I don't know how many of you out there are gamers. I mean, I know most of you have a Super NES in your closet, or spend a couple of minutes in the arcade once a year, but what I'm talking about are hardcore gamers. The ones who buy every new system out there and/or every new game that might a fit a particular genre they like. The ones who may or may not have had the high score on every arcade fighter but has at least tried them all and has spent lunch money attempting to be the best, even for the five minutes it took for the next guy to come in and wipe your score off the screen with his; the ones who actually have a game system in their car so they can take the experience with them... yeah, I'm talking to you. Were you at The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)? Well if you weren't you should have been. It's heaven, no. Nirvana, no. It's the feeling of the first time you lost your virginity type of experience that no real gamer should ever miss. (Of course some real gamers haven't lost their virginity yet, so we'll stick to the nirvana thing-JL).
Every major and minor player in the videogaming and computer gaming world was at the Los Angeles Convention Center for three days in May to show off the fruits of their labor to the unsuspecting masses. From the moment you walk up to the place, you have people handing out free schwag and enticing you to try their wares like the markets in Egypt. And if you are a real gamer like I am, you won't wait for them to ask. Sony's display was absolutely huge and took up what seemed to be a quarter of the show floor with gaming goodness from 989 Sports, Sony Computer Entertainment, and other publishers.
Flanking the Sony area to its right was another massive piece of gaming excess, the Xbox castle (too big to call it a booth) where the green-eyed god reached forth and granted us visions of what the gaming future held for the owners of the big black box. Nintendo was there as well with its area gated off like the velvet rope at the club, but unlike the club, I actually had access to get in, as well as all those willing to wait in line for the free giveaways and to see what the big "N" was cooking for the upcoming years. Even audio giant Pioneer was in the house debuting the newest in surround-sound Dolby and DTS'd audio/video goodness to spend your arcade quarters on. This was only one of the halls, as they all had something going on to delight the senses. And speaking of delighting the senses, the game girls looked awesome. Since this is the only place many of these guys can see a real girl, let alone touch or take a picture with one, the place was very crowded and very slippery. Thank goodness for carpet.
As you walk through shows like this, you realize that it's amazing where a media badge will take you. We're talking behind the scenes, more schwag, parties, demos...it just doesn't stop, (at least until three in the morning-JN) all for the love and a little bit of ink in our monthly rag. I'm just sad it happens only once a year. Well, there is the Consumer Electronics Show and SEMA, but to a true game player everything else pales in comparison.