Aleks Krotoski

The Guardian, Thursday 11 June 2009

A throbbing head, weak knees and flashing lights: these are only three of the reasons I did not go to the second coming of E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo, last week in Los Angeles. There are others. The west’s Tokyo Game Show is, as I have written on the Gamesblog in the past, an orgasm of the senses. Problem is, it’s actually someone else’s orgasm, and you’ve had nothing to do with it.

Instead, you have to watch, slightly embarrassed, increasingly uncomfortable, desperately hoping an exit opportunity will present itself, or that you’ll find an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, or Portal Gun, so you can make a speedy getaway through a well-placed hole in the closest wall.

Sure, being at the Nexus of Game has its advantages: you can be the first past the post on news and you can grab a few milliseconds with one of the industry’s illustrious heroes. But you can do that at other – more sedate – games conferences, when schedules aren’t so tightly packed, and the digerati have more interesting things to talk about than announcement fodder. Attending E3 is like being trapped inside of a glitter ball for seven days as it whirs around at the speed of light, while 10,000 shrieking kittens claw at your body, trying to snag one little piece of skin to hold on to so they can anchor themselves away from the walls of their spinning Alcatraz.

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