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.


  1. Skalpadda says:

    Sounds like the delicious tiredness after a rock festival. With less beer hangover. And rock’n’roll.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    Somebody should tell John about the joint miracles of Compeed and comfortable shoes.

    Not me though. I want John to suffer for his art.

  3. Ian says:

    Let’s all laugh at the green stripers for the worthless peons that they are.


  4. Colthor says:

    If you subscribe to RPS, one games journalist will be able to buy a pair of shoes.
    If they save up for a year or two.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, Cutty being in L4D2 is one of the Best Things.

  6. Malagate says:

    I was waiting for the footnotes, and was not disappointed! Actually Colthor he would probably be better off without shoes, it’s apparantly healthier for your feet. Still, I’m super-curious about what footwear he’s wearing, some kind of razor-sandpaper-toe sandals? Inside-out hedgehog pelts? A non-broken-in black leather Clarks own?
    When Walker comes back I’m extending him an offer to take him boot shopping, just so he can return next year and stomp them all in comfort and style.

    Edito: wait what? Cutty is in L4D2? Yay!

  7. The_B says:

    Malagate: Aye, he’s voicing Coach.

  8. Bobsy says:

    My fierce PR brain concludes that the publishers stalls should be giving away very comfortable slippers as promotional crap. It’d surely be a good way to get into the good books of John Walkers everywhere.

  9. JeromeGT says:

    Wait, ant infested? You must be staying at the Clarion Hotel…the ants scare me :P

  10. Langos says:

    E3 sounds awsome, inspite of the blisters and what not…

  11. Meat Circus says:

    Right, who’s going to PAX?

  12. Noc says:

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    Up to the minute, never before seen coverage of:
    – The blisters!
    – The lines!
    – The dodgy internet access!

    Complete with exclusive behind the scenes INSIDER COVERAGE of:
    – Backroom Coffee revealed to be “gross and tepid!”
    – World Famous Developer “cranky and hungover!”
    – Controversial reveal by Industry Leaders about the state of PC Gaming and the available public restrooms.

  13. videogangs says:

    Surely you mean ECTO-1, John? :-P

  14. mcw says:

    Thank you for providing an honest coverage of E3, it’s what makes me come here and not the gazillions of other websites out there.

  15. Owen says:

    Would April Ryan whine about sore feet, John?

    Well, WOULD SHE?!

  16. Bobsy says:

    @Owen: Yes.

  17. Owen says:

    Yeah, I know. Whiny cow.

    (Still a great game though John! Before you come hunting me down reaaally slowly; wincing with every angry step)

  18. Gap Gen says:


    In reference to ME2 (the comments being closed) I predict a You Only Live Twice style plot device. The trailer does show someone saying “Sheppard! I thought you were dead!”

  19. JohnArr says:

    Lash together a team of green!stripers and have them carry you around.

    You’ve got a black stripe man, start thinking like a black-striper!


  20. MrBejeebus says:

    As a measily green striper I salute you John, YOU CAN HAVE MY SHOES MR BLACKSTRIPE!

  21. James says:

    Thank you for covering E3 for us, and the diaries, John. We love you! In a manly sort of way.

  22. Jayteh says:

    Looking forward to the awards :D

  23. John Walker says:

    JeromeGT – that’s spooky! Famous for them, is it?

  24. Chris R says:

    Do you have PICTURES of these Green Stripers sir?

  25. Alex says:

    At least Robin Williams didn’t show up and further my delusion that a certain game was going to be THE BEST EVER.

  26. DSX says:

    erm. Who’s Cutty?

  27. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ DSX: Dennis Wise

  28. JeromeGT says:

    @John Walker It wasn’t that bad thankfully. I did notice that one of the ants went for a joyride on my suitcase at the airport. I don’t think the locals in Hawai’i would like me bringing back “wildlife” from the mainland…next year we should meet up if you are down at the E3.

  29. Rei Onryou says:

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    – Never before seen celebrities! Includes the likes of James Cameron and Eliza Dushku. But you wouldn’t know because you wont see them!!!

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