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E3 09 Diary: Day Three

Looking better every day.

I want to say something else, I want to bring you messages of cheer, tell you about so many of the great games I’ve seen, and prove that I’m not just an whining baby. But I am so tired. My eyes are bleary, my face is bleary, my entire being is bleary. This is the important message of E3: it makes you tired. But I will do other things than complain below! Nothing useful, of course.

So let me tell you about coffee. If you want a Starbucks at the Los Angeles Convention Center – and of course there are at least two of them in here – whatever you do, don’t stand in line. Instead what you should do is get a job in the games media industry. Perhaps write some spec pieces, send them to a favourite publication, get published, get regular work, and then get sent to E3 representing that magazine or website. Then, when here, go to one of the main publisher’s booths and go to the behind-closed-doors demonstrations. There’s coffee in there. I swear to you this is quicker than standing in the line for Starbucks.

Did that come out like moaning? It was meant to be a helpful tip. It’s free this way too! And you get to be a games journalist, which is the planet’s most admired profession.

Another admired profession is being a celebrity. (SEGUE!) I have somehow managed to miss every single one of them. Apparently James Cameron was here, showing clips of his forthcoming film, Avatar. Someone told me Eliza Dushku was here for the promotion of WET. (Get out of here with your filthy remarks.) I think there were some guys from The Wire somewhere. And loads of others I’ve forgotten at half midnight in the increasingly cold central patio thing outside my hotel room, into which internet access will not pass.

I did see one famous person though. Although you may beg to differ over the definition. (And no Paul Barnett, I don’t mean you. Although you’re famous in our hearts, forever.) It was Geoffrey Arend! Hector from the short-lived but really superb Trust Me. I totally saw him.

Before trying to say something slightly constructive, I must tell you about my feet. I’m not complaining, honest. Just describing the astonishing amounts of pain I’m in for the sake of completeness. I have blisters on both little toes, and most impressively between my toes. Blisters shouldn’t get in there. It’s not reasonable. I was going to take a photo, but I figured there should probably be some sort of line. But I want to know I shredded my feet for YOU.

You know what? I liked E3. The ludicrous tiredness is shared by everyone, and brings people together. Watching PRs, developers and journalists all stumbling out at the end of Thursday, all equally broken whether from late nights writing or late nights drinking, gave the satisfaction of a games show well done.

I’ve heard green stripers saying they’re disappointed with the show this year. Disappointed with the games on offer on the show floor. I’m not sure that’s fair. There were a decent number of decent games on offer. But it’s certainly true that the best stuff was behind those closed doors. What I’ve seen this year, both those I’ve written about so far, and those that will appear on the site over the next week or so, have made me feel incredibly positive about gaming for 2009 to 2010. It’s giant, explodey and fun. It’s smart, conversational and deep. It’s thinking with new ideas, or taking old ones and demanding they be interesting again. It’s sprawling and explorationary and madeupwordimentary. There’s a lot that could be really great.

Tomorrow I think I shall try to write some RPS Awards for the show, in the vain hope that we will get our logo put on box covers and become impossibly famous and powerful and then next E3 have our own vast pen of writers chained to laptops in the middle of the show floor like Gamespot. (And not hidden in a secret chamber upstairs like IGN, where you can’t pull faces at them.) And I’ll also post my photograph of some Ghostbusters having trouble getting the Ghostmobile into the back of a lorry.

In the meantime, I’m taking my broken feet to one final night in my ant-infested room.

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John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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