Free food? Free internet? Free stuff? Too good to be true? Well, it wasn’t, as CNET‘s Base Station featuring GameSpot took over Lou & Mickey’s on Fifth in the Gaslamp Quarter across from the San Diego Convention Center. While you did need a ComicCon badge to enter, there was plenty of great stuff awaiting us! As soon as your badge is checked, you are given a wristband for entry, a rubber Star Trek bracelet, and your choice of gum or hand sanitizer – both with the CNET Base Station logo. I chose the hand sanitizer that came packaged like a marker and entered the crowded establishment.
While there was a lot of people hanging out, there was still much more room than in the Exhibit Hall! We entered and saw a nice appetizer tray set up with crackers and other snack foods, glasses of water and soda along the bar, and a fun MC fellow that was talking about what events were happening in the Base Station (like costume contests) and giveaways. After securing a spot at one of the tables with a netbook (or was it a tablet+keyboard? not fully sure), we browsed the CNET website and just relaxed. It didn’t take long to sit down either: most people were pretty courteous and quick in their internet break. Sadly, they did not have our phone charger (Tmobile HTC HD2) but they did have plenty of others for those looking to get a quick charge before returning to the con. After some appropriate Costume vs Costume judging on CNET’s website, we walked around the rest of the restaurant where there were video games set up, free cupcakes, cute girls giving out freebies (got some sunglasses from one), and even a waitress fresh out of the kitchen with some of the tastiest cheeseburger sliders I have ever had.
Aside from the fact that it was packed like an early Friday night club and lacking a HTC HD2 charger, this was one by far one of the coolest places to stop in during the convention. I am extremely happy that I took some time to visit this gem, and would do so again in a heartbeat. Kudos to CNET and GameSpot for really providing a well-done place with free food, free beverages, free internet, free charging, and free giveaways.
Chan’s Camera Rating: 9 cameras out of 10 — The perfect spot to unwind from ComicCon for a few minutes but keep the geek & free swag atmosphere running strong.