Sunday, June 28, 2009

To Jollye Olde Englande I go!

Ande the whole time I'me there I wille be typinge like thise, juste toe annoye everyone! Yaye!

So anyway, yeah: I'm about 25 hours away from boarding a flight to London, England, en route to Guildford, where I will spend the following three days PIMPING PRODUCT FOR THE MAN. I'm excited!

Guildford circa 1893, the year I was born.

The last time I was in the U.K. was in 1984, back when I did the obligatory post-college (well, almost for me) backpack-through-Europe thang. I was young and stupid and fairly oblivious of the world around me until then, and, even all these years later, it ranks as one of The Best Things I Ever Did. I loved the freedom of it all, the ability do go anywhere and do anything (well, on a poor student's budget), and just let things happen, way far away from home and anything I was familiar with. Oh, the stories I could tell! Perhaps I should save it for another blog post. I will, say, however, that there was indeed a Swedish girl at one point, and her name was Wiveka. And I'm not implying that anything particular NC-17 happened (OR DID IT?), I'm just saying that at some point, every young American male should probably meet a Swedish girl named Wiveka.

So I have two work items on my agenda:
1) Be interviewed (in my role as producer) for a cover story on MySims Agents for a U.K. magazine. Should be beaucoup de fun to be on this side of the interview/magazine cover story process. I look forward to being as surly, condescending and uncooperative as I possibly can. (Note to my employers: THAT WAS A JOKE. I will totally not be surly.)

2) Represent MySims Agents and SimAnimals Africa at some kinda big UK retailer event that EA is hosting--meaning I will be up on a stage in front of an audience of (I think) 200ish retailers, doing a short demo on why these games are great and why they should fill their stores with them and put big banners up and stand out in the street yelling in those great accents of theirs why people should come in and buy them.

That's my work agenda. My non-work agenda includes:
1) Sampling as many fine English beers as I can without impairing my ability to take care of the work agenda.

2) Finishing World War Z (at last), and then plowing through any or all of Charlie Huston's Already Dead, Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon, and/or Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon. I know, that's a lot of reading. But, hey I have 20 hours of flying, plus however long any delays might go. I totally won't read all that. I'm just saying that's what I'm bringing.

3)Play Drop7 on my iPhone and Pokemon Pearl (shuddup) on my Nintendo DSi. This is for when I can't sleep or read.

4)Trying to survive the 4-days with minimal jet lag hell. Fortunately, I get back right in time for a 3-day weekend, so I'll have time to sleep it off. It was actually suggested to me that I take some extra time and spend the July 4th weekend in England, for fun, which would have been tempting if I didn't have family and friends to get back to, but, also--what kind of crappy American spends 4th of July visiting THE COUNTRY WE BROKE AWAY FROM. I mean, really. Unless I were just to, say, go down to Big Ben in a full-on, red-white-and blue outfit and start yelling "USA #1!" over and over until one of those London Bobbies with the big goofy hats hauled me away. Then it'd be worth it.

So I'm going to Guildford. I don't know much about it, other than what some Twitterites have told me, as well as random facts dug up on Wikipedia, such as:

* It was the home of the Royal Mint starting in 978 A.D.
* It may or may not be the home of the oldest synagogue in Western Europe.
* Lewis Carroll lived there at some point, as did P.G. Wodehouse, Alan Turing and The
* Ford Prefect CLAIMED to be from Guildford in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but we all know better.

None of this really matters a whole lot, as I will be pretty much going straight from the airport to work, and then have my agenda completely full for the next three days until I'm back on the plane. Still, I like to know where I am and even a little bit about the history, just out of curiosity.

Meanwhile, in terms of my communiques with you, The People, I offer these updates:

1. I plan on at least tweeting text and photos if I can't blog while there. (And to those UKers who have generously and graciously offered to hook up in Guilford, alas, I am really on too tight of a leash to get away, but I do very much appreciate the offered hospitality!)

2. A new Out of the Game podcast was recorded today with Shawn, N'Gai and I--so stay tuned for that to be posted.

3. Episode 2 of The EA Podcast was recorded this past Thursday, and SHOULD be going live on Monday. We don't have a dedicated home page quite yet, but try here, maybe. And it's also now on iTunes--woot! (Search for "The EA Podcast" once in the iTunes store.) I was *much* happier with this second episode than our debut. Along with Samantha LaPerre, my co-host and's managing editor, we are joined by the fabulous Dana Jongewaard, the editor-in-chief of, and special guest Glen Schofield, the GM of EA's Visceral Games, who was just a real hoot--the kind of guest that you just hope you'll get. Hope you have as much fun listening to him as I did.

By the way, here's the iTunes link to the EA Podcast. Woot!

EA - The EA Podcast

Okay, kids. I must pack and plan and practice my demoing. Cheerio, pip pip, and all that rot, what what!



Winckle said...

Good to hear you'll be coming here Jeff, can you disclose which magazine the interview is for? I hope it's EDGE, they have the best interviews.

As for English beers, try and get some Black Sheep! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a great blog.

I sure hope that you're not joking about writing a blog about the trip you took over there when you were younger.

I'll remind you about that when you get back - if anything, that's exactly the sort of thing that parents should write for their kids. Kids need to know how their parents acted when they were younger, and how they thought. You have no idea how much it would mean to your kid for you to put some of your experiences down on paper.

Also, when you start to write about your past (I'm sure that you know about this by now) funny things start to happen with your memory - suddenly you begin to remember things you thought you had forgotten.

And some travel advice: Don't take a nap, either on the plane or when you arrive at your destination. That's a big mistake. The best thing to do is to stay awake until ten o'clock. Do that and you won't suffer from jet-lag. Going for a long, ambitious walk in a random direction is always a fun thing to do.

I envy you. Doesn't really sound like work to me.

Ken in Irvine said...

"Unless I were just to, say, go down to Big Ben in a full-on, red-white-and blue outfit and start yelling "USA #1!" over and over until one of those London Bobbies with the big goofy hats hauled me away."

If you go with this option (and it would be epic!), please make sure to get someone to take photos.

Jensemann said...

Mate, If you are over here in the UK try to find Brewdog's Punk IPA. It is a smooth but rich IPA. It is made by a small Brewery from Aberdeenshire. And even though it is Scottish it is amazing. And for me as a German, and you might know that they all a bit picky when it comes to beers, one of the best I had. Have a look here:
And please, don't forget your towel.

heat said...

Jeff Green Does Europe – Volume 2

mario66 said...

i like the Big Ben idea

Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoy your trip over! The funny thing is that I'm a UK college student and should be spending the summer in America.

Keith said...

Another Guildford fact -- it's where comic author P.G. Wodehouse was born, prematurely. Douglas Adams was a big Wodehouse fan, which might be why Ford Prefect is from Guildford. Or it could just be another meaningless coincidence. If you like light comedy in the "man are these rich people weird" sort of musical comedy without the music vein, definitely read some Wodehouse. He inspired both Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Stephen said...

I'm mention of the passing away of Michael Jackson.

Or did you not hear? Y'know, busy with game design and all. It hasn't been covered that much in the media anyway. Just a footnote really. ;)

Unknown said...

I actually leave for Oxford on July 4th. But I'll be sure to remind every Briton on the plane exactly what day it is.

Adam said...

While you're here, don't forget to watch Countdown at 3:25pm, followed by our version of Deal or No Deal (hosted by a bearded psychopath) and Come Dine with Me at 5:30pm weekdays on Channel 4. Also Newsnight at 10:30pm on BBC2 and Radio 4 at any time of the day.

Made in Britain with pride.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, have you been listening to the Talking Heads?

Anonymous said...

Ep2 is good, very good. A much improved upgrade to ep1. Kudos.

Unknown said...

Great post and a most interesting EA podacast. I like that initiative.

I had never heard of the name 'Wiveka' before, and I've lived in Sweden all my life. Had to look it up and man, you really are old, aren't you. :D

Unknown said...

"Alan Turing and The Stranglers!"

I haven't heard them before. What kind of music do they play?