E3 2014

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LA LA

12 June 2014 | Written by Maxxum

One year since the debutante of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at E3 2013, it was the developers' time for the spotlight as new releases were highlighted, and upcoming titles teased for the gaming community.

It's expected that the marketing agencies for each developer will try to out perform themselves at each E3, but this year their efforts were more inventive than I've seen in previous years. Wargming.net, whose advertising campaign is visible above the din of almost every booth at every event at which I've seen them present, was the 800lb booth gorilla with Twitch live streaming, around-the-clock giveaways, a Matrix-style photobooth, unique free swag, air conditioned & sound-proofed interview rooms, and of course a tank crushing a car:

Yes, yes it does

One could almost forget that E3 takes place in Los Angeles because so much time is spent by attendees in the Staples Center, the area immediately surrounding the complex, or their hotel. Despite available public transportation, there's no incentive to leave the area to see the rest of the city at night if it means being too tired the next day to work, or stand in line for swag. That's one of the ugly sides of E3. Speak to regular attendees and they'll you that gratuitous marketing is the other side. It's true for the most part; beyond the celebration of gaming the goal of exhibitors is to make money.

As adults we know that Santa isn't real; I try to look at E3 the same way I looked at Christmas as a child before I realized that mall elves are little people who make minimum wage and don't actually know the way to the North Pole. It helps if you have the right camera angles to add perspective:

The new face of L.A. public transportation Uber Armor

It's not difficult to find people at E3 who still feel that gaming can add beautiful color to the lines our imaginations draw. After a little conversation (often with the person standing next to you in a swag line) the shields come down, and you can find the smiles that are prevented by professionalism whether they be by exhibitors, attendees, or presenters. A note about the last category, Patrick McIntyre, who was one of the co-hosts for the Wargaming.net booth, gave me the Wargaming.net lapel pin off his shirt because I collect them and I asked where he got it. This wasn't part of the show, there was no grandstanding ... just a simple "here you go" before closing. It was an unexpected and sincere action, and a part of why I don't see E3 as only a marketing cavalcade.

S'up? Patrick McIntyre (foreground)

This year I came early and stayed late so I could see more of Los Angeles than I usually do (9 days vs 3). Ally pushed me into seeing the Griffith Observatory, a location I was hesitant to visit because it has to do with space and reminds me of something that I may never get to see (e.g. the rest of galaxy from the inside of a spaceship), but after spending an hour on the grounds I had to admit that we get good views down here as well:

End of line.

Photos by Maxxum