What's the big deal with E3?
E3 stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo. Here you'll be able to interact with the future of video gaming, including the developers and samples of the new games they are creating. It's also filled with celebs, booth babes, eye-catching displays, and swag. It's nerd heaven to be sure, but where there's a heaven, there's surely a Hell.
I've been to E3 on several occasions, so I know of what I speak. From a journalistic perspective, it's not a lucrative source of exclusivity. Even if you manage to score some interviews with programmers or celebrities, they're not going to share anything unique with you that they haven't already shared with every other interviewer. Everyone in attendance has access to the same games, the same presentations, and the same developers.
All the world would have to do is send three journalists to report on E3. Of these three, one would be the archetypical overly enthusiastic, asexual nerd. The second would be the older, bitter, wizened, curmudgeon that wouldn't be impressed by a talking magical weasel. And rounding out the trio would be a girl to balance things. Tune into that imaginary report and you would be more informed than if you went in person.
E3 is crowded. It's not open to the "general public," but where the hell do all these people come from? Media credentials are required, but apparently that means if you can tweet, you're in. I wouldn't stand in line to get into heaven, so you can imagine the mood I'm in having to wait two hours to get Stan Lee's autograph. I could have been his inspiration for the Hulk after finally getting to meet the guy. And what does Stan Lee's autograph have to do with video game journalism? Nothing. Because E3 is essentially geared for personal enjoyment. Why the hell do you care that I met Stan Lee? It only rubs it in your face that I'm privileged and you're not.
Going to E3 in person is really what it's all about. But since everyone wants to go, be prepared to stand in line for everything. And there's plenty more downsides of E3. A below-prison grade burger, fries, and drink will set you back the better part of a twenty dollar bill. And just try to find a room in L.A. that isn't on the event horizon of Compton for under two hundred bucks.
And here's some other complaints:
Lots and lots and lots of nerds. And not so much deodorant.
Displays that can't be touched, including the booth babes. Security can be a little testy.
No more Gary Coleman, but there's no shortage of D-list celebs. The guy that yells, "Yuuuuup" on that storage bin show will be promoted like the second coming of Michael Jackson. And you'll still have to wait two hours in line to get his autograph.
And then there are the cool industry parties at night. But not to worry, you won't get invited to those either.
So don't worry if you never get to E3. You're not missing much that you can't find online, and I'll certainly appreciate one less person in front of me.
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: June 8, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*