So, yesterday I found myself in London. And, as you may have heard, there was a Guinness World Record attempt to set a record for the number of people dressed as videogame characters in one place. Since there wasn't one before, it wasn't exactly hard, but (er) a number of people (Gamespot report over eighty, but I heard both 85 and 86 bandied around) braved chilly weather to pose amusingly with each other.
Clearly, I took a load of photos of anyone who even vaguely looked like a PC game character.
Perhaps predictably, there weren't that many. Cosplay tends to be primarily a console phenomenon. There were lots of Phoenix Wright guys and about 25% of those present were Marios (but no Luigis). Most of them were a class of kids, who were all sponsored by a real hardware company. En masse, this caused a worrying level of AW BLESSisms among otherwise cynical and stony-hearted games journalists.
An impressive Gordon Freeman, who spent his time setting to anyone who passed his way with his crowbar. Here, I think he's having a go at one of the Special Forces guys from Half-life, but I couldn't quite work out who he said he was (he was wearing a gas mask, after all). He could have been a rubbish Psycho-Mantis from Metal Gear Solid, but let's be generous and go with a Special Forces guy. Also, worth noting the Old Bloke Mario to the left, who was a clearly disgruntled dad of another cosplayer. I'm told that his wife went to the last cosplay thing with her, so it was his turn.
This gentleman, who came as a Sims character. I actually interviewed him, scribbling down a few lines as I left my dictaphone at home. He's Tommy from Sheffield, who ended up doing this as he loves videogames. Which is a good reason, as far as reasons go. We love videogames too, and on the occasional weekend have been known to dress up as our favourite ASCII Nethack symbols to celebrate the fact. He decided to go as a Sims character because it was the best costume idea he could do in a night. Which is practical, unlike our ASCII costumes.
He also looks worryingly like RPS-man-in-Saudi-Arabia Quinns, but that's beside the point.
Also in the background of the full version, you can note DS/Wii-favourite Cooking Mama. She was apparently worryingly smart when talked to, opining in Edge-speak about the relative merits of the franchise. Also behind her is Ulala from Space Channel 5, which is irrelevant for us, but we'd like some of UK Resistance's traffic, cheers.
Anyway, here's Gordon setting about the Sims guy, which you can probably read as a metaphor for the heart of PC Gaming something or another.
It's about this point I started scouring the crowd desperately for anyone who's ever come out on the PC, which proved an amusing memory test. You give it a shot...
When I'm reduced to remembering that Sonic Adventure was ported across to the PC, you can tell we're in dire straits. That said, there was one which I only realised after the event. Which is the lady in the military outfit here...
Who I presumed as someone from Advance Wars, but someone else present examined her more closely and disagreed. He noted that she's got a load of Hammer and Sickle stuff. Which means - especially as she was hanging around with Sims guy - that she may be someone from Red Alert. You tell us, readers.
Anyway - here's a couple of co-developed games which were kind of cute...
This gentleman was really quite quiet, which kind of suits the Assassin sort of vibe.
This caused some problem for me actually - I was trying to remember whether the worryingly unclothed for a fucking freezing day girl at the back was from one of the Final Fantasy games which turned up on the PC. She wasn't - it's X 2. However, when examining the photo, I also realised that's an Alice in front of her. Which Alice? I dunno. Let's pretend it's the McGee one anyway.
(Oh - old british games press readers will be interested to know that Crash Bandicoot towards the right contained non-other than YS/AP/Arcade/Many Other Things veteran Rich Pelley.)
When the crowd dispersed, I also remembered that Final Fantasy VII was on the PC, which meant I could have taken the photo of another half-dozen people. Man!
And finally, I'm sure there was a Pac-Man version on the PC at some point. Freeware and emulators count, sez I. In which case, the Pac-Man and Ghosts chasing each other around were cute as hell.