My Big Phat BioWare Adventure

If you are a fan of the upcoming X-Box game, MASS EFFECT, by BioWare, then you undoubtedly know about their recent celebration in Edmonton, Canada, for the game’s release. I was lucky enough to have been invited to attend the festivities and all the fun leading up to it. There are simply no words to describe the excellent time I had up in Edmonton with BioWare. “Awesome” is the only word that even comes close!

I wanted others to get a glimpse of all the fun, too, which is why I’m writing this blog! A good time was had by all, and I have some pictures to prove it. I think I even have something with Stanley Woo drinking tea with a billy-goat. No, wait… I have to save that one for my expose in the Game Inquirer (“Inquiring Gamers want to know”). I’m afraid that goes for the picture of Chris Priestly and a monkey named Wanda as well. *Sigh* You’ll just have to make do with these interesting shots of our crew from the Mass Effect , BioWare and Pandemic communities having a radically great time with the BioWare staff!

WHO AM I?

I am a long-time fan of the BioWare game company. I have been on their forum for about the last five years, under the highly unoriginal handle of “Michael_Patty.” Perhaps you’ve seen a few of my silly posts. I have been a member of the Mass Effect forum pretty much since it was made public. I like to think that some of them were insightful, but more likely they were mostly drivel mixed with fan-boy enthusiasm. So much for my aspirations to be a world-renown writer. 😀 I am from Idaho. I have three lovely children and a beautiful wife.


DAY 1 (November 4th, 2007)

DEPARTURE (4:30 AM MST)

What is there to say? My road trip began from the modest little burg of Pocatello, Idaho (USA). Yes, you’ve probably never heard of the town. It’s in the middle of nowhere. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in the dictionary under “obscure” you’ll find Pocatello listed there. Possibly even the entire state of Idaho. If there is hip, cosmopolitan center of exitement in the universe, this is the furthest point away from it. You get the idea. And, yes, I did say “road trip.” Very astute of you to notice. Even though BioWare generously paid for my flight to Edmonton (and my hotel, food, etc… Thanks BioWare!), the nearest International airport is in Salt Lake City, Utah. For those that might not be familiar with the “geography of places you’ll probably never go to nor need to know about,” that’s actually SOUTH of Pocatello. So, yes, I drove south to go north. If birds navigated like that they’d have all frozen to death long ago.

The trip to Salt Lake City was pretty uneventful. A hairy looking hitchhiker was the most exitement we had along the journey. The scenery was exceedingly dull. Sagebrush, sage-brush, and more sagebrush. Oh, and look! More sagebrush… “Are we there yet?”

Well, enough about the trip. I drove. I flew. I got there, mostly in one piece (though if that airplane had been any smaller, or the guy next to me any bigger, I’d have been folded in half). Surprisingly, we were not abducted by aliens, kidnapped by wild-eyed terrorists nor forced to eat cheese. It was pretty uneventful, actually…

Here’s me at Salt Lake City International Airport, all ready for my big adventure. My lovely and charming wife was behind the camera. She was very supportive about me taking this trip, and I wanted to just take a minute to say, “Thanks, Hon!” 🙂

ARRIVAL (1:30 PM MST)

Ever been shopping with two of the staff from Bioware? No? Didn’t think so. Oddly enough, that’s exactly what DeadManSaloon and I got to do. The infamous Stanley Woo and the Evil Chris Priestly took us for an entertaining tour of the West Edmonton Mall. I even got some tips from Chris on picking up souvenirs for my wife. I must admit, that mall is AMAZING. It has a huge indoor pool, as well as an indoor “Disneyland-like” amusement park. Best of all, there was a triple loop roller coaster. I don’t know about YOUR hometown, but we don’t get things like that there where I come from… And here I left my camera in the hotel room. *Curses!*

DINNER (6:30 PM MST)

That evening BioWare treated us to some delicious fare at the hotel restaurant. All of the folks from the communities and gaming blogosphere (I’m going to call them collectively “the crew” from here on) got to know one-another.

Here we see Jay Watamaniuk (the bald fellow) and Stanley Woo (to the right of the bald fellow) demonstrate how their work at BioWare has made them so fast that the world blurs around them. Then again, it could just be that my camera is crap and can’t handle sudden motion. You just never know. Also pictured here are X-Box blogger “Knuckles Dawson” (the horribly blurred “thing” to the left) and Mikel Tidwell, founder of RPGamer.Com (the fellow on the right, shaking his head at BioWare’s antics).
Here’s a much better picture of Knuckles, Jay and Stanley. I made them turn off their super-speed for this shot.
And more of the crew. I’m not naming them this time. Mostly because I am horrible with names, and I can’t remember half of them. So sue me.
Lastly, the Evil Chris Priestly waits for the upcoming feast. Off-camera, the rest of us are just hoping he won’t cook us up and eat us. He is Evil, after all.

READER NOTE: Higher resolution images of the pictures in this blog are available HERE.

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One Response to “My Big Phat BioWare Adventure”

  1. sirmordred Says:

    Wow, this is incredible – I envy you, yet – great job on the article, and those guys at Bioware are just great – I respect them to unprecedented levels…

    Thanks for sharing by the way – I will keep an eye on this blog!

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