Leaving on a Jet Plane
I donÃ‚'t like to travel. IÃ‚'ve probably said that before, but it bears repeating. I particularly hate flying on planes, not because IÃ‚'m afraid of plummeting toward the ground at fiery speeds Ã‚– because, ya know, if IÃ‚'m going to go, IÃ‚'d like to go fast Ã‚– but because IÃ‚'m very tall. I suppose shorter people donÃ‚'t have much of an issue with the seating on modern aircraft, as I see them lounging about with a great gulf of comfortable room between their knees and the seat before them. I, on the other hand have my knees so deeply embedded in the seat in front of me that IÃ‚'m quite certain mitosis must be occurring. By fifteen thousand feet up my feet have fallen into a sleep so deep as to be functionally called a coma, and IÃ‚'m shifting into ever more uncomfortable positions. This is, naturally, when the person in front of me decides to recline. IÃ‚'ve actually had people, oblivious of my firmly wedged femur, throw themselves against their seat to dislodge whatever obstruction (my body) is hampering their comfort. So, I donÃ‚'t like to fly.This makes it that much more surprising that IÃ‚'m going to E3 at all, much less looking forward to it, what with its three-hour plane ride.
And yet, looking forward to it, I am. For the past year Certis and I have spoken of a journey to this magical city where movies are made, silicone is precious as gold, biotoxins that might kill normal humans is injected into the forehead, and, if television is to be believed, marauding vampires wander the streets waiting to pull stragglers into dark alleys, but IÃ‚'m not sure how much either of us believed it would all actually happen. First, there was the impending issue of my being a father, and having little idea how I was going to deal with that. On top of that Certis had finally mustered the chivalry to ask Hoochie to promise never ever to leave him please, to which she acquiesced possibly out of pity. We spoke in very certain terms of how we would both journey to the sunny west coast, comfortable in the certainty that the other would bail out of the deal long before the spring sun thawed winterÃ‚'s icy blanket. IÃ‚'m not sure who was more startled when the other began making progress in processing the application, hunting down hotel rooms, or buying tickets to ride a hurtling cylindrical fuselage into the air like a hyperactive lawn dart. Did I mention I donÃ‚'t care for airplanes?
The process of applying for E3 was a clerical series of events so boring that I wonÃ‚'t even transcribe them here. There was a brief issue regarding the uncertainty of where we would take up lodging, but that issue was wholly manufactured by my procrastination, and when I finally troubled myself to call someone the problem resolved itself immediately. I can say at the end of this process that GWJ does qualify as a recognized media outlet, and while thatÃ‚'s no more notable than having your doctor verify that you qualify as human, it is a comforting fact to be able to hold.
So what do I expect of E3? IÃ‚'m not entirely sure. The experience of E3 is as mysterious to me as what living on a planet made entirely of jam circling a distant bluish star might be like. I presume there will be a heady buzz of neon and electricity only barely eclipsed by the throng of attendees mulling about like cattle on a fertile plain. I know weÃ‚'re going to get to meet some people, that we have a few appointments scheduled, and that weÃ‚'ll be seeing some games previously unrevealed. At some point I presume IÃ‚'ll come in close proximity to someone who I only know from events related to me through electronic media, and that might be at times interesting. Also, IÃ‚'m assured that leather clad women will stand around video monitors in alluring poses and pretend that this is a good step in their career.
I suppose I should go in with a litany of games I simply must see, and I suppose I do have a smallish collection of titles which IÃ‚'ll be anticipating. As IÃ‚'m primarily concerned with PC games my enthusiasm will be tactically aimed at developers for said platform, and IÃ‚'ll certainly make soft purring noises when I approach any work associated with Blizzard, Valve, or id. In many ways IÃ‚'m going to the floor hoping to be excited about something completely off my radar at this point, so IÃ‚'m not doing a lot of unnecessary cramming ahead of time just to find out what IÃ‚'m supposed to see and what IÃ‚'m supposed to feel about it before I ever get to the floor.
ItÃ‚'s sort of like the time I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I roughly knew that it was an event of such an inconceivable magnitude that to imagine it in any clearly detailed fashion was an exercise in naÃƒÂ¯ve futility. I knew that there were libations, often colorful and named for atmospheric disturbances, random exposing of breasts, and the throwing of gaudy beaded necklaces. I also knew that there would be people, great herds of people mulling about like drunken cattle dealing in the exchange of beads on fertile fields. The result of my experience was in no way marred by what I expected of it, though I must admit that my precise recollection of the thing is cloudy. Whether that is a result of the overwhelming stimulus or the drinks named for storms is a point I leave to debate.
I imagine E3 to be something like this, though on a much more subdued fashion and with a provided map. Ostensibly E3 is a trade show in the kind of the way that Mardi Gras is a religious event, but I imagine when compared to trade shows for lumber manufacturers or medical supply companies, E3 is an entirely different beast.
I once attended a trade show in Las Vegas for owners of independent pharmacies. How this admittedly unusual event came to pass is a story so anti-climactic that I promise a four year old could provide a more intriguing narrative. Considering that I am not an owner of an independent pharmacy, or related to such profession in any appreciable way, I admit I was not in a credible position to judge the quality of the event. However, despite the strange and vaguely intimidating cadre of vendors who surrounded and applauded as we, the pharmacists, entered the convention, it seemed a wholly forgettable thing. If you are of the mind that pharmacists are boring people, allow me to disabuse you of that perspective. When compared to their vendors, most pharmacists are positively exploding with personality. If E3 is more than a series of folding tables behind which long faced men in the depths of their own quiet desperations hock disposable razors, commemorative plates, and faux designer cosmetics, then I feel safe in my assumption that it isnÃ‚'t a typical trade show.
Honestly, guys, they didnÃ‚'t even have one booth babe!
I guess itÃ‚'s fair for you, gentle reader, to ask what sort of coverage you can expect from us at E3. ItÃ‚'s a point IÃ‚'ve considered at some length, and the final answer is that I just donÃ‚'t know. I have no illusions that places like Gamespot and IGN will be much more adept than we at siphoning every piece of information and projecting it online within a handful of femtoseconds. I think itÃ‚'s far more likely that IÃ‚'ll want to speak about what affected me, about the event itself, about a very few things I saw that truly inspired or surprised me, and failing all that what strange characters IÃ‚'ve managed to surround myself with in this whole endeavor.
In the end I think what excites me most about the prospect of E3, above the even the games, is an idea of newness. ItÃ‚'s a thing IÃ‚'ve never done before, and IÃ‚'ll be taking it in with people IÃ‚'ve never actually met, and seeing things the public has as yet never seen, all in a place IÃ‚'ve never been. For better or worse it will be a steady stream of entirely new experiences, and thatÃ‚'s always something worth anticipating. I canÃ‚'t think of many other reasons IÃ‚'d bother boarding a plane.