Monday, May 16, 2005

Semana Grande!

If you're a big sweaty geek like me and most people I know, this is a pretty big week.

Most other people don't really care. I envy thos people.

The big news is that E3 and the new Star Wars film both happen this week. I'm sure I'll get to Star Wars sometime this week, but for now I want to focus on that ear-shattering wankfest, E3.

Just to cement the source of my crankiness on the subject, this is the 9th E3 since I started going to the show, and the second one I've missed since then. That's long enough to see patterns emerge, and if you're a jaded bitch like me, patterns tend to make you cranky. I recognize the following patterns from every time I've been to E3:

  • The "industry-only" event is crowded with suspicious 8-year-old industry insiders.

  • Every major hardware company has some "big announcement" to make, touching off the "Pre-E3 Press Conference Wars" and making sure everything's old news by the time you get to the show floor

  • Attractive women spend a week getting sweated on by trolls disguised as gamers

  • Once-strong publishers with crap line-ups try to appear relevant

  • One game rises as the universal undisputed "Best of E3," usually thanks to some cleverly edited non-playable video footage. It hardly shows up at the next year's E3

  • Exhibitors do anything and everything in their power to get you to pay attention to them, short of actually making original and fun games

  • Journalists form strong opinions about things they hardly even saw at the show, based on the marketing/PR folks' promises as to what that game will one day be

  • The area around the EA booth is more life-threateningly loud than Irritable Bowel Night at the all-you-can-eat buffet at Cabbage Hut

  • Someone dressed as Daisy Duke will lie all over the General Lee, no matter whether there's a Dukes of Hazzard game coming out or not

  • Hot chicks will hand gamer trolls T-shirts for stuff. Those gamer trolls will wear the shirts because a woman touched them

  • Everyone laughs at Kentia Hall, despite the half-naked Korean chicks and convenient cafeteria area.

That's just to name a few.

So, if you want to see my E3 2005 predictions, change all the verbs in the above bullet points to future tense and put the words "I predict..." above the list. I can't be bothered to predict anything this year.

I will say this: For the first time in ages, I couldn't give a flying crap what the new consoles are like. I saw the video for Gears of War today, and I thought, Oh cool, it's Brute Force without the actually existing. I hear Perfect Dark Zero looks good, but... well, I already played Perfect Dark, two generations ago. My patience for the console innovation treadmill is getting thin. Sure, it's nice that the Xbox 360 can interrupt the DVD I'm watching to tell me that my friend wants to play with me online, but... whatever. This is the first hardware generation that I'm just not buying the hype for. I don't know why.

I'm much more excited about EpIII than I am about E3. I just don't know whether to do my Episode III rant before I see the movie or after.