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The Numerous Problems With E3

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the turn-down-the-noise-ya-damn-hippies dept.

E3 73

Pixelfoot writes "Loud music, scantily-clad models, guys hoarding free 'schwag', these things are all the lifeblood of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, but the writers of Gaming Horizon have had enough. They've got an article entitled Stuff We're Sick of: E3 Edition, going into their biggest gripes about the show and giving suggestions for how to improve it, including the now-popular notion among journalists to include a full day where the show floor is only open to media." I'll buy that for a dollar. From the article: "It seems like everybody has forgotten what E3 is for, exactly. Without droning on about the vibrant history of the expo, it's more than fair to say that E3 is supposed to be a place for people to do their jobs and it's turned into a carnival for looky-loos and swagbaggers."

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73 comments

E3 = Electronic Entertainment Expo (2, Insightful)

storem (117912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751729)

Definition: An annual computer entertainment and videogame trade show full of busty booth babes, insanely load music, and plenty of games to play until your thumbs bleed. Good fun but hard work for game journalists.

Re:E3 = Electronic Entertainment Expo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13752353)

I'm confused.. You're talking about what?

I mean, wouldn't anyone that read the article know what you're talking about? or anyone interested in the article that visits this site would know what E3 is and stands for?

It seems like someone just wrote a whole lot of the obvious. I wonder if First post had anything to do with it.

Re:E3 = Electronic Entertainment Expo (1)

storem (117912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13760194)

The E3 definition found on the net exactly matches the concerns voiced in the article. The article is stating the obvious.

Soo, they don't want to go? (2, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751758)

Fine, I bet there are thousands of people willing to take their place.

Re:Soo, they don't want to go? (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757313)

Fine, I bet there are thousands of people willing to take their place.

You know what? You're being sarcastic, but let's look at this seriously for a minute.

The Tokyo Game Show is open to the public. And despite a couple of rough years, it is now drawing larger crowds than ever. It absolutely dwarfs E3 in both the number of visitors and the physical size of the show (I've been to both, several times). Obviously, in Japan it is considered far more important than E3, both from an industry standpoint and because 150,000 real consumers get to try out your games and it's a good bet that if they like them, they will buy them.

E3 seems like a wasted opportunity as it's set up now. So people get to read about games, big deal. That's not going to convince anybody to buy anything. Open the show up. Let everybody in.

TGS also does have a day that is only open to journalists. So it's not like they need to compete with the crowds. If you are a journalist, that day is actually pretty amazing, because there are only about 10,000 people in a space that's about the size of Central Park in Manhattan. And on that day you get to see all the games that aren't ready for primetime yet too, so it's not like you're missing anything you might otherwise see at a closed-off show.

E3 was created as an industry trade show - it was not intended as a journalistic event, so it shouldn't be thought of that way. But as it's grown into a show where games are presented to the public often for the first time, it seems like it'd be a good idea to get the public directly involved, and also to give journalists a day to themselves.

Re:Soo, they don't want to go? (1)

I judge you (796415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765070)

It absolutely dwarfs E3 in both the number of visitors and the physical size of the show (I've been to both, several times).

I've been to E3 too many times to count, and TGS just this year, but there was no way that TGS was bigger in physical size (floor space, booths, etc).

And day 1 of TGS is not journalist-only, but industry-only. E3 seems like a wasted opportunity as it's set up now. So people get to read about games, big deal. That's not going to convince anybody to buy anything. Open the show up. Let everybody in.

That's retarded. The point of E3 is to sell games to distributers/retailers. A secondary point is to pimp games to journalists. That's it.

Re:Soo, they don't want to go? (1)

I judge you (796415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765212)

Fine, I bet there are thousands of people willing to take their place.

IMO, anyone who wants to go to E3 should not be allowed in. No joke.

Anyone who doesn't like this rule should not be allowed in as well.

Been there done that (5, Insightful)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751763)

As someone who has been to E3 I can agree to many things on the list.

Except getting rid of the booth babes.

Yes, the music is FAR, FAR to loud. Iv'e been to concerts with lower volume. It is absoultely insane how loud some booths go (I'm looking at you Capcom and EA).
There needs to be some kind of noise limit.

Crowds. I don't know if a larger venue exists, but E3 needs it, or they need to split the show up somehow. Being completly unable to move for as long as 10 minutes due to a crowd jam is rediculous.

Food. I know it's a trade show and everyone is meant to be rich but charging $12 for 1 can of soda and a sandwich that consists of A)2 slices of bread from Safeway and b)somthing that may be Tuna is a bit much.

Parking. Either: a) Park near the convention for $25 - $30 or b) park for only $5 further out, but bring your hiking gear. You may also want to hire someone to guard your car.

I'm sure if I was bored enough i could come up with more. E3 is still fun, but it seems like each year these problems have been getting worse. I honestly don't know if I will go next year due to crowds and noise level alone. It is that bad.

"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (-1, Flamebait)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13753997)

All I can say about your "Except getting rid of the booth babes." comment is:

1) I want to see half-naked male body builders and pretty boy fem-boy models at each display.

OR

2) You fuck yourself and die.

Seriously. There is no reason to turn 55% of the population into some kind of object meant to be lusted, groped, and swapped like so much coin. Either put up or shut up. Most of the introverted people I see on my E3 DVDs are too busy breathing heavily through their mouths and touching those poor models innapropriately anyways. What are they missing, exactly, that they couldn't find if they were not such terrible humans?

You're missing it too. End the booth babe tyranny. Gain us some respect for gaming. It's better entertainment than stupid Hollywood movies; I want us to not sink to their level of using breasts to sell product.

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (2, Funny)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754032)

I'm about to annoy femenists everywhere:

I LIKE TO LOOK AT GIRLS.

It's in my gene's and all. I'm sorry for falling for natures nasty dirty little joke.

As for guys, well, I do remember seing some at last E3, dressed as Roman Gladiators and such, though I will admit the female one's were more prevailent. Then again, so was the ratio of Men:Women at the show, go figure. Targeted advertising.

Get over it, sex sells on both sides of the aisle, or do you not watch Soap Opera's or find male strippers attractive?

Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13754141)

Yes, they can. It's the femenist creedo.

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754370)

Get over it, sex sells on both sides of the aisle

Still doesn't make it right..

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759422)

Still doesn't make it right..

Nothing's wrong with it in the first place.

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763375)

Still doesn't make it right..

What's wrong with listening to our biology? Why isn't doing what comes naturally to us "right"? Furthermore, who are you to tell other people what "right" is?

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757649)

I'm a guy and I enjoy looking at the women too, but it is a little riduculous the volume of booth babes there are at these shows. Sure there are booth dudes too...but what purpose do they serve beyond eye candy? Now if these ladies are actually knowlegable about the product their advertising and can answer questions and such..sure, keep 'em (like the ones at the Nintendo booth)...but if they're just there so your local EB/Gamestop/Walmart guy can have his picture taken with him, let that guy just goto a strip club and get it over with.

If you want to change the world... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754179)

There is no reason to turn 55% of the population into some kind of object meant to be lusted, groped, and swapped like so much coin.

Sure there is, and you seem to even know what it is: the swappage of coin.

It's a well known fact in advertising that sex sells. And let's not kid ourselves—E3 these days is more about companies selling their products than anything else.

So until I start seeing beer commercials stop featuring cheerleaders, jeans commercials stop featuring super-skinny models, new television shows stop featuring bright-eyed perky actresses portraying "normal" people, and so forth, I don't see anything surprising or particularly wrong with E3 featuring "booth babes."

If you have a problem with that, you've got a problem with a hellova lot more than just E3, and frankly, E3 should be waaaay down on your list of things to be upset about.

Incidentally, the whole "whatever sells" notion is the source of a lot of other of the guy who wrote this article's complains. Why is there music louder than jet engines? Because companies are desperately trying to get your attention. (Ever turn your radio down when a car dealership commercial comes on? Same principle.) Why do they let 70,000 people in the show? So that there will be 70,000 bloggers writing about their games. Why do they give away so much swag? So people will come to their booth instead of the schmuck's who forgot to bring FooSoft sticky-note cubes. Why do they charge so much for food and parking? Well, you've got me there.

My point is that if you want to change the world, then change the world. If people stop flocking to see booth babes, then you'll see booth babes go away. But it has to work in that order, not the other way around. Until that happens, when people wonder why this demeaning display of blatant sexual pandering continues, I can only say, "Duh..."

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (0, Redundant)

Retroneous (879615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754812)

Wow. I really don't know what's worse here.

There's the guys ogling the booth babes because they're men, and men like to look at women. Y'know, procreation, sex...all that tired old shit that got us to where we are today. Or, there's your good self, who by the nature of your post is implying that because a "booth babe" is getting ogled, she has neither the brain cells or the ability to do anything else and that they need YOU to go in to bat for them with the feminist perspective. A lot of these models are paying to put themselves through school/college by simply making the best of what God has given them. Its no worse or better than me putting together a bunch of HTML code and selling it to someone so that I can afford to eat and drink. Is my buyer wrong for staring at the pretty website I made?

Now what's worse? Me looking at an attractive women, or you implying that she's not at all intelligent BECAUSE she's attractive? Hmm...

Re:"Except getting rid of the booth babes." (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756947)

Go to E3. There are beefcakey guys in many of the booths.

Re:Been there done that (1)

TheBot (806046) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754766)

Good post. Food-blech, I can get a pop for cheap and get dinner when I get back to my hotel. Parking-Good thing im from outta state. Crowds-Get rid of those ebgames fools. They're not getting anything but free swag and space on the floor. Oh, and there are too many people who needed to shower.*gross* Noise-Tone it down, this isn't a competition!! Booth Babes-They're there because sex sells. If you've got a problem with nerdy guys groing the chicks, then tell them not too, but the girls have brains you know, they can function without you. I liked E3 the one time I went. No, i'm not a clerk at some game store, nor am I a small publication. Just a game multimedia student going for a degree and then to level design somewhere.

Hot Dog Vendors (2, Informative)

chazmo (738348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13755239)

The best and cheapest food at E3 is right outside on the street, via the hot dog vendors with their little carts. I can honestly say, those are the best hot dogs I have ever had in my life.

What a boring article. (3, Informative)

nathan s (719490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751775)

The guy is basically whining because he isn't with a big enough press outfit to get VIP attention at the show. If he cares that much, maybe he should go work for one of those "big media companies that are buying up media companies" [my paraphrase] that he is crying about.

While the complaints he has may well be legitimate, his suggestions are basically "what would make my job as a reporter easier" and less about what would make the show better, in my honest opinion.

Re:What a boring article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751820)

Very TRUE...in fact the complaints that he had were basically "everyone needs to treat me like a king". He basically is saying that no one deserves to be at E3 except him.

But if the media was the only group to show up at E3 then it wouldn't be a Convention...it would just be a "press conference".

I especially got a good laugh at his statement about the population and how everyone else being there "is the problem", when its pretty obvious, HE is the problem.

Re:What a boring article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751902)

Sooo...what would you advise for making the show better?

And, you know, wouldn't stuff like cutting down the volume and keeping the lines moving make the show better?

Re:What a hypocritical article. (4, Insightful)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752891)

And, you know, wouldn't stuff like cutting down the volume and keeping the lines moving make the show better?
Yes. His complaints about those things are reasonable. But most of the article is spent complaining both that:
1) There are too many "unimportant" people around and that gets in the way of "important" people being able to see the demos, play the games, etc. The content should only be available to "important" people like members of the press and everyone else should be excluded.
2) It's unfair that they have '"behind closed doors"-only content' for the important people like members of the press and exclude everyone else.

How can you argue both of these simultaneously? Is he so deluded that he thinks that a 19 year old kid writing crap for a random website should be one of the "important" people who gets access to everything? Because you kind of give away that you aren't in that group when you complain that you can't afford a taxi to Nintendo's press conference.

I won't even bother going through the article and finding every other case of this hypocrisy because it is everywhere. But as one example, he says that for him "the most obvious appeal to the Electronic Entertainment Expo is the chance to play videogames that haven't been released yet" and then later says "If you just really want to get into E3 because you want to play upcoming games, you're the problem." Wow.

Re:What a hypocritical article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757161)

Because you kind of give away that you aren't in that group when you complain that you can't afford a taxi to Nintendo's press conference.

If only more people would realize the benefits of a) walking and b) learning how to use the metro along with Tokyo's transportation system.

Re:What a hypocritical article. (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788445)

Wow...You really burned him there. Can't say I ain't glad you did.

But rhe show is *for* him (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752034)

The whole point of E3 is to show off games to the media and to the retailers. That is the whole point of the article. It has strayed from it's purpose, mainly because so many unimportant people are now going that it is impossible to *do* your job, when that is the whole point of the show.

Making his job as a reporter easier *would* be improving the show. It is not an amusement park, it is an expo.

Re:But rhe show is *for* him (2, Insightful)

Slow Smurf (839532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752467)

It also gives developers a good chance to talk to people who work for a company. That may not be the primary intent, but it is quite a nice effect.

Re:But rhe show is *for* him...NOT!! (1)

databank (165049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756849)

So if the show is JUST for the media and retailers why is it that anyone can register? On E3's website, it says you could have registered as either:
      An Exhibitor
      A Member of the Media
      An Attendee

If it was truly for just media and retailers then it should be closed to the public. (No regular "Attendees")

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate problems (population is always a problem) there but if he really wants to find out the latest and greatest from the big companies he should setup a interview with them directly.

Ironically all the things that he says would make things better would KILL the convention. Reducing prices, reducing population, and providing "special" treatment to media are all costs that would basically kill the convention.

Look at how unpopular Comdex is and it used to be the BIG ONE. (I used to be SERIOUSLY impressed at how well Vegas handled Comdex...cops running the traffic used to give priority to Comdex shuttles) and the convention used to be layed out across 3 different hotels. Now no one goes there and they had to cancel 2004.

Seriously though, if he wants preferential treatment, he should pay for it himself. No One "deserves" special treatment. We make it for ourselves. If he wants to play the games or get in the front of the crowd, get up early and get there. If he doesn't want to pay high prices for food there, bring a lunch or go somewhere else. It's not like once you leave E3, you're not allowed to come back. Nothing is stopping him from doing these things, but his own laziness.

I especially liked how he claimed that only the big media got special attention. Having worked at a few conferences myself, ask any of the big wig media types. It doesn't matter how much attention they get, they don't think its enough...I remember how we had to enforce security because this one guy from some local news station kept trying to sneak in to get pictures of the exhibit hall while people were still setting up. This is even with a BIG sign on the door saying "Exhibitors Only". Then we found he tried to get one of the exhibitors to let him in as part of their group if he focused his coverage on their booth. We told them that if they wanted him in as an exhibitor, they would have to pay the exhibitor fees for him and were responsible for him since their were boxes and boxes of computer equipment everywhere. All of a sudden, they decided they didn't want him that much and he certainly wasn't willing to pay the fees himself.

Re:But rhe show is *for* him...NOT!! (1)

I judge you (796415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765187)

If it was truly for just media and retailers then it should be closed to the public. (No regular "Attendees") The problem is that the people who run e3 have different incentives than the people who go there for business (or the people who buy booth space).

Re:But rhe show is *for* him (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757893)

The whole point of E3 is to show off games to the media and to the retailers. That is the whole point of the article. It has strayed from it's purpose, mainly because so many unimportant people are now going that it is impossible to *do* your job, when that is the whole point of the show.

Oh, please. If the guy thinks that's the point of a trade show, then he needs to grow up. For most people in the game industry, E3 is a chance to let off steam. And E3 is not for journalists; it's for the industry. Sure, they've got a job to do too, but they're there, away from home, 24 hours a day for a week straight, and many of them are working both before and after the doors close at the convention center. What the hell does this guy expect? People are people. It's not the rest of the industry's responsibility to be quiet so this one small-time video game writer can do his job.

Trade shows in every industry are a way for people in the industry to get together and schmooze. They're basically a big-ass party with a secondary agenda of selling products. That's true of every big trade show I could name. It should be more true of the game industry because the whole point of the products on display is to have fun. If you're going to a video game trade show thinking you're going to hunker down and do some serious work about serious products, then you are frankly in the wrong industry and at the wrong type of event.

The guy says he's been to two E3's and at his first he was barely old enough to get in. So he clearly hasn't been part of the industry for long, nor has he even been in the workforce for long. Once he gets a little older he'll realize that what he's arguing against is exactly what these events are for. Just because people are having fun (in whatever way they choose to) doesn't mean they're not buying or selling products at the same time. A lot of back-room deals get done at E3.

That said, is E3 as much fun as it's cracked up to be? In my experience, going once is enough. It's like that all-weekend party your friend throws where you get so drunk you can't make it to work for the next week and you swear you're done with partying for the rest of your life. That feeling wears off after a while and eventually you do it again and then you remember why you said you weren't going to after the last time. Then you don't do it anymore.

For most people I know who have gone (and for me too), once at E3 is enough, twice is too much. But it's a good experience to have, and it can and should be a lot of fun. It's just a little too much to do every year.

I still think E3 should just be open to the public, though (as I said in another post), rather than keeping up this pretense of it being only for industry types, when it obviously isn't. All the pretense does is piss off people who think they're more deserving than others of being there. Give journos one day for themselves with the publishers and manufacturers, and then open it up to the public.

Re:What a boring article. (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754600)

The guy is basically whining because he isn't with a big enough press outfit to get VIP attention at the show.

There is no such thing at E3 anymore.

when someone who is working for a magazine that has been around since gaming was started can't get to a demo of a game because some snot nosed little shit who has a 2 day old website/blog is hogging the whole thing and the company is VERY eager to suck his dick and give him everything he want's because he has a website or blog!

yet so does the publication that's been around for the past 20 years...only difference is the publication will be seen by about 10 million people, where as the website will be seen by 50-100 people.

so the VIP thing is gone, some booths won't even talk to you if you work for a publication anymore, but they are quick to allow that blogger into their booth to try out their game.

everytime I read something about E3 anymore it's not about how good the games are, it's always about how loud it was and how hardly anyone who is actually in the biz and isn't a blogger can't get in to anything to report on anything and they all end the exact same way,

One day should be dedicated just to REAL PRESS.

Bloggers, no matter what anyone says are NOT real press, they are wannabe press, untill their blog spawns an entire publication and is regonized as a major news outlet they are NOT real press.

Waaah!!! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751887)

WAAAH!!! I get to go to E3 but no one will talk to me because my website is some unknown crap site. Waah!

Maybe these are valid complaints the guy has, but it comes off as some smalltime site guy complaining that he gets no love. That's way to easy for someone to dismiss (like I'm doing.)

And his complaint that Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo should have their pre-E3 conferences in one place one right after the other is complete wishful thinking. If his website can't afford to dish out $35 for cab fare, maybe its time to find a new site to write for.

I sense resentment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751942)

I think the author is pissed because he couldn't score a date with Chun-Li or Kasumi.

PAX (2, Insightful)

frankmu (68782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752114)

i think penny-arcade's PAX will grow in popularity as E3 goes the way of Comdex. E3 is for industry, and most people just want to check out the latest games and hang with other gamers. PAX in the last couple of years have already outgrown the Bellevue, WA location, and is looking for a bigger site. i think people will start to focus on games rather than the marketing that seems to surround E3.

Re:PAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766180)

I keep reading about this Comdex in so many posts here...is it at all related the the winter/summer CES that was all the rage before E3 appeared?

To be honest, those are some of the things I miss the most about videogaming's yesteryear. I genuinely looked forward to NP's Spaceworld/CES articles every 6 months or so, because they were well written and gave us a decent look of what was coming without all the idiotic hype. The last several years of E3 have been the polar opposite. Idiotic hype and an astounding sparseness of information passing as news are all that's offered these days. Seriously, I haven't been excited about _anything_ even remotely attached to "the biz" for years. Hence, I might occasionally glance at 1 magazine today where 15 years ago I subscribed to 5 or 6.

It's going to take a fundamental change in gaming culture, something I don't believe has more of a snowball's chance in hell of happening anytime soon.

He's right, and whoa... also dead wrong... (4, Interesting)

BTWR (540147) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752249)

he's got some good opinions, and some misguided opinions. First, the good:

Swagbaggers
I agree 100% with this. I haven't been to E3, but I've been to enough medicine conventions to recognize these guys. They suck. I can't ask a single question because the bigshot guy is talking-up the Pfizer rep to get a coveted USB-keychain.

I say that all demos should have a timer built in that kindly informs patrons that they've been playing for five minutes
Another great idea. The demos are for demonstrating the game, not for beating levels 1-4.

Now, the bad...

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo should all have their conference on the same day, at the same theater, one after another.
I disagree. These presentations are arguably the most important company announcements (at least in MS and Sony's game divisions) that these multi-billion dollar companies will make for the next 365-or-so days. I say let them make it themed to their liking: slick metallic stages, colorful light stages, pyrotechnics, whatever they want. That's like saying all mp3 players should look exactly the same, but with their own features and content.

If you draw an online comic strip, you don't need to communicate directly with the gaming industry.
I'd much rather hear Gabe and Tycho's honest take on the industry than one of the bigwigs "I've-been-bought-like-a-whore" sites.

Why not have a second E3, or similar show, take place on the east coast or perhaps in the Midwest?
Why not have one every week, in each state?

No "behind closed doors"-only content
OK, this guy hates IGN and Gamespot. That's obvious. Well, maybe the reality is that he's jealous of them. I know IGN can be crappy sometimes, and not willing to take a stance and a huge game sucks (or a crappy game was actually fun), but the simple fact is, they're big, and gaminghorizon isn't. Shigero Miyamoto doesn't have room for a behind-the-scenes hands-on demo of the Revolution controller for everyone. Luckily, Miyamoto wants me to see it, so he got 1up, IGN and a few others a demo, so people like me would be more likely to see it.

I'll buy a lobster dinner for anybody who can provide a reason why it'd be a bad idea for the first day of the E3 show floor to be open only to people with Media badges.
How about Best Buy, wanting to see if Halo2 is going to sell "well" or "break all records" from the initial feel? How about other developers, who want to see the competition? It's a HUGE place, and making 1 of the 3 days as media-only cuts the others' days by 33%.

Re:He's right, and whoa... also dead wrong... (1)

Asriel86 (547129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752371)

If Best Buy needs to decide whether or not to carry a game, they need one person to go look at it, and they don't need 3 whole days to do it. The article even says that since people wont like having a day stripped from them, they could add a fourth day since booths are all set up by Monday anyway.

And for behind closed doors stuff, it's not so much about exclusive stuff like that, but any game that people think will be a big deal. If you wanted to see Doom 3 you had to wait in a 2-3 hour line, where they'd let about 5 people in a room at once. Kinda defeats the purpose.

Re:He's right, and whoa... also dead wrong... (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 8 years ago | (#13753924)

Why not have a second E3, or similar show, take place on the east coast or perhaps in the Midwest?
Why not have one every week, in each state?


I've actually seen his two show idea done to great effect in the music products industry (not CDs, but instruments.) We have a huge show in January, bigger than E3. We also have a smaller show in July. This year it was in Indianapolis. I couldn't imagine not having that summer session.
I do agree with him on the sound. It's a problem out our shows too.

Re:He's right, and whoa... also dead wrong... (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13755871)

How about Best Buy, wanting to see if Halo2 is going to sell "well" or "break all records" from the initial feel? How about other developers, who want to see the competition? It's a HUGE place, and making 1 of the 3 days as media-only cuts the others' days by 33%.

(Oh, cripes, a car analogy...) Have you ever seen the schedule for the North American International Auto Show? Every January, the entire automotive world converges on Cobo Hall in Detroit. (Yeah, Detroit in January. It sucks every bit as bad as it sounds.) The schedule for the first week goes a little something like this:

Tuesday: All-day press conferences, media only.
Wednesday: All-day press conferences, media only.
Thursday: All-day press conferences, media only.
Friday: Big-money, black tie Charity Preview night.
Saturday: Open to the public. First day of two weeks of people deciding that the huge crowds and tight quarters in the way-too-small Cobo Hall is better than the crappy weather outside.

So, of course, I drive up there every year, weather permitting. (Weather not permitting, I wait until February and fly to Chicago. Mmmm, Gibson's...)

So why can't E3 do the same thing? Extend it to a fourth day, for industry insiders (devs, media, retailer reps) only? Well, yeah, there's that whole "paying to rent the convention center out for one more day" thing, but that's a perfectly valid reason. Better than "gee, I never thought of that", at least.

Re:He's right, and whoa... also dead wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13760056)

I'd much rather hear Gabe and Tycho's honest take on the industry than one of the bigwigs "I've-been-bought-like-a-whore" sites.
PA "honest" and not "been-bought-like-a-whore", ROFL! Yeah right, just keep telling yourself that.

a quick correction. (3, Informative)

mushroom blue (8836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752360)

"swag" is the free crap you pick up at conventions and expositions.

"schwag" is low-grade cannabis. usually seedy and only lasts for about 30 minutes at a time. otherwise known as brick weed or brown frown.

Re:a quick correction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13752483)

schwag may also be referred to as "mersh"

Re:a quick correction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757847)

We always called it "Nebraska No-High" or "ditchweed", since that's where it came from: feral populations near where there used to be industrial hemp farming back in WWII and before. It's a heck of an argument in favor of legalizing hemp - those are perhaps the worst possible genetics for purposes of getting a buzz.

It's not about the media, either. (4, Insightful)

Blackwulf (34848) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752537)

Ironically, E3's initial purpose was to allow the retailers to see what games were coming out, so they could determine how much shelf space, if any, should be given to the product. The media was just a side part of it in the beginning - the booths were really to impress the retailers into buying their product and putting their product in the stores.

Now, that's changed. The retailers can't get any business done because the media swarms in thinking they should be VIP's and should have first access to all content. And that's why E3 seems to be getting worse every year - it's focus has been lost.

I'd say that there should be a day where there's NO MEDIA allowed - only people legitemately in the industry that have business to attend to. (Not those who buy their way into an exhibits only pass, either.) And before anyone jumps down my throat, I'd be one of the people not allowed in the one day, so I sure as hell ain't saying it for MY benefit.

But it's so cool! (2, Funny)

Nikkos (544004) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752653)

All we've heard for years is how cool E3 is. It's got babes, games, and free stuff, not to mention parties everywhere.

Apparently the Journalists who created the problem no longer want the average guy to go there and take their free stuff.

Re:But it's so cool! (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754330)

Just because it's been talked up, doesn't mean you should get to go. Talking it up makes the event more important though so you'll care more about their coverage.

Re:But it's so cool! (1)

Nikkos (544004) | more than 8 years ago | (#13760763)

It's an _open_ trade show.

They want people there, they want word-of-mouth advertising.

The newsies just need to STFU and accept the perks they already get, like private pre-E3 showings, and invite-only parties.

Take some cues from the North American Auto Show (4, Insightful)

AnamanFan (314677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752661)

North American Auto Show [naias.com] has a few things that E3 can take cue from. Most comes from the schedule. The whole show runs Jan 8th - 22nd, BUT:

Press Days Jan 8 - 10
"You must have a NAIAS issued media credential to attend the show during Press Days."

Industry Preview Days Jan 11 - 12
"Industry Preview Days is an exclusive opportunity for companies in the automotive industry to invite their key contacts, suppliers and employees to preview one of the top auto shows in the world. This is the perfect time for companies to share in the excitement of the auto show before the official opening to the public."

Charity Preview: Jan 13th 6p - 9p
"17,500 people attended the 2005 Charity Preview, raising more than $7 million for 11 Detroit-area children's charities. Since its 1976 inception, the black tie event has raised over $58 million."

Public Days: Jan 14 - 22
Everyone can attend.

Obviously this is a car show and E3 doesn't run this long (though it could run longer). But it separates the show for press, industry, and then allows the public to attended. It even puts some good back into the community with a $400/person fundraiser. Just some thoughts.

He's completely right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13752869)

I'm no longer in the industry, but I was. As media, I got the free badge, and generally didn't have any problems getting into even the most closed of events.

I still think the show has become useless.

The badge distribution is a major part of the problem. The "Industry Only" badge policy is a joke, as is the "18+ only" policy. I regularly saw 14-15 year olds running (yes, running) around the exhibit hall floors, hogging the demos, and making the exhibitors so miserable that they because far less cordial when talking to anyone else. How they got badges, I have no idea. Badge forging and badge sharing are commonplace. Chances are the name on somebody's badge is not actually theirs.

The closed door events weren't anything that couldn't be shown on the main floor. However, I completely disagree with any site who gives a "best in show" award to something that was shown once, as a concept trailer, to 50 people in a closed room. If you don't have a functional prototype at the show, you're not at the show, and you shouldn't be eligible for a "best in show" award.

It's very unlikely you'll get to speak to anyone with clue, unless you're in Kentia.

A few things (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13753094)

The problem with people going to conventions just to get free stuff isn't limited to E3. I think that happens everywhere. I've been to numerous other conventions (never E3) and the sales people are all about getting something out to the attendees that has their product name on it. The writer doesn't give a good reason why "swagbaggers" keep him from doing his job, he just complains and says he doesn't like them. Can't he still review the product without waiting in line for free stuff?

He complains about how easy it is for people to get in and how small press doesn't get any attention. How easy is it for someone to put together a webpage, get a general business license and start "reporting" on video game news in the first place? Before today I had never heard of gaming horizon. IGN and Gamespot are places people go for information because they have a large user base that warrants the extra things that get thrown their way.

Demo Campers? Buck up bucky. If someone is sitting at a game for 30 minutes and you have been waiting to play you tell them to move. It can't be that hard to do.

Online Reporters:
Only journalists with commercial news Web sites qualify for E3 2005 media badges.
Does gaming horizon qualify as a commercial news site? Do they have a business license or government issued documentation and business cards for their staff of volunteer writers? If they don't have all of these things they don't qualify as media anyway.

Is that four story building listed on their staff page really theirs or did they just photoshop a logo on a building? http://www.gaminghorizon.com/staff.php [gaminghorizon.com] I'm just curious if gaming horizon qualified to get valid E3 media passes in the first place.

Some Irony for You (3, Insightful)

Farscry (674981) | more than 8 years ago | (#13753360)

Gaming Horizon seems rather hypocritical on several counts here:

* "I say the ESA needs to take a butcher's knife to the attendance requirements. Unless somebody's occupation deals directly with the videogaming industry (assistant manager at a local GameStop deals indirectly with the industry), you shouldn't get through the doors."

Ironically, I'd venture to guess that most of Gaming Horizon's "staffers" are probably not working for the site as their primary occupation. I'm too lazy to check, given all the other holes in their complaints.

* "No love for the small Press"

Ah, here's the crux of the previous argument; they just want to whine about how IGN, Gamespot, and the other major media sites get preferential treatment over them. Well, I may agree with them, but they should at least title the article "why we hate IGN/Gamespot/Etc.'s special treatment"

* Sexploitation

Oh, sorry GH, I saw the "special event" graphic at the top of your page with the "sexy gaming heroine" pin-up before the text even loaded on your article. So much for the integrity of your complaint on this count, eh?

The rest of the article was ok, but that first page was a little hypocritical, particularly for my taste. ;)

I'm an E3 veteran and I'm not happy (3, Insightful)

Rolman (120909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13753984)

I've been attending E3 every year for a very long time now, and there's certainly a change in the mindset of my fellow colleagues, coworkers and mostly every person who's been going there for more than 3-4 years. People in the industry, regardless of citizenship, don't really feel as excited as they did in the previous years. I've seen newcomers get to the end of their first show and leave slightly unimpressed with it overall.

My boss, who attended every CES and E3 until 2000, and then didn't for 5 years in a row, this year he came back and said: "Oh boy! What a load of crap, there's nothing new! It just got louder and more crowded! Ah, yes, these are some nice graphics, right? (looking at Capcom's Ookami)", I don't think he's interested to be there come 2006, since it's far easier for him to set up appointments with the people he needs any other time of the year.

Maybe I could say that the quality of the show has been gradually and consistently decading since 2000. I can cite many factors, but here are some off the top of my mind:

1) Media Badges became soooo easy to get ever since the media explosion from the dot-com era.

Just after Y2K, if you had a media outlet, even an insignificant me-too.com site, you could bring a lot of people with you. I'm not saying names, but there's a mildly popular Nintendo fansite that takes around 20 people to the show. That's right, TWENTY people (if not more) to the show, to cover just ONE of the three main consoles, and a couple of portables. Also remember that the media don't pay for their badges, like regular attendees and exhibitors would.

I've nothing against these guys, but to expect all of them to be treated equally is ridiculous. Some years ago, getting food from the Media Hospitality service became like getting it from an UN truck at a famine-ridden country. I almost got kicked out of the show for HOLDING more than one lunch box while waiting for my friends, that's how bad it is.

2) The industry in general became too mainstream for its own good.

Yes, booth babes and swag are nice, T&A, T-shirs, keychains and all, but this is a trade show that has become overcrowded with freeloading geeks. Imagine a Natalie Portman convention with tens of thousands of /.ers, all chanting for free grits, and that's just the start. There's not nearly enough swag for all of them, not mentioning that the exhibitor/swag ratio has gone down the toilet since 1999 IIRC, because many companies (Microsoft among them) got smart and stopped giving stuff away, including press kits. Now they just give you an URL and rightfully save a million bucks in dead trees and CDs.

But hey! It's all about the games, right? HA! Consider yourself lucky if you got to play Mario Kart DS or Zelda this year if you don't know someone inside Nintendo, ditto for other high-profile games from any other company. The waiting lines take sometimes up to three hours, and there were hundreds of titles this year waiting to be played, never mind the fact that there are now three main competitors and eight mainstream gaming platforms (2 MS, 2 Sony, 3 Nintendo and the PC). The tragedy is that you don't have enough time to see all the stuff you're interested in, so what do you do? You guessed right! Bring more people along and split up the tasks! Tasks like checking out the sequel-itis fest, of course, and leaving almost no time to dig for innovation. You can see it now, an endless vicious circle.

I have really fond memories of the CES and the earlier E3 shows, having a great time with friends, playing nice, innovative games and having time to discuss at the end of the day with a beer in hand. But now I just get excited with anticipation a few days before the show and the hype dies a lot sooner every year. I think it's like being a drug addict with a growing addiction and getting a smaller dose every time.

E3 hasn't changed one bit.. (2, Interesting)

vega80 (852274) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754103)

E3 *always* had looky-loos, swagbaggers, booth babes, and loud music. Maybe the writer romanticized the idea of E3, and the reality didn't fit his perception, but I've been to every E3, except for the Atlanta one, and even a few CESes before that, and I can assure him it's remained unchanged, except that the crowds are larger now(b/c the industry is larger). In fact, I remember the early Acclaim booths being even louder than EA's or Capcom's current booths. And strangely, I remember *more* booth babes at the early E3s. I remember Eidos having a bevy of Playboy bunnies - their one booth probably had more booth babes than the entire E3 does now (of course, I'm exaggerating a bit..). He may have legitimate gripes about E3 *in general*, and those may be valid gripes, but there were no "good old days" of E3.

Re:E3 hasn't changed one bit.. (1)

I judge you (796415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765137)

I amost totally agree except on the point of swagbaggers, who I think have made up a much larger pecentage of the growing attendence. And that factor alone is enough to look back and think that it *was* a lot better.

E3 is for Developers Too! (1)

EvlG (24576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754313)

E3 is a very important event for game developers. It's one of the few times when you can pitch an idea to every publisher you want at once. It's an ideal time to forge a new business relationship because the overhead of the meeting (airfare, etc...) can be spread out.

As for the back-room only stuff, that is DESIGNED to keep out the small press because they tend to be less valuable and distracting. E3 is all about exposure - to the retailers and to the big press. Small press doesn't give enough exposure and can often be more trouble than it's worth.

Re:E3 is for Developers Too! (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754843)

--besides, they can be whiny.

Seriously, this is not the first anti-E3 piece aired on slashdot. Parent's post is dead on -- developers shop their wares all the time at E3. And, well, the small press gets short shrift because, well, there's a hierarchy out there. Sending Best Buy clerks to E3 may seem stupid to someone in the press, but from a developer/publisher perspective, it makes sense: marketing is no longer about a few magazines; there are "smaller publishers", such as websites featuring 19-year-old journalists; there are "special-interest sites", which often contain the hardcore of target demographics; there are the media aggregator sites (like this one), who are key to distributing buzz, and then there are the bloggers, some of whom may actually have audiences. Yes, we all understand that journalists are hungry for information. Developers and publishers are likewise hungry for exposure. But journalists don't live in peace with one another; the big traffic comes from access to privileged information and persons. Best Buy clerks can talk about rubbing shoulders with the vid companies; some may even speak of meeting a person who works for a company.

But you don't go to these conventions as a reporter, hoping to make contacts. You make contacts first. That's your job, after all.

Gaming Horizon reviewers dont review. (1)

Robmonster (158873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13755396)

IMO Gaming Horizon are not worth the phosphor they're written on.

Their reviewers don't seem bothered to actually review the games.

I've called them (via their forums) on a Multiplayer based game that they reviewer without even firing up the multiplayer side of the game! Thats akin to reviewing Counterstrike by playing it against bots. The reviewer wasnt interesteded, and because abusive. Other GH staff joined in defending them.

Not worth wasting your time on. Since I spotted that ommision I've never gone back.

This after going twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13755502)

Young people are allowed to have opinions, but this guy is 19 and forming his complaint after going to two E3s. No offense, but I'd rather see an evaluation of changes over time and "what's wrong with E3" from someone with a little more experience. I mean, I got bad seats for my second Rush concert, but that doesn't mean that they're no good.

The Real Media (1)

nowayout99 (884320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13755778)

This is actually not the first editorial I've read complaining about E3. I don't disagree -- There should be a Media day. But I don't agree with the bitter jabs he takes at legitimate media outlets. That just reeks of unprofessionalism itself. Seriously. They get paid to do their work, and you volunteer time and occasionally get a free game. That doesn't grant you entitlement. That's *barely* legit media. I've never even heard of these folks before, and apparently Alexa doesn't know them too well either. Another thing, media outlets have the money to acquire the hardware necessary to play alpha and beta products. They are not just FedEx'ed burned discs that can be popped in a GameCube. Once you have the clout (revenue) to obtain the dev hardware, then you can speak. SHOULD the companies be more lenient on this point? Maybe so. But the reality is not how the author skews it. Ultimately, any media outset worth a damn knows that you should set up a scheduled, private meeting with the companies on the second floor in advance of the show. No business gets done on the show floor. They all know that.

The media is the problem (1)

CuriousForge (914635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756651)

It is the media that has made E3 such the bother that it has become. I have been forced to attend E3 for 7+ years. It is a circus. Over the years I have completely given up on trying to have any kind of productive meeting at the show and have just played meet and greet to set-up business meetings for the weeks following. Seeing some of the new titles is exciting, but dampened by the fact that you have to push and shove your way thru thousands of press who act like they have an exclusive right to be in attendance. The majority of gaming press is completely amateur and genrally just rude. The only event I despise more than E3 is CES... but that is becuase I can't stand the idea of pushing thru 150K - 200k people.

E3 improvements (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757585)

I've been to E3 once and I wasn't nearly as impressed as I thought I'd be... In all reality you can get to just about every booth and check everything out in a day-day and a half.

As E3 serves many purposes I kind of like the idea of having only certain people on certain days. On the first day I'd only allow "real" industry people, ie developers/publishers...not retail people ;) So strictly business can occur on that first day, and I suppose let the media/news types in that day too. Then on the second day I'd open it up a little more to allow the extended industry people which are currently allowed to attend, like the blockbuster and walmart guys...and then the third day I'd open it to the public like they do at TGS in Japan ;)

So with this setup you'd let the major industry guys and media get down to business the first day and unveil their big products to the world (and competitors). It wouldn't be nearly as crowded with out the retail type guys which probably make up half the population of current E3's...and would also cut back on the swag-mongers or whatever they called them. Then the second day would be just like it currently is, and the then of course the third day, anyone willing to pay for a ticket can come check everything out. This would pretty well cover the bases of what E3 is intended for and has become but in a much more orderly fashion...

Re:E3 improvements (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13774387)

the problem this idea leaves is the demo-hoggers, swagbaggers, and people who this writer wants to distance himself from taking up all the time and not having enough time to go about their generally surly ways. if you want to split the first several days up like that, maybe you could extend the final few days to allow more of the 'regular joes' who go to actually enjoy e3, learn something and make a few informed decisions, and not rip and run trying to see it all.

you nor the author may like them much, but those same people are the ones that everyone at the conference serves. they ultimately represent the greater consumers whom the developers hope to please, the publishers hope to woo, and the reporters hope to inform. you have to cater to them just as much.

Hmmmm (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 8 years ago | (#13758034)

This guy went to E3 when he was 18, because he worked for a TINY news outlet, and he wants the show to conform to HIM?!?

Here's a thought - sell tickets for the opening day to the public. Make the next 2 days private - the first for retailers, the second for journalists (along with other corporate-shill scum.)

Re: Against the booth babes (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759502)

I'll not be surprised if many people disagree with me on this one but I agree with the anti-booth babe sentiment. It makes people involved in the game industry look like a bunch of pubscent teenage males still wondering what it'll be like to actually have sex. Moreover the herds of dudes waiting in line to have a picture taken with aformentioned booth babes makes every gamer look even worse. They add nothing to these conventions and only remove credibility from the gaming industry.

Besides a porn convention, can anyone name another type of convention that does that sort of shit? The only other convention type thing I've been to was the Winter Meetings for MLB and I garentee you there were no booth babes there.

TOO many people (1)

Other Than That... (824148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759966)

As someone who actually works in the video game industry making the games, I think it's very safe to say that there are too many people at the show. Every time I go, I think "all these people can't work in the industry". It is way to crowded. Truthfully, I'm not really even sure why I'm there. I'm a programmer, I don't need to see all the new games and get free shirts. I guess I wear our company shirt, and that's a tiny bit of publicity for my company.

All things considered, I'm glad I got to go the first time, but it really is inefficient to have all the people with no purpose other than to 'experience E3' there.

To whit: Greg Dean goes to E3 [reallifecomics.com]...Um, Why?

Stop the whining: Debunking Zelda Demo Fallacies (1)

fujiman (912957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13760700)

This guy has no idea what he's talking about. 1. The line to the Nintendo booth, although it said 3 hours, was only about 45 minutes. 2. He claims the line was to view a trailer, hoewever IF HE HAD WAITED IN LINE, he would know that Nintendo had a PLAYABLE VERSION of the new Zelda game. with 3 PLAYABLE SCENES. 3. Those playable scenes were TIME LIMITED, as he suggests in his article. If this guy is a "game journalist", but can't be bothered to wait in line with the shlubs, then maybe he's the one that doesn't belong there.

E3 Is A DInosaur (1)

cmotd (811874) | more than 8 years ago | (#13761122)

E3 has ALWAYS been like this, this idiot must think that there was some 'golden age' or something. So there are too many ppl to let him do his job, boo hoo. What he doesn't tell you is that these days with video conferencing, broadband distribution of demos and extensive online access to material no one really needs to go to E3 to do their job. I have been covering E3 extensively for the last three years, from my house in Bondi Beach! Wanker

Sounds like small-media whining to me (1)

Retired Replicant (668463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768008)

I can sum the whole aticle up in one sentence:

The author is upset at how crowded E3 is, and wants to keep out people from illegitimate game media outlets (read: game websites other than the big gaming networks his own little website), while simultaneously granting better access to closed-door sessions and insider information to little websites like his own so they can compete with the big gaming networks.

Essentially the article is a bunch of self-important whining about how the big companies at E3 should let his little website into the big boys club, while keeping all the other little guys out.

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