Few things stand so tall over the city of London that they can be seen for miles around. There’s Canary Wharf, obviously, the BT Tower, The Millennium Wheel, Ken Livingstone’s famous Gherkin and, erm, Homer Simpson.
Okay, so he might not be a regular fixture of Europe’s most celebrated city, but thanks to Electronic Arts, Fox’s blundering icon stood head and shoulders above the most eye-catching architecture Trafalgar Square had to offer during London Games Festival.
This 25ft ‘Helium Homer’ was just one of many attractions that managed to attract tens of thousands to EA’s Be The One event in the Square.
More than 30,000 people showed up across three days – enjoying festivities for a full eight hours on Thursday and Friday, and indulging in a genuine mini-festival of gaming. And as if the turnout wasn’t impressive enough, many had to withstand some pretty dreary British weather to witness the product on show.
At the foot of the National Gallery, EA created a massive gaming area where consumers could get their hands on pods, check out brand new and forthcoming games, or take a simple gaming challenge that would qualify them to make it to one of the shining lights of the event – the B Stage.
Once on the B Stage they met other contenders from the public and battled it out.
Winners were then drafted onto the Main Stage, and got to play challenges against celebs. These were projected onto a 12 metre-by-seven-metre High Definition screen at the foot of Nelson’s Column. The winners walked off with a games console and stack of EA games.
As the rain drizzled, flagship titles such as FIFA 08, The Simpsons Game, Rock Band, The Sims 2 Castaway, SKATE, Hellgate: London and Need For Speed: Pro Street still managed to attract an impressive 9,000 gamers to the gaming area – meaning almost a third of the total audience got their hands on EA’s biggest and best releases.
A host of famous faces (sorry, for the marketeers out there, ‘talent’) were on hand to keep the audience chuckling.
With stars ranging from singing sista Kelly Rowland (a genuine Sims fan, by all accounts) to CBBC’s Dick’n’Dom; indie stalwarts Ash, to pre-pubescant star ‘Lil Chris, it’s not hard to see why the event enjoyed such a healthy attendance.
As children of the eighties, MCV was obviously most impressed with the dual wonder promoting Wii family title Smarty Pants – Bullseye’s Jim Bowen and Catchphrase’s Roy Walker. Have two greater beasts of entertainment ever stood side-by-side? Possibly not.