After an early 3:30am Pacific Time start to my morning I've finally made it back home to the east coast. E3 is over and I'm still organizing the last of my photos and video clips along with some commentary, but in the meantime I thought I'd pass along a few things that I learned this week while covering the show. Sure, everyone knows about the games and the swag, but there's a lot of little items that people forget to mention when prepping newbies for the show.
- You will walk. Lots. I've done more walking this week than I have in a long time. And I'm not just talking about walking around West and South Halls at the Convention Center. The Advanced Media Network team was staying at a hotel about a mile away from the show. For three days we walked the mile to E3 and back again because of overcrowded public transportation and cabs that refused to stop. On Tuesday we walked the mile to the subway to take us to the Nintendo press conference in Hollywood, leading to another mile or so journey. And then at the end of the day we backtracked that, too.
- Eating and sleeping are luxuries. E3 opens at 10am. We at AMN wanted to be in position at the Convention Center by 9:30am. With 35 of us covering the show and sharing only three rooms, it takes time to get everyone moving and ready to go. Some people made McDonald's runs next door, but most folks just skipped eating this week. I caught one meal a day if I was lucky. And when it comes to nighttime we were all so busy working on articles that it was often 3am when everyone finally agreed we had to kill the lights and get some rest so we could be back up again at 6am to do it all over again.
- Electricity is a luxury, too. You probably heard about the power outage at the Convention Center on Wednesday morning that kept the media center in the dark and offline, but back at AMN's hotel things were worse. In the room I was staying in we had a horrible problem with the electrical outlets. Plugs would not stay plugged in. Everything we plugged in fell right back out of the wall, almost as if someone had greased the outlets. The solution? Packing tape and plenty of it.
- Celebrities are people, too. Stargate SG-1's Richard Dean Anderson appeared at the JoWood Productions booth to promote the new SG-1 video game. He made a few remarks and then took some questions from the audience that had gathered around the massive Stargate set. Things were going fine until one obsessed fan asked him a geeky question about Stargate continuity that, in all honesty, was better suited to Anderson's character of Jack O'Neill than Anderson himself. "You do know you're talking to the actor, right?" Anderson quipped. Not long after this JoWood's PR people ushered him away. And no, JoWood wasn't letting anyone take photos in front of the Stargate after "O'Neill" was gone. JoWood, kree!
- It's Over All Too Quickly. Even after the long marches, the minor starvation & sleep deprivation, and the long lines of people eager to get a look at The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, E3 is over far too quickly. For a few days everything else in the world takes a backseat to what Mario, Master Chief, and Mega Man will be up to during the coming fiscal year. For a few days Nintendo DS units discover a long list of people hosting various games for anyone who wants to play. For a few days you're surrounded by people who enjoy gaming just as much as you do. For a few days escaping to Hyrule doesn't seem so far-fetched after all.