E3 09 Diary: Day Two

By John Walker on June 4th, 2009 at 11:30 am.

Nope, not improved it.

I’m by far not the first to make this point, but the most extraordinary thing about being at E3 is you’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on at E3. If you want to know every announcement, every new game, every surprise revelation, then stay at home and refresh your favourite rolling news site. The last place you want to be is in the convention. The last place my feet want to be is in the convention. Once more I bring you my wholly unhelpful observations on E3. (Oh, and people demanded pictures, so included are two of the best you’ll ever see).

Standing inside it, you can only see what you’re next to. Sitting outside of it in your giant gaming throne, you receive every hand-filtered snippet for your perusal. “But what about you just using the internet while you’re there, idiotface?” I hear you so rudely remark. Oh dear, let me tell you about the internet.

Every hotel in all of LA is currently swollen with games hacks. Even this ant-infested hovel. (Coming in from writing last night’s posts I found that my sink had been taken over by a colony of teeny tiny baby ants, in their kerjillions, all trying to eat my leftover coleslaw. After a quite horrendous drowning-based genocide, I was able to go to bed only imagining about four hundred itches from the ghost ants crawling all over me). Absolutely everyone I’ve spoken to reports they’ve got all but no internet access in their hotel room, and I can only assume it’s due to the sheer volume of people in each building trying to use it.

In this blur is Scribblenauts, the official John Walker DS Game Of The Show

Tonight I’m sat inside, as HOO-FLIPPING-RAY, it was cloudy and raining today. Oh, blessed lack of scorching sun, how I adored it. But I managed to find a spot on my desk where my netbook can get up to, wait for it, 5k/s downloads! Seriously, if I move the computer one inch to the left or right, it drops out. The Borderlands and Mafia II posts may not look like great feats of human endurance, but I can assure you they were.

And the internet at the show isn’t much better. If you go into the NO GREENIES media lounges, there’s occasional access to some complimentary wifi, but step outside (and therefore toward anything that’s actually happening at the show) and you’re back in a wilderness of passworded WPA logins, mocking you with their five green bars. The Los Angeles Convention Centre is without doubt the point on the planet most cut off from the gaming convention it contains.

That’s not to say the specifics aren’t great. Wow, today was good for games. I’ve a big bag full of previews to post over the next couple of weeks. PC games are going to be awesome over the next year. It’s good to know.

It's the Batmobile! I think.

But wow, it’s noisy. I have a theory that everywhere needs school dinnerladies. You’ll remember in the school lunch hall that eventually the noise levels would get so high that a teacher or dinnerlady would clap their hands sharply and shout, “THAT’S QUITE ENOUGH NOW. EVERYONE QUIETEN DOWN!” It’s because as one group gets louder, the group next to them has to as well to compensate, until eventually everyone in the room is booming to be heard. I want dinnerladies in pubs, restaurants, and most of all in E3. Someone to go and tell Konami or whoever that their bass doesn’t need to be half that loud to be heard, and then perhaps the bowels of people in the neighbouring booth wouldn’t be quite as prolapsed.

It’s important for me to tell the internet that the ball of my right foot is now more blister than skin, and that I’m generally very sore. And so is everyone I encountered in the later parts of today. Breezy PR people were beginning to lag by the end of Wednesday, weighed down by the knowledge of another full day ahead of them. It’s quite remarkably tiring for everyone involved. Which meant when I found out one major publisher only had ONE game on their stands that was on PC (and that was cross platform), rather than declare indignation, I cried, “HOORAY! I’ve got a 45 minute break!” I used it to steal more of Valve’s cold drinks and hug PC Gamer’s Tim Edwards. It was time well spent.

One more day to go. I can do it! Go me! GO TEAM ME!

__________________

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50 Comments »

  1. KindredPhantom says:

    Sounds like you are having a lot of fun there. Are you enjoying yourself? :D

  2. xercies says:

    i’ve always wanted to go to E3 yet I know its mostly best when you are a reporter and even then its not that great. but just going there once would be a good lifetime experience.

  3. Ian says:

    John should have taken a t-shirt with “TEAM WALKER” printed on it.

    GO WALKER!

  4. Lukasz says:

    Reading about e3 here…. did it change much since it ‘changed’ some time ago?

  5. Monkeybreadman says:

    Wetpants, tell me about Bad Company 2.

    And i hope your making good notes

  6. Nuyan says:

    I think you’re an awesome photographer.

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    John Walker is my hero.

    KG

  8. Smee says:

    There’s really only one thing I’m concerned about: Did you get to meet Eliza Dushku at the Wet booth?

  9. IM19208 says:

    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, maybe the best surprise on e3 is not coming to PC, please support this onlinepetition:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/CLOSPC/petition.html

  10. Jayteh says:

    Can’t wait for the podcast to hear the bitching voiced :D

  11. Rinox says:

    I think I’d start showing physical withdrawal symptoms when placed in your internet-deprived shoes John, so you’ve got my respect.

  12. Gap Gen says:

    The Walker Shaky-Cam is the new shitty podcast mic.

  13. Frans Coehoorn says:

    Bizarre stuff – everyone of my friends and colleagues are having the time of their lives there, except for Mr. Walker. Guess it really is a bitch to do it on your own then. From the looks of it though, the E3 looks rather small and less crowded this time. Imagine the older days then, John! :-)

  14. Markoff Chaney says:

    Amazing pictures and wonderful stories. Keep up the good work and keep trudging along. Maybe someone will make a go to E3 game and we can experience the lack of experience for ourselves one day but, until then, Team Walker is a Vicarious go!

  15. Professor says:

    And yet, I’d still love to go there.

  16. Pishtaco says:

    Love the Batmobile made of chocolate.

  17. AbyssUK says:

    This sounds like Crufts.. but without the smell.

  18. Rei Onryou says:

    Pics of hugging PC Gamer’s Tim Edwards of it never happened.

  19. Kieron Gillen says:

    Tim is quick on the trigger with his hugging.

    KG

  20. BooleanBob says:

    Keep it up, bionic man! One last push, and then England again; yes, England, awaiting the rapturous return of her golden child! Grey skies! Caffeine bingeing on tea! A pidgeon at every discarded kebab box, a kebab in every schoolkid’s lunch box!

    Come, Walker, fall into the writhing embrace of Mother England, and together we shall sing the song that ends the Earth. Piers Morgan will decide whether we were good enough proceed to the next round.

  21. Mike says:

    Keep going, John. WE BELIEVE IN YOU.

  22. Gap Gen says:

    There’s video evidence of Ross Atherton hugging a reader. The PC Gamer editorial team is evidently a huggy bunch.

  23. nabeel says:

    Awesome write-ups, a heck of a lot of work for just one man. Go see Alan Wake!

  24. Piispa says:

    Forget Omaha Beach, forget exploring new star systems! I want a game of the greatest endevour mankind has ever faced and nearly conquered: Mr. Walker at E3! The FPS of tomorrow – today!

  25. Ben Abraham says:

    Johnnie, don’t be a hero… Don’t be a fool with your life!

  26. ...hmm... says:

    4th of june shall henceforth be known to all men as john walker day!!!

  27. Rei Onryou says:

    @Piipsa: John Walker: The E3 Experience.

    Now you can live out your fantasies with JW:E3!! Step into the shoes of your favourite RPS editor, John Walker and experience his toughest adventure yet. Be amazed at the lifelike graphics and ear-drum bursting bass.

    As John, you:
    - Get to look down your nose at GREEN pass holders. Point and laugh at their petty existence compared to you.

    - Push through the crowds in order to get to your next appointment. Can you make it in time?

    - Interview PR people for valuable info. Ask the right questions to get the longest quotes! Badass.

    - Take pictures of the awesomeness! Now with 1000% more shakycam!!

    - Sneak into Valve’s private quarters to gain precious Sprite. The most realistic stealth mode ever!

    - Fight baby ants! Because genocide is so much better when they’re babies.

    - Find wireless hot spots to send previews back to adoring fans. Refresh that network list furiously, John!

    - Hug people! Because you can!

    JW:E3 has a new innovative health system: Ankle Inflammation Madness (AIM)!!! John can only take so much foot soreness. Find a seat and let your AIM recharge.

    And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve added QTEs, long loading times, DRM and horrendous pricing schemes!!! Because you keep asking for them!

    John Walker: The E3 Experience – Exclusive to Xbox 360 (also available on PC). Coming this Christmas, with full-price sequel in January.

  28. Ian says:

    You get a bonus if you stealth up to and hug people before they know you’re there. If you fail, you have to enter a brutal “Can I Hug You?” QTE.

  29. Lewis says:

    Oh! That explains things. I was waiting to hear back from Tim about something, but he’s busy hugging you in America. Makes sense.

  30. Dozer says:

    Did you just say that your right ball is one huge blister?

  31. Malagate says:

    The ball of his right foot Dozer, yes John Walker is so manly that even his feet have balls. That’s why he’s always on the ball.

    But really, a blister that big? I would have thought that John Walker would know the importance of proper footwear! My big ol’ boots may look inappropriate for everywhere, but I can stand and walk in them all day long with nary an ache.

  32. Kieron Gillen says:

    That RPS comment threads turn so easily to podiatry pleases me.

    KG

  33. Dr Gonzo says:

    We need those dinner ladies! Best idea ever.

  34. Pace says:

    I was going to try and come up with some sort of clever response to KG’s comment, but it turns out there is no word for someone with a foot fetish! WTF!!! The English language offers me nothing to work with! (podophile anyone?)

  35. Paul_M says:

    Great stuff John, many thanks. Incidentally, the “everybody raising their voice as the background noise increases” thing is actually called the Lombard Effect. I stumbled across this in my revision notes this very day. How interesting.

    Illiciting an illogical volume of impotent complaining over what is essentially nothing of any great importance, however, is known as the Lombardi effect. pshaw.

  36. Ecoutez says:

    Pace – try podophilia or aretifism. Not sure how blisters fit in though…

  37. Piispa says:

    So podophiles have a special branch for those feet with blisters on them?

    I bet them Japanese folk have made a movie or two of them..

  38. EyeMessiah says:

    Until the night is over:
    Hold on!
    Hold on!
    Hold your horses back from the fickle dawn

    I have got some business out at the edge of town
    Candy weighing both of my pockets down
    ‘Til I can hardly stay afloat, from the weight of them
    (and knowing how the common-folk condemn
    What it is I do, to you, to keep you warm
    Being a woman, being a woman)

    But always up the mountainside you’re clambering
    Groping blindly, hungry for anything:
    Picking through your pocket linings – well, what is this?
    Scrap of sassafras, eh sisyphus?
    I see the blossoms broke and wet after the rain
    Little sister, he will be back again

    I have washed a thousand spiders ants down the drain
    Spider’s Ant’s ghosts hang soaked and dangelin’
    Silently from all the blooming cherry trees
    In tiny nooses, safe from everyone
    - nothing but a nuisance; gone now, dead and done
    Be a woman, be a woman!

  39. Lack_26 says:

    Pustulophilia? I dunno, I think pustu is latin for blister. I can only remember a bit from learning about the Romans marching, that was over a decade ago.

  40. Carvell says:

    Good to see you havent lost your inner englishman, 4 paragraphs about sore feet and lack of internets and general wine :P thats how men blog about e3 and i wouldn’t change a thing

  41. Smurfy says:

    @Rei Onryou: I lolled until the L4D2 dig at the end.

  42. burningpet says:

    feetish

  43. MrBejeebus says:

    as someone who is still at school (6th form) i know the effect of dinnerladies.

    and i would happily buy JW:E3, just to hear him speak to me “gotta get to this next conference, TEAM WALKER GO!”

  44. Rei Onryou says:

    @Smurfy: The L4D2 dig was at the AIMs rather than Valve. I’d like as many Walker experiences as fast as possible.

  45. skizelo says:

    I enjoy these Fear and Loathing in E3s, although they are very unhelpful.

  46. SuperNashwan says:

    feetish

    Bravo, good sir.

  47. TheApologist says:

    @Paul_M

    Nice. I will be using the Lombardi Effect in a sentence today :)

  48. Muzman says:

    I would love some fractured dictaphone recordings of all this.


    *CLICK*
    The horror that surrounded me. Such a din these forest beasts make in full cry. In my limping state I would be in no condition to outrun them should they turn on me.
    Fortunately they seem to have enough on their minds, or plates.
    *CLACK*
    *CLICK*
    I clear the jungle once more for a moments respite before I face the desert again, only to find the night alive with bugs seeking to devour me.
    I had to throw my last food to the greenstripes in order to escape. Once that is gone I fear they shall follow me.
    *CLACK*
    *CLICK*
    The sun, dear god the relentless sun. None can truly prepare you for its terrible, shrivelling majesty. I stare at my feet as I go – whose soles now resemble shredded and soaked books of chamois more than my own skin- for downcast is the only shade to speak of, and the only light my poor orbs can bear.
    All about is orange haze.
    *CLACK*
    *CLICK*
    *indistinguishable*…my time.
    Can’t continue. I do not fear dishonour. I fear for the loss of…*indistinguishable*
    For god’s sake take care of my people.
    If…only… there were… a Hardy… to kiss.
    *indistinguishable*
    *CLACK*
    *CLICK*
    *rustling*
    No!
    Must.. go on. What transpired…must be told. For England! And Empire!
    *gasping*
    Night falling. The…sweetest breeze’s dewey kiss.
    Yes…
    *CLACK*

  49. Dozer says:

    JW:E3 would have trouble rendering John’s tremendous beard though.

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