Obviously we at RPS must have made E3 look so glamorous that everyone wants a look-in. I mean, I assume that that's the reason the Electronic Entertainment Expo [official site] is offering tickets to the general public for this year's show - all of our tweeting from press conferences and the mention of pancakes the size of pillows at local diners and that story about how I brought a stick coated in tar back as a present for Alice... It's E3 gold, innit.
— E3 (@E3) February 8, 2017
E3 has dabbled with public attendees in the past - there was E3 Live in 2016, for example, which gathered some bits of E3 into a separate venue and admitted members of the public, and 2015 had an invite-only element of public attendance - but this feels like a real shift for the usually-trade oriented show as Gamespot are reporting 15,000 tickets will be available and will offer access to the show floor, panels and other bits and bobs. It sounds like full attendance rather than a side event or a curated subset of people.
These tickets go on sale at 12pm ET on February 13 and they'll set you back "$250 (or $150 as part of an early bird discount available on February 13)" (as per Gamespot).
I went to E3 a couple of years ago for this site and it's such a weird thing and I really struggle to see it through consumer eyes. It's a true bubble of games industry stuff and if you're working you spend so much time stressed out of your mind, rushing between appointments at different ends of the huge halls, desperately transcribing interviews, writing notes and howling at wifi connections. That's to say nothing of spending hours in traffic as you try to get to the conferences publishers have decided to hold in Hollywood or wherever.
It's... weird. And you get so exhausted and run down and wrung out by the end of it that it's hard to imagine attending it for pleasure. Then you realise that if you're a member of the public who doesn't live in that bubble maybe you'd actually be strolling in after a leisurely breakfast, playing games and not, say, trying to make cup noodles using only a coffee maker in your hotel room at 4am after writing three preview features and realising you haven't eaten since noon.
So with that in mind, I'm interested to know whether you're excited about this change. I mean, do you look at E3 and think "That is a thing I want to be part of"? or are you content to watch the bits you like online and leave the rest until later?
E3 is taking place 13-15 June at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. If you're thinking of going, I can tell you this for nothing: book a bloody hotel room as soon as you can otherwise you'll end up a million miles away and spending a fortune to do so. Oh, and the James Irvine Japanese Garden at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is a really lovely alternative if you're looking to have a quiet moment in LA instead.
If, however, you'd prefer to spend your time in England instead of LA there's always Rezzed, which is fun and also a manageable size. You can get a 3 day pass for that for less than £40 AND we're partnering with it so we'll be there. I mean, given you're probably only eyeing up E3 because we made it look cool it's worth bearing in mind that you can bask in our coolness at Rezzed far more easily. I'll leave the link here...