NBA Live 08 Community Day: The RecapShawn Drotar

Posted on July 19th, 2007 in Gaming, Xbox 360, Opinion by Shawn Drotar

EA Sports has posted their recap of the NBA Live 08 Community Day proceedings, including two pictures and a high-quality video on the game site’s home page.

Naturally, it’s a bit more promotional than what I covered here, here and here, but if you’re interested about what happens at a Community Day besides the gaming and developer chats, this will give you some insight.

As for my thoughts regarding the recap, I have the following to add:

  • RUB (Righteous Urban Barbeque) BBQ was small, crowded and it was probably 100 degrees inside. But man, was it good. Kevin Durant just wanted to play the game, while Gilbert Arenas talked non-stop for the entire event. If you’re an NBA fan, this probably comes as little surprise to you. All the media types were there, and it was nice to catch up with quite a few colleagues. Curiously, given the acronym, the restaurant’s full name is “Righteous Urban Barbeque Barbeque”, which strikes me as odd, but hey - this is the Big Apple, baby - subtlety is not an option.
  • For the video (right-click to download here), we had to shoot our entrances into the conference room, which made for an interesting scene. My John Wayne-esque swagger while walking into the room drew laughs but was trimmed down to a mere few frames - which is probably for the best, really. We also shot our interview pieces in a poorly-lit hotel hall, which explains why we look like hostages or “Blair Gaming Project” members. And, yes - before you jump in and point it out - I’m aware I have a face for radio, though I have stepped in front of the camera before, and with better results.
  • Touring Madison Square Garden was interesting; the facility’s enormous and dripping with history. It might have been better without our carnival barker of a host - who took pains to point out that Morrissey was playing that weekend about 700 times - but nevertheless, walking through the same halls that innumerable sporting and music legends have and stepping into the locker rooms of the Rangers and Knicks was something special.
  • Visiting DIME magazine was a kick; the guys there love basketball and love their video games, so we all hit if off pretty well. After touring the modest offices (of which the centerpiece was a 60-inch HDTV with a couch in front of it), witty editor Josh Gotthelf challenged our group to a bout in Fight Night on the Xbox 360. We put up our best man, EA Tiburon’s Will Kinsler. While we were shuffling around the tube trying to get a view, I backed into a soda machine… which promptly spit out a Bud Light. After receiving a ribbing from the DIME team, I was informed of the rule - you take it, you drink it - and you have 30 seconds to do so. It wasn’t even noon, but, as they say - when in Rome… Anyway, Kinsler dominated the first round, but Gotthelf came back with gusto in the second, eventually putting Kinsler down for the count with a decidedly non-Queensberry elbow to the forehead. The rest of the DIME staff derisively thanked us for making their lives miserable for the next week as Gotthelf strutted around the office with a mile-wide smile.
  • The NBA Draft itself was a fascinating event. Corporate suits hobnobbed with rowdy Knicks fans before the event during a posh pre-event party in the Garden’s club level, and when the Draft itself began, it was not the press-eating-itself scene that I anticipated. The entire event is a well-oiled machine, as interesting in real life as it is on television - an oddity when it comes to television production.

While our time in New York City was brief - and hot and muggy - it was undoubtedly memorable, and the opportunity to lay hands on NBA Live 08 and hold discussions with the development team that might bear fruit when the game’s released this fall was invaluable.

And you can’t beat the company.

(Left to right: Will Kinsler - EA Tiburon, Bryan “Pastapadre” Wiedey, Marcus Stephenson - EA Canada, Andrew Begley -, Mario Drake -, Shawn Drotar - 5WG. Not pictured: Rick “DJ Rhude” Thomas - )

One Response to 'NBA Live 08 Community Day: The Recap'

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  1. on April 4th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    […] After successful events in New York City for NBA Live 08 and in Burnaby for NHL 08, EA Canada, the game’s developer, decided that there would be an advantage to bringing certain members of the gaming community together with the design team during an early stage in the game’s development. […]

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