Cyril's E3 Adventure Day 4


posted 6/19/2003 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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Where do these kids come from? Why are they the chosen few who get past the guards?? And where are their parents?? E3 is no place for children, especially the ones that get in your way when you’re trying to experience Vectorman for the first time in three days!! I hate to editorialize about E3, especially on the final day of E3, but it seems like real relaxed security if children can run amok through the halls. Where’s the humanity?

If you fear that most of the media has left, and you will never get on camera, it is your job to make it happen! I don’t care if you have to sway back and forth behind the guy being interviewed, or just be really enthusiastic about something they haven’t covered yet (read: Crash Nitro Racing or the Simpson’s Road Rage), if you want to be on TV, you are going to have to make it happen.

It is recommended you wear something extremely bright and noticeable. And then try to hit the prestigious media organizations, like CNN, or ABC News, or Tech TV. And if that fails, you can try to buddy up against the folks at G4. If you can’t get on G4, then I fear it’s a lost cause.

Of course, none of your friends will see it if you are only on G4. So maybe you should look for some TV crews that aren’t really from a news outlet. For example, you could try to hide behind the family Jimmy Kimmel sent to report from E3 for his ABC show “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.

No matter what day you try to get on TV, make sure it’s on a channel your friends actually have, so you will have some sort of bragging rights when you get home. If you live in Houston Texas, it’s not a good idea to try to get on British television. So make sure you pay attention, and don’t just blindly follow every camera man you see … you don’t want to look like a reality TV star, after all.

One of the worst aspects of E3 is just how physically taxing the whole event is on you. The event wouldn’t be nearly as grueling, though, if it weren’t for the fact that the water is very, very expensive. The venders selling food, water, and sodas are your enemy, and you should only use them if you are absolutely in a pinch. Back at my motel the same bottle of water cost ¼ the price it was at E3, so make sure and weigh your financial means accordingly.

After you’ve understood your enemies, and taken on their challenge, there is still one more thing to do. That’s right, it’s time to get out the checklist, and figure out if you’ve done everything you were supposed to do at E3. All of which brings us to our tenth, and final E3 rule …

Rule Ten – Don’t Forget to visit the Lost Hall!

You have a lot of things on your mind, a lot of games to play, and a lot of reporting to do. That’s just the business of E3, plain and simple. There’s probably no way you will ever see or play everything this expo has to offer, but at least you can try!

There are a few things that most people forget, or just don’t seem to care about, that probably should be included if you’re going to get the “full” E3 experience. Things that may not have a lot to do with games, per se, but will warrant the investigation, if only so you will have stories to tell to your friends back home.

One of the first places you will want to find is the tucked away, and very hidden “lost hall”, or as it’s really known, the Kentia Hall. You see, most E3 goers tend to find themselves stuck in the South Hall (with Microsoft, Capcom, and Konami) or the West Hall (with Nintendo, Sony, and Sega), rarely venturing off the beaten path. But if you were to look around, you’d find another hall, the Kentia Hall, filled with a very strange assortment of booths.

Generally speaking, this area is where the international companies are located, but there’s much more than that there. It’s also where the “strange” inventions go (though Sony and Microsoft seemed to do a good job themselves in this department), or the magazines that don’t exactly fit in go. You’ll even find small booths set up for companies that just couldn’t afford much more than what they brought, and are hoping this E3 is their stepping stone for bigger and better things. This hall isn’t the most exciting, and you won’t snag a whole lot of cool mementos, but it’s worth seeing just to contrast it with the other halls.

There are also the booth babes. In a sad, yet comical sense, these women are as important to E3 as spinach is to a Happy Meal. Yet, every single year people look forward to strolling by a girl in nothing more than her panties and a tight shirt. In fact, they don’t just look forward to it, they save enough film or memory so they can make collections for their websites.

But many of these women don’t even know where they are; let alone what they are talking about. It’s almost as if they were kept in a holding cage with nothing but super mellow Michael Bolton anthems to keep them busy. I got the feeling while talking to a few especially attractive ladies that they barely had a grasp on what year it was.

But there was one quote I heard from the booth babes more than any other. In fact, I started searching them out with the intention of testing their knowledge of game systems. Nothing harsh, I simply asked what “console” the game they were pitching was on. And more than fifty percent of the time they said one of two phrases:

“Xcube” and “GameBox”

It’s probably worth noting that many of them actually got the PlayStation 2 right … even if they had a tendency to say “Nintendo PlayStation 2” or “Microsoft PlayStation 2”.

But it’s not really an issue of getting rid of the booth babes. While everybody knows they are completely useless to the show, they do add an Easter egg hunt-like atmosphere to the festivities, which gives us just one more thing to do in the fleeting hours of E3.

One should also make sure they have collected every cool freebee they can find. The true testament to E3 isn’t really how good the games are, but whether or not the booth gave out a cool item. Capcom was handing out Resident Evil Online (errr, Outbreak, man, I’m never going to get that straight) pins that flashed bright lights. Gotham Games had a stress releasing ball that looks an awful lot like a bomb (complete with rope coming from the top to make a fuse). Sony had their usual bag of goodies, which included a playable demo of Jak II, a SOCOM II dog tag, and a product guide so old, it might as well been handed out at last year’s E3.

Among the coolest items I would find, though, would be the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Postcard book. It seems like such a simple thing, but for months the Kent Paul postcards were the only pictures Rockstar had slipped out. This postcard book is a great homage to a unique style of advertising, and really is one of those little things I’ll treasure for years to come.

There is so much stuff to grab; is it any wonder you brought a second suitcase? You’ll need all that extra room to pack those free magazines, pens, cards, bags, discs, books, and other goodies away. It’s a sorting job like no other, and one that will likely take you several weeks to fully get everything the way you want it. This E3, it can be a real messy proposition.

If you’ve seen all the booth babes, visited every game you’ve wanted to play, watched the demos of the unplayable games, and asked all the questions you needed to ask, then it’s time to find the exit, and get your butt back to the motel. There you will find a nice place to relax, eat your final dinner, and get ready for the exciting trip back to home.

This can actually be a really depressing time for some people. After all, you’ve spent the last three days of your life giving everything you have to the idea that video games are something worth knowing about. The anxiety builds as you worry about whether you actually played every game, or if you missed something that you will eventually read about in a magazine (or online). The doubts run through your head, but that’s nothing alcohol can’t settle.

Once passed out, you will have nothing but good memories of your time at the biggest video game convention in the United States. Of course, when you wake up, you won’t really care about that, the alcohol from the night before will be catching up with you. No matter, it’s time to get packed and jet off to wherever the hell it is you came from.

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