E*Cubed

So the new-improved-return to how things used to be E3 is this week. Back in the LA Convention Center, it promises to have hands on with the year’s most anticipated games, blaring lights, obnoxious techno music set to repeat and lots of booth babes that totally are parallel to how much press a developer gets.

Mmm… game conventions. But wait, who cares? Some do, many do, heck, I do. I’m going to be soaking up all the information this week as little tidbits get introduced through keynotes and announcements.

E3 had been criticized in years past for going overboard, something the convention sought to put a stop to by downsizing the show significantly and eliminating all the flash that the show had become known for. Then, suddenly, people stopped caring.

A smaller E3 meant that only larger developers and publishers were invited to show. Similarly, press groups could only send smaller teams to cover the event and many retail groups like small independant stores were denied entry.

But downsizing E3 was only part of the show’s problems. Other shows like the Game Developer’s Conference and Tokyo Game Show stole all of the hype away from E3, which was sandwiched inbetween. Even now with a larger E3, GDC and TGS are much larger shows with nary a hitch and negative connotation. From a fan’s perspective, gamers used to stay glued to their favorite website waiting for the trickle of information to hit their browswer window. The same can still be said, but when a show like the Penny Arcade Expo is built for fans by two of the most influential figures in the authors of Penny Arcade, PAX has become the holy grail of gaming expos.

Ah, E3, we have missed you don’t get me wrong. You’ll just have to squeeze those scantily clad booth babes between all the other shows of the year. You’re just one of the crowd now.

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