By Eric Pulsifer (@supercooleric)
Zynga, the San Francisco company behind FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Words With Friends, knows how to throw one hell of a party. Setting the bar high for freebie-filled events in the days to come, the browser-based game developer’s shindig at SXSW Interactive last night is among the most impressive events I’ve attended in my six years of South by Southwest-ing.
Last year, Zynga’s music event was held at the Fader Fort in East Austin the Tuesday night before SXSW Music and featured Metric and The Constellations. This year, the party was moved to the Zynga Dog House, (a.k.a., Whitley Warehouse, where we saw Chromeo Sunday night). Though I’d just been in the space 24 hours prior, the transformation was remarkable. Zygna painted the blank concrete canvas with splashes of red light, photobooth flashes, and the the joyous glow of vintage arcade cabinets and skeeball scoreboards. There were multiple bars and a lounge area in the center of the main room offering guests a place to nibble on food while watching the main stage. Entry was difficult, to put it mildly, with the wait-list line stretching on for blocks.
The drinks and food
My rant against freebies yesterday? Forget what I said—I’m a changed man. If Zynga’s lineup would have been Courtney Love reading the Bible aloud and a Spin Doctors ska cover band, I would have waited in line an hour just to get in. Read the rest of this entry »