Saturday, January 07, 2006

When Worlds Collide, Part Deux

Sorry about the clipped ending to the last blog. Apparently there are limitations to the size of fields when you’re entering them from a Blackberry.

Anyway, where was I? Right. The two trade shows.

OK, so you have the Consumer Electronics Show with 140,000 geeks in Vegas during the same week as the Adult Entertainment Expo.

I wish I had a camera here with me. But having none, I shot some footage with my mental camera. So if you’ll dim the lights, I’ll roll the film.

Picture, if you will, the scene caused when the impossibly, inhumanly (bordering on absurd) buxom porn star strolls down the convention center thoroughfare. CES attendees stop, gawk, lower their cell phones and blackberries and part to make way.

Or the moment when the bald, handlebar-mustached and ridiculously tattooed “producer” of quality adult films excuses himself to get past the gearheads riding the exhibition hall escalator.

On this beautiful, mid-60s day in Vegas, dozens of techies sit on benches and grass dining on salads and sandwiches. In their midst, nonchalantly sits a large white man with dreadlocks (I didn’t know white people could grow dreadlocks?!) and more piercings on his face than you’d think could be possible. (How do you keep food and drink in your mouth when you’ve got multiple holes in your cheeks?) Beside him stands two platinum blondes who keep adjusting their skirts because, let’s face it, there isn’t much skirt there. One has to imagine that’s why they’re standing and not sitting with him.

OK, last one.

As I’m standing in the very long taxi line with Consumer Electronics fans from many nations, I notice up ahead in line two young boys, probably 12-13 and their dads, arms full of “fan materials” collected at the Adult Entertainment Expo. All four have spiked hair and tight t-shirts. They laugh, clearly having enjoyed a day of wholesome father-son bonding.

You can turn the lights back up now.

Just a few thoughts about the Consumer Electronics Show:

Do you remember as a kid going to Disney World and riding the “Carousel of Progress”? As the show progresses, you watch the same family go from turn of the century (and I don’t mean 2000) up through modern day and then into the future. You watch grandma play virtual reality video games with her grandson. Mom cook a Christmas dinner with a voice-recognition oven. The kids calling from somewhere far away on their video phone.

The CES is the last scene of Carousel of Progress. From computers to phones to portables to cameras to cars to anything else you can think of, the latest, best, fastest, most amazing of their kinds are on display. It’s a little bit of H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury and Star Wars rolled into one.

Our first video game as kids was Pong, by Telstar. How cool was it that each player could move his white vertical line up and down to hit the little white “ball” back and forth. And we thought video games had really quantum leaped when we got an Atari. I mean, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pac Man. Loved ‘em. They were the coolest thing and kept us busy for hours.

Today I saw a demo of Playstation 3.

I’m not a big video gamer anymore. Monkey Boy got a Gamecube this year so I’ve played a few of his games and thought they were pretty impressive.

But I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the Playstation 3 demo at the Sony booth had hundreds (yes, hundreds) of grown adults standing there with their mouths open. We turned to each other as if to say, “are my eyes really seeing what I’m seeing?” OK, we were watching the next generation of gaming on a 70 inch high definition plasma TV, but still.

I defy anyone to see this and not be blown away.

If you’re one of those folks who get scared by technology, this show isn’t for you. The future is coming faster than we think. So if that concept stresses you out, you can go ride the Dumbo ride.

Me? If Playstation 3 is a glimpse of what’s to come, I’m getting back on the Carousel of Progress.


pooks said...

You know there's a movie there.

Rob said...

I know it.