The topic of game conventions frequently comes up in my
recaps. To us game enthusiasts and journalists, they are the one
thing we both look forward to and dread, equally. They epitomize
the whole concept of fun that is the gaming industry, and
demonstrates why we love what we do. But at the same time, after
three or four days, it burns us out tremendously.
Sensory overload is one of the most common issues with these
trade shows, and it happened to me, for the first time, at last
month's E3. You see, these monitors so absurdly huge, and because
the controllers from the consoles are wired, the image is
positioned right in your face, and you can't walk back to give
yourself some space. And if you've ever played too close to a
large TV, you know what happens…yep, nausea from motion
So imagine having to endure for three months in a row?
Personally, this whole convention setup is getting a little out
of hand. We have E3 in July, Leipzig in August, and then Tokyo
Game Show in September. Traveling for a week for three months in
a row, only to come back burned out can really take its toll on
you. And I really wish that these trade-shows would just fuse
into one, or at least have a larger time gap between each one.
I may have noted this is another recap before, but this year's E3
was placed in a very poor time slot. For the sake of all public
relations departments, their holiday push starts in May and ends
in June, which was precisely why the original E3 worked so well
for them. Meanwhile the July/Summer time frame is for the
post-Holiday push of the new year.
While yes, it is nice for the gamer to have three different
enormous events, on top of independent events held by individual
companies, it is a little redundant for us in the industry. I
don't have much interest in attending Leipzig, because 90% of it
I've already experienced at E3. While yes, there will be quite a
number of new AAA titles playable such as Gran Turismo 5
Prologue, it doesn't phase me that much. For instance, GT5:
Prologue will be out just six weeks after the Leipzig show, which
means I don't have to wait very long to play it, after attendees
of the convention do.
Again, this is what made the original E3 so exciting. We got to
play this code that wouldn't arrive for another 5-7 months, as
opposed to playing code that would arrive much sooner. Now my new
beef is that I want my large convention hall back. Perhaps we
don't need the LA Convention Center for E3, but dammit…I still
want a large gathering place – at least the size of the Jacob
Javitz Convention Center here in New York City.
Ah well, ESA has yet to announce plans for the next E3, but
rumblings suggest that "E3" is dead and this was its
last hurrah. Let's hope that ESA has some big plans for it for
2008, and hopefully we're in an environment that doesn't include
a tiny hangar, and 15 hotels.