E3 Journal – Day 1, EA Press Conference

I hadn’t been to E3 since 2006. That was before they reorganized it into the small, scattered, ultimately unsuccessful event it was for two years running. Hearing it was going back to the old format, I figured I’d once again give it a go. Last trip I tried to save a few bucks by staying 45 minutes south of downtown. Big mistake. After a long day on the exhibit floor, the last thing you need is to sit in traffic so this year I made my reservations early and landed a room at a hostel called “Stay”, which was fairly near the L.A. Convention Center.

I got to L.A. later than I wanted to due to a delayed flight but with two hours to spare I figured I’d still make it to the EA Press Conference. I can’t believe after my last post, that I didn’t consider the Super Shuttle factor. Originally I was optimistic since the shuttle left the airport fairly quickly and traffic on the freeway wasn’t too bad; that upbeat feeling dwindled though once we hit the downtown area.

There my driver transformed into the Slowest Super Shuttle driver in the world, taking the streets at an average 20 mph and cracking sunflower seeds with his teeth. With my hotel a mere two blocks away I was tempted to grab my bag, vault over the back seat and jump out the van. As slow as it was going, I couldn’t have been seriously hurt by the fall and would have gotten to my hotel faster.

By the time I escaped an hour and 45 minutes of Super Shuttle hell and checked into my room, I had less than ten minutes to get to the EA Press Conference. I dashed out of the hotel, Mapquest directions in hand, and only then realized how gritty the area (the Fashion District) was that I was staying in. Gritty doesn’t really do the area justice. That place was gritt-AY. The sidewalks were broken, the streets were dirty and smelled of urine, the shops were derelict… It’s a shame too because it’s likely that any character or history L.A. can lay claim to comes from the old brick warehouses and art deco highrises of downtown.

The EA Press Conference turned out to be an easy walk to Broadway, in one of the cool old theaters lining the street. I made it just as the lights went down. EA showed a range of things, including some horrific girlie games with titles like, “Charm Girls Club” where tween girls challenge each other to things like “speed hair-teasing”. Guh. As you might imagine, those didn’t go over so well in front of an audience full of hardcore gamer guys. The highlight of the show was an appearance by Tim Schafer who presented an absurd “special message” video from Jack Black. Seeing Tim and Jack Black standing side by side, I swear–they could be related.

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

XHTML– Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>