Taking a Look Back at Covering E3; a GameSkinny Journal
About a month ago, I was lucky enough to get to fly to Los Angeles, CA for the Entertainment and Electronics Expo--as a media badge toting, GameSkinny contributor.
To be honest, compared to my experiences at PAX East, E3 was actually somewhat... underwhelming. The convention center was bigger, to be sure, and the larger vendors had much larger and more impressive spaces, absolutely. For weeks friends who had been to E3 before told me how crazy it would be, how I should expect to not see everything. Keeping that in mind, I set out with the goal to see as much as possible. Even if I couldn’t play something, I wanted to at least take a look at it, maybe just watch others play. While I won’t claim to have seen and touched every single game on the show floors, I will say with confidence that I visited just about every booth. The booths I was interested in I was actually able to visit more than once, something I would have a very hard time trying to do at PAX.
What changed everything for me, what made the experience amazing, was going through not just as a fan--but as a member of the media.
I got to LA on Monday, and after some issues with my hotel situation, I headed down to the convention center. Tip number one from this writer: definitely get your badge the day before the show—it saved me a ton of time on Tuesday. I originally hadn’t planned on renting a car, but because of the last minute change of hotel, getting one became a necessity. Tip number two: If you’re staying near the airport in LA and not near the convention center, get a car. Tip number three: drive down to the center and become acquainted with the roads and parking areas the day before; the day of is bedlam.
The first day of E3 I met up with some of the other GameSkinny contributors and grabbed an audio recorder (PS; That’s tip number four, get one of those). It took a while to figure out the lay of the land in the center. Once I staked out the location of my first interview (the Indiecade booth inside the massive South Hall), I got to take a look around.
My first realization of E3: There were not nearly as many booths as I expected.
My second realization of E3: It is really easy to find a booth you wouldn’t have expected to find at this kind of convention, and instantly see how you could write about it in a way that you (hope) think people would want to read—or not.
I did so many interviews over the course of the three short days; I am still sorting through audio and piecing together what pieces will go well together. I saw so many presentations, demos and pitches; I am still sorting through a collection of business cards. A few days after the convention, I spent several hours cataloging them and sending out follow up emails, a daunting yet rewarding task I am not looking forward to repeating. Tip number five: take a moment to write the name of the product or game on the business card you are handed, most won't say the item, let alone even the developer company or team.
What I can say after everything, as I am starting to get back into a rhythm of life and work, is still hard to sum up in more than just the one word: “wow.” Not only to have seen so many passionate teams, and products which were the outcomes of unimaginable amounts of time and effort—but to have gained the opportunity to share all of that with the rest of the gaming (and tech) communities.
What? It's already been a month?
As I finally grab some small chunks of time to write out the experiences that have been on my mind the last month (geez, time flies), I just booked my flights for PAX Prime. This is a roller coaster I hadn’t really imagined I could ever get the opportunity to go on, as a single mom working three jobs with a degree in psychology. As happy as I was with my day to day life, writing here and being given the opportunities to cover events like these for GameSkinny has truly brought something to me I didn’t really notice was missing, until I found it.