It was Twinfinite’s first E3 this year, as well as our first covering anything big in the video game industry. We’ve only been around for eight months now and we really don’t know what the hell we’re doing half the time. This is of course tripled when we’re thrown into one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) gaming expositions and have to run around covering it for the site. Needless to say, we fucked up. A lot.
This is my letter to any other amateur video game website/blog, assuming you actually care about covering the industry and aren’t just aiming to go to E3 to touch a booth babe. Whether you read this tomorrow or in five years, you should still listen to this. Or laugh, whatever.
Dear New Guy,
You made it into E3! Holy shit! I’ll give you a few moments to finish squealing. I know we were pretty excited when we found out we couldn’t go three times before finally being accepted. That was HILARIOUS! That leads me to my first point…
[Don’t Settle For No]
We lost a lot of time when we settled for our first rejection into E3. For some REASON (*cough*BecauseWeWereNew*cough*), despite our site having the stats required for a website to go to E3, we were denied. In fact, we were denied so much that our stats lowered enough to be screwed out of one pass by the time we finally got through.
And by “got through”, I mean Keith called straight to the ESA and spoke with them about our eligibility. The e-mail people probably have us spam marked, next year should be fun. In any case, by the time we finally got accepted there was one month left until E3.
[Book Your Shit Way In Advance]
This wasn’t really our fault, considering we got accepted so last minute. But if you don’t book things fast you’ll end up in a hotel in the ghetto two buses away from the convention center. It wasn’t so bad, each morning started as an adventure. Each night, fear. But it was a great bonding experience for the team. I also lost ten pounds, so yay.
[Fly In Two Days Before]
Here we were thinking we were responsible adults flying in the day BEFORE E3. Ha-ha, silly us. It turns out if you do that you’ll miss a ton of parties and a couple of conferences. We flew in on the 4th which was the day of, like, every fucking conference. We only managed to make it in time for Sony’s (which may just brand us as PlayStation fanatics) ironically since that’s the one we weren’t invited to.
[Plan Well So Your Ass Isn’t Late]
We made it into Sony’s press conference 30 seconds before they closed the doors. Not exaggerating, they were screaming at us that exact bit of information as we scrambled. Looking back, it was pretty unprofessional that they were laughing at us. But I guess it is hilarious to see a group of people suddenly bolt out of nowhere to get to the doors in time. There’s of course always that asshole that screams, “run,Forest, run!” This wasn’t the only time this happened, as we were late to Nintendo’s press conference the next day, too. Public transportation blows in LA, man. Regardless, this allowed us to go in without even being checked for invitations.
[When A Producer Of A Symphony Invites You, Show Up]
The header image of this article is from the best night ever. That was sarcastic. It was literally enough to make me start a fight with a random LA citizen, but we’ll get to that in a bit. We did an interview with the producer of the Legend of Zelda Symphony, Jeron Moore, and he was kind enough to invite us to both rehearsals and the symphony. While rehearsals were completely out of the question because they went on during E3 hours, we had planned to go to the symphony for sure. We dressed up, looked incredibly nice, and headed over to the Nokia Theater.
Problem was, the symphony wasn’t at Nokia Theater. It was like thirty fucking minutes away in the Greek Theater. Video Games Live, how dare you confuse us?
So there we were, at the wrong venue in the heart of the Staples center as the streets were closed off and flooded by thousands of LA Kings fans. We got into a cab hoping to make it in time but traffic was insane at this point since the game let out. A rabid Kings fan started screaming racial slurs at our cab driver. Since he’s pissed that his team lost and I’m pissed that we’re missing the symphony, I told him that he was the reason his team lost. It was so awesome. I almost got shot.
Finally we decided it was futile and went into a Chipotle to drown our sorrows. The PR working with the symphony called us to see if we were still coming and this was the exact thing Keith told her:
Video Games Live is a concert happening at the same time and a different venue. We showed up at the Nokia Theater thinking the symphony was there at around8 PMwhich was the same time the LA Kings were playing. We wanted to get a cab but really at that point there was no way with all the traffic. So right now we’re sitting sullenly at a Chipotle in our dress clothes… I’m so sorry.
She laughed her ass off. They’re good people.
[Don’t Book A LOT Of Appointments With Small Companies]
Not that you shouldn’t cover them at all, but trust me when I say they’ll be open while the bigger ones will not. D’OH! For that matter, book your appointments with the big companies well in advance. Don’t be shy. Have the balls like Twinfinite. All the balls.
[Go Off The Beaten Path]
This is probably the only thing we did right. And I still will rub it in Keith and Brett’s face for not listening to me earlier when I said we should do it. On the third floor of the LA Convention Center is where all the big stuff is hidden away. While a lot of companies are just using the space for business meetings among their staff, some are holding actual demos and presentations of the big games not found on the showfloor. We managed to get looks at Star Wars 1313 and The Last of Us because of it.
[Don’t Actually Slap Tim Schafer]
It was a joke we did with him, chill out.
[Ask Too Many Questions]
Okay so this is the other thing we did right. No shame. Have absolutely no shame. Ask every question imaginable and give away how fucking lost you are. It’s because we asked a woman in the Sony booth where The Last of Us was that she revealed there were secret demo rooms upstairs.
[If You’re Going To Carry Your Laptops Around, Make Someone Strong Do It]
After day one we decided to ditch our laptops all together and do our journalism the old fashion way. With fedoras and all, stay golden kid! It’s especially important to note that the clumsiest person shouldn’t be holding the cameras, even if they belong to her. Ahem.
[If A Company Is Making You Wait A Long Line…]
Fuck that, there’s more games to play. Especially if you only have a small team at E3. Some even have their games elsewhere on the showfloor and are doing this private presentation for no reason. Looking at you, Capcom.
[Don’t Act Like An Idiot In Front Of Hideo Kojima]
I called him sensei! WHY DID I CALL HIM SENSEI?!
I hope these were useful to you, young one. They would have been a hell of a lot of use to us. Oh, who am I kidding? We wouldn’t have listened. Regardless, I wouldn’t change a thing. We covered the shit out of E3, how we wanted to. And that’s really the best advice I can give: Do it how you feel is right.