Okay, so GamePolitics does not really hate E3. In fact GP loves E3 - so much. This year's expo will be GP's ninth E3 and he hasn't missed one since 1998. But some things about the show are annoying.
This column originally ran last May, just as the 2005 show was wrapping up. GP reprints it today in the hope that some of the people who are either running E3, exhibiting there or in charge of the City of Los Angeles are paying attention.
1.) A press appointment is made with a company at the show, at their request. You arrive at the scheduled time, but the folks at the media check-in desk don't seem to know who you are. Please, companies, coordinate the scheduling, especially when your in-house people are working with contract PR firms.
2.) You make it to the appointment, sit down with the company rep, and he/she asks, "So what can I tell you about XYZ company?" Well, they invited you. You didn't invite yourself. You would assume they had something they wanted to say. Duh.
3.) Worst of all, you can't even find the PR check-in. E3 is loud, crowded, and cluttered with huge displays, flashing lights, and noise. When a firm buries their PR desk somewhere in the back of all that stuff (hello, Microsoft, are you listening?) it can easily add 10 minutes to your arrival time. If you are on a tight E3 appointment schedule, this sets your whole day back.
4.) Okay, we'll give the PR folks a break - for now - and move on to the attendees. As mentioned, E3 is an absolute, three-day mob scene, with upwards of 60,000 folks crowded into the LA Convention Center. It's hard enough to keep moving. What makes GamePolitics crazy are the attendees who are walking ahead in the traffic lane, and suddenly stop to stare up at some whirling bright lights or booth babe. Or maybe to have a conversation with a friend they bumped into. That's when our latent South Philadelphia cab driver persona emerges. Hey, buddy, move it to the side of the road!
5.) Attendees who take pictures of booth babes. Haven't you ever seen an attractive woman before? GamePolitics doesn't even want to think about what use these pictures are put to later on. Ewww.
6.) Fanboys posing as media. You're embarrassing yourselves. Understand this: journalists don't cheer at press conferences.
7.) Speaking of press conferences, that scheduling one-upmanship game played by Microsoft and Sony (in 2005) must never be repeated (and looks like it's not this year). First, understand that there is history here. Since the Xbox came along, MS always had their press conference Monday night. Sony always held theirs Tuesday morning, and Nintendo followed Sony's about mid-day Tuesday. This pattern has been more or less carved in stone, and GamePolitics and, one supposes, many other attendees, base travel plans upon it. Consequently, we booked a Monday flight back in January (2005) that would allow us to get there in time for the Xbox event on Monday night. When Sony came along and moved theirs to Monday afternoon, we were screwed since there was no way to get there in time...
8.) In the E3 press room, there are rows and rows of computers, thoughtfully provided by the ESA for the use of media covering the show. These media members need to think of things to write and construct articulate sentences. They are on deadline. So why do we have to listen to the person at the next workstation jabbering on their cell phone? GamePolitics is simple-minded and easily distracted. It's damned hard to compose copy with someone else's conversation flowing into one side of your head. Please, E3, make a no cell phone usage policy in the computer area. And while we're on the topic, turn your damn cell phone off during Doug Lowenstein's keynote speech, too.
9.) This entry is about Dem Bums of Los Angeles. No, not the Dodgers. The homeless who populate Figueroa Street, panhandling money from E3 attendees as they walk to and from the show, or out to dinner, or Starbucks, etc. In a city where they enforce jaywalking, why can't this be addressed? GP isn't being heartless here, but some of the panhandlers can be persistent, even abusive.
10.) E3 hotels are getting harder and harder to obtain if you are not with a company that is purchasing a big block. ESA, please make it a little easier on your small company attendees to find a room.