Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: August 19th
The topic of game conventions frequently comes up in my
recaps. To us game enthusiasts and journalists, they are the one
thing we both look forward to and dread, equally. They epitomize
the whole concept of fun that is the gaming industry, and
demonstrates why we love what we do. But at the same time, after
three or four days, it burns us out tremendously.
Sensory overload is one of the most common issues with these trade shows, and it happened to me, for the first time, at last month's E3. You see, these monitors so absurdly huge, and because the controllers from the consoles are wired, the image is positioned right in your face, and you can't walk back to give yourself some space. And if you've ever played too close to a large TV, you know what happens...yep, nausea from motion sickness.
So imagine having to endure for three months in a row? Personally, this whole convention setup is getting a little out of hand. We have E3 in July, Leipzig in August, and then Tokyo Game Show in September. Traveling for a week for three months in a row, only to come back burned out can really take its toll on you. And I really wish that these trade-shows would just fuse into one, or at least have a larger time gap between each one.
I may have noted this is another recap before, but this year's E3 was placed in a very poor time slot. For the sake of all public relations departments, their holiday push starts in May and ends in June, which was precisely why the original E3 worked so well for them. Meanwhile the July/Summer time frame is for the post-Holiday push of the new year.
While yes, it is nice for the gamer to have three different enormous events, on top of independent events held by individual companies, it is a little redundant for us in the industry. I don't have much interest in attending Leipzig, because 90% of it I've already experienced at E3. While yes, there will be quite a number of new AAA titles playable such as Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, it doesn't phase me that much. For instance, GT5: Prologue will be out just six weeks after the Leipzig show, which means I don't have to wait very long to play it, after attendees of the convention do.
Again, this is what made the original E3 so exciting. We got to play this code that wouldn't arrive for another 5-7 months, as opposed to playing code that would arrive much sooner. Now my new beef is that I want my large convention hall back. Perhaps we don't need the LA Convention Center for E3, but dammit...I still want a large gathering place - at least the size of the Jacob Javitz Convention Center here in New York City.
Ah well, ESA has yet to announce plans for the next E3, but rumblings suggest that "E3" is dead and this was its last hurrah. Let's hope that ESA has some big plans for it for 2008, and hopefully we're in an environment that doesn't include a tiny hangar, and 15 hotels.
8/19/2007 Arnold Katayev