The Top 7... Game expos better than E3

What it has that E3 doesn’t

E3's new invitation-only setup seems like an attempt to push the expo in the direction of themore serious GDC, but it lacksthat certain... je ne sais quoi.GDC actually feels, y'know, important to the industry.GDC's a classy gig, one that rewards freethinking and innovation, whereas E3conjures impressions of corporate buffoonery and tired, old franchises.

Above: Respected speakers and awards... or Shaun White on a Wii Balance Board?

The show's intellectually satisfying sessions on game theory and the future of the industry feel far more important than the laughable corporateannouncements of E3, and its Independant Games Festival encourages unrestricted creative game making. GDC is like a hard-working professor,and E3 is the slovenly trust fund frat boy whocontinually submits half-plagiarized term papers.

When? Where? Can I go?

GDCisn't exactly a public event - it'smostly attendedby industry professionals and journalists - but it's not invite-onlylike E3.GDC 09 is in its usual spot at the San Francisco Moscone Center, runningfrom March 23 - 27.All access admission has typically cost over$1000, but you can getaccess tothe basics for about $200 or, if you're a student, $75. (Prices based on 2008 rates.)

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer