Shouting “Nice Shoes!” …But in Icelandic

by Eli Hodapp

frozen_lake

Today was a weird day. Jared and I are really only here to see Paradox’s mobile offerings, which we saw all of yesterday so as far as the actual convention was concerned there was absolutely nothing to do today. I “slept in” until around 9:00, went to go get breakfast, then came back to the room to write up all the things we saw here yesterday on TouchArcade:

The games we saw are really cool, although Paradox is happily parading down the same road I’ve seen so many developers go down where they’re basically just like, “Well our game are premium games, and as such should have a premium price,” while seemingly totally ignoring the current trend in mobile business models. Don’t get me wrong, I wish developers could sell video games for a few dollars on the App Store, but this just isn’t the world we live in. There’s no reason for someone to even spend two dollars on something, as chances are they’ve got dozens of games they downloaded for free that they haven’t even tried yet.

So, yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time here basically saying, “Hey these games are great but you really need to think about how you’re going to sell them.” Everything they’ve shown us has been games I’d like to see sequels of, and that requires the original doing well enough to justify it.

Jared and I then spent a few hours wandering around Reykjavík, but found that everything closed super early. I ended up buying a new beanie style winter hat from Iceland’s cleverly named 66° North brand of winter gear. It’s really nice, and features some kind of next-level anti-wind technology. Speaking of which, I’ve gotten really good at duplicating all the crazy ways people tie scarves in Europe.

Dinner was cool, and was at the top of this really tall building right on the convention front. It’s one of those places that just has windows instead of walls, and being really high up and seated right next to the window was really creepy as every time you looked out of the corner of your eye it felt like you were going to just fall out. The food that was served was some sort of swanky turkey concoction, served with a scotch that was way too rough for me to drink.

The first phase of the night was over around 9:00, and word spread that they had reserved the VIP room at this Icelandic club, but that didn’t start until 11:00. Jared and I decided to head back to the hotel to hang out at their top floor bar area, which serves a double purpose as a ultra-fancy hotel restaurant. When we arrived there were two couples having what seemed to be a nice quiet dinner overlooking the ocean and mountains.

…Then everyone else from the conference piled in looking for beers. I felt sort of bad, but, what can you do.

11:00 rolled around, and we headed over to this club. Jared and I were both pretty tired, so neither of us were into the whole VIP room bottle service thing- Especially as the DJ set up shop. So, we peaced out to find a venue a little more relaxed. …But, the problem was, Reykjavík at night is insane. If you would’ve asked me what I thought of the city as we were walking around this afternoon I would’ve been like “Aww it’s this quaint little arctic coastal town, it’s so cute!”

Yeah, not anymore. On the way to wherever we were going to go next we saw:

  • People just breaking bottles in the street, because why not.
  • A dude punching and kicking in a window of a random shop.
  • People angrily yelling at each other in Icelandic from either side of the street.
  • Some guy whose face was totally bloody just stumbling down the sidewalk.
  • The associated crowd of angry guys who (presumably) were involved in said bloody face.

Reykjavík is not a big place, either! It’s not like we were walking for miles and miles and saw all this, I’m talking inside of like three blocks. This quickly invoked a, “Dude, we need to bounce back to the hotel, like, now.” …And that’s the first time I think I’ve ever felt like that while traveling. Definitely a weird sensation.

sunrise

The main problem here is that guys are really (really) muscular, so while your typical angry drunk person may not seem that threatening, when you give them a typical viking build and muscles to make them look like they could basically kill you one handed… Yeah. I did, however, get lots of compliments on my light up shoes. So, personal victory there, I guess.

Oh, and to add to the crazy things I saw today list? Some obvious Asian tourists just, you know, literally walking on thin ice to have their photos taken. I was telling Jared, “Gah, this is the worst, as we’re now in a position to need to help these people when they fall in.” Thankfully, they didn’t, but, man, how stupid can you be?