This year's E3 was as big and bombastic as ever. A giant, 18-foot robot from EA's (Electronic Arts) upcoming Titanfall stands ominously in the lobby; Activision erected a semi-circle of giant, trailer-spewing screens around an open forum, welcoming the masses into its fold like the loving arms of St. Paul's Cathedral; Microsoft corralled actual zombies to moan and groan in a small corner dystopia to promote the undead slaughter-fest Dead Rising 3; and more media outlets than even last year broadcasted and podcasted live from the convention floor.
You can almost smell half a year's worth of marketing budgets in the air. But what really stands out this year is how high the walls are. The sides of booths at E3 have always crept skyward, but in years past, from an elevated vantage, you could at least gaze over the entire floor. Now, the steel-frames adorned with expansive sheets of plastic stretch nearly to the ceiling, blocking any trace of other exhibitors. They make it feel less like a gaming community (an illusion that my inner child should perhaps have released decades ago) and more like isolated pods of explosive glee.
Nevertheless, video game professionals -- and those who managed to finagle a badge out of a video game professional -- soak in all the bright lights, hyper-kinetic screens, booming tones, circus-like barkers, and busty seasonal models that characterize the annual event.More »