E3: My Journey, Figuratively and Literally – Part One

John Barrowman - before he was famous

I’m currently sat writing this article from the ‘sardine’ section of a British Airway’s flight headed to Los Angeles. I use the word ‘sardine’ because I’m rubbing elbows, legs and ears with everyone else in the ‘World Traveller’ class. British Airways can call it the whatever the hell they like, it’s still bloody economy as far as I’m concerned.  Currently the plane is passing Greenland, cruising at approximately six hundred and four miles per hour. We’ll be passing over a place in America called Goose Bay. Must have been named after that guy from Top Gun, right?  That was based on a true story wasn’t it? I didn’t realise this trip was going to be so educational!

On to happier memories though; I’m headed to, arguably, the biggest event in the videogaming calendar. From my closest friends and family to my most hated enemies, if you’ve come into contact with me any time February, you’ll have heard me going on about my trip to America and the opportunity of a lifetime. You may have also contracted herpes, but I’ve warned those effected already and, let’s be honest, if you’re ignoring that sort of rash then you deserve every itchy crotch you get.

My poor sexual jokes aside, it has been some journey to get to this point. The journey itself starts around fifteen years ago as my eleven year old self sees the first glimpses of some of the N64 titles at E3. I probably experienced E3 prior to this, but this was one that stuck out in my mind. The rush of excitement, the thrill of the announcement, the whole industry still in its infancy. E3 was, at the time, the holy grail of gaming – to me at least – and waiting for that incredible week in June was something my friends and I looked forward to. It certainly has had poor years, but it has risen from the ashes when rumours of permanent closure were close at hand.

In our minds though, it always just that: in our minds. The idea that any of us would ever get to attend E3 was a crazy suggestion, the same thinking that sees you hoping to win the lottery despite never buying a ticket. E3 has, for the most part, been an industry only event, meaning that people like me wouldn’t ever get in. Back when I was going through school, the industry wasn’t advertising for jobs like it is now, so I took a totally different career path and left E3 as the magical place where a long-held childhood dream would slowly vanish as I grew older.  The fact that I now find myself on a plane heading to the other side of the world for E3, is utterly outstanding. I still don’t work in the industry, but write for GamingLives in my spare time. What an extraordinary site this is too. I can’t comment on what it means to the owners, but Mark and Lorna have given blood, sweat and tears for this slice of the internet, and with it, the opportunity for me to fulfil a dream long since forgotten. For this, they have my eternal thanks, gratitude and, most importantly, respect.

That isn’t to say that anyone can do this. The opportunity is there but there is a certain amount of proving to do. You’ve got to be able to write and write well. Mark would sooner beat me about the head with a dictionary and then remind me about my constant grammatical errors. The willingness and need to improve is key; the desire to be better, crucial. That’s my opinion though. There is little point in doing something incorrectly and then constantly doing it wrong. So I’ve worked hard and believe I’ve earned the right to be on this plane going to E3.

Nothing Mark hates more than bad grandma

However, I couldn’t do it alone. Friends, family, girlfriends and colleagues have all seen me to this point. Not all of them believe in my abilities and a few of them still believe this is a waste of my time; the hours sacrificed, the money spent. Thankfully I’ve proved them wrong every step of the way. To those who stuck by me, I thank you. Your support has got me here as much as my ability to string a sentence together.

Finally, this isn’t a trip I embark on alone. It just couldn’t be. Edward Price has already eaten his entire stash of sweets, chocolate and mints. We’ve been in the air twenty fucking minutes. Pete has already identified that, at age twenty six, I’m still not confident with my alphabet skills. It’s going to be a long week with Zero and Mark because while they can understand me perfectly, I don’t speak Scottish. This band of villainous reprobates are my kin, my ka-tet and my friends. I hope they enjoy this week as much as I plan to.

Last five articles by Chris



  1. Rook says:

    Five writers went, how many will return. I will be following these diaries closely to look for the signs of sacrifice for the greater gaming good.


  2. Lorna Lorna says:

    To be able to dust down an old, long forgotten dream and suddenly make it a reality is a fantastic thing and I sincerely hope that it lives up to every scrap of your expectations. Really enjoying the diaries so far… just wait until you’re trying to write them after a long day on the show floor though, with your eyeballs falling out of your skull with fatigue :D

  3. Tania Tania Reid says:

    Great stuff, these diaries really bring us along for the ride. Looking forward to more. :)

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