Day three is a perfect time to check out a few of those games that you wanted to play, but were afraid to be around. In the case of Backyard Wrestling, I wanted to see what the creators of Thrill Kill had in store for us, but every time I got around the booth (which was shaped as huge wrestling ring), there would be some sort of “wrestling” (and I use that in the loosest possible sense) event going on sucking the crowd in. By day three there isn’t all that commotion going on at the booth, and you are safe to play your savage wrestling game in peace and quiet.
Over the first two days of the event, Midway brought DJ’s and various bands to the stage to play music that would later appear in upcoming games. This would have been a great idea; if it didn’t clog up the booth so much people couldn’t actually play the games. Day three, though, the Midway booth was quiet, and I was able to check out games like ESPionage, Spy Hunter 2, and NFL Blitz Pro.
I’m not complaining about the music or anything, in fact, I wish more booths would offer things like bands and celebrities. I had never heard of the band Cold before, and wasn’t a huge fane of Vanessa Carlton, but they sounded good, and did a much better job than the bands in the past that have insulted us gamers. Everything being equal, this is a pretty good idea, and I’m hoping that more booths will adopt this idea in the future.
There can be many complications that arise to mess up your well thought out plan, though. You may just have to settle for not seeing all the displays you intended to, or maybe that you won’t see the demo of Half-Life 2 or Halo 2 because of the line. Some things just cannot be avoided. But there are roadblocks that you can do something about, and it’s all about knowing where to see them, and what to do about them. This brings us right to our ninth rule …
Rule Nine – Know Your Enemy
Now that you have a list of whom you want to talk to, and what games you want to see, it’s time to muscle your way through the crowd to get all this stuff done! Achieving this goal, however, can only be done by knowing your friends and understanding your enemies.
The halls of E3 are filled with numerous locations that suck large amounts of people in, and won’t let them go. These booths tend to be busy, and hard to navigate through. If you ever hope to find that game you’ve been waiting to play, you will need to avoid these large crowds, meaning you will need to understand your environment.
You will have to understand that where there is loud music, there is probably a crowd. Where there is a light show going on, a crowd. If you see a big screen way over your head … that’s right, a crowd. And if you’re standing in line to watch Half-Life 2, you may be in a crowd (sorry, I had a good Jeff Foxworthy-thing going there, I didn’t want to just end it).
Sometimes large crowds are easy to just walk into without being aware of it. Located snuggly in the Sony booth, Metal Gear Solid 3 wowed audiences with a ten-minute long trailer. But you probably wouldn’t know this just by looking around. Instead of having it on a huge monitor in the sky, or in a theater room of some kind, Solid Snake’s exploits were shown at eye level, which made navigating around people hard, and through them almost impossible.
By now, though, you should have figured out where all the crowded areas are, so you won’t get caught up in traffic. What you should be worried about right now is a brand new type of E3 visitor. People that aren’t affiliated with a “crowd,” but are just as hard to steer around.
People like the folks that just stand there in the middle of the hallway talking about what they liked at the show. Or the booth workers who are starting to play the games themselves. Or even the booth babes, which don’t look as good now that you’re in a mad dash to try out that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
The worst offenders, though, are the kids. Those cute, cuddly, innocent little kids. In just about every location of E3 there are signs clearly stating that there is to be no one under the age of 18 permitted anytime, anyhow. Even on the badges, website, literature, and phone hotline … everywhere it says NO ONE UNDER 18. But still there are always a few. Always getting between you and that game you have really been dying to play.
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