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E3 2012 – One more unto the breach

- June 4th, 2012
E3 LACC

A truer E3 motto has never been writ.

God I love E3.

God I hate E3.

Why the split personality about the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, the holy mecca for all things gaming? The place where ops will be blackened, assassins will honour their creed and the last of us will blister our thumbs into calloused nubs?

The love part is easy. It’s E3. It’s where we (“we” collectively being the professional nerds who get to attend this thing) see and play all the new games for the first time. Where we learn about the new consoles coming down the road. Where we interview the people who make the games, and chip away at them to reveal secrets. There’s nothing not to love.

The hate part? That’s mostly whining I guess. Long, long days (today started at 5:30 a.m. and will wrap up around midnight), huge crowds (45,000 developers, publishers, retailers, analysts and journos), interminable queues (within a few minutes of posting this I’ll be off to the Xbox press conference, which will involve waiting in line for about 90 minutes to enter) and, on the E3 show floor itself in the cavernous Los Angeles Convention Center, a sensory assault of noise and light so dense it feels like a physical thing.

Over the next four days I’ll be playing, interviewing and scribbling as much as the limits of my brain and body allow, and you can find my leavings on the Sun websites (here is a good place to start), here on the Button Mashers blog and on my Twitter. Then, over the coming weeks, I’ll be putting together more in-depth previews and interview stories here on the websites and in the Sun papers. Heckling is encouraged.

Being one person covering E3 is a huge challenge. Battles must be picked, and I book appointments based on specific games I know I want to see. This year, in addition to checking out the new Wii U hardware, I’m slated to see titles like The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed III, Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Dishonored, Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider, NHL 13, Elder Scrolls: Online, a few yet-to-be-announced titles and much more. I’ll be talking to the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment of America president and CEO Jack Tretton, the needs-no-introduction Shigeru Miyamoto and tons of other gaming notables. My dance card, she is very full.

This will be my 11th E3, and despite all my planning and prepping prowess, somehow they never seem to get much easier. And yet I remind myself, I’m here in L.A., looking at games and talking about games and playing games, and getting paid for it. Yes, it’s busy and noisy and exhausting and stinky. But there’s absolutely no excuse to be sour.

God I love E3.

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