by Darius Kazemi on August 22, 2005

in memories

My friend Coray was recently lengthily profiled on Gamasutra. Which reminds me of a story.

I first met Coray at the Game Developers Conference in 2003 (my first one ever). He was a student (or had just ceased being a student) and was trying to break in. I was a student and just checking things out. Anyway, I met him through Jeff who knew him through the NJ IGDA Chapter.

That year was the big nVidia vs. ATI graphics card war. It was full-on Radeon vs. GeForce back then. As a result, both companies were attempting to woo developers. nVidia had chartered a bus painted green with the big nVidia fairy on the side, and was shuttling developers from bar to bar in downtown San Jose.

One night, Jeff, Coray, and a few other student types decided to go on the bus. We couldn’t actually enter the bars because we weren’t 21 at the time. So we hung out on the bus. They gave us free Bawls, and there were TVs playing nVidia graphics demos on continuous loop. It was pretty fun, but there were a few problems.

For one, nVidia had hired models to chat with us. For $15 an hour, they pretended to be nice to our sorry asses. I was pretty well infuriated with this, and even more infuriated when some of my friends (we were a group of all males) actually bought into this and believed that the models geniunely enjoyed talking to them. However, the models did seem to be actually pretty nice, and I felt sorry for them when the redneck who was hired by nVidia to actually manage the bus got drunker and drunker and started sexually harrassing the girls.

At one point, around 12:30am, he got so drunk that he ordered the driver of the bus (who was not drinking, thankfully) to take us all to a strip club. Before we knew it, we were no longer downtown. We were on the freeway. A half an hour later, we were at a strip club. At this point, we were pissed off, because we had 9am sessions to attend the next day! The manager redneck came to his senses and realized that he could get so so fired for what he did. He even yelled at the driver, “Why did you follow my orders?!”

A few of us stepped into the club to go to the bathroom, and then we went back to San Jose. But by the time we got back, the light rail had stopped running, so I had to take a cab back to my hotel.

So when people ask me why I choose ATI over nVidia, I tell them: I like ATI because they never put me on a bus to a strip club at 1am, costing me my valuable sleep and a $15 cab fare.


Darren Torpey August 22, 2005 at 2:36 pm

Are there really any better reasons to choose ATI over nVidia?

Well, yes, there probably are, but… uh… so much for reason, I guess.

Craig Perko August 22, 2005 at 4:07 pm

These are my favorite kind of posts. Unfortunately, I’m no good at MAKING these kinds of posts, so I have to live vicariously. :)

Bradley Momberger August 23, 2005 at 9:50 pm

Well, there’s that thing about DX9 being based on ATI APIs.

But then there’s that thing about NINETY-FOUR DEGREES!

(which is how hot my ATI card is in degrees C after i reboot from a graphics meltdown — idle operating temperature is 91. Something is wrong, but I haven’t checked yet whether it’s a faulty fan)

Bill November 4, 2005 at 2:14 pm

Darren, I would have to say the objectification of another human being is a good reason to boycott a company.

However I have to relate that when at the ATI party in 2003, coincidentally at my first GDC as well, that ATI had decided that hiring young women to dance provacatively on pedestals was also in good taste and the way to the hearts, minds and wallets of game developers everywhere. My memory is of all the guys, myself included, focusing on the FarCry engine demo and studiously avoiding looking at the dancers.

So given that both comapnies are rather sleazy in this regard, $15 cab fare tips the scale.

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