E3 - The Circus That No-one Knows We Need

E 3 the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the yearly video game expo is now officially all but dead.

I am not very good at telling stories, well not at making them interesting anyway, so I'll point you to Kotaku and Penny Arcade for the backstory...please return for my commentary when you are caught up on the events.

I work in the video game industry and believe me when I tell you that working E3 is, more often than not, Hell. Not only is working the show like russian roulette without the courtesty of a reward, but preparations for the show are at least two months of planning meetings and blueprints and telecons and everything else that people got into the game industry to get away from.

In addition let me assure you that everything you have heard about the costs of having a booth at E3 is wrong. It is more expensive than you have heard, I have an aquaintance who's first responsibility in the game industry was to handle a Multi-million dollar check for simply the insurance for the booth at the show. And yes, game companies do give up on accomplishing anything productive during the days surrounding E3. So including the time lost to the show, and all of the time used preparing for the show, then the cost of the booth and attendants it is common for regular publishers to be putting in the neighborhood of 20 Million into their E3 showing. That's just 3 days.

Here's the rub...I say it's worth it.

Most of us in the industry look at E3 as a circus, it is craziness and chaos and other non-comforting "C"-words.

E3 is also the only time of the year that the main-stream media looks at our industry/hobby and has something positive to say. Every year when E3 comes around the "Real" media turns it's all powerful eye on the indusrty we all give our time to, and they say how important and powerful the industry is...they will occasionally imply that games are "cool".

Without E3 the only time the evening news mentions video games is to tell you about how the most recent youth-related killing is tenuously connected to gaming.

For three days a year games are cool and influential...I don't think any price is too high for that return. And I fear that once we've lost it, it will be too late to get it back.