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Published on June 16th, 2016 | by Cactus

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Is E3 worth all the fuss?

Ah, E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo, an event we gamers look forward too every year! Why shouldn’t we? It is like Christmas, but instead of toys we all get greeted by hundreds of new coming games that the big studios are releasing over the next few years! Our Facebook pages and YouTube subscription feeds get flooded with new trailers and videos analysing the trailers and speeches, as well as a whole lot of excitement for the year to come. With all this excitement in the air, why is it that every year I feel more and more disillusioned by the whole event?

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It’s like the movies, only you have to sit through a 2 hour film to see the ads

On the whole, this probably has a lot to with who I am, as mush as it does the current trends in the gaming industry. For those of you who have read my work in the past, staying topical is really the last thing I care about when writing an article. I’m of the belief that good work is good no matter when it was made, and so long as a valid and interesting point can be made about games, or the industry as a whole, then the article is worth writing. To get personal with you, dear reader, the reason I got into this profession was to do just that; it bothered me that so many creative got side-tracked by E3, and that so many things I wanted to read or weren’t being said. Every week writing for GameBug I try to present new ideas for the loyal ‘Bug reader to digest. E3 bothers me in some regard because it stops that whole cycle. For a whole week on end the Internet turns into a maelstrom of what is essentially advertising. No one says anything specific about what the companies are doing, but instead we are heralded by a week of praise to gluttonous corporations. Do we really need sequels to Dishonored or Watch Dogs? Sequelisation as whole feels like corporate money grubbing. Back when original IPs where a thing, a sequel was enjoyed because it was a novelty to retrace the familiar. Now it’s the polar opposite! We get excited to hear about new IP because the sequel market is so oversaturated that something NEW is praised simply for existing.

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Yes Will Ferrel, I too feel like I’m taking crazy pills

With that gripe out of the way, lets talk trailers for a moment. Now, I am more then happy to admit that sometimes, trailers are awesome. The trailers for Halo 3 might be some of the best trailers ever made! Bungie and Microsoft knew that at this point, anyone who was going to buy Halo 3 on launch didn’t even need to see gameplay footage! Most of the trailers are just actors playing UNSC war veterans talking cryptically about the war like a documentary in a museum. They are closer to short films then actual trailers. Even the ones that include gameplay are well-directed and interesting to watch. On the other hand we have the CGI trailers of Prey and Dishonored 2; CGI replications of what they ‘imagine’ gameplay will be. In the end these trailers are so disassociated with the end product that they are essentially pointless and therefore, worthless. So much of what we see at E3 is just marketing tools to get you excited about a project that is not even near completion. What we sit for ours on end to see live are ads that we let multimillion dollar companies stream directly into our brains! How is it that we, a society that invented TiVo solely to avoid advertisement , let ourselves start watching ads for fun!? I’m sure many of you have known the feeling of disappointment when a product was not as good as the trailer. A trailer is worth nothing if it is no representative of the product, or at least stands on it’s own ground.

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That was an add for Halo 3? I thought that Microsoft just made a new miniatures game 

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t like new game announcements. My enthusiasm for them has dwindled over the years, with my excitement peaking closer to the games actual release. I’m still interested to play the new Mass Effect, and I wonder if Sony will have a new From Software game for us. Perhaps my biggest issue with E3 is that it seems like pandering. Everything that is shown is designed to inspire hype, to encourage sales and to get the gaming masses excited. Perhaps a lot of people, including myself have become disillusioned because they want more substance in their games media. They don’t see a game as a fun time waster or a list of features with nice graphics. I see gaming as a budding new form of art and expression. One defined by a multitude of factors, and like a fine desert deserves to be respected, and considered thoughtfully. That’s not to say that games can’t, or shouldn’t be enjoyable; understanding enjoyment is an equal part of the experience. Every year E3 rolls around and the gaming industry shove advertisement into our faces so that the hard work and love that developers put into their games can be sold for a quick buck and that media outlets will give them free promotion. At the end of the day, maybe a guy like me has to realise that maybe E3, the video game hype show, just isn’t for me. I play games every day, but as someone who would happily replay an old favourite, or try a new indie game then exclusively play the hottest new release E3 just doesn’t appeal. If you’re not that person then you shouldn’t feel bad, and if you like E3 then you shouldn’t feel bad. Games are all about finding something that we love. If you love E3, rejoice it! If, like me, you couldn’t care less, then by all means boot up that PC and play something you love, it’ll all be over next week.

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