The first mistake was not getting out of Los Angeles earlier. Sitting around for an early afternoon flight just extended the risk of serious jetlag.
The second mistake was then immediately comitting on an East Coast schedule and logging on to my computer to chat with friends I hadn't spoken to since I left for E3.
The third mistake was talking about E3.
It's great that everyone is so enthusiastic. I've been asked by a lot of people already about Alan Wake - my ride from the airport tried to pump me for information I didn't really have on hand. Questions about the press conferences, the demos I saw,whether Aliens vs Predator is still awesome...it never ends.
And this is a very good thing.
I was beginning to be very tired of E3. Press conferences are broadcast across the internet and television so the media doesn't even really need to be in that room or reporting on it - anyone interested can see what Microsoft or Ubisoft have to say. The days of publishers showing games that are still two or three years away are mostly gone, with a very high percentage of titles on display being summer or early fall 2009 releases. With all the game trailers going up on Youtube almost as soon as we in the press see them, I had a growing sense that this trade show wasn't targeting us but the next month's NPD data. Streaming video and G4's 24 hour coverage almost made me - a humble wordsmith - feel redundant.
But people still want to know what intelligent commentators think. Even if they have read a thousand articles about Project NATAL and seen the The Old Republic trailer on an endless loop, there seems to be a hunger for more perspective, more analysis. Especially from a writer they have grown to trust or maybe just happen to know
With the games news and commentary industry now a seven days a week, 365 days a year non-stop churn of information, you would think that people would get tired of E3 or find no point in it whatsoever. Some companies have abandoned the convention for their own, and other cons have emerged to challenge the dominance of E3. But there is still a deeply ingrained sense in the gaming community that what happens at E3 matters and that what the games media says about E3 is worth listening to.