The NBA 2K13 launch party, reviewed by early twentysomethings

Last Wednesday, Kill Screen nightlife correspondents Drew Millard and Yannick LeJacq attened the launch party for NBA 2K13 at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood. After a night of celebrity-spotting, game-playing, beer-drinking, and head-nodding, the two convened on Gchat to consider what they had just witnessed.

7:19 PM Yannick: OK IM HERE


Yannick: oh ok

Yannick: anyways let’s start talking about Jay Z

  since that’s what struck me the most about this whole thing

 Drew: the “aura of jay-z” that surrounded the event?

  but never /truly/ materialized?

  and, ultimately, this is jay-z’s week in new york

 7:23 PM Yannick: well maybe its an obvious thing to say that PR stunts are created to create an aura of spectatorship

  but videogames don’t really have a cult of celebrity the way other types of entertainment do

  I think?

  I mean at PAX East the closest thing I saw was Ken Levine walking by a long line of cosplay nerds

7:25 PM and they starting whispering ‘THAT’S KEN LEVINE’

  I dont think you could even get that close to Jay Z to start whispering about him

Drew: completely

Yannick: also

  you’re forgetting the two other things that had to do with videogames

  that happened that night

 Drew: we saw a guy from rockstar

  and we actually played the game

 Yannick: oh

  I guess those too

7:27 PM I was going to say

  1) the DJ shouted “NBA 2K13”

  a bunch

  and then 2) Meek Mill said it right at the end of his set

7:28 PM the way he said it made me think that they told him he was only gonna get paid if he said “NBA 2K13”

7:30 PM Drew: i could see that

  he killed it though

7:32 PM it was just very odd

  like a rap concert and also a commercial

  well i guess all concerts are commercials for other things

7:33 PM Yannick: yeah

7:34 PM no I meant that he just sorta started to walk off

  and then was like

  “oh shit…NBA 2K13!”


  “there goes my dinner”

 Drew: to be fair, i would be surprised if meek mill cared about videogames at all

 Yannick: but yeah he was also performing in front of that giant screen showing the videogames

  so thats another video game type thing

7:35 PM Drew: yeah

 Yannick: also Ronnie was approximately five feet from us

 Drew: and the cocktail napkins all said “nba 2k13”

  ronnie is a human videogame character

 Yannick: and he’s basically the real-life equivalent of the Gunzerker from Borderlands 2



 Drew: he will be the first human to have their skin replaced with pixels

  i played as ronnie/gunzerker actually

  it was unhelpful

7:36 PM Yannick: to preserve its magnificent sheen

  well ok

  seeing Ronnie was also what made me sad

 Drew: what do you mean?

 Yannick: that and Kris Humphries

  because like

 Drew: i never thought i would be in the same building as kris humphries

  and then be reminded of it by having a dj yell, “KRIS HUMPHRIES IN THE BUILDING”

7:37 PM Yannick: Jay Z was the only real famous person that was there besides Meek Mill

 Drew: to be fair, nas was there too

 Yannick: and I’m pretty sure Jay Z just showed up and then walked out the back

  HE WAS?!?!

 Drew: yeah

  he stayed for the entirety of meek mill

 Yannick: where was he

 Drew: he was in the VIP section that we weren’t allowed up to

 Yannick: ahhhh

7:38 PM does Nas say anything about videogames?

 Drew: i think nas’ presence there says something about his friendship with jay-z

  but i could see nas getting faded and playing call of duty for 12 hours straight

 Yannick: I wish 50 Cent had been there

7:39 PM that man understands the craft of virtual entertainment

 Drew: oh yeah

7:40 PM if 50 cent had executive produced that game it would have been nba jam

 Yannick: hahahahahaha

7:41 PM but what I was going to say before was just that Ronnie and the Jersey Shore’s presence along with Kris Humphries just made it seem like 2K had probably paid Jay Z a shit ton of money to be the “executive producer” on a game

  just so they could throw a party at his club

  and then no famous people showed up

7:43 PM Drew: that’s fair

  i mean it felt hollow, ultimately

7:44 PM on the other hand there was free beer so that was cool

 Yannick: I mean doesn’t the videogame industry makes more money than any other part of the entertainment industry at this point?

  or its worth more

7:45 PM either way, the companies have a lot of money and aren’t really sure how to take the next step to be culturally relevant/respected

 Drew: yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me

 Yannick: HOLY SHIT

 Yannick: realization

 Drew: hit me

 Yannick: its just like


  you know how Jay Z is like

7:46 PM the only rapper that’s transitioned successfully into a super classy and ridiculously successful entertainment mogul/business man?

 Drew: yeah

 Yannick: THAT’s what video game devs need

 Drew: yes

  i completely agree

  but it is also fairly different

7:47 PM Yannick: but right now theres just a bunch of people running around with too much money and a bunch of silly ideas

 Drew: because jay-z basically said, “yeah, i am the epitome of everything mainstream culture hates, but also you have to accept me

  and videogames are not driven by that same type of personality

 Yannick: “let’s put a subwoofer in the floor, that’ll be so badass!”

7:48 PM what did Jay Z do that mainstream culture hates

  besides being an incredible successful and talented black man

 Drew: crack

  he sold crack

7:49 PM Yannick: ah

  that’ll do it

  well isn’t that the whole problem though

  I mean everybody always says that games need a stronger cult of personality

7:50 PM but I started playing videogames because I didn’t really care about those kinds of things

 Drew: is that true though? like if there were a super mainstream phil fish or something?

7:51 PM i started playing videogames because i was 9 years old

 Yannick: that too

7:52 PM my parents didnt really let me play videogames

  or my mom didnt

 Drew: well now we’re just getting dark

 Yannick: Isn’t that what Cliff Bleszinski is

  or Jon Blow

  they were both profiled in the atlantic and the new yorker

  those are pretty mainstream

7:53 PM Drew: eh, not really

  usa today is mainstream

  atlantic and nyer are mainstream mags that kind of deal with higher level ideas than most people enjoy dealing with

 Yannick: so we need game developers driving off cliffs with prostitutes and stuff?

 Drew: no

  we need gamedevelopers that sell crack

 Yannick: Cliff Bleszinski checking into rehab

7:54 PM Drew: okay speaking of which i’m going to see jay-z tonight and i gotta run