And just like that... just like that!... the spectacle that was the Electronic Entertainment Expo is gone. I'm surprised to hear so many people cheer at E3's demise. There's nothing like a death in the family to bring out the muckraking and bitterness in the mourners. I come here not to speak ill of the dead, however, but to remember some grand times at what in retrospect felt like another dimension; a world where everyone knows that Dodongo hates smoke and that Earth really is full of things. Gaming will go on, of course, but covering gaming news will never be the same. I'm unsure if that is good or bad.
I've been reading and listening to all kinds of anti-E3 sentiment; everything from high costs of attending (from both publisher folks from the booths and journalist buddies picking up the cost of hotels and meals) to the really long lines on the show floor to the general flashy atmosphere of the expo itself. I've even heard some journalists go on about how much they hated covering the show and are glad that it's dead. I don't understand how anyone could hate the event that is responsible for such memories as:
- Making a total fool of myself with a public uncoordinated Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix demo
- Trying a Game Boy Micro attached to the belt of a booth babe
- Taking a brief time-out in an empty hallway to rest and play Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
- Seeing a large statue of Shadow the Hedgehog take a hostage
- Winning an eight-player Mario Kart DS demo tournament
- Playing against Charles Martinet at Mario Kart DS... and winning!
- Letting my inner fanboy out for a moment at the 2005 Nintendo Media Briefing when Mario and Luigi: Partners In Time was announced
- Approaching a life size prop Stargate
- Laughing as actor Richard Dean Anderson sets a Stargate fangirl straight
- Moving quickly to avoid bumping into Nintendo's fast-dashing Reginald Fils-Aime
- Watching Shigeru Miyamoto conduct a Wii orchestra performing the theme from The Legend of Zelda
- Linking up for multiplayer New Super Mario Bros. with other folks nearby while waiting in line to play the Wii
- Finally picking up the Wii controller for the first time to play Red Steel
- Stepping up to play Super Mario Galaxy and finding that all the noise and foot-traffic around me had, to me, faded away
- Tracking down a Sony rep to restart a crashed PlayStation 3 demo unit
- Being told by a Nintendo rep on Day Three that I was the only person to have finished the Project H.A.M.M.E.R. demo before the game's timer ran out
- Leaving Los Angeles with a camera full of photos and a backpack full of memories
Whatever form the media junkets take will surely have some advantages and fun attached, but there's absolutely nothing like the old fashioned bright and blaring E3. Ah, memories.