E3 2011 Secret Diary: Monday

I think IGN are using this same image.

Tuesday 7th June, 11am:

So Monday contained the first proper bit of E3ing – the EA conference. This took place in a theatre in central LA, with quite the embarrassing typo on the outside. They’ve called it a “theater”! Everyone seemed too polite to point it out, so I didn’t say anything.

So 800,000 games journalists crammed themselves in and everyone attempted to set up their wifi/3G/4G connection at once, causing a crack to open up in the sky and purple light to rain down, killing at least a third of the attendees. Which was a relief, as it meant I was able to get a fraction of a connection in order to be able to liveblog the events.

It’s a strange business. Everyone attending, apart from all the EA bods, is a games journalist. Which makes the excited whooping and cheering as game names appeared on the vast screen a little unsettling. Sure, when they brought out some American foot-to-ballers that the locals have heard of, I get that there might be some thrill. I mean, if they’d brought out a champion lawn green bowls player or whatever sport it is that English people play, I’d have been on my feet with my shirt off. But I’d prefer to see some more decorum about that which we’re supposed to at least demonstrate a level head on. I’m very excited to play Mass Effect 3, since the first two have been so good. But I don’t think I should be waving a Mass Effect scarf above my head and hooting with excitement at its logo.

It was a very excitable hour, the top bods of EA trotting out one after another and pretending they weren’t reading off a monitor near their feet. Either that or they’d all written their scripts on their shoes. Speak from the heart, EA! It shouldn’t be platitudes you’ve hurriedly memorised before scampering on stage. It should be the love in your hearts bubbling out for all to see!

But that’s enough stupid gaming news. What you want to know is whether I managed to get any more clothes for my wedding. I did! A jacket. I will now be getting married in a shirt and jacket. I may wear underpants – I will see how the mood takes me.

E3 proper starts today, at long last. I’ve been here so long I think I have ancestry. Today I am mostly seeing everything EA has to offer, which is an impressive looking selection. Then it’s off to chat to CCP about what on Earth is going on with DUST Quarter Past Five, and finally to finally get my hands on Dead Island. We’ll at last be able to let you know if the game lives up to the trailers. I hope. These hands on appointments have a way of morphing into watching someone who made the game put their hands on it.

So, I’ve strapped on my strongest shoes (my only shoes – the one I bought in 2009 to replace those that fell apart the last time I was here), got my mifi in my pocket to get those 3 second glimpses of internet, and a flask of ghastly hotel room coffee to keep me alive on the bus journey from my hotel in Vancouver. I’m going to make you so proud. And take photos of weird looking people.

Part 1
Part 2


  1. BobsLawnService says:

    I think you’ve hit on exactly what is wrong with game “journalists” these days. Except for you stiff upper lipped folks from RPS – you’re ace.

    • arccos says:

      Games are supposed to be fun, though. I would hope people that cover the industry would have their favorites. Why not enjoy your job? It seems like product demos and presentations in every other industry are dull, dull, dull.

      I’d be there cheering for the journos cheering for the games, if I could.

    • Daiv says:

      Cheering for games is not compatible with the strict mental discipline required to smith wordthinks. How can one possibly reach the zen-like inner state required for a truly meaningful Wot I Think?

      Apprentice wordsmiths have been castrated for showing excessive glee in the face of staged marketing demonstrations.

    • Baboonanza says:

      As opposed to what? All the sites that are written by antiquarians for gamers?
      And to my mind cheering shows a complete lack of professionalism. It’s fine to be excited about a game in the pub with your mates, but when you’re representing your readership in a marketing event a journalist (yes, even a games journalist) should be filled with the cynicism and skepticism that are the hallmark of the profession. What games journalists seem to forget is they aren’t part of the publishers marketing department, they are supposed to be after the truth.

    • jonfitt says:


  2. Meat Circus says:

    So, what you’re saying is that most games journalists are openly corrupt, and even worse, cheaply-bought?

    That’s a cheering thought.

    • Colthor says:

      Not so much corrupt, I think, as over-enthusiastic fanatics who can’t even feign disinterest.

    • John Walker says:

      No, I said they cheer too loudly in conferences.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      The word I would use is fanboys.

      Which is problematic in its own right, but not really ‘corrupt’ as such.

    • alice says:

      In conferences and in their coverage as well. The live blogs of the press conferences on most other sites read like a boyfriend desperate to do anything an abusive girlfriend wants to stay with her.

    • JackShandy says:

      You’re suggesting EA paid people to cheer? THey must have self-esteem issues.

    • Ridiculous Human says:

      I thought it was really odd seeing the editor of the official PS3 mag actually appearing in the fawning ad for Rocksmith at the Ubi conference.

    • Defiant Badger says:


      Well it makes a bit more sense than paying people to protest against their game.

    • gorgol says:

      I say old chaps, out of curiosity, is there a way for us youthful fans of the magazine to contribute to RPS monetarily?

    • Urthman says:

      They’re from all those websites that are written by gamers for gamers.

    • Torgen says:

      Perhaps they were all cheering because everyone simultaneously got a wifi signal?

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Could this be a cultural thing? I get the feeling USians will woot and hoot at pretty much anything, unlike us distant and cold oldworlders. So having a bit of a wootenanny might not be such a big deal to them.

  3. TillEulenspiegel says:

    I know Apple, for example, packs the first couple rows of its keynotes with employees. The rest are journalists, who are much too busy tapping away at their live blogs to clap or cheer when record-breaking revenues are announced.

    Are we sure nothing similar is going on here? I somehow thought the latest iteration of E3 was open to some number of fans who are willing to pay.

  4. McDan says:

    Keep up the goodness john, don’t go e3 crazy yet!

  5. Howling Techie says:

    I’m looking forward to Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Elder Scolls: Skyrim, Driver: San Fransisco, Rayman: Origins, Far Cry 3, Overstrike, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Prey 2, Batman: Arkham City, Trackmania 2: Canyon, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Bioshock: Infinite, Space Marines and maybe Brothers in Arms: Furious Four, and that’s just from what I’ve seen.

  6. magnus says:

    Nice diary by the way,is it lockable and is there a compartment for Justin Beiber pics?.

  7. Coins says:

    Nothing about the new Anno game? That was EA too, wasn’t it? :(

  8. kalidanthepalidan says:

    No underpants.

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Yes, commando is the only way.

    • gorgol says:

      Unquestionably he should not wear underpants. But will he wear pants?!

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      If he wears especially long socks then I don’t see why he should adopt the extravagance of a pair of “trousers”.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      At my first E3 for PCG, I wrote a diary. My underpants were its main topic.


  9. Dreamhacker says:

    Next time on the E3 2011 Secret Diary: John VS Wedding Clothing: It’s a TIE!

  10. Eight Rooks says:

    “Then it’s off to chat to CCP about what on Earth is going on with DUST Quarter Past Five”

    I thought most of the other sites had already reported ‘what’s going on’ was it had suddenly become a PS3 exclusive, and was never going to appear on PCs in the first place.

    Not really meant as sarcasm, I honestly thought that had already become old news given the rapid pace of the internet at the moment. My, that game should lead to no end of amusing message board threads on EVE forums once it turns up. ‘I paid a fortune for those mercs and they got beaten back at the first checkpoint – still, what d’you expect from console players, am I right?’ etc., etc.

    • McDan says:

      Of course! Using console serfs to fight our battles is the way forward.

  11. bick4ord says:

    that’s funny, the strongest pair of shoes I ever had were from you side of the pond – dr. martens

    • Dozer says:

      Meh. My DMs would last for a year, maybe 18 months, before disintegrating.

    • Koozer says:

      These babies are £12 from Asda. They’ve lasted me for 2 good years so far and have the added bonus of looking and feeling sort-of-like-shoes and sort-of-like-trainers at the same time. Ah the times we’ve had together.

  12. Greg Wild says:

    Watching the live feeds last night, I just found myself wishing beyond all wishes that RPS or similarly like minded bunch of more resolutely cynical chaps had their own alternative E3 show.

    • Coins says:

      That’s World of Love, isn’t it? The indie get-together. I believe RPS even hosted it some day in the past, but I’m not very sure.

    • Greg Wild says:

      I meant more in terms of instead of having brash hyberactive idiots and beaming blondes woahing at every flashing button and prompt we’d have some grizzled cynicism covering events on the ground at E3 in glorious technovision :D

  13. MD says:

    Good jokes John! I’m not taking the piss, I enjoyed them.

    I mean, if they’d brought out a champion lawn green bowls player or whatever sport it is that English people play, I’d have been on my feet with my shirt off

    And also:

    I will now be getting married in a shirt and jacket. I may wear underpants – I will see how the mood takes me.

  14. oatish says:

    come back to Vancouver!

  15. royaltyinexile says:

    John, you scoundrel. I’ve eaten your pulled pork (snigger). That was an experience. I need a little lie down to recover now.

    I’m also very disappointed your colleague didn’t come to visit Take On. Too many bright and shiny Arma 3 lights! I tried to get over it, but the pulled pork (snigger) has done some strange things to me.

    I am dis a point.

  16. Melf_Himself says:

    I’m not sure what proportion of attendees actually were journalists by any stretch of the word. e.g. I was reading some coverage by Keen and Graev who were there and liveblogging, but are certainly not professionals. They could possibly be the sort to engage in wooping, however, they seemed mainly disgruntled by everything. So they may have been booing and hissing instead.

  17. adonf says:

    I was about to suggest you have lunch at Grand Central Market but the map tells me it’s like 10 blocks away from the convention centre. In my memory it was just on the other side of the street. Hmm, maybe I’m thinking of the courthouse, the only other place I regularly went to in downtown LA.

    So please ignore this useless comment unless you get arrested, then be sure to have a burrito at Grand central Market after you’re released.