Do we like E3? I gather that you all probably do. Let’s have a look at all the things you can’t touch for another twelve months, the games that they really hope will drill a little hole in your brain and live there until you can think of nothing else. It is hailed as the grand stadium of dreams, revealing the contents of your upcoming year with style and panache.
Except, of course, for the fact that it’s all a big fat lie.
I was actually at E3, although not for the organisers want of trying. They denied me entry on such a large number of occasions, sent me an uncountable number of letters pleading with me to stop attempting to attend, that I was forced to enact a plan concocted after a late night binge ended with myself and my compatriots enjoying the Dark Knight. You’ll understand once the corpses start turning up.
Anyway, I was at E3 and was thoroughly surprised by how pitiful the whole thing actually is. To an outsider, the expo is a sort of holy place, where the gods of gaming gather to discuss respawn times and the correct amount of boob jiggle. I had assumed, based on these stories, that upon entry I would be greeted by tall, robust men in white robes, golden beards, and be offered a seat at the table. Once there, food would be served by wiry but stern-faced maidens, beautiful ringlets cascading down the sides of their face and drawing the eye to the freshly slain animals they would bear for us.
You can imagine my horror, then, when I was greeted by a mob of sweaty man-children queuing up to stare at one of the bored women hired to lure the slack-jawed fools.
E3 is a hype machine, a lumbering troll dressed in the skin of a thousand confused women, all designed to make you pine for something you can’t have. The big hits of E3 are always the things that give you the least. Take, for example, the latest Hitman game. Although I have heard hushed rumours that there was some gameplay available at the show, IO don’t want you knowing about that. Giving the thing form would diminish the entire point of E3. The lure of the unknown is paramount.
On one of my youthful expeditions, I found myself scouring the ruins of Knossos for something. The locals had told me a great many legends about whatever this thing was, tales that promised it would grant the bearer unimaginable power. Some stated that it was connected to larger myths, the mystical mcguffin that fuelled the powers of these old idols.
I sacrificed the lives of hundreds of paid servants, using them to clog the gears of traps and as makeshift bridges and a whole host of other things. It was exhilarating. What could it be? What beautiful and ancient trinket would I find at the end of my journey?
What I found, ultimately, was a small scroll filled with ancient knock knock jokes, and the illusion was ruined. By that point, of course, I had already lost the majority of my expedition, and the cheeky little so-and-so that had set the whole thing up was quite happily laughing to himself in the great beyond. This is exactly how E3 works.
Consider the new consoles. They announced what they can do, and that is all well and good, but they didn’t tell you why you should care. A new Uncharted game? Perhaps I will care. New Mario games? Standard. You need to crush the market beneath your heel, give them no option but to care about your product, and merely announcing that it will exist should not be enough. It will be, however, because the majority of human meatblobs can be entranced by a mindless CGI trailer if it is accompanied by the indecipherable mewlings of a PR man.
But consider this, men of the internet. When you are pining for that game you saw four minutes of at this year’s E3, imagine how powerful that need will be when they repeat the same ploy next year. And then perhaps the year after that. How readily will you give away your money to these charlatans? I’m not convinced you can be trusted to resist temptation.
I’ll tell you what, let me hold onto it for you, for safe keeping…
Mercurio Silver is a grumpy misanthropic immortal with bold statements and a narcissistic need to force them on others. With his sharp tongue he shares his most recent realisations and thoughts right here on Midlife Gamer every Sunday.