Goin’ Out West: Running the gauntlet at E3 2012
E3 2012 has come and gone, bringing forth tons of people, announcements, events and bleary-eyed game journalists who haven’t had a real meal in a week.
I was not among them. While I attended the full event this year I did not go to cover it. There are easily tens of thousands of others who went to do just that, so I chose not to. I went with my other professional priorities in mind instead, leaving the thousands of blogs about the new Call of Dutygame or Nintendo‘s press conference to others. I do not classify myself as a gaming journalist nor is reporting and writing all that I do in gaming.
That being said there seems to be expectations from followers of my columns here and social media. Several e-mails have been asking me where my coverage is, despite numerous public statements that I was not going to E3 to report on it. Only now am I writing this in an attempt to satiate those who seem to expect it while also showing what I was really out there to do.
Therefore this E3 column will be different as I provide short stories and thoughts on my adventures in Los Angeles this year.
Tuesday, June 5 –
I always skip the Monday press conferences, knowing whatever I missed can quickly be watched from a comfortable chair later and knowing whatever is shown is going to be seen when I walk the floor anyway. I rolled into the event on Tuesday morning instead.
Got to walk the floor very little on Tuesday as I caught up with business contacts and potential business contacts along with some friends. Notable moment came from the VIP area atop the Microsoft booth when I met Philadelphia Eagles wide reciever DeSean Jackson. He is as tiny in person as he is fast on the field, but quite friendly. No, I did not let him know I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan.
Wednesday, June 6 –
Hit E3 early this day to meet-up with veteran video game journalist Rusel DeMaria, a man who has been writing about video games longer than a lot of the gaming media in attendence have been playing. Also got to catch up with Spy Hunter world champion Paul Dean, who is always an interesting guy to talk to.
The most interesting portion of the day for me started late afternoon as the Los Angeles Kings fans began to arrive to the area. A lot of tension existed in the area that day, as if the Kings won the Stanley Cup that night there may have been quite a moment in an area surrounded by other video game events.
Met up with Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day at the Nokiato help him out with some stuff he needed to do for the Video Games Live event taking place there that night. This became a point for multi-tasking, as the VIP party for VGL was going on at the same time as the red carpet premiere of the film noobz at the theatre down the street. After becoming one of the few people on earth to see exactly how Billy Mitchell primps his hair a group of us walked from the Nokia and past a sea of hockey fans and alert LAPD to the red carpet premiere.
It was a while before our turn to walk to red carpet, where actor/producer Blake Freeman was presented with a historic award and trading card for the film. I have to look for footage of a media interview with actor Ron Livingston to see if my accidental blurting out of “Holy ****, the guy from Office Space!” can be heard. Exactly 45 minutes late for the Video Games Live party we had to skip the screening of the film and head for the door.
As soon as he hit the front door of the theatre, Walter Daysuddenly ran off at a full sprint. I turned around to see the rest of our group had not yet caught up with us, then back to see Walter still running at a surprisingly high speed. Not knowing what else to do I took off after him, as a 63-year-old man in a referee uniform shouldn’t run through a pack of hockey fans alone.
We plowed through the barricades in front of the Nokia as I tried to keep up with Walter. He ran right into the main theatre with me after him as people we starting to take their seats. I truly hope someone out there got cellphone video of me and Walter Day’s run through the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. If you do, please post it or send it to me. It has to be quite a sight.
Plopping down in the Video Games Live VIP party I noticed two things. I was sweating half to death and the godfather of video games himself, Nolan Bushnell, was sitting 5 feet from me. Was an honor to finally meet him, even if I was short of breath at the time.
Also glad that the LA Kings lost that night. Not only was I not prepared to spend the night in a riot scene but a popular story subject in this space, Rachel Lara, might have been a red skidmark on the pavement outside if they had. Luckily she arrived through the exiting hockey fans in tact that night.
Thursday, June 8 –
This day marked the first day of the event that I actually got to play anything. To sum that up, those who complain that football games are the same thing every year will find the new physics in Madden NFL 13 really do change the feel of the game in a big way and that I think Nintendo’s Wii U will catch on well with those that made the original Wii a big success.
A great surprise came to me this morning as me and Walter Day met up at the Nintendo booth along with Guinness World Records’ Gaz Deaves to present Isaiah Triforce Johnson with awards for his successful attempts at being the first-in-line to purchase numerous Nintendo consoles at launch. The surprise came in the form of Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime along with a photo op alongside him. Quite a hard fellow to get to, it was a fun thing to happen to me, even if the photos I saw later claimed I was Gaz Deaves. I can’t quite imagine him with my haircut.
Later hit the G4tv set for Walter to present Nikole Zivalichwith an award as well only to have the fun surprise of getting one myself while there.
For the rest of the event I got to walk the floor with Walter Day, meet up with some more folks and end up in more cellphone photos than I can count. Ironically, despite not going to E3 to report on it I ended up meeting more people and becoming more exhausted than I have at any previous E3 event. I am also still catching up on the trailers I actually failed to find the time to see while out there.
Quite a fun time overall, and the slideshow to the left will show some of these very adventures. If anyone reading this also has photos or videos of the happenings mentioned here please Tweet them to me @OriginalPSP or send them to my website at PatrickScottPatterson.com.
In the meantime I rest in this window between E3 and ComicCon as I hope and pray for no more downtown street runs.