Does the Gaming Industry Miss Having E3 Around?

Get Kah's take on this (along with a lot more) via transcript and/or audio!

In this week’s episode of Spawn on Me, host Kahlief Adams shares his thoughts about his favorite and most anticipated games from Summer Game Fest. He also digs into the conversation around whether E3 still has a space to flourish in the current gaming coverage climate.

(You can also listen on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!)

Spawn on Me June 20, 2022 Transcript

Transcribed by E. Powers

Kahlief: Spawn On Me is the premier podcast spotlighting people of color. Every week, we talk news, what we’ve been playing, and tell you who’s invited to the cookout. Our show is all about talking about gaming through a prism of Blackness, because we are the culture. Welcome to Brookago, y’all.

What the deal be, everybody here in Brookago! Shout out to all of you. This is the Spawn On Me podcast. I’m your host Kahlief Adams. I hope you’re all doing very, very well. Happy Father’s Day. Happy Juneteenth. We are celebrating on the 19th of June. We are recording the day before our launch day, because it has just been an extremely busy week, but I am extremely happy to have y’all here.

If you’re watching the live show here on twitch.tv/spawnonme, thank you for being here. You could have been anywhere else in the world, but you’re here rocking with me. I appreciate you. I love you. I want to thank you for all the support. Rocking, because you know what? It has been a hard deal getting these Twitch streams together!

I can’t front. I’m not gon’ lie. It has just been a wild time trying to do it. I haven’t traveled this much in the past God knows how long. So I was in…so, June has been a really, really busy week. I mean, busy month. Feels like it’s all been condensed into a week.

But it’s been an extremely busy month. It’s been…uh, we were in Atlanta covering the FCF game, the playoffs for NBC. I flew back home, went down to L.A. the next weekend to go cover Summer Game Fest. I finally had a little bit of a respite this week, but I’m flying back out to Washington tomorrow to start my new job.

So we’ll be seeing and talking about that next week, so make sure you’re checking out everything on Twitter. I’ll be sharing a couple of pictures and stuff and sharing where I have finally gone in my nine-to-five gaming industry journey.

West coast. We’re going to Seattle/Bellevue area, for folks who are asking within the chat. So, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Gonna do some really cool stuff in the gaming industry. You know I was formally at Intel, formally at Riot. Now I’ll be heading over to another game studio that we’ll be talking to you about very, very soon, which means tomorrow, basically, or early next week. Tuesday or Wednesday, you’ll see something on the Twitter feeds.

Wanna thank you all for listening to the show again. We’ve been doing fantastic work. We put up four episodes! Uh, hold on. [laughs] I gotta pause the show for one second. My fam! Okay. Okaydrian says, “Can’t believe this dude just called me folks in the chat. I’m about to throw hands.” [laughs]

Adrian, you know I love you. You know that you are one of the most profound, talented souls on this whole planet. I love the fact that this moment is gonna get onto all the audio versions of the show. Hold on. I can’t not give you flowers, ’cause you’re one of the most beautiful souls on this planet in the gaming industry.

I think you have– your pedigree is well known. I would never just call you folks in the chat, even though I just called you folks in chat, ‘cause I didn’t wanna say nothing, because I didn’t wanna shout you out. But now I’m shouting you out! I don’t care. I done did it. It’s my show. I can do what I want.

Anyway. Again, thank you to everyone who continues to listen to the show. We had four episodes out last week that spanned a whole bunch of conversations. I talked a little bit about the stuff that I liked from Day of the Devs. I talked a little bit about Nightingale, which is super wild. Go check out that episode, which is on the audio and YouTube feeds. So go check out that content.

There’s a lot of stuff there to pull in. I put the massive data dump into the feed. So you might have missed some episodes that you might not have gotten a chance to hear, because all of those shows went out at once. So go back into the feed, check out those, and then, you know, share this one out too, because this is all about, you know, a little bit of, you know, kind of the main conversation is gonna be about like, what were my favorite things I got a chance to see during Summer Game Fest.

And you know, we’re gonna talk a little bit about, you know, is E3 necessary? I mean, we’ve had this conversation over a couple different years, but I think this year really was telling, in terms of all of that stuff.

So before we get to that, I just wanna say, you know, it has been super fun to be able to do this show. It has been super fun to be able to run around and do all the work that we got a chance to do last week. All of that stuff was so much fun. It was just so good to see, you know, folks in the industry that I’ve, you know, worked alongside with, folks that I grew up watching, getting to see folks who, you know, are at so many different levels within the industry.

I think one of the things that comes back to my mind is I very much remember when I got a chance to see, you know, the gaming industry grow in a way that, you know, I just didn’t expect. It was a hope. I think when we started Spawn On Me, I think it was always a hope to…again, the main thrust was to see more of us in the video game industry, to see more of us in this space, to see more of us within this industry in a real way.

And I have to say, one of the things I was really happy about going to this Summer Game Fest event — and it’s been like this for at least a couple of years — there are so many wonderful, amazing Black folks who are in this industry now who were not in this industry before. I think, you know, just going through the space, and if you saw my Twitter feed and my Instagram feed, you would’ve seen some of the folks I got a chance to hang out with.

Again, folks like Parris, Parris Lilly from Gamertag Radio and Xcast and Kinda Funny. Blessing Adeoye Jr., who’s killing it in the Kinda Funny camp there. Storymodebae, who has skyrocketed into this wonderful space where she is hosting everything and doing all this work with Twitch and doing all this wonderful work across the space. CupAhNoodle, who is now one of the go-to hosts within that space who is doing so much fantastic work. We have Okaydrian, who’s been doing so much dope stuff in this space.

We have so many wonderful folks who, again, when I think about, you know, what is the legacy of our experiences and what is the legacy of what we bring to the space in this gaming industry, those are just a small amount of the folks that I think of — on the media space especially, which I think is extremely important — that are just killing it right now.

And it makes me just so happy and proud to see all of them and so many other folks finding their voice, continuing to use it, continuing to grow their platforms, continuing to make it understood that we are the culture and that everything that we do, you know, just exemplifies that. Especially on a day like today, when we’re talking about Juneteenth, and you think about the struggles that our people have gone through over our existence, especially here in the Americas, to see all of us striving and doing the damn thing, getting the bag, making it happen.

It just lets me know that, although the job isn’t done, we are a couple steps closer to where we need to be. And I think that’s the thing that I want all of you at home to kind of, you know, sit with and think about. You know, we are still fighting the good fight. We’re still pushing. Hell, I’m still pushing for more visibility in a lot of different ways.

I gotta give Erin Ashley Simon, as well, her flowers, because she has just skyrocketed doing so much stuff. Malik Prince doing so many good things. You know, when they both hosted the extended Xbox Showcase.

Again, “What are we trying to do here?” is the foundation of a lot of that conversation for Spawn On Me. What are we trying to do here? How are we trying to move forward? How are we trying to bridge a lot of wonderful folks moving that space forward? And it just made me really happy and proud to be even a small part of that lineage, you know, moving into the future of what games can be.

I hope that at some point when the history books look back on, you know, all of our achievements and all of our accomplishments, that we are no longer just a footnote in that space, that we got full-ass pages in the book at this point for the work that we’ve been able to do in these spaces.

So, I wanna leave you with that particular thought before we dig into more of the stuff within that space, because again, you know, like, I get really happy when I think about what we do. I think there’s a lot of folks who continue to try to downplay our importance to this space, but they can’t take that from us, and I don’t ever want them to think that they can.

So, we’re gonna get into a little bit of the news for this week, which means that we are gonna get into the 411. First up on the 411 for this episode, we’re gonna talk about some of the games that I am extremely excited to have played, to have checked out, to have had a chance to kind of, you know, be in the mix with. And I have to say, Summer Game Fest was pretty dope.

Like, I think in terms of, you know, what we all got a chance to kind of be involved with, things that we got a chance to play around with, things that we were, you know, doing in that space and getting a chance to really be, you know, connected with, Summer Game Fest was brilliant. I think it was pretty dope to be able to see, you know, so many games!

We’re gonna talk about that in a second, ’cause I think there’s a really interesting layer to not only what we were able to do as Spawn On Me and me, ’cause it’s me running around like a mad person for a week and a half. But I think, you know, it’s telling that we had such a breadth and depth of so many fantastic games within the gaming industry.

So, I wanna go through a couple of the ones that really stood out to me that I got a chance to either play or mess around with that I didn’t talk about in the other stuff that we put out for Summer Game Fest stuff.

WrestleQuest is the shit. I think it is one of my most anticipated games coming up very, very soon. WrestleQuest is a game that mashes up all the great things about RPGs and wrestling that you can think of. They are playing into all of the stuff that you are, if you’re a wrestling fan, that you love. They dig into all the kitsch of wrestling.

They dig into all the layers of, you know, if you’re a big wrestling fan, of playing a baby face or playing a heel or, you know, adding those layers of what it means to be a wrestler who is trying to be on the come up, while also pulling in iconic folks within to the space, like the Macho Man, like Koko B. Ware, like Jake the Snake. Like, if you’re an 80s wrestling fan, this is like the wildest mashup that they got these folks to put their names associated with this game.

From a gameplay perspective, it’s pretty simple. It’s a pretty interesting kind of four-layered way that you attack, so you have gimmicks that wind up being your attacks. It’s all turn-based, in the ways you would have a turn-based RPG. And then to pin someone, you have this kind of timing gameplay mechanic, where you have to basically hit a button within the green element in the bar, and then if you get all three, then you get the three-pin. If you don’t, they wind up getting more health back, the enemy that you’re fighting, and you have to continue to do that mini-game kind of over and over again.

I loved my time with it. It was a short amount of time with it, ’cause the demo wasn’t that long. But as a person who’s been doing more stuff in terms of like KFW and me being a huge wrestling fan for God knows how long, it is super, super dope to have gotten a chance to check this thing out and to see the folks that are in that roster as the legends and other folks who are in that game.

I am fiending for this thing. I am dying to play it. It is going to be extremely good, in so many different ways.

The other game that I am dying for is The Plucky Squire. The Plucky Squire got shown during the Devolver showcase. I have not seen something mash-up 2D gameplay in this way with 3D kind of platformer gameplay in a long time. Plucky Squire is a game that I did not expect to see. I had no idea what this thing was gonna wind up being, and now I’m getting a chance to see it.

It wasn’t playable — at least from what I can tell — at Summer Game Fest, but it is very, very high on my list, in terms of what that game is gonna wind up being. It is going to be super nuts to be able to get a chance to play that. Okaydrian says, “Demo’s still available too, I think on Steam as part of the Steam Next Fest, until tomorrow.” So yeah, you can get a chance to play WrestleQuest and, I think, some other of the games that we might have seen within the Steam side of things moving forward.

But this mashup is wild. It feels like you’re in a picture book. But I love the art style that they’ve had in this particular game, like mashing up other game styles, pulling in other games like Punch-Out!! into the space. But then the thing that blew my mind is when you jump out of the page and then into the real real world of, you know, the kind of more 3D platformer style.

It’s a game that I am wondering how much they’re gonna dig into that. It feels like it’s gonna be pretty expansive. The fact that it’s gonna be on basically everything is also gonna be nuts. I am dying to play this game! There are very few games that I get this excited for, and I have to say The Plucky Squire is very high on my list for games that I want to play right now.

Another game that has a demo that’s out right now is Angry Foot, or Anger Foot. Anger Foot is dope! I don’t care what you think. It is that perfect – it is like that great combination of like Hotline Miami with Sunset Overdrive in a couple of ways? Like, Sunset Overdrive in terms of like art and aesthetic, but in terms of game, it is very much digging into its Hotline Miami vibe.

I played the demo the other night, and I just was like dumbfounded, because you expect games like this to be good, but you know, it is a new property. It’s a weird new thing, right? And you’re just fighting through these levels, and it feels like you’re speedrunning it after a certain point in time, because you’re just like, “All right, I know where that enemy’s gonna wind up being. I know where that enemy’s gonna wind up being,” so you wind up doing this mashup of the speedrunning feel with the combination of the Hotline Miami vibes.

And the game is just funny. Like, when you die, yo, they twerk on your dead body. Like, it’s not– [laughs] it is not a thing where they are taking themselves seriously. So Free Lives is like killing it with the idea around what this game is trying to do.

Like, I think Devolver, again, continues to pull in, you know, stuff that is all over the place, but it feels really honed in, in terms of, you know, games that they pull into their portfolio. I think Devolver continues to be one of the smartest publishers on the planet, because, as you can tell through their kind of E3 Devolver showcase, they don’t give a shit.

They don’t care about your feelings. They don’t care about trying to make it something that’s gonna be, you know, radio-friendly in a lot of different ways, is kind of the best way I can put it. But it’s like, they don’t miss at this point.

Like, I feel like every new Devolver joint, and a lot of the stuff that we saw in that Devolver showcase and another game that I’m gonna be showing in a second, like they just pull together really interesting, fun, smart titles into their game sets, into their portfolio. And I’m just like…just like so happy whenever I go see a new game from Devolver.

I feel like there are certain games that come out at this point where I automatically am just like, “Oh, if you made it, I’m copping it.” Devolver’s one of those. Annapurna is another one. And there’s a couple, there’s like two or three more.

But I think in terms of studios that just make wild stuff and publishers that just make wild stuff, having a big-ass anthropomorphic crocodile twerk on your dead body, like, there’s nothing better than that. There’s nothing else that you can see in the gaming space. When people are like, “Oh, there’s no new ideas. There’s no fun games out there. Everything is the same. It’s all stagnant.” That is so far from the truth when you see stuff like Anger Foot in the mix.

Another game that I am really, really excited for is Skate Story. Skate Story by Sam Eng, who I have a really great story about Sam Eng.

I remember meeting Sam really early in their dev career. I remember this as being something when I was back home in New York, and they had, um…what is it called? It wasn’t called Indie Fest. Uh…oh my God. I can’t remember the name of it. It was something east. I can’t remember the name of it, ’cause it just ran outta my mind, but I remember meeting them and seeing them talk about their first game.

I think it was Zarvot. Zarvot was this top-down isometric shooter where you were shooting as these cubes, and these cubes, when you exploded them, they became all these voxels. ‘Cause remember there was a point in game development where voxels were the thing. Everything broke into small little chunks of triangles and squares and cubes and stuff like that. And Zarvot was this really funky wild game where you were these two cubes trying to fall in love, but you were also shooting through these spaces.

Fast forward almost a decade, and now you see this new game called Skate Story, and it still feels like some of that vibe was in the game. But what I love about Sam Eng games is that they always have just this really stunning aesthetic. I think that he pulls from so many different kinds of pieces of art and forms of entertainment.

To see, to go from that game into this kind of, you know, a skating game, which I may– hey, this may rival Skate 3 as the game that we are all like – or Skate 4? I forget what skate they’re on. That everyone has been fiending for a skating game. This might be the game that takes that spot in a really wild way, because one, it looks beautiful. It is gorgeous.

I remember, you know, a lot of the conversations, this game being on mobile. And now seeing how this game has kind of come into this space and has kind of moved into the more, you know, console friendly, PC friendly space, I’m just really hoping and pulling for them.

I think, you know, you always wanna see people kind of grow in the space, and you always wanna see people kind of maneuver and get better and get bigger and find good ways to, you know, connect with an audience. And I think Skate Story is a really cool version of that for what this is gonna wind up being in the next generation of game developers. I think, you know, where we’re seeing so many folks come to the space while we’re also seeing folks be really, really, cognizant of how stale a lot of the experiences that we’ve kind of gotten over the past couple of years have been.

And it feels like seeing these kind of wacky, really out-there experiences in these kinds of games just gives me a lot of hope. It makes me really happy to see, you know, so many folks kind of digging into that space as well.

Yep, devs from NYC too. Yep, Greg J Hazy(???) coming through with the facts. In that space. Yeah, it was IndieCade East. IndieCade East is where I met Sam like a decade ago. That’s when I first also met Rami Ismail, like almost a decade ago, and now see where everybody’s blown up and done this fantastic work. So, really excited for Sam Eng’s stuff. I think that that game is gonna be fire in a lot of different ways, so really hype for that.

Someone was asking in the chat if I had spoken about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. I love that game. I’ve been playing it. I played it a couple days before launch, and it is a brilliant game by Dotemu.

I think that they continue to be at the forefront of making these kinds of remakes with their own flare on it and bringing something very special to it. I think the six-player co-op is fantastic. I think what they’ve done to kind of nail that aesthetic made me feel like I was back home in the, you know, in the arcade, which was so dope to feel that feeling again.

And it makes me wonder where they can go in terms of DLC for a game like that, because they hit so many…they hit so many different angles on that game, which I think is actually kind of nuts, because if you think about the totality of the TMNT universe, they hit you with all the bangers in terms of bosses, like all the big, like Rat – I was like, oh crap.

I haven’t seen Rat King in forever. Like, oh crap! Like, that’s nuts that they put Rat King in here, like he was one of my favorite TMNT villains in this space. So it was like cool to see them play into that. It was really dope to see them kind of dig into all of the nostalgia while also adding new things of like making April O’Neil playable, you know, giving Casey Jones some spotlight.

You know, Splinter was really fun to play. It makes me wanna play more of it, but it makes me wanna play more of it with more folks, ’cause I played through it when I was playing solo, which was super fun.

Other thing that I’ll be talking about very, very soon is The Quarry. I’ve been playing through The Quarry. Haven’t finished it yet, ’cause I was waiting for my wife to play it, and she punked out on me. [laughs] I’m throwing you under the bus, wife! We were supposed to play that joint together, and you ain’t play with me.

But I am loving that game! God dammit. 2K and the folks from Supermassive, hot damn. It’s like: [sound clip: Klay Thompson, “Holy cannoli. This is crazy.”] Holy cannoli. This is crazy. It is so good. That game is so good. And then if you get the deluxe version, you get all these dope filters, so I’m playing it with the 80s horror filter.

Holy crap, that joint is fire. That joint is so good. It is so, so good. So, I am very, very excited to play more of The Quarry. I’m gonna play more of it tonight, after we do the show and after I put the show up, but I’m super hyped about that game. That game is just really brilliant and super, super fun.

I think there was one other game that I’ve been playing that I’ll have thoughts on next week. I’ve been playing through As Dusk Falls, if you got a chance to see that in the Xbox Showcase. I’ve been playing through some of that. We’ll be talking about the first two chapters once the embargo lifts, which is in…I don’t know if that’s today or if that’s in a couple of days, ‘cause if it’s in a couple of days, then I may have to go back out.

But I think embargo might have dropped to talk about that part of it too today, so I’ll find out. If it’s not in this episode, it may be in a stealth episode that goes up sometime next week while I’m in Seattle, or if I, you know, have stuff to do, or it’ll be next week in the episode after that. So, we’ll be talking about that.

Last conversation, at least for this shortened episode of Spawn On Me, because, you know, we’ve all heard everything about Summer Game Fest, but I did want to talk about one article that I saw that I thought was very, very interesting in terms of what the conversation has been of late. And that is about: do we miss E3?

There was this really good article that was up on PC Gamer a couple days ago that I missed, and I think that there’s a really nice conversation to have about E3, especially with E3 saying that they’re coming back next year. You have Geoff Keighley who has now basically taken over all of the coverage for E3 across multiple different versions of what Summer Game Fest has now become.

And as a person who went to Summer Game Fest this year and a person who had been to E3 some years ago — I’d been to about six or seven E3s in my life, in terms of, you know, going as a person within the gaming industry — it really does bring the question back up to me of like, do we really miss E3? And I would say the answer is yes and no, in a real way.

So here’s a thing that I came across with everything that wound up happening in terms of this past week. I loved how Summer Game Fest was set up, at least the space in which we as media — and, I guess, influencers, if you wanna call me one of those — were able to get hands-on with stuff.

Yes, there were some things that were like super behind closed doors that we didn’t get a chance to play around with. There were other things that you had to have had, you know, more media clearance to be able to go check out. There was some stuff that just wasn’t there that I hoped was there to play. Callisto Protocol wasn’t there to play, from what I can remember. I missed out on playing on 40K Warhammer, the new game there, ’cause it was another event that I just didn’t know about.

But I think for what the small venue was in comparison to what E3 used to be, it was a really nice venue to be able to kind of go and check out games, go have a comfortable space to be able to kind of do that work. It wasn’t mega crowded. I think, of course, because of COVID, people were still worried about being around so many people. And it just felt like the vibes were really good, and it felt like everybody was just ready to be back.

I think that was the overarching thing that I remember, was seeing so many people be happy to just be in the same space again and being able to cover games and talk to people and say hello and hug each other and that kind of stuff. Which, again, as a very wise person told me when I first got into this industry, that is the thing that you will miss the most. It’s like when people talk about the NBA, right? It’s like, you don’t– you miss the playing, but you miss the people, right? And I think that was the thing over the past couple years that I missed, was the people.

It was so good to see so many folks. Getting to see Andrea Rene, getting to see all the Kinda Funny folks, getting to see Jeff Haynes, and getting to see all those folks who I’ve seen over so many years.

And then it’s been wild, because we’ve been doing this work for so long, people have switched positions. They’ve gone to different jobs. So people who were like at one spot, you’re all like, “Oh crap, you’re over here now? Like, that’s nuts. Like, how are you over here now?” That stuff was cool.

And then getting a chance to see new tech, right? Like, I think I spoke a little bit about it on one of the pieces of content, but like, that Samsung E3 and that Samsung, that Samsung Xbox app that was on demo, and I got the full demo of that experience. Like, I sat down with one of the representatives from Xbox and talked about it, and I was like, “You know, we’re about the same age.” This is me talking to them. I was like, we’re about the same age. Like, I remember when none of this was possible.

I remember when I sat in a room with Phil Spencer, like six to seven years ago at this point, when he was at GDC, and he was like digging into the beginnings of what we wind up seeing now with xCloud and Game Pass and saying, “Hey, six years now, seven years down the line, you know, by 202X, we’re gonna want to have games in the cloud that you’re gonna be able to play natively on whatever app you want.”

And now getting a chance to see how all of that has happened and is happening, it just makes you reflect a lot about like, man, we are in like really dope times. Like, we are in like…you know, if you’re a technophile and you love video games, you love technology, we are in like really wild times. Like, yeah, we don’t have flying cars yet, right? But like, from an entertainment perspective, I have pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted at my fingertips. That’s nuts!

Like, I know people complain about that stuff, but like I try to take it from another angle and I’ll be like, when I was growing up, we had to do all of this stuff manually. There was no “Let me just go to Netflix and have a million shows to watch.” Let me have multiple streaming services that when I hit a button, I get basically 4k streams of entertainment at my fingertips whenever I want.

Let me – as much as Twitch has shit the bed over the past couple of years about certain things, I can see a multitude of creators living their lives, doing cool stuff, making and playing games, being entertaining, learning about different skills that they never had, that now they want to use to entertain all of us on a platform that is 24/7/365. We live in fantastic times, so it makes me, you know, take a moment to reflect about a lot of that stuff and to think about where we’re at from a technology standpoint.

So all of that to say, so, going back to the conversation about E3, and one of the things that I was really kind of taken aback by was, you know, I usually am going to these events by myself now. It is a one-person show for Spawn On Me. A lot of people continue to still think that there are multiple people on this show helping me get content done with a nine-to-five job with all the other stuff that goes alongside it. And no, it’s just me.

All of this is me, and it’s been me for the past couple of like– for the past five years, it’s really just been me doing a lot of that work. And it just pulls back to the idea of when you have so many parts of an event happening, it makes it extremely hard to cover everything. So Summer Game Fest was just a small chunk of, you know, it had a larger umbrella, but stuff that we were only privy to was like, you know, Day of the Devs stuff, the Xbox Showcase stuff.

But when you look at what was happening during that week, and I’m just gonna read off a list of the events that were happening where games were shown. We had Sony State of Play. We had Summer Game Fest. We had Devolver Digital Showcase. We had Netflix Geeked Week. We had Epic’s game showcase. We had the Tribeca Games Spotlight. We had the Guerilla Collective. We had the Wholesome Direct. We had the Future Games Show.

You had the Capcom show, the PC gaming show, and the Xbox and Bethesda showcase all happening in the span of about three days! All happening in the span of about three days! As a person who just said I am very excited to see so many folks getting into the gaming space and building out their dream of becoming game developers and doing all that stuff, on the other hand, there are just too many games. [laughs]

I’m not gonna front! I’m not gonna lie. I’m not gonna say it’s not true. We are in the most saturated market of entertainment on the planet. We are also a part of the biggest demographic and the largest segment of entertainment on the planet. Video games make more money than everything else on the planet in terms of entertainment right now. But there are way too many games and way too many events at this point to really feel like you are nailing coverage in a way that makes sense.

Again, if you’re at home and you’re not doing this stuff as a hobby, or, you know, this is kind of a job for me. You know, you don’t have to worry about that stuff. That stuff is not really, you know, for you to worry about it. You get to sit at home and absorb all this goodness and pull in all this good gaming news and good gaming stuff.

But for a person like me, yo, this shit is hard! [laughs] I saw all the stuff that was happening, and I was like: [sound clip: “Holy cannoli. This is crazy.”]

Yo, it is wild how much stuff is out there, so many different events that were happening all the same time. So when people are like, “Do you miss E3?” I kind of say yeah, because during E3 week, you had a big consolidated space where you could see pretty much everything. You didn’t have to go through seven different versions of shows to be able to capture the zeitgeist around the gaming industry and pull in the biggest names of stuff.

Yeah, of course some of the shows don’t have all great stuff. I don’t think the PC Gaming Show has really ever been that good. I think some of the other ones aren’t that great. But it’s like, man, there are just so many things to cover. And I think there’s another part of that too.

I think Geoff Keighley’s doing a really fantastic job of pulling in all the kind of biggest names around his platform and around his events. I think next year is gonna be really nuts to be able to see, you know, him move into a space where all of this is gonna be, you know, with an audience, a live audience around. That’s gonna change the dynamic and make it feel a lot more like old E3, I think.

But old E3 for if you were press or a journalist was a little bit easier to navigate if you didn’t have a team. It makes you really also just like really appreciate other folks that have a larger roster, like Kinda Funny was pumping out content daily. They were– I would watch them record a thing, and then 10 minutes later that crap was up on YouTube or was on TikTok, fully edited and put together.

Their team was killing it, and I wish I had that kind of roster to be able to pull that kind of stuff together that quickly, ’cause then it just broadens your imagination to say, oh, I can do all of this stuff, hand it off to somebody else. They’ll edit it and push it out for me. Oh my God. You know how much stuff that I would do if I had a team?

I get decent stuff done. I think our interview with Jackie Simmons from Capcom about Street Fighter 6 was really, really good. I think our Nightingale interview was really, really good. I think the one that we did about Metal Hellsinger was really, really good. But I’m only one person, right? And it just makes that part of the deal a lot harder.

I think also with E3, you know, I think one of the– there isn’t an aspirational show anymore.

I remember growing up and E3 being the show that if you ever were a video game fan, you were like, if I ever get to go to E3, I am in gaming Nirvana. I am in the best place where everyone that I care about will ever be. All the video games will be in the space. You might not be able to get to play them, because you’re a part of the, you know, not part of the gaming press, but you would’ve gotten to feel that energy of what it feels like to see the big boots and to see, you know, all the swag and see all that kind of stuff happen.

You just don’t get that part anymore, and I think that is a part of that spectacle that winds up getting lost when you don’t have a big event like E3 to wrap yourself around. Summer Game Fest is now an umbrella that has all these other layers underneath it. I think it’s great for games. I think it’s great to see more stuff that you’ve never seen before, but also we’re in the space where you have so many games coming out.

I don’t think I– I still think I feel like I haven’t seen a tenth of the stuff that got discussed during that week. I still feel like I’m catching up, almost a week later, on some of the stuff that wound up getting shown during that week.

And again, a lot of stuff, it doesn’t make that big of a difference, ’cause we got the big name stuff out. We saw Starfield. We saw Redfall. We saw some of those things kind of move in the space, but it does also feel like there are just so many things to see now, but you know, it’s a first-world problem in the biggest way.

So I will cop to that, in all of those layers, but I do feel like it’s also a little bit confusing for consumers. It’s a little bit confusing for gamers, in a way that’s like, where do I go see that next thing? Where is this supposed to be at? How am I supposed to find out about that thing?

Like, yes, they are kind of dependent on us to be able to get that stuff done in a real way, but you know, and you’re pulling in stuff from multiple sources as a gamer at this point and as a person who’s a fan of games, but it is very, very…I’m not gonna say troubling. It just, it’s a lot of extra work if you’re really excited about games in that way, and that kind of stuff.

So, do we miss E3? Yeah, a little bit. Like, I will cop to that. I think that there’s a use for it, and I think that there was a good space for it. I think the thing that they need is they need a way to differentiate themselves from what Keighley is doing, ’cause I think Keighley has a stranglehold on a lot of the stuff, and well deserved, ’cause he’s busted ass.

Like, I said to him while I was at Summer Game Fest, I was like, “Yo, you gotta come on the show and come hang out.” He was like, “Just invite me. I’m on it. I’ll rock. I’ll come through.” So I think maybe in a couple of weeks, I’m gonna poke Geoff Keighley to have him come on the show and come talk about where he sees all of this moving and the stuff that he’s been working with for, you know, so many years to kind of get to this space.

I think – I don’t know if the audience would want to see me do an interview with Geoff Keighley. You know, let me know in the chat, let me know on Twitter, but I think it would be a lot of fun to be able to talk to him about, you know, not only his journey, but where he’s kind of seeing this thing move into really good spaces.

So, you know, let me know on Twitter. Let me know if you wanna see me and Geoff rock on Spawn On Me. We’ll get that together.

I’m also reaching out to a lot of folks on the dev side who we got a chance to see during Summer Game Fest, so I think we have some good interviews potentially on the table for some of that stuff. And I think, again, it’s just a matter of like, how do we figure out good ways to bridge out all of these conversations in a much broader way while also keeping true to, you know, what we do here in Brookago, which I think is give you really good interviews and really good conversations around games and things like that.

So, before we get out of here, though, I do wanna say that I owe HipHopGamer a beating on Street Fighter 6, ’cause you beat me. I owe Tam from GameSpot slash Giant Bomb a beating, ’cause Tam is a monster in Street Fighter, and I don’t know what to do.

Also, I gotta say, Street Fighter 6? Blew my mind! That game is going to be so good. I got a chance to fight against Maximilian, and he whooped my ass, and I take my beatings like a grown-up, but it was…it’s always humbling to see you play someone who knows what they’re doing in comparison to what you are learning to do.

It’s gonna be really fun too, because I’m going to my first Evo this year, so you’ll get some coverage for me in August about some cool stuff while I’m at Evo. So hopefully I’ll get a chance to finally meet Sonic Fox and some other folks and have a chance to have a conversation with them, so fingers crossed about stuff like that.

So, all of that to say, we got more dope stuff coming. Spawnies is starting to creep up, as well, very, very soon. Arctic in our chat says, “Don’t forget about a Parris beating for talking trash while you were on the flight home.” Yeah, I was like, yo! Oh, wait a minute. I’m happy you said that, Arctic, before we get up out of here.

Here’s the wild thing. First of all, shout out to everybody at Xbox who did a fantastic job. Shout out to Phil Spencer, who shared some lovely words about Spawn On Me and the show when we had a chance to have a conversation. Sarah Bond, who’s fam, got a chance to meet her dad after she had that very poignant moment during the end of the showcasing and gave props to her father for letting– for him bringing video games into her life.

So I’m hoping that we get a chance to finally get Phil on the show, and maybe we have Sarah come back on, ’cause you know, she’s like – Sarah Bond is like, “Kahlief, you were the first one to believe in me. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget it.” And I’m like, “I got you fam, ’cause you dope.”

But all that to say, I’m gonna– we’re creeping up on 500 episodes. I’m gonna try to see if we can get Phil Spencer for episode 500. I’m gonna need all of your help to do that, though. I’m gonna need you to tweet at Phil. I’m gonna need you to kind of use your Brookago powers, throw your biscuits into Twitter and be like, “Hey, Phil, episode 500 is coming up for Spawn On Me. We’d love to see you on the show.”

That would be dope. You know, I need that help, ’cause I’m gonna be pushing and asking very, very soon. So, I think there’s a lot of conversations to have there about all of that, but I think again, it was a great time to see all that stuff.

And then Parris, we were leaving, and Malik Prince was like, “Hey, we’re doing this stuff on the stage. We’d love to have you and Parris come through, come talk, you know, we’ll do a little spiel about the cooking stuff and get the crowd kind of hyped, ’cause they love y’all, XYZ.”

And it wound up being that we had plan– we didn’t plan it, ‘cause it was super last minute. And we wind up, I had to leave, ’cause I needed to go catch my plane to get back home, and Parris went and did it solo. And then that mother sucker used that time to shame– the thing that bugged me wasn’t even the fact that he did it, ’cause I was like, “Definitely go do it. Go be in front of the crowd. They love you, and you should be able to do it.” It was the fact that the crowd booed me! I was like, what the– I was like, [sound clip: “Holy cannoli. This is crazy.”]

I was like, yo, how am I getting booed and I’m not even there? It’s not even my fault! I didn’t even get the chance to be like, “Yo, I couldn’t show up, ’cause I needed to go catch a plane to go home to see my wife and hug on her, ’cause I love her and missed her,” and they booed me! I was like, yo, how y’all gonna boo me? What?

It was like that “Boo this man” GIF. Boooo! I was like, yo, I didn’t do nothing. All I was doing was trying to live my life, trying to get home to see my family like I was ??? and trying to be a family man. And they booed me.

It made me sad. I cried a little bit. I teared up. And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same now that I had the Xbox fans boo me like that in that way. I don’t know how I’m gonna recover. I also thought about shutting down Spawn On Me after that, ‘cause I didn’t know how I would live after that moment, because, you know, it hurt me in my soul, like in my soul piece, if there were pieces of my soul. It was like Final Fantasy in my body. It was like, it hurt my soul.

[laughs] Anyway, I love y’all. We gonna get up out of here, back for more stuff. Please go check out the newest episode of SOM-THING EPIC. It is on our YouTube feed. It is a really dope episode of SOM-THING EPIC.  I had one of my favorite music artists of all time, I got a chance to interview them. Telefon Tel Aviv was on that episode talking about the game Serial Cleaners, and it was just so fun to be able to talk to them. So again, shout out to them.

Shout out to Epic Games for supporting us. Use our Epic creator code SPAWNONME at checkout to go get some dope games.

And yeah, and next week it’s gonna be a little bit funky, ’cause I’m gonna be starting my new gig, so you’ll be able to see some of that stuff, but I won’t be back until like Thursday, like Thursday night. So, no show on Wednesday. I’ll probably record that episode during the weekend, so make sure you’re checking and catching that for sure.

Until then, have a wonderful Father’s Day for everyone who’s out there doing the damn thing. Have a wonderful Juneteenth. Remember what this day is about, please, please, please. Each one teach one on that one. White folks, get your knowledge up on what this means to us and our community, and also, spend some money on some Black businesses.

We are a Black business. Spawn On Me LLC is a real thing. We have a lot of things that we need money for to keep the lights on and keep things moving, and support all the other folks who are out there doing that work and making it happen within the community. So, until then, we’ll see you all very soon. Much love to you. Have a wonderful weekend, and peace!