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But my name was down and once past the velvet rope, I waited. I waited in one waiting area, then was moved to another. Then finally into a room to meet with a couple of PRs, who didn’t intend to actually do the presentation, but just wanted to explain that I was about to witness a presentation. To be fair I was aware of this. But looking back now, this glorious pomp and ceremony surrounding the fact that I, and I alone, was about to see the biggest game of the year was pretty damn captivating.
The pre-presentation over, I assumed the presentation would follow. I was mistaken; I had in fact only made it through the pre-pre-presentation. The pre-presentation took the form of an audience with Rockstar founders Terry Donovan and Dan Houser. So there I was, slouching on angular furniture, sipping latte, shooting the shit with two guys with more money than I could draw if fields were made of paper and cows pooed gold pens. I felt important. I liked this game a lot, and I hadn’t even seen it.
The presentation, when it came, continued the histrionics. I was led to a pitch black room and seated at the front, on a grand sofa, on my own, before a large telly. Behind me the room was full of Rockstar staffers, but I couldn’t really see anyone clearly. I was given some plush headphones and through them I could hear a guy talking me through - at last! - the presentation. He was speaking into a mic about five feet away.
I was shown an ‘inspirational’ video of clips from South Central LA gangland movies (Colors, Boyz ‘n’ the Hood and so on) with the appropriate hands-in-the-air party hip-hop soundtrack. Followed by… finally… the world’s first look at a game everyone is now more than familiar with. I left the presentation, flew back to the UK and wrote the most breathless and frenziedly positive “I’ve just kissed Jesus” write-up of my life. So I guess their approach worked. That said, the game was quite good as well.