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Most demos you get at the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles are from highly trained public-relations staffers, but occasionally someone really special may show you the game.

GamesBeat’s E3 2016 Non-Award Awards

Last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles is behind us, but we still have all these trophies labeled “non-awards” to hand out. Each year after E3, GamesBeat showers accolades on the fun and weird games, people, and moments that others ignore.

Join us now for the GamesBeat E3 2016 Non-award Awards! (Here are last year’s choices).

GamesBeat’s E3 2016 Non-Award winner for “Best booth boy with a whip and cowboy hat” goes to Koji Igarashi, the director of role-playing adventure platformer Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Igarashi made his name for overseeing the Castlevania series for Konami starting with Symphony of the Night and continuing with several incredible entries on Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance and DS handhelds. But he is probably better known for always wearing his signature cowboy hat and bringing a whip with him for public appearances. I knew all about this when I spotted the demo station for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night at a Microsoft Xbox showcase last Monday evening — but that still didn’t prepare me for my demo.

After waiting in line for Bloodstained, I sat down to take my turn. The people in front of me unhooked some of their video-capture equipment, and that left the TV screen blank. I tried to fix it, but after about a minute of fiddling with the controls and wires I saw a hand carrying a whip appear to my right. The hand dropped the vampire-killing weapon next to the TV, and that’s when I noticed that it was Igarashi getting down to fix the demo station himself.

I knew it was him because — of course — he was wearing his cowboy hat. He had everything up and running in no time, and then he left me to enjoy Bloodstained (it’s so good).

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I saw Igarashi a half-dozen more times throughout the week. Each sighting was always in the same place: hovering a few feet behind the demo kiosk in the Microsoft booth inside of the L.A. Convention Center.

That is still a bit surreal to me, but it’s great that he cares that much.

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