AU Diary: E3 Is Not For Me

I've never been to E3. That's pretty unusual for someone who's been working in the industry as long as I have. Ten years, and never once have I been summoned to the LA Convention Centre.

Thank god.

E3 looks like fun from the outside. You get to play some games, see Miyamoto do his adorable developer act, conduct a few interviews — how hard could it be?

Very hard, as it turns out. I've seen the faces of men and women eaten alive by that convention: hair uncombed, beards unshaven, their expressions hollow and dead. I tell you friends, I have heard tell of lines a mile long, of greasy behemoths consuming dubious hotdogs by the fistful, of missed opportunities and bad hang overs. These tales paint E3 as a pulsating neon-lit pit of misery that should be avoided at all costs.

So next time you see all the cool stuff coming off the showfloor and you think "I wish I was there", stop and reflect a moment, and ask yourself — do you really?


Comments

    i agree, i can't play games in public to save myself and i hate people ;) just kidding.

    Every time I feel like crap cause I'm not at E3, I'm going to come back and read this to make myself feel better. :D

      That town's not big enough for you AND E3, Ex :)

        Well Cav my friend... E3 has to go. ()_()

    yes... yes i do...

    sounds to me like you're just soft, old boy.

    Any true hardened gamer would brave any sweat-saturated peril and aeon-long wait to be one of the first to see, hear an experience what a scant few can.

    So i say strip me of all hope of personal hygiene, sleep and digestable foods. Make my whole body ache from head to toe and my vision blurred by fluorescent lights. Sap my will to live by making me feel insignificant in a swirling throng under oversized screens...

    ... Just send me to E3

      Totally agree with you

    Sounds like you need a hug...

    Wait, so who wrote this Dan or David?

      Dan.

    So what is THE video game conference to go to as a journalist then?

    swap ya, you can do tests and exams, while i go see new games coming out

    Don't you wanna do it just once? Just to say that you have? So you can confirm these stories you have been told? I know I do.

    My two bobs worth...

    I've been twice (2006 and 2009). If you were just there to soak up the vibe, check out some games, and party at night, E3 would be total gamer heaven.

    When you're there to actually work hard on reporting from the show, it's the hardest work environment on the planet (OK, I exaggerate). It's hard to juggle your timeslots, to fight through crowds to make back to back appointments on time, and then sometimes devs stand you up, or you get a last minute cancel, or you get dumped in front of something too lame for words, or... you get the drift. You're battling the clock and the size of the show to try and cover both the 'must see' stuff as well as try to uncover a few lesser noticed gems to help your coverage stand out. You will spend a lot of your three days literally running from demo to interview to showcase to interview to interview to demo.

    Add to that the fact there ARE lots of people there who scam their way in, effectively acting like roadblocks to getting real work done, and the mission becomes twice as hard.

    Halfway through the first day of my first E3 in 2006, I honestly had tears in my eyes wondering how I'd manage another two days. It sounds ridiculous, but it was THAT hard.

    BUT... when it gets really hard (and it does), I found taking a moment to stop, breathe, and look around and remember what you're doing for a living helps bring the perspective back. It's hard, but it's still a lot more fun than digging ditches.

      That's pretty much what I expected it to be like, and why I honestly don't hope to go to E3 as much anymore. I would explode from all the pressure I'd put on myself, forcing myself to visit every single keynote, etc. And that's not including the probability that I would be there to write about it.

      I'd say it's heaven for hardcore gamers who get to just walk around the place with no pressure, but I'm sort of a hardcorasual gamer. :P

      That said, I must visit the San Diego Comic-Con :D

    Yeah, I do. Where do I sign up?

    Yeah I'd hate a free flight to LA, free accommodation and free entries to parties featuring Eminem, Jay Z and all the booze I could drink.

    Sounds like hell.

    HAHA Sounds like you are trying to use reverse psychology on your boss...

    Well next year when they ask you to go, you can send me instead... Everyone Wins.

    After interviewing Scott Steinberg this week from TechSavvy... and his off the record comments about E3?

    Oh yes. I do wish I was at E3. Yes I do.

    I'm sure E3 would be great fun if you were there just for personal enjoyment, and didn't have to, say, endure lengthy lines to secure a few minutes with a game that you then need to write several thousand words about immediately. Game writing is a fantastic lark, but I don't think heading off to E3 as a journalist would be all smiles and sunshine.

    I'm happy enough just playing the Nintendo games when they come around on the Nintendo Connection Tour. I'm a bit of a Nintendo fanboy (mind you I play other games too, just not as much) so I'll be content with that.
    Oh and I'm a StarCraft fanboy and that has naught to do with E3 so as far as I'm concerned...E3 does not concern me. I'm content just watching the trailers when they come. I don't really need to play the game out until I need to decide whether I want to buy it or not.

    You've obviously never been to any type of convention before. This is how they all are. Man up, realize that few actually GET to go to E3 at all, once in a life time thing, and do what you get paid to do.
    You can always take my job at a supermarket for minimum wage...no? Didn't think so.

      That's what I was thinking too. Not the supermarket bit but about having to Man up. Every covention I've been to (and this goes across a variety of industries from electronics to politics and health) is a haze of exhaustion and opportunity lost. And if you think that's bad, how do you think the organizers feel? At least you get to have a hangover.

    E3 is easily the most exhausting week of the year if you work in the games industry.

    But it's a shitload of fun too, and it's where so much of Aussie games journo folklore originates from. Especially if Farrelly is in attendance.

    Now if only they'd move it out of icky LA and into seedy Las Vegas, like CES.

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