Often known as “Christmas for gamers”, E3 season is an event built around hype and love towards the gaming industry. Now that it’s open to the public for the first time ever it’s worth noting that it isn’t the big carnival like experience many are left to believe. As someone who attended E3 twice here are some things you may need to be aware of.
Let’s get this first out of the way: you will be standing and waiting a lot at E3. It’s often tossed, maybe even exaggerated, but it’s all true. The waiting lines at E3 are ridiculous. For Super Smash Brothers 4 I had to stand in line for almost 2 hours before I could get in and play 2 matches. TWO. FREAKING. HOURS. Once it eventually becomes your turn, guess what? It’s short. Unlike demos you get to enjoy at your home and at your own leisure, at E3 everything feels rushed and predefined. By the time it’s over you wonder why you even bothered waiting in the first place.
Recommendation: pick your games ahead of schedule. Understand the hall layouts and where you want to go first.
It’s loud and it stinks
Imagine a hall with massive speakers all bursting at you from different angles. Now imagine that hall filled with BO. E3 manages to vent the place but it can only do so much when so many people are running and waiting. It does get somewhat hot as well which doesn’t help matters either.
Recommendation: wear light clothes and shorts. Also considering that you will be doing lots of walking, wear sports shoes. I also used sound cancelling headphones to dull the noise.
Don’t expect to be attending the press conferences
The press conferences are certainly the highlight of E3. It is the moment were bombs are dropped and words like “oh, and one more thing” make us jittery. And sadly it won’t be possible to attend any of them. These conferences are specifically made for the press but sometimes let people in if there are extra seats. The PlayStation and Xbox ones have the highest chances due to their size but even then it’s a stretch. Not to mention these events are spread around LA and do not take place within the convention itself.
Recommendation: not much can be done here. Unless you’re a media person or have inside contacts it will be impossible to get in without a pass.
The worst part out of all this is that you will most likely not get to try everything. E3 was already crowded as a media only event. The fact that more people are coming means bigger crowds, bigger lines, and more time wasted. Not to mention that amount of energy it will take from you. If I had the choice I would honestly stay at home, enjoy the streams with mates, and look at some gameplay videos online. Twitch and YouTube have really become suitable substitutes that more or less eliminates the means of attending an event. But I will say this: E3 has atmosphere. As a gamer I constantly felt like I was in my element, surrounded by the industry I grew to love and still do till this day. You also get to meet a lot of great people who obviously share your interests.
If you’re curious, have the cash to burn, or just want to cross it off your bucket list, I hope these small tips help.