For as long as I can remember, E3 has been the equivalent of the holy land to gamers like me. It is the big show and the premiere gaming event of the year, all wrapped into five glorious days. So I try every year to find a way to attend, by methods legitimate or illegitimate and often the latter. Since it has become more difficult to con my way in by forging a pass or flashing a bit of ankle to an amorous security guard, I put forward my past attendance in hopes that I will once again bask in the glory that is E3.
I attended my first E3 in 2005. I had just graduated from high school, doe-eyed and bushy-tailed, having never been in the heart of LA. There in the midst of the city was the cathedral of all that was gaming holiness. My method of entry? It was as easy as having my best friend hand me his pass. If only all years were so simple. Once inside I was swept away by all E3 could offer. I stood before gaming giants, as Nintendo unveiled the Revolution (which was a WAY cooler name than Wii), Sony dropped the Playstation 3 bomb with its horrendous boomerang controller and Microsoft unveiled its 360, making a statement that they weren’t kidding around in the battle of the consoles. To date, 2005 had the biggest attendance with more than 70,000 people packed into the convention center. Were it not so well air-conditioned LA would have experienced a massive influx of gamer-funk.
2006 was a golden age of dastardly behavior, requiring only rudimentary MS Paint skills on the part of my favorite lovable minx, Christine, to form a passable ID badge. That, coupled with my former lanyard, ensured smooth sailing in the land of milk and E3 honey. It felt like the good times could keep rolling until it was announced that E3 was going all business, killing off booth babes, free swag, and let’s not forget the after parties. For two years every gamer felt a piece of their legacy slowly vanish as the hype and glamour of the video game industry all but disappeared… until 2009 when it regained its former glory. I appreciate an informative and well-structured gaming expo as much as the next guy, but bring back the booth babes!
2010 was my most memorable year, seeing as it was my first legitimate attendance. Full access, worry free, should have been awesome, right? The changes that were made restricted normal attendees, having them play what I call the “wait in line” game while press and VIPs had free reign. Even with all the hold ups I was still able to meet Hideo Kojima, whom I thanked in Japanese for his wonderful games. Altogether I did some fantastic things that year. I participated in a Mega 64 video, saw a Redman and Method Man concert, hung out with Playboy bunnies, got into the ring with a luchador (and won), met John Carpenter, embraced Alma’s newborn from F.E.A.R. 3 and attended the Video Games Live concert where I rocked out in front of the whole theater on Guitar Hero World Tour. With all that, you’d think it would be my all time favorite E3 experience, right? Well there was this thing you might have heard about. It was called the NBA Finals which was right next door to the event and needless to say, I got caught in “celebration” riots.
I’m sure that regardless of whether or not I attend, there will be a ton of great things coming out the gate. Will the Nintendo Wii U finally get a release date? Does Microsoft plan on unveiling a new console of their own? Will Sony drop any big name titles for 2013? We’ll just have to wait and see. And as soon as I scam my way in, I’ll keep you posted.
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