I'm not going to E3 this year. I'll be watching the whole beautiful show through my computer and from the comfort of my orthopedically approved office chair. And while I'm sad that I won't be in attendance to experience it first-hand, it also comes as a huge personal relief to know that the entire Atlantic Ocean separates me from the LA Convention Centre.
As someone that writes about games for a living, there's a whole bunch of stuff that I love to hate about E3. And with this being the week of E3 and a large portion of gaming's men and women of words all bunkered down in Los Angeles, I thought now would be an appropriate time to exclusively reveal the Top 7... reasons why game journalists love to hate E3.
7. The inevitable transformation into an unthinking robot
It always happens. E3 takes its toll on the mental and physical well-being of all game journalists. By the final day of the show all eyes are glazed. Brain functions are set to automatic and operating on reserve power.
Go here. Look at game. Talk to man. Pick up swag. Politely queue for game. Joylessly photograph booth babes. Oh, there's GTA V. I guess I should play that. Mindlessly shamble. The end is near...
This vegetative state is responsible for the continued usage of such tired E3 phrases as 'sensory overload' and 'greatest show on Earth'. We hate ourselves for resorting to clichés, but it's hard to write good when your brain has been on the receiving end of a non-stop, five day buggering. It's the most not right in the head feeling that a game journalist will ever experience EVER!
6. The appointment clusterf*ck
Under normal circumstances, arranging to meet someone at a predetermined time and place is a reasonable proposition. But reasonable propositions die at E3. It's something to do with the air-conditioning.
The E3 appointment diary is normally started four or so weeks before the show starts. It is always filled with good intentions. But these plans - no matter how meticulously prepared - inevitably descend into a complete mind-bending clusterf*ck within seconds of the show starting.
Unless the journalist happens to have a fully operational temporal manipulation vessel tucked away somewhere inside his publisher branded laptop bag, it’s physically and mentally impossible to get everything done. I refer to this impossible predicament as the 'ocean into an ice tray' problem. The picture below visualizes the situation using the predefined metaphorical imagery:
As you can probably work out for yourself, there is going to be some spillage. It's unavoidable. I've found the best approach is to fill the ice tray with the right amount of tap water, freeze and then enjoy with an expertly-prepared Daiquri by the hotel pool. The feelings of alcohol euphoria quickly dispel any concerns about missing an appointment to see Yet Another Abject Party Game For The Wii.