pronged reason as to why myself, and Stephen Joell-Ireland were going to London. Firstly it was Steve’s birthday on Monday and I had stupidly forgotten to book the day off work, so to make it up to him, I promised him we’d go and see a show in the West End. Steve is a little bit of a theatre whore and I must confess I do like to wallow in the camp fanfare of it all from time to time as well. Of course, I had to balance it out by doing something I wanted to do, that just wouldn’t be me otherwise. So I managed to convince Steve to go to the London Trocadero and sit in the sports bar to watch the Portsmouth Vs Birmingham match. £45.00 bar tab later, I was in real jubilation of the fact that my beloved team are going back to Wembley.

So, after a pocket sting Saturday, we were about to engage in a pocket sting Sunday. (Pocket sting is when you spend an absurd amount of money and feel guilty about it the next day.) After leaving the Holiday Inn Express, Southwark, (which I must add do a really shit breakfast) we headed to the waterside of the Thames to film some video to promote a competition piece, which I’m sure you’ve seen by now. After getting bored of the cold, we made headway to Westminster underground station, where we caught the Northern Line to Camden Town. By heading into Camden it made us around forty-minutes late for the very reason why we were still around London that day. The AIGW meet up. However, we can be forgiven for doing so for the sheer fact that we’d never been to Camden before and my god, is it an experience. I felt like I was dipped into a honey full of Culture. We’re so used to sticking around central London that we’ve never experienced Camden Lock before seriously if you haven’t been before, go! Market stalls selling all types of goods, hustle and bustle (without the rush hour pace) and smells of all manners of food enough to give Bernard Manning an erection from the grave.

On my last note on Camden, I recommend delving into the stalls on the left hand side of the lock. If you go far enough, there is a film and videogame memorabilia shop tucked right in the corner to the furthest left of the site. The owner is a warm and friendly Russian man who has figures from famous games wall to wall and even dangling from the ceiling. We happened to pick up a Sackboy from Media Molecule’s critically acclaimed Little Big Planet. I almost walked away with a Captain Spalding bobble head too. Realising that the time was 1:25pm we made headway towards Euston and were gunning for the Prince Arthur pub. Upon arrival I met a familiar face, Alan Boiston from I first met Alan at the Golden Joystick Awards back in 2009 and then the very next day at the Eurogamer Expo but before both of those encounters, I happened to see him appear frequently on Xleague.TV, an e-sports broadcast channel which suffered it’s own demise by re-branding and showing shit content like truck racing. For those that don’t know, the AIGW meet up is a congregation of independent websites to share ideas, work on better practices and become a focal point as a face to face meeting place to talk everything games journalism.

The turnout was pretty good for the meet up, anymore and perhaps the venue wouldn’t really have accommodated us all with comfort. We all got acquainted in the end and whilst we would have liked to have spoken to everyone in particular detail, we mostly spoke to the guys at Dark Zero, Lewis Denby of Resolution Magazine, Lauren Wainright whom is a freelancer and Alan. Lauren has some very interesting stories to tell and I won’t divulge them on here, nothing rude but needless to say, entertaining. Our discussions touched upon raising our websites to a new level and bigger readership, the bullshit factor of how flame-bait articles actually pull in more views than something articulately written and just generally sharing advice with each other. According to the Dark Zero team Blur is actually pretty good. They were raving on about it and I’ve been pretty sceptical with what I’ve seen. With any luck we’ll also be able to get onto the multiplayer beta for the game and give our impressions. Four pints of Hoegarden later and feeling slightly drunk, we had to make our way back to Portsmouth, it was a good day, except for the fact that our coach was thirty minutes late, luckily the driver made the time up on the way home by driving like a maniac. Towards the end of the meet-up, I was feeling pretty tipsy, so apologies to anyone who may have been disgusted by my drunken filth. The AIGW plan to arrange another event this summer, we’ll be there, barbeque anyone?

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