Generally every year, I let my not-so-inner geek out by visiting E3, the video game industry’s biggest convention of the year. It’s a chance to play games that won’t be on the market for months or years, try out new gadgets, and more or less remind yourself that you’re not in fact the most socially awkward person on Earth. Seriously, I love any event where I’m surrounded by people who may or may not have spent the past 362 days in a basement, possibly belonging to their mothers. Oh, but I keed. I can’t turn my nose up at my fellow gamers. That’s just mean. I can, however, hold my nose (there were some funky odors at the Los Angeles Convention Center).
Nevertheless, pics of the experience after the jump. Even if you don’t enjoy video games, you might like these…
There it is in all its glory: the Los Angeles Convention Center. I’m excited.
Inside is the usual deluge of posters and displays. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Some guys ogling at fake, two-dimensional guns.
Star Wars fans take in a video about Jedi something-or-another.
Up the stairs I go. The thumping bass of the show floor lures me in like a moth to the flame. The very loud, overwhelming flame.
Oooh! Tron! Spoiler alert: I played the game. It looked cool but wasn’t anything special.
I step inside and come face to face with madness.
Madness, I tell you!
A near riot breaks out when two flacks toss out t-shirts to the crowd.
The free t-shirt is essentially the Holy Grail of E3. I secretly wanted one, but I wasn’t going to deal with the mob scene in order to get one. Alas, I’d have to forgo such a stellar opportunity.
MOOOORTAL KOMBAT!!! Funny story: a guy from my high school was the little kid who yelled “MOOOORTAL KOMBAT!!!” in the commercials. He’s a real hero of our generation.
By the way, DISGUSTING banner.
Just your average Nordic warrior chick. Nothing to see here.
Some gents from Halo.
The crush of people intensifies around Nintendo, who had the longest lines out of anyone.
By sheer coincidence, I run into my friend Sly. She’s clearly seen better days.
Oh I kid. This isn’t Sly. Just some girl who got stuck in a cage with a chain leash and a bloodied face. Fun!
Just Dance 2. This would later result in embarrassing photos.
The line for Nintendo’s new 3D handheld system, The Nintendo 3DS. These chumps waited for like an hour. Meanwhile, I found some lovely Nintendo woman on the show floor who let me demo it right then and there. One word: amazing. Seriously, this 3D thing is kind of mind-blowing.
As much as I love Zelda, I’m not going to wait two hours to play it. Note that this is just part of the line.
And still more.
I instead settle in with Mario Sports Mix. Some charming volleyball ensues.
I am clearly in a state of extreme pleasantness. Such things will happen on Koopa Troopa Beach.
I then moved on to a fun game called Wii Party. I was exceptionally good at this, as opposed to the German lady next to me who repeatedly yelled “NEEEEIIIN!!!!” She brought an element of severity to what should have been a rather casual experience. I should note that I had a huge lead on everyone (I am the yellow dot on the map). Conveniently, the German lady left JUST as I was inches from victory. NEIN indeed.
I return to the Just Dance 2 display and find a group of people dancing like idiots to the game. I know this can only mean one thing: it’s my time to shine.
Things start off simply enough with a little hands-on-the-hips action. I’d like to point out that the woman to my right was simply awful. Not only did she crowd my space, but she was very fussy. Totally not in the spirit of Just Dance 2.
Behold my boogie, which may or may not be in step with everyone else.
Momentary sadness as I realize my dancing skillz are far from perfect.
I seem to totally freeze up. Belinda, however, is going full throttle. Bitch.
I’m back, baby!
Make no bones about it: I received MANY “Perfect!” scores on screen.
This ditty is called “The Teapot,” and no, I had no problems getting my hand all in Belinda’s face.
In the end, I like to think we truly came together as a group. Go us.
Okay, that’s enough.
Here are people entranced by Metroid and Kirby
Sony also got into the motion controller business with these strange glowing wands. Yeah, they’re lame.
Gamers entranced by a 3D PS3 experience. I too took part. The 3D was definitely cool (especially in a driving game and a baseball game), but I liked the Nintendo 3DS experience more (no glasses required for that!)
Dave Matthews! I must investigate!
Turns out there’s a new music game called Power Gig coming out. I played it a little bit, and guess what? THEY GAVE ME A FREE T-SHIRT! Suck it, hoards of people begging for a t-shirt at EA’s booth!!!
Some imposing figures patrol the show floor.
I try not to be alarmed when this gentleman aims a giant machine gun at a little Asian girl’s face. Sadly, she’s off camera.
Things get a little dicey when I try to add him as a friend on Facebook.
Friend request approved!
Here’s me playing with the new Singstar game where I attempted to sing AND dance. This was impossible to do since I had to simultaneously read lyrics and watch a little man dance. On top of that, I wasn’t sure the motion controller was working, and even worse, a little camera on the TV plastered my face behind all the words. The last thing I wanted to see was me making a fool of myself, especially since I had a giant zit whose presence I was attempting to deny. I airbrushed it out though (I’m not above vanity).
As you can see, the motion controls weren’t a big draw for Sony. It all felt a little Nintendo Wii 2006.
This young man opted to wear a Mexican Wrestling Mask (or something) over his face. I don’t get it either.
OOOOH. Sea of chaos! Remind me to NEVER BUY THIS.
What’s next? Whale Wars for Nintendo?
Hey, I’m a Sim!
The other big show piece this year was the Microsoft Kinect, which detects full body motion. No need for controllers. Here are two people playing with it.
It’s really quite remarkable.
And lends itself to some wonderfully embarrassing photos!
Yet another dance game.
Looks like Marie and Gina are having a blast.
It’s a Party in the U-S-A!
I really wanted to try this out, but the line was an hour and change long. I wasn’t going to wait.
But look! In an unassuming corner of MTV’s booth is the EXACT SAME GAME. And no wait!
Okay, there was a small wait. I had to sit and watch this group go, but it was totally worth it to watch the guy in the yellow shirt.
He’s just warming up…
There we go!
W00t! This guy was out of control. Sadly, my camera doesn’t seem to have captured all his glory. I then took the stage next (sorry, no photos this time). All I can say is that it was crazy fun. Part of that though may have stemmed from me feeling like I had totally outsmarted all those chumps in line.
A cool, crazy-wide monitor. Actually, I really didn’t care, and I have no idea why I took this picture.
Suddenly, I hear noise. Lots of it. I also see a crowd. Who could it be?
It’s Method Man and Redman! (I’m not pleased with whoever’s hand is obscuring Method’s face)
The two put on a decent mini-concert. I tried to push my way close to them, but it was difficult.
My goal was to remind Method Man about the time we played NBA Street Vol. 2 together. True story. It was one of my coolest moments ever.
But of course, I didn’t get close enough. I like to think Method Man is looking at me in this photo, perhaps saying “Hey, there’s that REALLY AWESOME PERSON I once hung out with.”
As the crowd grew, a fire marshall came by and got all pissy. Fire marshalls are the WORST.
Aha! I got closer!
I even got within conversation distance, but it was hectic in there. I decided to curb my stalking and just take a picture.
For the “Gleeks,” it’s a Glee version of Karaoke Revolution. So… karaoke of karaoke. How meta.
Two Glee fans pose for pictures. Sort of an unlikely combo.
Again, being the intrepid conventioneer that I am, I discover yet another unsung booth demonstrating the Kinect. And no lines! Here I am playing tennis.
My sense of superiority over the people waiting at the XBOX booth is THROUGH THE ROOF.
Oh, and by the way, the tennis was really fun (even though you couldn’t really see the ball, oddly enough).
And that was it. This was definitely one of the most fun E3 experience I’ve ever had. Now I must de-geekify. Not that that’s really possible. Oh well.