Over the weekend a group of Kotaku readers jumped into some cars and drove to Canberra. The purpose of the trip wasn't to acquire fireworks or rub shoulders with the nation's leaders, but to attend a "Kotaku Meat". What is a "Meat?" Is it delicious? Does it contain bacon? I don't know, but Kotaku reader Andrew "Bish" Ho does.
Bish attended this weekend's "Meat" and had this to report back to us. Take it away, Bish!
— For the uninitiated, there’s a weekly ‘article’ called Talk Amongst Yourselves (TAY) that usually pops up at about 8:30am every day where Kotaku AU commenters are free to drop in and chat with other gamers about anything they fancy. This has, over the years, mutated somewhat into a ridiculous beast that thinks hammer pants are cool. If you manage to get over that hurdle though, what you’ll find is a great bunch of folks who like nothing better than a laugh whilst gaming.
There are frequent meet-ups (referred to as “Meats” by the cool kids. You want to be cool, right?), that have managed to somehow spawn out of TAY, although it really is just an open invite for any Kotaku AU goers to have a day or half-day out and have some fun. There have been Meats out in the city, in people’s homes, in pubs, in gaming venues, a few in Sydney and Brisbane, one in Melbourne, with some keen for ones in Radelaide and Perth. It’s a thing we do!
So when Kotaku regular Blaghman threw out the idea of a Canberra Meat at his place last weekend, a few of us decided to troll him by saying we were interested. Unfortunately, this somehow managed to evolve into a real Meat, and by sheer coincidence, a number of other participants were heading down to Canberra to see their families, and the Sydney-siders managed to turn it into an excuse for a road-trip.
Some stuff and things and other stuff happened while we were down there! Here are some highlights:
Epic Meal Times –- The Kotaku AU Spinoff Unfortunately, lacking in boxes of Mi Goreng, it was decided that there should be an alternate source of nutrition for Saturday’s dinner.
After a trip to the local shops made quick and easy by navigator Anonymous Pessimist, Dr What set about making a chicken curry that was pleasing to both the palettes of chilli and non-chilli lovers, coupled with the pride of Scottish beverages IRN BRU, whilst ShiggyNinty created a meat abomination of a bacon covered chicken stuffed with sausages and kangaroo meat, over roasted in beer butter, with a side of bacon wrapped sausages. [Editor's note: I feel sick.]
We don't have an image of the chicken abomination, but here's a video of the drive to the local shops. [Editor's note: Warning, a bit of explicit language pops up near the end!]
My Sunday breakfast consisted of two cups of tea, three choc-chip cookies and pieces of bacon wedged between Pizza Shapes, almost like a real sandwich, but not at all like that. A bowl of Shapes as cereal was strongly considered, but being out of milk, we then just settled on having a bowl of Shapes. This was then later followed up with deep fried cookie dough in beer batter for lunch. To sum up, ShiggyNinty said on the road back to Sydney “all I really feel like now is having a big bowl of salad”. And then we stopped at Maccas in Goulburn and he ordered two cheeseburgers and a large fries. [Editor's note: I still feel sick.]
Vidja Gaems We may be essentially a group of internet randoms, but one of the best things about organising this from Kotaku is that we at least all shared a common interest to break the ice. It also prevented awkward silences (not that that happened, hah hah hah). Games switched between Gears of War 3, Mortal Kombat, Tekken 6, that weird Doritos XBLA game, and many more.
Local co-op and competitive gaming shenanigans are always a blast, especially when watching participants who may or may not be inebriated. Perhaps the most memorable gaming session was when we played a devious custom level created by Dr What, which involved flying a pentagon-shaped ‘rocket’ through space to observe Earth from afar, requiring inspiring teamwork, co-ordination and communication to fly this pentagonal rocket propelled forward by 15 thrusters of varying power and different activation pads. [Editor's note: What?] But what we saw was glorious and hilarious failure. For each five seconds of planned flight they achieved, it was inevitably met with another minute of tumbling wildly through the air, slamming into the ground and trying to get their bearings for another attempt. The TAYbies As horribly corny as this will sound, what makes the Meat is just having a damned awesome group of people to be around. We’re all nerds and gamers to some degree, we share the same odd sense of humour, and it’s great to have a laugh with like-minded weirdoes. Mad props to Blaghman for giving up his house for a weekend. He now has dead skin flecks from nearly a dozen people littered through his house now! [Editor's note: Oh god, that is disgusting.]
Kudos to chefs Dr What and Shiggy Ninty for feeding us, as well as Harli for cookies and her chicken... water... thing (as well as letting me beat her in Tekken, whoop whoop whoop) [Editor's note: I don't know what chicken water is but it sounds poisonous] , and again to ShiggyNinty and AnonymousPessimist for driving the Sydney-siders down.
Shout out to Rocketman who flew down from North Queensland just because he had nothing better to do and wanted to meet us. Almost warms my black, shrivelled heart. Almost. Always great to meet new faces like BDKIAF who also picked up Rocketman from the airport, Ruffleberg, published author (of a graphic novel entitled The Lesser Evil) Shane, Kotaku internets coder Ben White, and we re-united with the First lady of Kotaku, Strange. I saw her husband and her kids! I went out to say Hi to them, and even though they had some creepy stranger waving at them, they were awesome about it.
But, as no-one but self-referring quoters say, “All good things must come to an end”. We slowly trickled off in numbers through Sunday afternoon, and those who were left were aiming to leave at about 5PM. It was a sad moment, but when us Sydney-siders realised it would mean getting out of Canberra, we bolted to the cars.
Funny thing, this was meant to be structured like a Kotaku Reader Review, but bullet point summaries on what I loved about the Meat wouldn’t do it justice, and having a "Hate/Dislike" category would imply there were bits that weren’t enjoyable. Even sort of being lost around Canberra was pretty entertaining.
Oh! Wait, I just thought of something. Screw Canberran roundabouts! Why are they so unnecessarily giant!?
Tl;dr: this picture may or may not sufficiently sum up the feeling of the Canberra Meat: A picture of a (fully clothed) kid in a mankini at Goulburn McDonalds ShiggyNinty took when we were heading back to Sydney.
Thanks for the write-up, Bish! For those who find TAY too intimidating to venture into, the key is to just jump in and say hi. The worst thing that can happen is they'll ask you if you like pants and if you say "No, I HATE PANTS, I WANT TO BE NAKED ALL THE TIME", they will love you and accept you.
[Photo: Hungry, Healthy and Happy]