E3: It’s All a Bad Magic Show

The only thing missing was the tuxedos, or the nice looking and leggy girls. Oh, wait....

The only thing missing was the tuxedos, or the nice looking and leggy girls. Oh, wait....

I used to be interested in stage magic a long time ago. I never pursued it, mainly because I found out how much an “illusion” costs to make.

(Not even kidding, $10K is on the cheaper end of things.)

However, I learned the techniques and learned what to look for. I remember going to the “Siegfried and Roy” show a long time ago in Vegas and being angry because I watched them walk an elephant off stage right while they were accepting applause for making it disappear.

That’s one illusion technique called “Misdirection.” For example, in paintball I use misdirection all the time. Look at the guy on the left while the guy on the right does something useful. We call this “designated idiot”, by the way, I’ll tell you all about it some other time. Works surprisingly well in World of Tanks and Alterac Valley PvP. But more importantly to this website, I see that other people do this as well.

Like the other day at E3.

Hollow Magic

My “love” for EA is not secret, they banned my account over a vulgar tweet I made while angry at their customer service so… I have no love for them at all. But I watched their E3 reveal, and more importantly I watched it with an eye on old stage magic tricks. And, well, my conclusion about them, and in fact all of the E3 show stuff, is ‘Wow, that was hollow.’

See, the interesting thing isn’t always what they show, it’s what they don’t show. An illusion is more powerful when the audience sees only enough to fill in the gaps for themselves. So it was with interest I noticed they spent FIVE MINUTES on dribble physics for NBA Live, FIVE SECONDS about StarWars Battlefront. So NBA Live is pretty much done so they can show what that will be to sell it, meanwhile all the Star Wars fanboys are filling in with their imagination what Battlefront COULD be like, and this will sell the game to them. EA made a a HUGE deal to show 64 people playing “Battlefield 4”, but only showed one player’s alleged screen view. They did a pan shot from the back to show all of the players screens to show they were playing the game, but didn’t show any of them actually helping the core mission.

All of the game-play footage also morphed seamlessly into an end title credit, so that means either they spent a LOT of money to have a live production crew on site to pull it off, or it was all pre-rendered. If the former, wow what a waste of money. If the (more than likely) latter, then it’s all a hollow illusion.

“We’re playing the real game! REALLY!”

Do I need to remind you people what the original “Aliens : Colonial Marines” game was hyped to look like compared to the released product? You may have heard the saying “it’s all smoke and mirrors”, and I’m beginning to think that E3 and other trade shows are much the same thing. It’s bad magic.

It’s throwing money at stuff to make it look like something it really isn’t.

I would love to hear an explanation from anyone as to why E3 is as important as people claim it to be, because what you see there is an illusion, it’s nothing like what you’re going to end up getting. So if you have an explanation as to why E3 is actually important or meaningful, please explain. I’ll get refreshments out and everything.

2 Drink Minimum for E3

Sigfried and Roy’s show had a 2-drink minimum, by the way. It may have been the only way the show looked good. I’m thinking E3 should be the same, only as a drinking game. Every time they say something will have an “emotional attachment to the player,” take a drink. By night’s end, yeah you’ll buy into the X-Bone’s hype, no problem!

About the author


I'm a gamer. I'm a reality junkie. I'm a cynic. I'm a dinosaur. I'm a writer. I'm so much more than a paragraph can say. You want more? Ok. I started a video game show on the internet some time ago. See, I've played video games since Intellivision and Atari 2600 and PONG back in the day. Retro-gaming doesn't really fire me up as much as seeing how the community ticks. And after seeing way too many "I'm too young to have played this game when it first came out but it MAKES ME SO ANGRY" reviewers who would happily eviscerate my childhood for lulz... yeah I tossed my hat into the ring. the quickly scooped it back up, I'm told I have a bald spot that needs covering. Outside of gaming... yes I go outside shut up... I like to play paintball when I can. I snowboard a lot, when I can. I go mountain biking, when I can... seeing a trend yet? I prefer reality to video games, but at 4 AM it's hard to find a paintball game going on. Lately I livestream a lot, playing video games for an audience.