PHOTOS: Padgett and Company Inc.
When Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (2K) planned its exhibit for the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo, it wanted to transport attendees to the shady setting of its "Mafia III" video game, which takes place in a raucous New Orleans-inspired city called New Bordeaux. Working with Freddie Georges Production Group, 2K erected an authentic interpretation of the game's circa 1968 locale that offered guests an unparalleled, immersive experience full of clever details.
To up the authenticity factor inside its exhibit, meant to represent the circa 1968 setting of its video game "Mafia III," Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. filled ersatz storefronts with vintage paraphernalia such as lava lamps, Rolling Stone magazines, and cathode-ray TVs sourced from Craigslist, Amazon.com, and several antique stores.
"The most difficult part was how to focus the incredibly rich flow of ideas – such as live swamps, gritty French Quarter streets, and live alligators – and distill it into our version of New Bordeaux," said Freddie Georges, president and CEO of the eponymous exhibit house. Like the actual Big Easy, New Bordeaux was wall to wall with Mardi Gras revelers: A troupe of staff, visitors, and VIPs tossed beads from balconies on the booth's upper level; a live jazz band filled the main street with the notes of '60s jazz and soul tunes; and a quartet of Tarot card readers in stylized gypsy garb offered personalized readings. "This exhibit won me over because of its ability to literally make the video game come to life," said one Exhibit Design Awards judge.
Visitors sauntered on the boisterous main drag, eventually entering an Art Deco-style movie theater showing clips of "Mafia III." Afterward, guests enjoyed a 22-strong jazz funeral procession – complete with pallbearers hoisting a casket with the insouciance of a keg of beer – that offered a morbid and merry twist. As delicious as a beignet (in its own unique way), 2K's exhibit offered an experience where, like the New Orleans of fact and fiction, the good times could truly roll. E