Rule Two – Have Something to do on the Trip
For the most part, people fly to E3. But no matter if you ride a bike, take the bus, or swim to Los Angeles, make sure you have something to do for all those times you aren’t required to be in control. I suggest a notepad, so you can write down all your E3 predictions and expectations.
But like most things, there’s a trick to writing your prediction list. Make sure you haven’t even considered putting the pen to paper until the SECOND time the flight attendant offers you alcohol. Without the added incentive or liquor, you’ll come up with dull and mundane predictions. But with the alcohol in your blood, let me assure you, every prediction you write will be a must read whenever you sober up. Hopefully the buzz will also allow you to forget about the screaming baby one row behind you that finds it funny to kick the back of your seat.
In those times you are unable to think of anything worthwhile to write, I suggest a portable game system. Of course, for the time being Nintendo pretty much controls this area, so while you’re sporting your GameBoy Advance SP, why not spruce it up a little with a Nintendo World Championship 1990 tee shirt? Or how about a bag from last year’s GameCube event? Or maybe even one of them Mario baseball caps?? No matter how you test your loyalty, there’s one thing that is for sure, I don’t fit into my Nintendo World Championship 1990 tee shirt anymore.
Of course, portable gaming isn’t for everybody. So how about a DVD, after all, that’s one of the great things about the world of laptops, we can watch anything we want to, whenever we want. Of course, without an extra battery pack, most laptops lose their gusto 40 minutes in … well before Bryan Singer is done introducing characters in X-Men, or Neo completely understands the Matrix.
On my flight the person next to me had no trouble passing time, when he wasn’t reading the newest issue of Playboy (for the articles, I might add), he was demeaning gaming for being a violent influence on the de-valuing of our youths morals. I always thought an argument with a porn packing twenty-something would be easier, but it ended up just making me question what Hef is putting in his magazines.
When going to a convention it is probably not a good idea to bring too much reading material. It’s heavy, and frankly, you’re going to have more than enough to read while on the flight back from E3. And besides, almost every airline offers you a free magazine to help aide you on the flight.
If you’re a writer, and you’re looking for something that will suck your soul dry of originality, you ought to check out one of these magazines. You can read about the All American BBQ Cook Offs, or a woman who had twins, and then gave birth to quintuplets two years later. My flight had an especially lurid piece about a woman who has traveled the United States looking for the finest quilt makers, so that she will be able to make the ULTIMATE quilt.
As I read further I began to understand that if my career doesn’t go well, or I get side tracked by diet pills and alcoholism, I could be forced to write for publications like this! It’s a good thing the airlines outlawed knives, box cutters, and other sharp objects, because thinking about this magazine was enough to question my will to live.
Thankfully there is also a catalog of useful (and extravagant) items you can buy. I know if I’m not shopping at least once an hour I’ll have an anxiety attack, but these prices are ridiculous! You’d really have to be going through shopping withdrawals to actually consider buying a $600 radio/CD player combo, or $150 pajamas. I understand this country is founded on the principals of commercialism … but can’t we all just put the credit cards away until we know for sure we’re going to land safe and be able to use the stuff??
Once the plain has landed, and everybody has unloaded into LAX, it’s time to find the motel and do a little unpacking. It’s also important to find a very special place to eat every day you’re in L.A. Which leads us to our next rule … Rule Three – Stake out a good place to eat … and stick with it!
I know we all like variety, and we enjoy the adventure of finding new places to feed our ever growing appetite … but after you’ve been on your feet all day carrying two bags full of press releases, posters, shirts, and hand outs, you’ll thank yourself for finding something simple you know is just around the corner.
The day before E3 should be used to fully understand your surroundings. Where is the best place to eat going to be, where can I find the bottled water dispenser, where are the fire exits, and so on so forth. If you’re lucky, you will even find a few stores you like to spend some hard earned cash at.
For me it was a video game store just down the street from my motel, a store simply called VIDEO GAMES. While I wasn’t in the buying mood, I am always interested in seeing what rare items an out of the way video games stores might have. And while I was impressed with his stash of Sega CDX units, and his display of Power Gloves, I was both shocked and amazed by his $100 Nintendo Entertainment System.
Not that it’s not worth that … 15 years ago!!
I questioned why this system was so expensive, yet the Nintendo 64 was going for a mere $30, and he concluded that the N.E.S. is a rare system. Not in any mood to argue with the man, I decided to ask him about E3. I assumed that since the event was being held just down the road from his store, and he had magazines that had obviously been read (that were still on sale), he must know somebody going to the show. Not only did he have no clue about E3, but acted extremely insulted when I implied it was the biggest video game trade show in the United States (and he SHOULD know something about it).
He seemed noticeably taken aback when I mentioned that I owned every system in this current generation, as if it was something that was too expensive to even conceive of. These days you can buy two systems for around $350, and the other one used for $100, something that isn’t extremely out of the question.
Heck, in this day and age you almost need to own all three systems, as each have their own strengths and weaknesses. And there’s at least one killer app worth buying for every system out there right now.
I realized it would be a lengthy fight trying to explain to him why I traveled so far to attend a video game show he’s never even heard of. So I decided to keep on moving in order to find something good to eat.
There’s a nice feeling you get when you find the perfect restaurant in a new city. But if you can’t find that special place, you need to just do what you did last year. In my case, that was eating at the same small Italian restaurant every single day I was at E3 2002.
When you’ve found a good place to eat, gathered your thoughts, unpacked your belongings, and watched more TV than you probably should on a “vacation”, it’s time to get a little shut eye. The first day of E3 is no simple task, and it’s important to be as ready as one can for such an experience. Set the alarm, turn the light off, and get ready to dream about all the games you’ll be playing tomorrow.
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