Best and worst E3 moments
As we get closer to E3 in June I have been thinking about the things that I love and hate about the show. Admittedly I haven't been in a long while, but the last time I was there I have to say I didn't enjoy it too much. While know the average gamer loves scantily clad women and the giant displays that all these game companies put on - complete with blaring music and over-zealous mic work - I find it jarring.
One moment that stands out for me was at E3 1999 in Atlanta. I was there with IDG Games covering the show and trying to stay sane amidst the chaos of the floor. Situated behind the Games.net / Gamepro booth was a horrible booth for an equally horrible game: Godzilla Online. The booth was as loud and as obnoxious as that giant reptile that once terrorized Tokyo and now terrorized Atlanta. Besides the rumbles and screams of Godzilla, there was the most irritating announcer that ever lived - doing blow-by-blow commentary for any attendee lame or stupid enough to walk into that booth. "LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!" he kept screaming as Godzilla blared in the background.
I have never wanted to stab someone in the face - until that guy came along. I'll never forget it, unlike gamers who quickly kicked that crappy game to the curb for something more appealing.
But that year wasn't a complete wash. Sid Meier stopped by for a chat about the latest Civ project he was working on. I asked him if he'd ever heard of Master of Magic. He said no, and I encouraged him to try it out. He must have thought I was a Microprose shill or something. Another fellow, who apparently worked on the art (?) for SSI's Pool of Radiance was there promoting some kind of mech game from Activision - the name of which escapes me. I was easily impressed back then.
But the good was outweighed by all the bad things going on in the booths and on the floors; nerds swarming people giving shirts away, or branded playing cards, or some girls dressed up like Lara Croft having their pictures taken with some guy who was probably brave enough to eat the questionable sandwiches for sales in the convention center.. I know some people were impressed but I wasn't. The whole affair opened a little hole in my belly that could only be healed by getting back home and drinking a quart of Mylanta.
The best part of that E3 was meeting all the people I worked with back then - who no longer call IDG Games home - and meeting all the internet's finest like Steve Heaslip, Mark Surfas, etc.
But the real highlight of E3 was being able to visit Atlanta and see how beautiful that city really is. I can't say i'd be sad to see it return there. Oh and do you know who was responsible for Godzilla Online? Mythic Entertainment. How far they have come since those days of making games for GameStorm.