Tuesday, 9 November 2010

[405] Black Ops Launch @ Battersea Power Station

Chalk this one up as a bit of whimsical bloggery. Last night, I attended the launch party for the new Call Of Duty video game, Black Ops.

As befits such a grand media event, the entertainment was large and overblown: cocktails and food reflecting the various locales of the game; a large 'war-room' style round table, fitted with consoles hooked up in a looped deathmatch game; footballers competing with European pseudo-celebs in an international free for all.

George Lamb was master of ceremonies - you know, that guy who makes you turn off the radio. He had one ongoing joke, that only guys play video games, and the venue was made up of mostly males. Well, he was half right. And, apparently, two chart-bothering musical artists capped off the night with a live performance. Sounds very much like last year's launch for Modern Warfare 2, in a way.

But there was one detail which made this stand out, and that was the location. Whereas last year was a mash-up of a Leicester Square 'film' premiere and a students' union dressed up as an underground bunker, last night's festivities took place at one of London's most beguiling, imposing and distinctive landmarks: Battersea Power Station.

This made my night. Even though it's not far from Westminster, Battersea Power Station is positioned awkwardly around a bend of the Thames, so you rarely get to see it, unless you're in the area. To get up close and personal, then, was a treat.

Inside, it is completely gutted, lacking a roof and in terrible condition. I don't envy those people planning for its future use. The event took place in what seemed to be a semi-permanent structure, but most of my time was spent gawping at the dizzying height of the brick walls, and those amazing chimneys. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, I salute you.

Unfortunately, I deleted Pink Floyd's Animals (which featured Battersea Power Station on its cover) from my phone a couple of months ago, and lost my ripped copy of the albums with the recent laptop death. So I'm making up for that today, while people the world over are no doubt getting acquainted with Black Ops.

Here's a video for 'Pigs on the Wing', with footage from the flying pig stunt at Battersea.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is released today, but you probably already knew that.

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