E3 Diaries: Too Tired To Think Of A Pun On My Name

For anyone who ever wants to be a gamer – or considers themselves as such – E3 is the Holy Grail of the scene, and no matter what it takes, there’ll always be a part of you that won’t feel complete until you go. Last year, I achieved a ten-year long dream of mine when I finally made my virgin steps into those hallowed halls and promptly worked my guts out with the rest of the GamingLives crew, stopping only for the occasional joke, brief respite for feet and near-daily trips to Cheesecake Factory. Every day, we’d wake up, prepare for the day ahead, set off for the convention centre and then work without pause until the day had ended, upon which time we’d return to the apartment, work until eight or nine before realising that, actually, we haven’t had anything to eat all day, before promptly setting off for Cheesecake Factory and gorging ourselves on the finest steaks that would often keep me up at night once I came home and discovered there’s no UK branch at all.

This year, things are a little different. Chris is planning to get married like he’s some kind of guy who’s in love or something (ew!), Mark and Lorna are expecting a son days after the expo, Pete is doing a thing and the last time anything saw ZeroMark he was leaving his house with a human-sized tub of butter and a ticket to the North Pole. So, that leaves me. I am the E3 guy. Just me. All alone.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate; this week I’m staying with Tim – the co-owner of BigRedBarrel.com – for the week, but this year when you see E3 content on Gaminglives.com, it’ll all be provided by yours truly. So, why did I do it? Why did I still come out here, fill up my schedule to the point of insanity and leave my bank account feeling a lot emptier?  Because quite simply, there’s absolutely nothing like this.

When you first hear of E3, it almost goes without saying that you want to be there – a place to find out nearly every significant game of the next year, rub shoulders with some of the industry’s finest and have an indecipherably smug grin on your face when your friends tell you they’re looking forward to an upcoming title and you tell them you’ve already played it (and if you’re particularly cruel, told them it’s shit)? It’s such a no-brainer that it’s probably going to be Ground Zero for that Zombie apocalypse the industry has spent the last few years collectively spunking their last dredges of creativity over. Yet, there are still naysayers who find a way to take issue with the event – somehow – and to them, I only have this to say: just go to E3.

Sure, the flight is a horrendous eleven hour drama that threatens to kick off way before you’ve even left for the airport thanks to days of meticulous planning and packing only to find out that despite making a list and checking it twice like you’re Santa Claus but shit; you’ve still forgotten something because you didn’t put it on the sodding list in the first place. Then you realise that you’ve probably over-packed, or have you? Sure, you don’t have enough tees to last the whole week but you can probably wear a couple twice and everyone knows you can wear jeans and shorts for at least two days if you don’t spill anything on them, and it’s not like you’re actually going to read anything so why on Earth did you pack those books Edward, what are you, an idiot?

Then there’s the trip to the airport, for which you decide to leave with plenty of time, only to discover the roads are basically empty because it’s 5am on a Sunday morning and now you’ve arrived an hour before you can even check your bags in and the flight’s three hours after that begins and now you’re going to have to make sure you don’t fall asleep totally by yourself. If you can manage all that and get on the plane awake and intact, then you’ve got to try and get at least a couple of extra hours of slumber in to beat the potentially forthcoming jet-lag because even though you went to bed early the night before you only got three hours sleep because, did I mention, you’re going to E3!

You slowly trudge off the plane and queue up for the privilege of a stern man asking you why you’re coming to America and where you’re staying, only moving on when you’ve put your fingerprints on record and smiled for the camera so they can put it all on record – ironic that counter-terrorism measures are less invasive than walking into a room with an Xbox One in it. You grab your luggage, go through a customs check to make sure you’re not bringing anything illegal into the country, then wait for a shuttle to take you where you need to go because the taxi service expects you to fork over 20 dollars before you’ve even set foot in their big yellow monstrosities. After dropping everyone else off first, you grin as you see the banners, exploding into a full-on Joker-esque grin as the Los Angeles Convention Centre – and your home for the next few days – lumbers onto the horizon.

The only way to beat the crush for the doors on day one

Finally, you’re here. The excitement is almost palpable as you walk up to those hallowed doors, and everything in your body starts screaming at you as you walk inside. This is it, you are at E3. Even with the conferences not starting until the next day, the scene is a small-scale thoroughfare as everyone starts queuing up to get their press passes and you grab a locker close to the entrance to the media centre so you can pop in and out between appointments and save wasting time on the actual expo days getting your passes when you could be checking out the games – the reasons you’re here – instead. Even though the South and West halls won’t open their doors for another two days, it’s such an incredible feeling to be there. It’s not just the excitement of the days ahead, but it’s also the achievement of actually being there; after all your years of hard work, you’ve finally made it. E3 is finally here, and you’re a part of it.

No matter what happens, that stays with you forever.

Last five articles by Edward



  1. Bear says:

    I want to go back to Cheesecake Factory :( even if they didn’t have a Penny, the food was just brilliant! Popcorn shrimp and barely cooked cow…. *drool*

  2. Chris Toffer says:

    Top stuff mate. Best of luck!

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