With E3 starting up next week we thought we it would be fun to talk to the folks on our staff about their favorite memories of the event. These include memories of shows past as well as recollections of random occurrences that occurred at the show. We hope you enjoy these stories as we prepare for the show next week.
On-topic favorite moments:
1. Going into the Dead Space 2 demo room and experiencing a small crowd of fellow roaring fans get simultaneously impressed and occasionally frightened by the gameplay demo. Everyone was providing background feedback, and although it was a professional setting it felt very much like a communal gathering of gamers just shooting the shit.
2. Attending my first large-scale press conference during Nintendo's reveal of the 3DS while live covering it with John. This of course included taking stabs at people both on and off stage.
Off-topic favorite moment:
1. Towards the end of E3 2010, utterly pooped out from too much walking and not nearly enough sleep, John and I sat in the demo room for Rock Band 3. The "band" on stage was fantastic, and so was the set-up, but I couldn't help but pass out in the comfy seating and dim lighting. I still am not sure if John noticed, but it makes me laugh in retrospect.
My favorite E3 memory is my very first one. I was the only Gaming Nexus staffer to attend the Xbox 360 launch event at E3 2005. Wanting to explore, I walked the 4 miles from the hotel to the Shrine Auditorium for the event (my first ever press event), which was followed by an amazing party. The Killers and Chemical Brothers played the show, and MDx, the first Mountain Dew energy drink was debuted in "do not distribute" cans that the bartenders weren't even supposed to give us. I caught a bus that took me most of the way back to the hotel, and wound up staying up all night writing.
I've never been to an E3 so most of my memories of them are formed by the internet's response to them; and since the internet's response to everything is negative, most of my E3 memories are negative. Microsoft's Kinect nonsense last year stands out (probably because it's most recent). Just reading about it online was like an entry in a "world's biggest trade show fails" list that I might read on Cracked.com (and probably did at some point). Talk about having a tin-ear for what people are there to see. "Core games? No. Here, pet this virtual tiger. If you were 3, you'd see how awesome it is. Oh, and party games. Welcome to 2008."
Similarly, there is the much more fuzzy memory of the year Nintendo called the Wii a toy, or that music game that was coming out on the Wii a toy and basically made the world think they were done making core games because they wanted to focus on grandmas and little kids. I can't remember what year that was (2008...2009?). I just remember that being the first year I honestly believed that videogames as I knew them were going out of style (the second time was last year). Luckily that doesn't seem to be the case anymore, but who knows, we still don't know what's going to happen at this year's E3.
1. E3 1995- Sega announced the launch of the Sega Saturn, for that very day: Who would every imagine that a company would be crazy enough to launch a console on the same day that it was announced? Actually, I guess that we know the answer to that question: Sega.
2. E3 2010- Kevin Butler’s speech- As “hoaky” as many people considered it to be, it was true from beginning to end; we are all gamers and gaming should be our top priority. Regardless of your genre and platform of choice... we all want the same thing: good games.
1. I remember standing in line with John to see Halo 2. We had been put into the VIP line by a friend of ours and were were just about to go in when we were held back so that Anna Nicole Smith could go in ahead of us. This was when she was still considered at least remotely attractive and it was just odd to see this one blonde woman getting to see such a hard core game before everyone else. It’s worth noting that Tim Schafer was standing behind us but I was so tired from walking the show that I couldn’t remember who he was at the time. The only upside is that it saved Tim Schafer at least 15 minutes of dealing with an awkward fan boy.
2. During the notorious Santa Monica E3 I managed to get to my appointment for Mass Effect about 15 minutes early (it’s a rare thing when I get to an appointment that early). While I was waiting outside up walks Warren Spector and all I could do was babble on congratulations about the deal with Disney and how awesome he was. He was really nice to be despite me creating such an awkward situation.
3. There’s a reasons that John doesn’t book the E3 hotels anymore and that’s because during the 2004 E3 he booked us at a no-tell motel in Ontario,CA (we had a writer living there that was taking us to and from LA). The rooms reeked of urine (which he couldn’t smell since he was congested the entire trip) and two weeks after the show the hotel was the scene of a brutal double homicide. The only upside to the hotel was that it was across from a Jack-In-The-Box which provided every meal we had during the show and started one of the great Gaming Nexus E3 traditions.
While I haven’t had a chance to get out to E3 yet, I do think one of the most striking memories was watching the 2008 Nintendo E3 press event on the internet and watching as they trotted folks out to show off Wii Music. After about 30 awkward seconds of the live demo, the only two words that kept running through my head were…EPIC FAIL. This struck me as a capper (or was it crapper?) on yet another in a long line of disappointing Nintendo events…
Consequently, another unveil at E3 one year later was one that was quite a surprise to me. When Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Star casually strolled on stage at the Microsoft 2009 E3 press briefing, I knew we were in for something special. As impressive as it was to get the rights to do The Beatles: Rock Band, it ushered in yet another new era for the Rock Band series with the introduction of harmony vocals, which to me was as, if not more, important than signing up the artist that bears the name of the game.
1) In my very first E3, I headed to Atlanta and promptly lost my voice the first day of the show. My first interview was Peter Molyneux of Bullfrog. Yeah, not a very good first day, but luckily the one on one became a group interview so that I was able to sit in and listen on a demonstration of Dungeon Keeper.
2) At the very same E3, I was standing at the EA booth when I looked up to see Peter Molyneux, Sid Meier, and Richard Garriot standing together and getting their pictures taken. It was a pretty awesome sight. After a few moments, I was able to go up to Richard Garriot and get a picture taken with him. As I spent countless hours on the Ultima games, this was one photo opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.
3) Also at that first E3, I saw a tech demo of a game that would become a world wide phenomenon. Off site from the show floor, this little company called Valve was showing what they’ve done with the Quake engine. From the various lighting improvements and audio features, Gabe Newell was demonstrating what the engine could now do in their hands. It was just a single little computer setup with a sign above that said Half-Life. I sat there through two showings and was easily the best thing I saw at that show gamewise.
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