E3 2011 Secret Diary: Sunday

This is why you read RPS.

Sunday 5th June, 7am:

Woo! E3! There’s nothing better! If you enjoy heat like being in the core of the sun, volume levels as if a thrash metal band and their sub woofers have been installed in your brain, and so many people that genocide starts to look like a merciful choice, it’s the place for you!

Thus once more I arrive into LA, ready to face the thrills, spills, and potential of seeing Hulk Hogan, to gather information about PC games. For you. I do this for you. It’s your fault. So in the coming week you can expect RPS to be bursting with all the exciting announcements, freshest trailers, and worst puns. And I’m going to entertain myself by writing this diary on occasion. It will contain NO useful information. You have been warned.

LA is a strange place. Sorry if you live here, but really, you’re this close to San Francisco and you’re living here? No excuses. If you remember my last trip out to E3, in 2009, you might recall my adventures with ants. Well RPS is two years further down the line now, we’ve ads sold on a system slightly better than, “How much would you like to pay?”, and things have upscaled. I’m staying in a hotel room that so far has no other insectoid guests! It’s also twice as far from the LA Convention Center, because I in no way learned my lesson and didn’t book before April, and thus this time I’m not even within walking distance. This year my biggest obstacle will be: BUSES.

That and a show schedule that looks so frightening I want to cry each time I open the Google Calendar. It’s literally physically impossible to complete, unless every booth happens to occupy the exact same physical space via some sort of multi-dimensional system. They have those in LA now, right? I mean, they’ve got 4G phone networks, which once again makes it feel like being a visitor from the past. Fortunately we also have the assistance of the extremely fine (and tall) Dan Grilopoulolopolous, who will be dashing around, gathering information, and hopefully joining up with me at the end of the days for high fives and hugs.

So my plan for the week, since you asked:

Sunday: Buy clothes for my wedding.
Monday: EA conference. Hopefully I’ll be liveblogging this if I can find some software, and they have any wifi. Leave WordPress liveblogging tips in the comments! Then dinner with a mystery guest. Looks more likely that I’ll be live-tweeting it.
Tuesday: E3 begins proper at 12. Spend the morning figuring out the buses.
Wednesday: E3 insanity all day.
Thursday: More E3, and fly home.
Friday: Die of tiredness.

What can I tell you about what’s happened so far? Airport, plane, customs, shuttle cab thing, hotel, fourteen minutes of sleep, now. There was an excellent LA welcome at the hotel. Lovely girl on reception delivering the full CA experience. Confused at how the hotel was sold out, I explained that the convention means every single hotel in town is the same. And that this one, 900 miles from the Center, was the closest available at the end of April. “I was like…” she said midway through one of my sentences, before picking up this thought again at the end. “I was like… HUH?” You were?! “I was like… what’s going on?” she continued. She still didn’t seem to know, so I told her again. “I was like… HUH?!” she responded. And then, brilliantly, “You were like… wow!” I was! She was right! I love California.

It’s important to note that the History Channel, once famed for showing only documentaries about Hitler, now seems to have abandoned boring old history for its content, and instead shows only Ice Road Truckers. It’s technically history, because it’s not live. It’s better than documentaries about Hitler. Also, A&E – a channel that justifies its existence by making Glades – makes some of the most specific minority documentaries that make daytime BBC1 look shameful. There’s a fly-on-the-wall documentary show about traffic wardens. Not TRAFFIC WARDENS EXTREME where they have terrifying fights with armed gangs. Just a guy going around handing out $30 parking violation tickets, sometimes with the owner complaining that they “only popped inside for a minute.” But best has to be a show about people who buy abandoned storage lockers, and then see if they can make a profit on the contents. But presented as if it’s a thrilling, life-changing race to the death.

But now 8am has finally rolled around and breakfast is open! I’m the best at PC gaming news.


  1. Rich says:

    “It’s better than documentaries about Hitler.” Nonsense!

  2. GamerOfFreedom says:

    CoverItLive is a pretty good live blogging tool link to coveritlive.com

  3. fallingmagpie says:

    link to yourdigitalspace.com

    Looks well within your capabilities, John. Looking forward to it.

    • John Walker says:

      I love that our reader’s expectations of me are set appropriately low : )

    • The Hammer says:

      I love how you think RPS only has one reader John, presumably writing comments under many, many, many different aliases, with strongly contradictory opinions about every subject!


    • ArcaneSaint says:

      He figured that one out? Damn.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      I’m still not stopping the ruse now though, the lie’s too well ingrained.

    • groghog says:

      I hate how you think RPS only has one reader John, presumably writing comments under many, many, many different aliases, with strongly contradictory opinions about every subject!

      …not sorry.

    • The Hammer says:

      Shit, I used the wrong log-in that time.

    • Aedrill says:

      One of the reasons I’m reading RPS is that I’m really good with writing smart and funny comments.

    • Tams80 says:

      What lie? How did he find us out?

  4. BurningPet says:

    ahhhhh, the new world, send my regards to the natives.

  5. Spinks says:

    Is there anything you’re excited about with E3 this year? I was looking at a list of games and there’s ton of sequels …

    • johnpeat says:

      The last time I looked at an end-of-year sales report, “new” games made up 2 of the top 50 sellers – with the rest being sequels/remakes/reboots/reissues.
      That’s 96% of your games off your radar instantly then – and it suggests that customers don’t give a fig…

    • Spinks says:

      *hides the copy of DA2*

    • The Hammer says:

      Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3, and Driver: San Fran!

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I haven’t bought a console in well over a decade, but I’m strangely looking forward to Nintendo’s Wii successor. There’s a ton of interesting stuff they could possibly do, starting with digital downloads.

      If nothing else, it’ll be funny if they have the most powerful console for a couple years. Six years is a long, long time for computer hardware.

    • Davie says:

      SKYRIM. That is all.

    • subedii says:

      Space Marine. Largely because I feel I know enough about the other titles, but I’m curious as to how the multiplayer’s going to work out for it. I know there’s going to be a standard Space Marines vs Chaos Space Marines mulitiplayer mode, as well as a Horde style mode, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some actual footage.

    • timmyvos says:

      Driver is that Life on Mars type game right? It looked interesting last time I saw it.

  6. Dozer says:

    LA has no buses. Do not be deceived. For your own safety, and the safety of others, do not approach such vehicles without a supply of cream tea to give to the ‘driver’.

  7. deadsexy says:

    link to en.support.wordpress.com
    But I guess you already found out about this after a quick google search. I’m only familiar with the app for wp7, it’s a nice app that supports the basic wordpress functions, but I guess you wouldn’t voluntarily choose a touch-only device for live blogging.

  8. Lacero says:

    I was like.. WOW, too.

  9. Abraham says:

    watch out for bed bugs.

  10. The_B says:

    I demand a Live Blog on your wedding clothes purchasing decisions. It’s subjects like these that put RPS at the forefront of coverage! (In this case, literal coverage.)

    • McDan says:

      Relating to this: the picture for this diary really doesn’t look manly at all. With a suggestion of some womans hair in the top left? Plus the colours. Still, looking forward to the rest of these, I can fit in non-useful information into my summer of nothingness. Good work!

  11. nayon says:

    I wanna know the name of that documentary about storage lockers.

  12. FLBR says:

    John, if you bump into id’s Matt Hooper, can you tell him that it does exist? link to rockpapershotgun.com

  13. Inigo says:

    EA conference. Hopefully I’ll be liveblogging this if I can find some software, and they have any wifi.

    They will, but unfortunately it will be set up to censor any web traffic involving the phrases “Origin”, “Battlefield 3” and “What the fuck is this”

  14. Kadayi says:

    Remember John plenty of hand sanitizer. You don’t want to be going down with E3 flu.

  15. Mike says:

    Will you be liveblogging your wedding clothes purchase as a dry run? I’d be up for that.

  16. royaltyinexile says:

    We’re looking forward to seeing Mr Grill at the Bohemia Interactive booth (…hey, that’s got a ring to it).

    Not you, though, John, not you. Shame on you, Mr Walker.

    edit: nutritional information
    If you get a chance to eat here, it’s recommended. — Literally enough grease to stop your heart in 4 bites.

  17. SpinalJack says:

    Make sure you visit the GRilli3D stall. I know it’s not a PC thing but some of my games might be on display :)

  18. JackShandy says:

    W-W-W-Wedding!? Congratulations!

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Let’s hope it’s not a Red Wedding. And let’s hope Mr. Walker doesn’t have a dog.

    • Hentzau says:

      I saw that, and I saw that nobody else was commenting, and I was like “Well maybe this is common knowledge and I’ll look like a know nothing idiot if I bring it up!” but now that you’ve done it I’m safe. Congratulations John!

    • Eightball says:

      It’s a nice day for a red wedding.

    • Creeping Death says:

      @Teddy Leach: Worst part of the book for me -.-

    • lowprices says:

      Congrats on the wedding.

      Unless it’s one of those “got caught shagging the farmers daughter/son and now being forced to marry her/him at gunpoint” weddings. In which case, Bad Luck.

      … It’s probably not one of those, but just in case.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      CD: Aye, it was for me too. Can’t wait for the new ‘un though!

    • MajorManiac says:


    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Congratulations, John! Now you just need to make sure to survive LA..

  19. Nighthood says:

    According to Twitter, “test a million”.

    So yeah, that’s some breaking liveblog news right there.

  20. Marshall says:

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to work in Television from anywhere else. Believe me, I’d live in San Francisco if I could.
    Are there any plans to convene an LA version of the RPS social club? There are some great bars downtown not too far from the Convention Center, such as The Varnish (link to thevarnishbar.com) which is a 1920s-era speakeasy-alike that you have to enter through another bar, awkwardly avoiding eye contact with anyone who might mistake you for a patron of their far lesser establishment.

    • royaltyinexile says:

      Would they allow Englishmen into such an establishment? Do you need to provide your Tommy gun license at the door? Or am I thinking too ‘bugsy malone’?

      Also, I preferred it when your link exploded through the rest of the sentence ;)

      Edit: Nutritional Information
      Wait, wait, wait… the bar is attached to this place?

      Which serves – what google can only lead me to believe is – this monstrosity..?

      Oh my god. I need to go and eat that/become that immediately. This city is disgusting; this city is awesome.

    • Nick says:

      Even Greg Proops lives in LA now, so it can’t be all bad. As long as you don’t try and drive anywhere it’s ok.

    • royaltyinexile says:

      Were at the varnish now. They do a decent sazerac. A little light on the absinthe.

      All things considered, That’s probably for the best.

    • h4plo says:

      Anything happening after tomorrow’s close? Through a strange series of events I have found myself in LA and in possession of an e3 pass and would love drinking with some RPS homies.

  21. mandrill says:

    I live blogged a few presentations at this year’s EVE Fanfest using Google Docs which worked wuite well.

    I opened a Doc, and shared the link via Twitter. Clicking on the link allowed those reading to watch as I typed and chat in a little sidebar. Course it does depend on whether or not you have wifi access.

    I’ve personally never been a fan of WordPress’s liveblogging plugins, and found the google docs solution to be the best I’ve tried.

  22. Lars Westergren says:

    Last time I went to the US I couldn’t sleep because I was worrying about bed bugs.

    Also I tried asking a deaf guard about directions SLOWER and LOUDER several times because he didn’t understand me the first time. Boy did I feel stupid after.

  23. FalseMyrmidon says:

    Welcome to ‘merica. All Americans will assume you’re richer and more cultured than they are because of your British accent. Just don’t tell them you’re a games journalist or you’ll disprove their assumptions.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Junch says:

    John Walker! Please stop by the Razer booth on any one of those days! My name is Jun Shen and I would like very much to shake your hand – as an avid fan of Rock Paper Shotgun and also humble employee at Razer.


  25. MartinNr5 says:

    Would that storage show be Auction Hunters or Storage Wars? I love them both to pieces!

    The finds they make sometimes are amazing. The presentation is as it is though but if one can see past that the shows are quite interesting.

  26. Dave L. says:

    We’re having unseasonably gloomy and even sometimes still rainy weather here in Southern California, so it should feel at least slightly more homelike.

  27. Rei Onryou says:

    I’m interested in the state of John’s feet – that was the attraction of the 2009 diaries!

  28. bill says:

    Agreed on the LA vs San Fran thing. But LA buses….? Are you sure that’s a good idea?
    Last time I tried one it took me about 2 hours to get half way across the city.

  29. vodka and cookies says:

    Ah yes buses or the rolling insane asylums which are sometimes a more accurate depiction, I look forward to any strange encounters you report on.

  30. Tony M says:

    Johns not allowed to write nonsense for PC Gamer anymore, so hes determined to make this diary 100% nonsense. I look forward to it.

  31. Harlander says:

    I’m staying in a hotel room that so far has no other insectoid guests!

    I knew it! I knew you were one of the Mantis Men, and now you’ve blown your cover!