The Top 7... Game expos better than E3

Now cue a cymbal crash and tumultuous drum solo. The splendor of E3 ’06 fades away and you’re in 2007… then 2008. You’re no longer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo – you’re at the “E3 Media and Business Summit.” The beautiful displays are gone. No one gives a crap about the Wii, Sony can’t stop talking about the PS2, and Microsoft is actually the highlight of the show. You frantically search for the exit and… find it easily, there are no crowds to fight, no cosplayers, no swarming booths...

Quick! Come back to the real world before you're crushed with despair! E3 may havebecome a giant suckfest, but there are alternatives. The following seven conventionsare today's best gaming get-togethers.

What it has that E3 doesn’t

Try everything.Comic-Con International (opens in new tab)is packed with the fans and creators of just about everything we love. What began as a 300 person get-together in 1970 now attracts over 100,000 exhibiters and fans.It's geeky pop culture at its finest.

Above: Psychedelic Stormtrooper is cool and all, but the choice is obvious

While not technically just a games convention, Comic-Con contains enough gaming content to count (don’t let the name deceive you, the convention’s original focus on comics has expanded to include just about every aspect of geekdom). 2008's exhibiters included Electronic Arts, D3, Ubisoft, SCEA, and SOE, among others.

When? Where? Can I go?

Comic-Con International happens every year in San Diego. The next one’s July 23 – 26 at the San Diego Convention center. Four day passes are currently on sale for 2009 at $75 apiece. You may also want to check out WonderCon, the same organization’s San Francisco convention.

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer