Electronic Entertainment Expo

Back when I worked in the video games industry during college, I attended E3 a few times. The spectacle of the show always impressed me. At that time, I followed the industry closely and I was always excited to play with the latest and greatest toys.

Last year I found out that a couple of my coworkers go down to the show for one day each year. I thought it would be fun to go back, and I'm always looking for an excuse to fly N4WR, so I offered to fly them down this year.

The extent to which I've become completely out of touch with the games industry became embarrassingly apparent at the very first booth we visited. Sega had a bunch of stations set up where attendees could try out their games. I walked up to a "Sonic the Hedgehog" station, grabbed the controller, and said, "This is cool; what's this?" To which one of my coworkers replied, "That's the Wii U. It's been out for like two years." Oh well.

It was still cool to check out all the extravagant booths, the massive displays, and the crazy costumes.

My favorite display was "World of Tanks". They had a full-size tank suspended in the air with a large array of digital cameras in front of it.

This allowed people to pose and be photographed simultaneously from many angles. They then compiled the photos into videos. Some of the results were pretty cool.

The only booth that I was really looking forward to going into the show was Oculus VR. I'd played with one of their dev units once before, but I wanted to try out their newer hardware and see what kinds of games they had in the works.

I was able to play two of their games: a kind of first person shooter that allowed you to pause time and look around to dodge bullets, and an outer space dogfighting game. Neither game was very fun, and the display resolution left much to be desired, but I definitely see the potential of the technology. I really want to try it with a good flight simulator. The ability to look around is a game changer. I think other forms of entertainment besides video games will adopt it as well.

Overall, my excitement on the show floor was definitely diminished from my days working in the industry. That said, I still had a great time. And it was a great flight down and back in N4WR!

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