E3 is the biggest gaming event of the year, so naturally gamers get pretty excited about it. New games are guaranteed and there is always something to ridicule as the future of our hobby takes shape in front of our very eyes.
Many will keep up to date with news stories from their preferred publication of choice, but other more diehard fans elect to watch every second of E3 coverage – each conference, every live stream, each and every trailer.
Booking time off work to watch a company's press conference isn't unheard of, which just goes to show the dedication of these men and women. For the most dedicated however, the years may change but the process is always the same.
1) The Build-Up
Hype trains are running at full steam with expectations growing every second beyond the realm of what's possible. Any sense of objectivity or perspective goes flying straight out the window with prophecies that the big three companies are to unleash the fabled megatons and announce exactly what gamer's crave most.
Typically, they don't.
2) Pre-show Nerves
It's only a few short hours before the conferences begin. Snacks have been readied and as many screens as possible are running. But what to watch? Do you opt for the IGN live stream or Gametrailers? Maybe GameSpot? This is all too much. The sweating begins...
- "Oh God, oh God, this better be good, please show F-Zero, I'll give anything if Nintendo just show F-Zero!"
- "Oh God, oh God, this better be good, please show Perfect Dark 2, I'll give anything if Microsoft just show Perfect Dark 2!"
- "Oh God, oh God, this better be good, please show The Last Guardian, I'll give anything if Sony just show The Last Guardian!"
Something like that.
3) Watching The Conferences
And so begins the race to conjure the funniest E3-related tweet as quick as possible. Hundreds of thousands avidly keeping one eye on the press conference unfolding and another on Twitter, waiting for something silly or shocking to occur.
Meanwhile another subset of fans complains about everything unfolding, unless it is exactly what they wanted right down to the presenter's choice of clothing. "Sure Half Life 3 is great and all, but the dude was wearing a sports jacket over a slogan t-shirt, EUGH!"
Social media becomes a whirlwind of reaction tweets ("OMMGGGGGGG MEGATON") sarcastic tweets ("Oh great, a game with guns in it") and confused non-gamer's with no idea what's going on, "What's an E3? What's an Iwata? Why does he drop the bomb?"
4) Post-Conference Hyperbole
"Worst E3 press conference ever!"
"Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft have lost E3!"
5) Keighley Watch
After the dust from Nintendo's conference/online broadcast/'digital event' has settled that's pretty much it for major E3 news. "Well what do we watch now?" "Well I guess there's Keighley's show." Attentions duly turn to the many live-streams on offer, with the Geoff Keighley-hosted show on Spike TV and streamed on Gametrailers being a generally preferred one-stop shop.
It's a very professional show and gets a ton of great guests, but its tendency to be puffier than it is provocative attracts ire from gamer's with dreams of games journalism one day having a grand Watergate moment.
The truth of E3 is that it's pretty much over as it begins. The LA show doors open on Tuesday, by which time the conferences are largely done and dusted, leaving just the demos and plentiful reaction pieces to be written or filmed afterwards.
6) Right, So What's The Game of Show?
E3 always zooms past with the speed of Yoshi overtaking you on the last corner in Mario Kart 8 (I hold no grudges) so before you've really had time to absorb it all it is done, which leaves one more question, what is the game of show?
Game of Show is the award handed out by so many publications that it barely has meaning, and of course everyone will have their own favourite anyway – so cue online slap fights over which was objectively the best game of the show.
Fade to black, and the gaming world keeps on turning and the countdown is reset until June the following year.