The Real Problem With E3 2012

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The innovation still seems pretty
veiled, actually.

So, E3 2012. Everybody seems to have an opinion about it, and most of those opinions are pretty negative. It fell flat, or it was disillusioning,[1] or it will continue to disappoint, or the press conferences were a brutal and troubling experience, or it was by far the worst/most ridiculous.

Of course, such unanimity cannot stand on the internet, so naturally there are the backlash articles, talking about how E3 was pretty great, or how it was not a disappointment in any way, or there are forum threads simply trying to figure out whether it was momentous or meh.

This may come as a shock to you, but I also have an opinion about E3 2012. And, since this is the internet, I feel not just entitled to, but compelled to share that opinion with you. Are you ready for my opinion about E3 2012?

The real problem with E3 2012 is that everybody seems to think there was something—anything—substantially different about E3 2012 compared to previous years.

I have been to E3 almost every year it has been going on. I don't even know how many of them I've been to. I think I went to the first one. I know I went to Atlanta multiple times for E3. Why would anyone go to Atlanta in the summer if they didn't love video games, or at least the potential of video games?

But, E3 is basically the exact same thing every year. Yes, even console launch years. If you think E3 varies much from year-to-year, you cannot see the forest for the trees. Taken in aggregate, the games we make as an industry and show to buyers, the press, and the public at E3 are an embarrassment, a clichéd bunch of adolescent male power-fantasy garbage, or simplistic and manipulative time wasters, or both. If you can't see this, and you can't see that's what we have shown at E3 every single year for decades, then you are blind.

To me, the most embarrassing thing, the most mortifying thing about E3, is not that we proudly show off these games, it's that we all seem to take the current state of the game industry seriously, and argue about whether this E3 was better or worse than that E3, or whether this game is better or worse than that one.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

  1. I think I just made that word up.
This page was last modified on 20 June 2012, at 00:58. 

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