What is E3 Really Like? {and Gerard doesn’t shut up}

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Below is a quick idea of what goes on at E3. Read it if you care, and if you don’t read it for Gerard. He is a sensitive soul.

Everyone wonders what E3 is like, and let me tell you, it is one hell of an experience. I am not saying that, or writing this piece to rub it in your face {yes you are} (Shut up Gerard… for those that don’t know, Gerard has recently joined the team… in my head – Jarred), but I want to emphasise just how great the experience is, and encourage you to enjoy the hype surrounding it all. {Hype TRAIN CHOOOO CHOOO}

That isn’t to say that it’s all fun and games at E3 {I see what you did there}. It’s pretty hard work also. Not the kind of hard work where you get to the end of the day, whiskey in hand and think what are you doing with your life, but rather the kind of hard work that makes you happy to be a gamer. I want to tell you just briefly about what it’s like at E3.

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{Jarred totally used that picture of pretty girls to get you to read more} I am not going to get into boring stuff like the long ass plane flight with 8 hour stops in Heathrow airport, nor about the slightly dodgy area where the hotel is, or eating Mcdonalds every night after not eating all day because you just don’t have the time {you realize you just told them about it right?}. Right, where was I? Oh, so I am not going into detail about that, but I will tell you a little bit about what the conference is like as a whole.

First off, the place is buzzing. For those few days the city surrounding the E3 conference centre is just filled with gamers, who are all there for the big week. Gaming billboards, posters, adverts and the likes fill the streets. Just imagine your local shopping centre covered in posters for upcoming games. It’s that and so much more.

Early starts mean you have to get your accreditation’s done so you can get a media pass to everything. Day one starts off with conferences, Microsoft first, then EA, then Ubisoft followed by Sony and then Nintendo {I thought Ninty only do that direct feed thingy where they pretend they aren’t actually at E3?}. Well they do now, but at that time it was a conference. Anyway, Microsoft conference only allowed one person to go, so Dawid and I took a walk to the main conference centre to check things out. Brett {Brett?}, who was the editor at the time, went to Microsoft where he was doused with Usher and Kinect love {kinky}.

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We then made our way to the EA conference, waited in a long line to get in, watched the EA conference after which your ears feel sorry for themselves because of all the DOOOOF DOOOF DOOOOOF. Straight from EA it’s off to Ubisoft. More long lines, more games, more DOOOOF DOOOOF DOOOOF. Run out of Ubisoft, make way to the Sony conference which was in a sport arena that time. Lots of free food, no lines praise be the… and then more games and more DOOOOOF DOOOOF DOOOOF.

Rush off back to the hotel, walk in the dark to McDonalds, get into the hotel, rest your feet and then begin working at about 21:00. Work on the conferences we have just seen, work on articles for the site, finish at around 3:00 in the morning. Wake up at 6:00, get ready and go on our way to the Nintendo conference. Wait in more lines, get in and take your seats and more DOOO… actually I lie, incredibly pleasant music which makes you feel like you are at a carnival. More games and we are out and alive after the main conferences.

Woooh, let’s breathe. That rush is now over and although that was a quickie I must throw in that seeing the games and presentations at that scale is amazing. When you watch it streaming at home and imagine what it’s like, you just have no idea. It’s magical. And that is complimented by all the cool games you get to see first hand, often for the first time.

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But the real E3 starts after that when the floors open and you can go play all the games, meet with developers for interviews, go to behind the scenes presentations and just so much more. The scale is really difficult to describe. Thousands and thousands of people waiting to get in so they can get their hands on the latest and greatest in upcoming tech and games. It’s amazing.

If you think rAge is great, and it is, think of it as a small corner of E3’s presentation floor. To get from one end to the other in a straight line can take about 30 minutes to walk {I am tired just thinking of it}, and that is without moving through the floor sideways. The floor is just covered in gaming stations where you can test things out, it’s a free for all in the best possible way.

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Sure some of the bigger games require a scheduled appointment and some of the other bigger games have massive queues, but for the most part, everything is accessible. Almost all the games since then have released {thanks Watch_Dogs} but I remember testing out DmC back then, the new Hitman, Kingdom Hearts: DDD, the Wii U for the first time including NSMBU, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, FIFA 13 {hahaha, SPERTZ}, Battlefield, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Assassin’s Creed 3, Rockband and so so many more. It’s madness.

I played more games in those three days then I probably have in my entire life and the whole experience was glorious. I also got to meet some of my heroes of gaming like David Cage {are we name dropping now?} and also Tim Schafer, and how about seeing Snoop Dog Lion Elephant, and Wil Wheaton who Dawid still doesn’t know (Ed: Or care for).

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It’s not even about seeing the developers, you can chat with them, ask questions and then give feedback to everyone. This is the most important thing in building the relationship between press and the developers and it was a humbling experience.

There is much more to describe but I don’t want to waste any more of your time {or make them more jealous}, but the absolute main reason I wrote this was because I wanted to highlight just how important E3 is. Sure it’s about building hype and revealing games to see which studio is the best, but it’s also about the gamers. It’s providing all of us with a view of why we continue to play games. It’s the developers and publishers promise to keep working for our hard earned money, and as I said earlier, it’s a few days totally devoted to our favourite hobby, our lifestyle. Embrace it, enjoy it and let’s hope for an incredible E3 2014!

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