Going to E3 This Year? Some First Year Advice.

This will be my 12th year going to the legendary video games conference: E3. I’ve learned a lot going through the years and I offer some advice for those going for the first time.

If you can only go one day- 

Go Tuesday. It’s the shortest day but it’s the easiest day to play what you want to play. More on this later.

Take the train if you can. 

Parking in LA is always awful but during an event like E3 it’s worse than usual. The metro will drop you off down the street from the convention center and will only cost you a few bucks per day. Cheaper than paying $20+ for parking.

Bring hand sanitizer. 

Many booths have gotten better at having anti-bac hand sanitizer in recent years for everyone to use but it never hurts to have your own in case you get stuck in an area without (or they run out). Touching controllers that hundreds of other people have touched that day might not seem that bad, but it adds up. Take care of yourself so you don’t wind up with swine flu by Friday.

Wear super comfortable shoes- 

and clothes. This becomes more important the more days you plan to attend. A lot of your time will be spent standing/sitting in line and walking from one area of the massive halls to another. If you have super saiyan feet, more power to ya. If not: don’t wear sandals, don’t wear pumps, don’t wear flats.

destiny cosplay

Bring snacks. 

Preferably ones that don’t require utensils or too much handling (see note #3). Granola bars, bananas, anything on a skewer. The lines for everything you’re gonna want to see could take 5 hours or more and you’re not gonna want to leave the show to eat. Also the offerings in the convention center are the overpriced, not great, junk food you’d expect.

Speaking of line waiting…bring something to do. 

E3 is a great place to get street passes on any iteration of the DS you own or spend some hours with your long neglected PSVita. I’ll also be interested to see how many Mario Kart tournaments break out in line on Switches this year. I’ve also been able to make a few new friends chatting up with fellow gamers to pass the time. You get to meet so many cool people who you know you already have something in common with, a love of video games!

Bring a bag.

You don’t want to get overencumbered with a big bag but bring something to stash your swag and snacks. I used to bring a one shoulder bag and that will wear you down after three full days. There isn’t as much swag as there used to be, but you usually get a shirt and a pin for playing demos for the bigger games. Bring something you wouldn’t mind climbing a mountain with.

Swag-

is earned at the show. You get swag for playing games, dancing in public, taking surveys, entering raffles, completing challenges, winning matches and so on. Not many booths just give out stuff. You gotta work for it gamer.

e3 swag2

Know what your top games are that you want to check out-

and do those on Tuesday. Everyone is still figuring the show out on the first day and the media badges are busy elsewhere, so if you know what you really want to see you’re already ahead of the game. Don’t think “oh I’ll go check that out tomorrow” because most times you’ll have to wait in line for 6 hours to see the big stuff (Destiny 2, COD WWI, Super Mario Odyssey will all probably be big lines). I waited EIGHT HOURS over TWO DAYS to play Halo 5 and experience the hololens.

e3 homefront

Prepare yourself for disappointment.

It’s not likely, because E3 is a total mind blowing blast but sometimes the really cool stuff is behind closed doors that you need a key called a “media badge” to open. That’s fine, there’s lots of stuff to check out. But as an example, last year only 100 people a day could get into the Resident Evil 7 booth to play the demo in VR. The first 100 in line literally got a golden ticket to get in. Everyone else was SOL. That’s cool, go play something else in the next area and don’t let it ruin your day.

RE7

Watch out for “Theater demos”.

I waited in line for an hour to get into a presentation for Watch Dogs 2 only to find out once I was inside that there was no swag, I couldn’t play the game and it was the exact same demo shown during the press conference. A lot of the bigger games do this especially Ubisoft titles. I recommend you watch the press conferences and then watch out for this at the show so you can maximize your time. If you’re not sure, ask one of the staff working the booth before you decide to wait in line.

Be fucking respectful. 

Yes there are celebrities at E3, super star game devs and yes there are booth babes. Don’t harass them or be a dick. They are people too. Say hi, ask for a picture, say something nice then move on. Nine times out of ten you will get a cool memory to take home with a pleasant exchange. Don’t be that douche bag they write articles about the week after the show.

e3 nintendo

GOThere’s a lot to take in- 

take it in on Thursday. There is so much to see and do (and buy this year) but don’t be tempted to review the floors on the first day and play the games on the next two. Plan your priorities and do them as soon as possible so you can relax and bask in the bright lights and glory of E3 on the last day.

HAVE A GREAT DAMN TIME. It’s gonna be totally awesome.
e3 pip
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Video Game Auction!

The ESA foundation (that’s entertainment software association to you) is hosting their “Nite to Unite” silent auction to benefit all the cool shit they do and sweet-ass peoples they help get into the best industry in the world.

All Silent Auction items will be available for bidding until 8:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 and include items such as tickets to a live taping of Conan, a pip-boy signed by the fallout team and some crazy cool rare Capcom collectibles.

This is the first time in the nineteen  year history of the association that the auction will accept bids from the world wide interwebs. So if you got money to burn for a great cause, I’d really like that Lego Batman Ultimate Fan pack.

Thanks!

Check out what’s for sale here.

January 2016 Cakey Horoscopes

Aquarius – This month expect all your favorite games to be DELAYED. Oh, and that Division beta code you were waiting for? Your roommate, the guy who still can’t get through world 1-1, already used it. And he drank your milk and sat your cat. You know what, you should probably just stay inside, lock your doors and work from home this month. Also, avoid Scorpios at all costs, they come to kill your family.

Pisces – Saturn’s rings light up the sky with their radioactive glow this month and you have a burning desire to play Gitaroo man on your PSP, the original model, none of those cheap lightweight hunks of breakable plastic they called the psp 3000. But your charger is lost because when the hell was the last time you actually picked up that thing so you order one off ebay, wait a week, charge that sucker, fire ‘er up and play the shit out of that game until your eyes bleed awesome. Its gonna be a good month for you.

Aries – You’ve started to notice that what few friends remain to you are sick of your Gradius II-esque stick shooter game you threw up in Unity and made them play test until the cheap casio keyboard sounds of your “temp” music makes them cringe and cry salt rocks. And maybe it’s time to rethink the cheap outsourced labor you hired for the art team. You can’t cut corners on that sh!t. Go back to playing Shovel Knight n00b.

Taurus – Now is a good time to get back to your roots. All those classics you’ve put on the back burner? Never gotten around to? Do it now before all your friends leave you. They laugh behind your back, you know? It’s hard for them to comprehend how you can have anything in common with a person who’s never played the vector graphics classic Gravitar. What’s wrong with you.

Gemini – Your split personality makes you the perfect co-op partner this month… in Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. Gear up Diddy. You’re never gonna beat Orphan of Kos anyway. It’s okay though, you can always watch someone better than you beat him on YouTube.

Cancer – This month is when you’ll finally leave the dark mud cave where you hide your spawn and crawl into the light to attack an unsuspecting, innocent wastelander with dozens of your asshole friends, bringing down their dog despite how obviously adorable he is and the pathetic sounds of his whimpers illicit no sympathy from you. You horrible monster.

Leo – You are a going to finish Fallout 4 this month. I believe in you. You are also a wonderful and beautiful person. This is your year. Carry on Leos.

Virgo – Your significant other just left you (third one this year, get it together) but you hardly noticed as you burn through Dora the explorer: Monkey Jungle Adventures to get those last few achievement points to finally surpass that dick at work who brags about his gamerscore. Take that Phillip.

Libra – The planets have aligned and you channel your inner Chris Redfield. A wise cracking good shot with massively over-developed biceps, the ladies look to you for a good time and a stiff…drink. Take advantage of the confidence this month provides like only a few shots of tequlia can and go for your dreams, or that next chapter of Dark Souls II because nothing gets in your way right now!

Just kidding, you’re Steve. and no one likes Steve.

Scorpio – Your head might feel like it’s on fire this month but don’t let that get in your way. You have a lot of opportunities coming if you aren’t a giant dick to everyone you come into contact with. That includes Dan. He’s sorry. Get over it. It’s not his fault you’re a sore loser in Mario Kart. Avoid Aquarius jerks at all costs, they’re not having a good month and they come to kill your family.

Sagittarius – You are still playing Skyrim despite all your friends desperate attempts at an intervention. It’s 2016, it’s time to move on. Oh! and don’t look now but you have an arrow in your knee. Think that joke is too old? Well so are you. Loser.

Capricorn – You shouldn’t invest in any Kickstarters this month, as the game genie has come and erased all your save data and you will need that money to replace the Xbox you just shattered in an unprecedented rage quit of epic proportions.