This will be my first E3 and I am at least moderately terrified.
In order to steel my nerves and prepare in some fashion, I've taken to speaking with folks who've been there before and might be able to educate me. I've also been watching a strict regimen of films to try to get my head on straight. "Big Trouble In Little China," "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas," "The Big Lebowski," "Fight Club," "Escape From L.A.," and, though it may have been a mistake, GameSpot's "E3 2004" DVD.
I sure didn't buy the thing, but GameSpot sent it to me, and I incorrectly assumed that it might provide some insight.
Instead, it confirmed a few of the worries I'd cherry-picked from previous attendees.
1. Many games journalists are so obsessed with gaming that they've ceased to be journalists. Hell, many don't even speak in complete sentences. Rather, the uber-word "Dude" has taken paramount status in their lexicons. It is an adjective, noun, declarative statement, question, exclamation, etc…
In some extreme cases, the message seems to be that the English language is for jerks and we should really just abandon the whole lot of it and buy as much stock in "Dude" as possible.
2. Information is spoon-fed to the press.
The industry seems to think that gamers and games journalists need the industry more than the industry needs us.
"You'll take it and like it!" seems to be their attitude. Some prison movie just came to mind, but I think it will be for the best if I don't discuss it.
3. Booth Babes are everywhere and serve their 'tactical distraction' purpose too well.
4. Embargoes?! I know no embargoes!
When something is embargoed, it means that a company has released new information to journalists, but the journalists must agree to withhold that information from the public until the company says it's all right for Joe Shmoe to know.
Ah, yes, dangle those exclusives in front of us!
It's a rotten practice.
5. If the Xbox 360 unveiling was any indication, MTV-ified gaming is bloody awful.
I suppose it was important, from a marketing/exposure perspective, for Microsoft to use MTV the way it did. On the other hand, I had trouble trying to figure out what would be more entertaining:
Watching MTV's self-described "pimping" of the Xbox 360 or punching myself in the head repeatedly.
Which just goes to show that reading Kotaku and getting the necessary information in about two minutes is far better for your health than watching purported Music Television that doesn't seem to have much music.
Not to be a total curmudgeon, I have to admit that I think the new Xbox is a great looking, impressive piece of hardware…
…even if the thing looks more like an Apple product than it should.
Make sure you check GameCore and E3Insider.com regularly. We'll have the latest from the greatest at E3.
By William Vitka