E, by gum

In just under a month I’ll be going to E3 for the first time.

Given my age and my four-and-a-bit years experience of writing about games, I imagine some people will be surprised to learn that, but yep, I’ve never had the pleasure before. I’m actually really quite excited, or as excited as a grumpy, slightly misanthropic thirtysomething gets about the idea of spending a week in the company of other people.

Of course, part of me is terrified to the very core that it’ll require me to spend the best part of 24 hours on a plane (I’m talking there and back, obviously – I’m not going on a Cessna) but I guess a day of abject terror is a small price to pay for six in sunny LA. Not that I’ll be seeing an awful lot of sun, natch.

It seems E3 still holds a near-mythical status for many gaming enthusiasts. I spend my fair share of time on forums and they’re always abuzz around June when the Big Three announce their line-up for the rest of the year and beyond. Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of gamers, all sitting at their PCs, tapping F5 to refresh forum threads, excitedly posting single-word or single-sentence opinions on what they’re witnessing, on a tiny window streaming a nearly-but-not-quite live feed on some US site. And perhaps keeping a spare feed from another site open in another window just in case that one drops at any point.

I’ve been there many times, and I’ll miss some of that fun, though I imagine it’ll be that much more exciting witnessing it all first-hand. And maybe when I’m in the conference halls I’ll flip my laptop open and join the debate from across the Atlantic. Assuming I can hear myself think over all the whooping and hollering.

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4 comments

  1. I’ve been writing about games for fifteen years and I’ve never been to E3. One day. đŸ™‚

  2. I wouldn’t romanticise it too much. I’ve not been to E3, but I have covered a few large-scale events, and they’re not a whole lot of fun.

    I mean, you’ll /have/ a load of fun while you’re there, because the days are so fucking stressful and ultimately dull that you’ll immediately end up either in a bar or at a party when 6pm hits. /Every day/.

    Things to absolutely not forget:

    1. Comfortable shoes.
    2. Can of deodorant at all times.
    3. The fact that you’ll likely know less about what’s actually going on that the people hitting F5 at home.

  3. Yeah, I’ve been to one or two mid-size events before and they can be quite boring. Nothing as big as E3, though.

    And I’m happy to accept number 3, but 1 and 2 are good advice. Cheers.


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