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E3 Approaches: But do I care?


I really wanted to write about how excited I was for E3. I was prepared to gush about what games I want to read about and what announcements I'm waiting for with bated breath. But as I sat down to add to the ever growing lists of people's E3 expectations and predictions, I realised something horrifying. Something that shook me to my very core. I don't really care.

I'll be swept up in the buzz and hype, I have no doubt of that. I'll devour hundreds of videos and articles, I'll hear far too many opinions and form my own, based on the scraps thrown to us by the developers, publishers and press. So yeah, I'll get involved in the excitement. But I'll probably be sighing a lot and thinking I could be doing something a little bit more interesting.

It's not that I don't care about gaming, but E3 isn't for me. It's an industry event. It's for the developers and publishers who want to push their latest product and it's for the press so they have something to relay to us, their hungry readers.

I don't resent that, gamers get their own fantastic conferences. It would be silly to demand that gamers gain admittance. It would be like letting anyone who is ill go to medical conferences for doctors. It's pointless.

Ok ladies. I will promote your wares.

What I do resent, is the build up. Despite the event being a three day affair in June, we have to bloody hear about it all year round. For the rest of the year we'll be discussing the stuff announced at E3, then as if by magic we'll start to hear rumours about new games or new consoles and we'll be told that we'll find out about it at the next E3 or GDC.

Holy shit, a rumour that will be clarified at a conference for the industry along with hundreds of other rumours!? How will we contain our excitement? Let's just read about that one rumour for months, work ourselves up into a frothing madness and eventually be let down. At least it gives us something to do.

Perhaps the industry has become too cynical, or more likely it's just me. But I find it hard to ignore that the biggest gaming event of the year is just a big promotional event. Developers and publishers save up their secrets and announcements for these three days, they get as many members of the press as possible and then they wait for them to get drunk, throw women at them and then speak at them. Awesome.

Now, I've never been to E3. But I've got a pretty good imagination. So I think I have a solid idea of what it's like. Big developers and publishers stomp around the place, they might eat a journalist or two or squash wee developers. When they're tired of the carnage they might shout at a member of the press, perhaps even a whole room filled with them. Then everyone gets alcohol poisoning. While the big shots are sleeping, the smaller developers swoop in, dragging journalists off into the dark places. What happens there is anybodies guess.

I think that I simply don't like to be reminded that my favourite past time is a big, cynical business which depends a great deal on showmanship and hype. It might just be that today is particularly warm and I live in a country where we don't believe in air conditioning. So naturally, I'm grouchy. So I'll just be sitting over here, wanting to ruin your fun, but restraining myself.

However, I don't want to be a total spoilsport, so I'll make an attempt. I'm most excited about seeing more of Skyrim, more of Arkham City and lots of videos of Hamza being drunk.
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About Fraser Brownone of us since 2:44 PM on 07.16.2010

Fraser Brown is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming who is not Alasdair Duncan.

Got a splinter stuck in his hand nineteen years ago and just left it in there. True story.

He lives with this thorny burden in Edinburgh, Scotland, drinking a lot of whisky and playing a lot of video games to soothe the pain.

He has sexual feelings for strategy games, adventure games, and has been known to dabble in the murky world of MMOs.