E3 2014 Journal – Day 2 “Once more unto the breach…”

If Sunday was boring, Monday definitely made up for it. With two press briefings to cover, I was busier’n a one-armed paper hanger and today feel like I was run over by a luxury shuttle bus.

The thing is, I never sleep before an early morning event. I keep waking up every forty minutes and looking at the clock, afraid I’ll oversleep. I probably managed a solid 3 hours before having to get through the most stressful day of the show and I had the eye-baggage to prove it. The walk up to the Mayfair hotel (where the shuttle buses pick up) was a blur, but along the way I witnessed someone’s brave attempt to make a Smart car look gangsta.

Yeah, I'm small bitches. So what?

One thing about staying in downtown LA – especially down W. 7th Street (AKA, Shithole Row) – there are no options for coffee, or breakfast for that matter. I tried a cup of the hotel’s free sludge (served in a weensy Dixie cup with only that horrible sand-like powder for cream) and quickly tossed it out. That was a mistake because without it, it was near impossible to swallow the sawdust-filled muffin I’d selected from the Continental items on offer.

Without coffee it looked like I was doomed to take in a lot of important info through a fuzzy, confused mental fog. Fortunately, a 7/11 appeared and I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee and some real cream and set off for the Mayfair hotel, resisting the urge to buy a mustache straw.

I hope those Slurpees have moonshine in 'em.

Microsoft was the first event of the day, and they were clearly hoping to win the prize for coolest entry tokens (or make half of us look like over-the-hill ravers).

Waiting for Phil Spencer to bomb the bass.

These stretchy little things could be programmed to light up in concert with Microsoft’s presentation, in rhythm and in different colors.

In my day, we held up lighters.

As you might expect, Microsoft’s presentation was chock-full and focused entirely on games – no direct attempt to win us over to their hardware at all. (Well, beyond repeatedly proclaiming it to be the only way to play.) Post-briefing, I had an absurdly short deadline to meet so I raced back to my hotel to finish my article. Without time for food before or after, I had to go back out to catch the shuttle to Sony’s evening press briefing. I hoped they’d have their usual food trucks before the show and they did. Sort of.

This year they had tents with tables in them, and I know I’m kicking a gift horse in the mouth by saying this, but they all served some of the worst food I’ve ever eaten. I’m convinced the chicken and waffles was soaked in water before they handed it over to me. I was forced to make do with a lukewarm beer and a quickly-melting bomb pop. Who says the life of a game journalist isn’t glamorous?

Anyway, Sony’s briefing was equally as jam-packed as Microsoft’s, although Sony did spend considerable time talking about hardware and services. Most of that was a blur though, once I heard they were remastering LucasArts’ Grim Fandango. Wahooo!!

That announcement was easily the best thing about the briefing – along with getting to catch up with my old friend Matt, who went from game tester to fancy-pants writer for Entertainment Weekly and Marvel.com in ten short years.

That's right - I drive a Smart car. So what?

After twelve hours of press briefing stuff, all I wanted to do was lie down on the sidewalk outside the venue, curl up in the trash scattered there, and go to sleep, but alas, I had another deadline to meet. That meant once again, no food and a night spent frantically typing. I submitted my article 90 minutes late, but I don’t think I should be held responsible since my brain was by then powered entirely by fat and sugar.

G-L-A-M...O-R-OUS yeah!

The good news is, that’s all overwith, and today’s all about heading to the show floor and seeing whatever I want. Yes! As Sherlock would say, “Get moving Watson – the games are afoot!”

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