Six days until E3, and counting...
As a senior writer here at NZGamer.com, I've had the privilege of being on the front line in the world of gaming. I've travelled to Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, and the USA in recent years - all in order to play games and talk to the minds behind them. I’m living the dream.
This year marks my third consecutive trip over to Los Angeles for E3, and I'm more excited than a beaver in a lumberyard. It’s the biggest event in gaming; and it shows. We’re talking million dollar set-ups, choreographed press conferences, and after parties that would make even Lindsay Lohan nervous. But there are a few negative aspects of E3 that only us journalists witness - and I’d like to share those with you now...
Please sir... can I have a sandwich?
Because E3 is a non-stop, three-day megafest of videogaming awesomeness, there are a handful of eateries set-up around the LA Convention Centre for hungry journos. Convenient except for the fact that it doesn’t appear to be ‘human food’ they have on offer. Either because they have a captive audience or because they assume that all videogamers have the culinary palette of a tapeworm, the ‘food’ they have on offer would give cockroaches paralysis.
There’s nothing quite like paying $18 for a cold, soggy hot dog; or $26 for a Taco Surprise. You might think I meant to write ‘Taco Supreme’ there, but they don’t try and make it sound appealing. The ‘Surprise’ part kicks in anywhere between 15 minutes and 3 hours after eating it.
I should point out that the organisers of E3 provide an alternative though. Hungry journalists who hole up in the Media Room, located within the bowels of the LA Convention Centre, can get treated to some tasty free lunch. Although this might actually be an urban myth, because this ‘free lunch’ appears at 12:00pm and vanishes again at around 12:02pm. It’s like feeding time at the zoo. Never get between a starving game reviewer and a stale tuna sandwich. I’m grateful I still have all my limbs.
I would however like to thank all of the game publishers who have their own lunch and drink stash behind closed doors for VIP media. Without you guys, I would’ve faded away into nothingness somewhere behind Activision’s stand back in 2010.
Where’s the Rexona Booth?
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that 50,000 geeks (90% of whom are male), a warm enclosed space, a few Taco Surprises, and hundreds of machines all pelting out hot air can make for a rather rank environment.
I’m not entirely sure why it should happen in this day and age of antiperspirant, but at E3 there are dudes walking around with visible stink lines wafting after them. Chances are, they’ll be walking directly in front of you too, so you become trapped in this semi-opaque mist of death.
You’ll end up twisting and contorting your body like a rubber ninja to avoid physical contact with them, but inevitably they’ll rub against you as they make a mad scramble to eyeball some booth babes. Which brings me to my next rant...
I Think I’ve Fallen in Love (again)
Ahhh, booth babes. I know they have their purpose. I get it, I really do. I love a lass in skimpy fake armour, holding a giant cardboard axe and with that little glint in her eye that says ‘I can’t wait to get the f*%k out of here and have a shower’.
But please (guys) - can we have some dignity at these events? I know they’re eye-candy to be looked at, but do we all need to act like braindead shlongs whenever one floats along? I’ve seen men crush smaller men in their demented, dribbling panic just to ‘be near one’. Cameras flashing and mouths ajar. Rub one out in the morning in your hotel room so we can just ignore these marketing vixens okay? … That way I can make my move. She’s mine, dammit!
Is this a t-shirt, or a tarpaulin for my car?
Free stuff is one of the perks of being a video game journalist and t-shirts are chucked around at E3 like fists in Chuck Norris’ wet dreams. But for some reason, they only ever bother getting the one size manufactured; XL. Or perhaps XXXL. To me, they might as well be G, for Gargantuan or Godzilla size.
Usually they're big enough to ﬁt two of me inside, with room for a gas heater so I can camp out-doors in one. Now that videogaming has become mainstream, surely all these stereotypes of gamers being overweight is an extremely dated one? This year can I get a Halo t-shirt that doesn't perform better as my table-cloth?
And lastly, can we please have no f*%king clowns at this years’ E3!? As an avid sufferer of Coulrophobia (yes, the scientific term for a ‘Fear of clowns’) I have been tormented by these abominations of ancient comedy for the last three years.
Granted, the announcement and consequent release of Twisted Metal, which features a nightmarish clown thing, didn’t help matters. But my editor still enjoys telling the story of how, after last year’s E3 - I was ruthlessly stalked on a Hollywood subway train by some clown-hobo [To be fair, it was pretty funny - Ed.] This is the worst type of clown by the way; homeless, desperate, and possibly psychotic. This year I’m going armed with a cattle-prod and some decoy animal balloons just incase.