All of our favorite television shows are starting to become reruns. Every week there’s a different blockbuster movie playing. The weather outside has made you seek comfort in your air-conditioned SUVs. Ah yes, it’s summer … and that can only mean one thing: the most important convention of the year is here.
Now, I’m not talking about a Star Trek or some comic book convention, but rather a trade show that will attract somewhere in the ball park of 63,000 people. A convention that looks like Disneyland to the naked eye, but shares more in common with Las Vegas than Mickey Mouse. Oh yes, for many gamers all over the world, E3 truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
It’s also the most hellish and crowded places most video game journalists ever hope to find themselves. At first it’s a madhouse of people running in every direction for the game they are most interested in, unconcerned with the well being of their fellow man, consumed with only a selfish desire to feed. They run about, uninterested in the plight of humanity a half a world away, dealing with poverty, war, and tyrannical governments. Not even a good old-fashioned girl on girl hazing news story was going to keep these people from finding, and devouring, whatever game they were looking for.
But as the week dies down, it becomes a lot easier to appreciate the startling amount of games found on the shows floor. And not just a bunch of first person shooters, but dozens of genres, from sports to puzzle, to role-playing and adventure, E3 displayed bizarre games, new concepts, and the best in animation. And not just games, but all kinds of systems, accessories, exhibits, and contests to dazzle you. Every company is fighting for your attention, hoping their product will be the one you go home talking about.
By now most websites have taken a look at these hot products, giving huge in-depth write-ups about most of the games you have been waiting to know about for months (and a few you could care less about). You’ve probably noticed that these same news outlets have also done a great job of sweeping up all the surprise announcements made by the big names in the industry. With all this coverage surrounding you, I’m sure you’re wondering, what could possibly be left to cover?
Well, that’s exactly my pickle. As I started my organizing of my E3 artifacts and notes, I found that instead of this year’s E3 being about video games, it seemed to offer something deeper than just video game news. Even with all these high quality titles, I found myself wondering if the real story wasn’t perhaps something bigger than Half-Life 2 or Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
Instead of writing an expose about a bunch of games you have likely already read about, I opted to tell the real story of E3. The story of one man trapped in a conference just wanting to get some of his questions answered. Looking around every corner, and every dark hallway to find what makes this convention tick. After all, there must be a reason that more than sixty thousand people show up for this thing.
As I started writing my piece about my experiences involved with E3, I realized that I am holding back a great deal of the knowledge I’ve learned from my travels. It would be a shame for me to arrogantly write about what I saw, without perhaps shedding some light on an event most people will never see. There’s a lot of care put into E3, and I don’t want to take it for granted.
I find myself conflicted with the need to tell the story of E3, but also try to teach the world what I have learned from this yearly event. So, without anymore of this build up, I am proud to bring you a list of rules you can use if you ever get the chance to attend E3. Perhaps this may seem a bit dated now; it has been a few weeks since the three day event. But I feel that these lessons cannot only help you in the real world, but also illustrate how all over the board my journey really was. This helpful guide can also be used for any big convention, not just next year’s E3. In fact, our European readers should take notes so they can make their trip to ECTS (August 27th – 29th) that much better.
But there’s a beginning to this story, one that starts well before E3 even began. It’s a point and place right after you have received your badge and made the proper arrangements. It’s a time when you know what’s going to happen. It’s a day, a week, maybe even a month before you travel the Golden State. It’s a time when you are getting your body and mind ready for this transition, this experience, this E3.
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