The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, held typically in late spring, at least in recent years. It's a time of excitement, of disappointment, of a range of emotions depending on what you're looking forward to or expecting to see. Some of us put on our expert masks and try to take a crack at guessing what might be seen at this year's convention, only for our predictions to fall flat on their faces (like my prediction of Sony making a splash with substantial information on The Last Guardian; that one still hurts a little). Thus we wind up with egg on our faces, shamed by our foolishness. So that's a bit over-dramatic, but getting to the point, it's something we do year in and year out. When you take a step back and look at the general reactions to a number of E3s, whether before, during, or after the show, you might see that we make a number of the same mistakes almost annually. Whether it's surprise, outrage, or reacting either maliciously or humorously to the failings of a company at the big show, we seem to have a very short memory in regards to what to expect. So to avoid this, and forget about it sometime during the coming year myself, I decided to write a helpful list of do's and don'ts to remember during E3.
First up....Do: Expect negativity. A lot of it, actually.Let's not run away from the truth here: gamers/players/whatever you prefer to refer to yourself as, can be a highly critical bunch. We dissect every bit of information we get. You'll get doomsayers pop up over the most minimally negative Nintendo news. Every so often you'll have commenters on articles preaching another coming video game crash. Take that semi-daily sentiment, multiple it by ten, and you have what's become a norm during E3. Nintendo didn't announce a game people think could save the Wii U? Grab the shovel, because you might as well start burying them. More multi-platform games coming to both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One? Console exclusivity is dead and both systems HAVE NO GAMES. A new trailer for the next Battlefield or Call of Duty? Games are dead and we might as well just give up on them.
My typical reaction when I see people repeat that last viewpoint.
I know not everyone is like this. Personally, I take the more positive or neutral approach, and I'm pretty much zeroing in on the worst of the worst, and being a bit of a hypocrite, being negative about negativity. But I've seen enough E3s now to call it when I see it, and sometimes it's just astounding to see people act surprised about negativity when it's become commonplace in our hobby.Don't: Completely count out positivity, because really, it is there.Of course, and once again, I'm focusing too much on the nay saying aspect. You have plenty of people who come out of E3 just wanting to talk about what they are excited to play, and even that one person who was complaining a minute ago can get caught up in a game they're looking forward to playing. I guess the point here is to not be overwhelmed by or give much attention to the tidal wave that being negative can be. It'll rub off on you (like it has on me, somewhat).
Do: Expect the fanboys to be out in full force.I've been playing video games twenty years. For good chunks of that time I've been either more partial to Nintendo or more partial to Sony. Never to the level of the this-company-can-do-no-wrong mentality, but I will say at those times Nintendo or Sony consoles were what I preferred. Maybe it's because I was never too active on forums and game sites, but I don't recall the lines in the sand between fandoms being so prevalent outside the last generation of consoles. Anymore, bad news for either Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony will become ammunition to use, and some of these fanboys will use it as a be all, end all to why your choice of console is the wrong one. As with gamer negativity, fanboy-ism undergoes a not so subtle increase once E3 time rolls around, and sh**, I get the feeling the most ardent fans of the big three are already in the trenches ready to open fire at each other. Unfortunately, even at your most passive, seeing the vileness that some of these doofuses can spew is practically unavoidable. No matter how much you try to filter it out, sometimes what you see some of these people say can tap a well of stupid you might not have thought was possible. Thus, it leaves you just sitting there wondering why you even bothered to try avoiding fanboys in the first place. So that's why I say that the best thing you can do is just be ready and expect them to be out in full force. They are, without a doubt, one of the more toxic aspects of being a gamer these days, but the truth is they are more than likely here to stay. Best to enjoy the ride despite them.
Donald, representing the mental image I've built up of fanboys over the years. The nachos, their console of choice. Mickey, representing those who just want to talk about games.
Don't: Expect any "rational" argument from them.Of course, just because you tolerate the presence of fanboys doesn't mean you have to listen to them. Maybe that's being a little harsh, as really, it's good to be open to different opinions, and even more, not everything that comes out of brand loyalists mouths is completely hot air. Blind allegiance, however, is still irritating, and more often than not it spills out. Sony and Microsoft fans will come out and bicker over who had the better show, who had the worse show, and the like. The hardest of the hardcore Nintendo fans will continue to delude themselves that absolutely nothing is wrong with the company they love, and even if they can address Nintendo's issues, will brush them off as simply being made too big a deal over. At the end of the day, all you really have to do is temper your expectations on getting any real argument from some fanboys, and your E3 will be all the better for it.
Do: Expect somebody to make an a** out of themselves at some pointSony's 2006 presser. The Xbox One price reveal last year. The various awkward gaffes by Nintendo like the Wii Music demonstration with Ravi Drums. Jamie Kennedy's drunk emceeing for Activision at E3 2007. Ubisoft's famous Mr. Caffeine from the 2011 show. All of these incidents demonstrate that no matter how well prepared you may seem, or how good your presentation sounds on paper, anything or everything can go absolutely, horrifically, and hilariously wrong very quickly. Cruel as it is, it's actually sort of fun to see who wins the race to looking like an idiot. So hell, go ahead and get a laugh (or cringe painfully) at another group of people's expense.
One of the prime examples of making an a** out of yourself.
Don't: Not expect it to be the hot new meme.The one drawback to laughing at something one moment, is that the very next it could be a full blown meme. Especially with the amount of people watching the streams of E3 now and live tweeting the show, an unintentionally funny moment or an embarrassing mistake can catch fire on the internet almost instantaneously. For a few days, it's just fine. But if people still bringing up things like Mr. Caffeine shows anything, it's that some of these moments have staying power. Best to be prepared for annoyances that won't go away for years, even after the initial reaction has subsided.
Do: Expect the odd surprise.You'll always see gamers who have become jaded and go into E3 not expecting a damn thing. Hell, I'm slightly guilty of it and I'd imagine a number of you who are reading this have experienced the same feeling. That's why it's always nice to be slapped in the face by something completely unexpected. A good example: last year, during the Sony press conference, Sony showed a message from the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. I didn't expect much from it besides more information on the Kingdom Hearts HD collection and some news, maybe a trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII (now Final Fantasy XV; still no word on when it will release). The last thing I expected, and the one announcement from last year's expo that completely floored me, was Kingdom Hearts III. It might have been only the debut trailer and it's quite likely the game is still some years off, but man, did the announcement shock me. While I can identify with those who have come to find E3 boring and really just watch or keep track to see what the future holds for games, the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III, plus a few other surprises over the years keeps it in my mind to always be on my toes for something to come out of left field. However.....
Me after the debut trailer of Kingdom Hearts III, sans semi-high pitched squeals.
Don't: Expect it to be that game (or presentation) you were hoping for.I've made this mistake numerous times. Last year, I made the wild prediction that Sony would finally give some legitimate details on The Last Guardian, and for whatever reason was completely confident they would actually do it. If you had kept your ear to the ground on The Last Guardian like I did, you more than likely felt it was about time we got some news and that something had to give. Unfortunately, the Sony press conference came and went with not even a peep about the title, and after a hiatus scare, all seems to have gone quiet once again with The Last Guardian. Similarly, but in presentation form this time, I was hoping for a great show from Nintendo last year. While I wasn't sure what to make of it initially, eventually I liked the move to present their announcements via Direct, and was of the mindset that they had the chance to come out and knock it out of the park by actually giving gamers a reason to buy a Wii U. Instead, Nintendo only brought out some games we already knew existed, and revealed Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the former and the latter being games anyone could have known were coming, with the middle game not exactly lighting a fire, at least not in me, either. Combine this with a bit of a messy stream, and Nintendo delivered an overall underwhelming show, doubly so for a fan who had been on the fence since the previous E3.One more example. Stupid as it might be and as obsessed with a series as it comes off, I've long held on to the tiniest glimmer of hope that a new Chrono game might miraculously blindside everyone. That has yet to happen and probably never will.Let these examples be a cautionary tale to you: while it's fine to go in with some hope, never go into an E3 with it too high. You WILL walk away disappointed.
Did I just use Disney pictures for almost the entirety of this blog? Why yes, yes I did.
I wanted to do at least one more set of do's and don'ts, but felt what I had in mind was being needlessly antagonistic. Either way, my aim was to give a general assessment and I feel I at least partially succeeded in accomplishing my goal. Any do's and don'ts or rules of thumb you go into each E3 with? Share them in the comments, as always.Take care and thanks for reading!