E3 2011: Sunday

I landed in LA early this morning, not too sure what to expect. I’ve been here before for a very quick stay, but this time I’m here for a purpose. Not only am I solely representing the P*N team, but I’m fulfilling a life-long goal of mine by attending this year’s E3.

I’m hoping to share my experience one step at a time. It’s going to be tough, lone-wolfing the event, and having absolutely zero experience with anything of the sort. The building is absolutely huge, confusing, and even today with barely anyone in it, still manages to be intimidating. I would like to provide a different angle for those of you curious enough to follow along with me and my journey through video game’s biggest event. We have an incredibly dedicated and talented team on staff that will be bringing you all of the latest news, pictures, videos, thoughts -anything E3 related. So rather than try to beat them to the punch which I surely will not be capable of doing, I am going to share with you (as best I can) what it’s like to be at the massive event. This will include sights, sounds, and hands-on impressions of absolutely anything I can get access to. So please, read on and enjoy a different kind of story. My story.

Like most epic journey’s, they begin slowly and with much peace. You know, sorta like when Frodo is minding his own business in the Shire and enjoying being a Hobbit before the ring ruins his life. Mine is similar except for the peace part. And being a Hobbit. As soon as I touched down I was pushed in to a shuttle and off to Universal City to check-in to my hotel. I’ve never traveled so consistently fast in a vehicle before. We hit a pot hole and I literally smacked my head on the roof of the shuttle bus. It hurt.

Even their busses are cool.

Once at my hotel, the credit card was giving them issues and of course I had to wait at the front desk forever for them to resolve the issue. Apparently there was a mix-up and somehow another account was on mine. This fit in very nicely to the type of day I was having. You know the type… the day’s where it seems like anything that could go wrong, does go wrong. I had already been hassled by customs as they didn’t believe I was going to E3, and before that had the classic metal detector mishap.

After being molested, interrogated, and having an identity crisis with the hotel, I was finally in my room and back out before I knew it and hitting the streets of Los Angeles to go grab my media badge.

As tempting as it was to head over to the MTV Movie Awards with tons of celebs minutes from my hotel, I thought getting my badge was slightly more important than snapping a picture with Robert Pattinson. The walk toward the LA Convention Center was pretty great. I was four blocks away when I could see a huge banner for Battlefield 3 draped over the front entrance, next to the near football-field in length sized poster for Assassin’s Creed Revelations. But all of these paled in comparison to the absolute feast for the eyes from Bethesda. Plastered on the entire side of a building was an enormous ad for Skyrim. Absolutely unreal to see in person.

Before I could even reach the entrance, I had already walked through gamer heaven, including an outdoor big-screen playing a Gears of War 3 trailer in the middle of the city. Very cool. It’s great to see such a passion of mine be so in-your-face to the general public, most of whom may have no idea what’s even going on this week.

Once inside, I got a chance to see what the conference center will look like with no people in it, which is a sight that I will surely miss starting tomorrow. Yes, it’s big. Yes, it’s confusing. I wasn’t really able to use my camera once inside, but there wasn’t too much to see at first. Everything was surprisingly being set-up -and in some cases- still being built. There are digital maps stationed throughout in case you get lost, which I will most definitely see myself using in the near future, and more gaming sights that I can remember. From the hanging icicles for Warhammer Space Marine, to the slick painted steps for Tekken X Street Fighter, your eyes are barraged with constant awesome.

There were a lot of areas that I was not allowed to get into yet, like this one area that has you walk up the longest set of stairs known to humanity only to be told at the very top that you are not allowed any further and to go back down. Made me wonder why they didn’t station that security guard at the bottom…

I was too afraid to be too snoopy, I mostly used the time to grab my media badge and find out where my appointments were going to be for the next few days so I wasn’t completely winging it.

At this point, I really have no idea what to expect. Being able to walk around freely today got me pretty amped and I’m excited for things to kick off. But I still have this lingering fear that I will be chewed up and spat out on day 1. But only time will tell, and I will definitely give you all the nitty gritty. But definitely stay tuned as in the next few days, I’ll be talking with industry experts, getting hands-on with some big titles, and attending a few VIP parties. Until then, time for this lonely Canadian to catch some sleep.

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  • Can’t wait to see how your journey plays out! Great start.