June is one of my favorite months out of the year. But not because it’s the start of summer. Nope. It’s because of a big crazy event called E3. The Electronic Entertainment Expo takes place at the LA Convention Center in downtown. Each year, I get the opportunity to work at this massive event hosting live segments for the PlayStation Livecast. If you love video games this place is heaven.
The week begins with a series of press conferences where each company announces all the new games, hardware and software coming out over the next year. This year the surprises were endless. The people I work for are great secret keepers. I had no clue that many of the games being announced were even in production. Once the conference is over and everyone picks their jaws up off the floor, the show begins the following day. Sadly the show is only open to industry folk. But, if you in any way can relate your work to video games and electronics, you may be able to get a coveted badge to attend.
The expo is huge. It takes place in two separate halls so navigating your way around takes some time. Be patient. There is a lot of waiting in line to play games, view extended trailers and demos. Remember to pace yourself, you have three days. Go see your favorites first, then wander a bit. You never know what may catch your eye. Also stock up on Echinacea and EmergenC. Nerd Flu is a running joke at E3 but with that many people in one place the germs are real. Protect your health.
I spent most of my time in the PlayStation booth interviewing game developers and producers. I really enjoyed my interviews for Kings Quest, Tearaway Unfolded, Until Dawn and Batman Arkham Knight. You can check out all my interviews on my you tube page. I also had the opportunity to interview some PlayStation fans inside our booth. My first question was, “If you could live inside the world of any PS4 game, what would it be and why?” The answers were as varied as they were entertaining. I also wanted to know, “what three things do you need to survive a week at E3?” Most people said patience, comfortable shoes, hand sanitizer and water. I would agree with all those things and add snacks, the convention center food is not great.
Another high light of my week was watching the demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It blew my mind. I’ve always had a thing for Nathan Drake and the people at Naughty Dog have really gone above and beyond anything I could imagine for my favorite adventurer. The most surprising thing I experienced was Kitchen on Project Morpheus. Virtual Reality is a real thing now and this tech demo takes realism to a whole new level. I love horror movies and Kitchen puts you inside of one with a crazy psycho killer. I can’t really explain in words how vivid and grotesque the world is inside Kitchen. It’s something you really have to experience for yourself. I will say that I did this demo at 9:30 am on day three and I didn’t need any coffee that day. My heart was racing. You know it’s just a game, but when some crazy person is coming at you with a bloody knife, real or not, you react as if it’s all really happening. I can’t wait to see where they take this new technology.
After the close of each show day, there are always parties to attend, and bars in which to celebrate. Having to be up and on camera each morning can put a damper on the night life, but I did manage to squeeze in a few dirty martinis during the week. The past few years I’ve stayed at the Luxe Hotel. I love this hotel. The beds are really comfortable, the bathrooms have rain showers and it’s a quick walk to the convention center. It also has an awesome bar and outdoor patio. Many choose to stay at the JW Marriott, which is also a beautiful hotel. The bar there is a lot bigger but also way more crowded and very loud. So if you’re trying to talk shop that’s not the place to go. There are so many restaurants to choose from in the LA Live area. Each year I try to find a new favorite. This years pick is City Tavern. Tucked inside a multi layered mall is an awesome burger joint featuring craft beers and specialty cocktails. The deviled eggs topped with house made hot sauce were a perfect starter. My burger was cooked to perfection and my tavern manhattan was both sweet and dry. A lovely end to a busy day.
E3 is always a crazy week of stimulation overload. It’s hard to take it all in at the time. I usually need a few days of rest and recovery to reflect on all the amazing things I’ve seen and heard. Then I get excited all over again at the thought of all the games I will get to play in the coming year!
Head over to my Instagram @RockMe_Re for more photos of E3 2015.