Ready, Set, Go -- It's The E3 Expo

GameCore is a weekly column by CBSNews.com's William Vitka, Chad Chamberlain and Joey Arak that focuses on gamers and gaming.

Heads up! William and I will be heading to the West coast between May 15-21, where we'll not only be basking in the famed California sun and attending some cool night spots, but we'll also be checking out what is quite possibly the biggest and most globally renowned electronic event ever.

More than 500 companies and organizations from all over the globe will be present. The list is far too great to even begin to tell you who's going to be there but if Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft make it a point to attend, rest assured that the other attendees are as equally impressive. However, if you must know who is going to attend check out E3 Expo's website for a complete listing.

What we're talking about here is none other than the Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3 Expo, held once a year in the Los Angeles Convention Center. This magnificent structure will contain approximately 800,000 square feet of awesome gaming goodness complete with amazing booths, performances, and more.

Video games have far surpassed their geeky tag name and evolved into a pop culture theme. E3 is replete with stylishly designed booths frequented by pop stars, athletes, and movie stars.

The Expo is also overloaded with closed-door conferences. This is usually where the press gets an intimate glimpse of the newest products.

For the past six years I've attended E3 as just an onlooker soaking in as much information about the newest, hottest products out.

Like the geek I truly am, I've eagerly stood in hour-long lines just to get a peep at video company Square-Enix's newest ventures. I've often times gotten lost in the maze of colorful exhibits, which are almost always glad with patrolling customed characters, "booth babes" -- truly a sight to behold--- and a slew of other cool things. Expect to lose your voice as you attempt to shout over the miles of musical scores being played in the backdrop, ranging from movie to video game soundtracks.

I remember back in 2004, heading to the show with friends in the industry. As we approached the Los Angeles Convention Center, we were stopped half way crossing the street due to a helicopter show complete with soldiers rappelling out of army helicopters onto rooftops and then rappelling down the rooftops into the building. It was a reflection of post-9/11 E3.

E3 was first launched back in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which is a U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs interests of companies that publish video and computer games. It was once a subset of the Consumer Electronic Show during a time when video games was not believed to be strong enough to carry a convention of their own.

Times have changed and 11 years later, E3 is by far the biggest and possibly the most talked about electronics show ever.

Who will capture the most drooling mouths, turn the most heads and hand out the most lanyards? GameCore will be there to find out.

Keep your eyes glued to GameCore and E3Insider.com for updates of the events from each day. We will give you the most honest, straightforward info on what's going on.

By Chad Chamberlain

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