E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center
Today was a big day for Lunch Pig, we took it on the road and went to E3. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is the show for the Computer Gaming Industry. It is a big deal and there is a lot of fan faire around it. Held yearly at the Los Angeles Convention Center, it has gone from a small show in 1995 to a major event that has Hollywood style premieres.
Carl and I actually attended E3 the first year it opened in 1995. What I remember most is seeing Microsoft showing off BOB. This time I am going more as a spectator to the business and to look for some inspiration. I wanted to catch the vibe of the event without just showing you the same tired pictures that every other blogger will do in the upcoming days of the event. There is a plethora of booths showing the latest and greatest games as well as beautiful women to help attract attention and give out all sorts of swag and even free NOS drinks.
If you have never been and are lucky enough to get a pass, then be prepared for crazy parking fees. We were in unusually tall and large vehicle that was unable to fit in the parking with overhead structures, so we were relegated to the lot parking and they were charging $30. Yes, $30!
The show was huge, so much to see, but one of the highlights of the show was Disney booth and Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Their booth featured a little museum of memorabilia from the 1927 character Oswald the Rabbit, but the real gold was the Oswald the Rabbit hat ears.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
These are just like the classic Mouse Ears with your name embroidered on the back, just like the ones you get when you visit Disneyland or DisneyWorld. We got there when the show first opened and checked out the booth, there was about 20 people in line and I opted to wait till later when there would be less people. That was a big mistake. I decided to come back and pick up a hat for my son at 3pm and the line wrapped around the very large booth and up the hall. To make matters worse, the Disney Employee told me the line was being closed because it was too long and they could not complete the embroidery in time for closing.
Not one to pass up such premium swag, and I was getting it for my son, whom as it turns out I will do anything for, I talked the guy into letting me attach myself to the end of the line and get that hat that was now so important. Carl was ready to get going but went over to the staples Center to get some NHL Kings Hockey Merch and hang out while I got my ears. The Kings are in the midst of the Stanley Cup Play-offs so not only is there a lot of activity here for E3, but there is a equal amount of activity over the finals. I got in line at 3:10pm, by 4pm I was at the booth and filling out my sons name onto the tag. Just in time for Carl to walk up. “not quite ready”, I said. Then I find out there is going to be a 30 minute wait for the hat. OK, no problem. So Carl and I hung out, played their new games and passed the time away. 4:30 I check and find out it will be an additional one hour. Uh oh. I was in too deep to stop now, I had to wait it out. Carl had decided to go ahead and wait in the car and see if he could catch up on some work. I wandered around the show, visited some of the smaller booths and talked to the now tired people who were winding it down for the first day of the show. Finally at 5:15 I got my ears!
They are super cool, well worth the wait and I am very happy to have them. They have my sons name on them and they look really cute on him.
Since we got there when they opened we decided to grab some lunch first. We went to their standard cafeteria and ate there.
I ordered the Bacon double cheeseburger, but alas they were out of bacon, why shouldn’t they be? It was noon on the first day of the show and they had just opened. What chef or manager would actually bank on people showing up at noon to eat on the first day of a big show? What? Are they supposed to be psychic?
I was lucky enough to catch someone in an offical white lab coat testing the temperature of all the dishes under the lamps. I should feel better knowing that someone is taking the steps to insure that I don’t come down with e-coli while attending E3, for your enjoyment is a picture of him sticking his wand in the various trays. Call me picky, it’s ok. I’m still pissed they were out of bacon.
The burgers came up quickly, and I opted for a side order of “things that looked like french fries”, but weren’t. You can see in the photo what you can expect.
The burger was dry, but tasted like what you might get at a company picnic. Not really bad, but was it worth $16.75? I say no, not at all, and after throwing away the fries you are left feeling a little slighted and perhaps wondering why they would want you to walk away feeling so ripped off for sub par food, or at the least, unsatisfied. Wouldn’t it be worth it to have customers actually feel like they did not get screwed because they made the mistake of eating at the convention center.
But luckily, it is not slim picking anymore, they have allowed food trucks to give consumers a few more choices. You can get a variety of different offerings from the various trucks that were there. Grilled cheese, Vietnamese, Burgers and even soft serve Ice Cream.
And finally, crazy people and marketing
While eating I noticed there were a few people with banners and lunch board signs with various crazy pitches and game promos. Call me crazy, but I find it interesting and decided before the day was over that I would be talking to at least one of them.
The one who spoke to us was this guy, he was holding his sign for No Hope Left and telling people to be aware of the impending doom. He was a lot of fun and never broke character. Down in the hall Capcom was showing their new game, Resident Evil 6 in movie like fashion, including tickets and waiting lines. One of the other fun things they had was an area of memorials and searching photos of loved ones missing in the world of the new game.
Outside there was a kid standing on a foot stool and preaching in both English and Spanish using a hand held PA speaker. Not sure his message was coming through, but I give him credit for not just sitting around playing video games on the couch…