Fangin’ Around E3: Discovering The World’s Biggest Video Game Expo

Video games sure have come a long way since the WW2 radar and artificial intelligence technology from whence they can trace their origins. Unfortunately for us, a lot of the earliest games were never preserved and neither did they receive much popularity. And so, as an art form, vidya games are only now really reaching mainstream levels of popularity; meaning more resources, more innovation and more people happily rocking out with their console out.

For American gamers E3 is the event on the calendar – ‘Gaming Christmas,’ if you will – but for Aussies who enjoy a GTA here or a Halo there, it delivers the yearly dose of gaming blue balls. 

This year Activision (who thankfully look after some of the best games in the world) very kindly offered to take someone from PEDESTRIAN.TV along to the Los Angeles Convention Centre (which is overseas!) to check out the world’s largest video game trade show. Despite already understanding that E3 is a magical place akin to Disneyland we were told that it really is just “one of those things you need to see for yourself.”

So, why should everyone care about E3 and the next generation of games and tech?

Well, if you would be so kind as to excuse the français, as someone recently pointed out: “everyone right now is so sick for the dick of good media” and video games represent all that is good and true in the design and storytelling trades.

Firstly, if you have ever sat back and been impressed by a film which seems to perfectly capture a whole new world separate from our own and wholly immerses all those who see it for two whole hours, video game developers run in there once the two hours are up, kick down any remaining boundaries and say ‘please, come right on in and look around.’

Before the three days of actual event it all kicks off with the Microsoft XBOX and SONY PlayStation briefings, one after the other and, not unlike the thick fug of grime and pollution that covers L.A proper, they were covered in a film of aggressive green and blue (respectively) light theming. Seeing the massive pre-shows is how you know shit is about to get real:

As anyone who enjoys games, yet only has the budget for one console will know, XBOX and Playstation continue to fight for the hearts and minds of fans by attempting to publicly outdick-swing each other and E3 is the yearly culmination of this. They led with:

After being #soblessed enough to play Destiny for a bit, being outright jazzed at the prospect of any universe where humans have spread out, terraformed and colonised other planets within our Solar System, and armed with the knowledge that players are matched with other players based on class and abilities, I can say that it definitely is ideal for all gamers, from novice to grizzled ancients. 
At this point you’ve most likely already read up and know all about the exclusive games on each console, what Nintendo are doing, how mortals kombatPlaystation TV, the rehashes, the innovation, the smaller games from indie studios, whatever you’re vibing et cetera (or if you haven’t, you will find endless lists of ‘best games‘ and ‘ALL the games‘) but if you’re at all curious what E3 ~The Experience~ is like…
MAKING MY WAY DOWNTOWN, walking fast, faces pass.  
So, essentially every living YouTuber who has ever spoken words about games on their channel is present at E3 and you’ll see a lot of this:
And this:
And què?
And a light sprinkling of giant fuckoff gaming monuments like this:
Well-placed signage:
Given that we, comparatively as Australians, just do not take many things very seriously, the sheer ‘murica’ness of it all really is the best lens through which to view the whole thing.
And then you’re in and you’re converted. Prepare to be continuously struck by the beyond massive scale in which game developers and the entire industry work. Now for the most part, sure, it’s a bit Sausage Fest ’14 and one of the only places in the known universe where smug women can glide straight on into the bathroom past a line-up of their penis-carrying brethren in the men’s queue, but mostly it’s just one of the happiest places on earth. Everyone is just so beyond delighted to be there, to talk to anyone and everyone they can lay their words on and the industry “networking” opportunities are invaluable. BYO srs bsns.
As a punter you’ll see ALL the trailers, demonstrations, live gameplay, occasional cosplay and a large amount of Big Fat Party Guy Shirts:
Everyone was somewhere in between ‘happy to be alive’ and ‘utterly blissed out,’ you could practically smell the inner YAAASSSSSSSSSSSS’ and it’s 100% contagious. Psyched:
And in that moment, I swear, he was infinite:
Meanwhile, Monsieur David Guetta
This ad was…it sure was. Mis scusi for interrupting. 
There was a lot of excitement/big ole’ lines for the Nintendo Smash Bros. Invitational:
“Jesus Loves Gamers”
Mmmmm, dat rich gaming history:
Catching up on some dog shaming whilst waiting to smash out some virtual reality on Oculus Rift (do recommend) ((both)):

Ultimately, the future of video gaming: not unlike a T-Rex impression:
Of course, for us ‘strayans, no matter how strong their trailer game is…


…it will be a wait before we know if most are any good. Still, the best is undoubtedly still to come and no matter what you’re into, somewhere out there the perfect game for you does exist. 

In a time when it can be incredibly easy to run out of media to binge watch (because, quality control), why not play? Game developers are able to tell stories that movies and TV either wouldn’t risk or just do not have the scale to do justice and as Henry Jenkins, Director of Comparitive Media Studies at MIT, once said of video games: “they represent our beliefs our attitudes, the kind of core questions we’re struggling with at a particular time and are rich social documents. The challenge is how to read them because unlike a film which, the director makes a statement that’s unified, a video game is subject to change depending on the players choice.”

In summary, video games are one helluva drug 

Just to reiterate: Claire Bracken was a guest of Activision Australia (special thanks to Tess, Tegan and Wendy for being absolute stone cold legends).