Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Average Number Of People: 60 Highest Number Of People: 60,000 Number Of People Killed: 43 Number Of Games Shown: 2 Number Of NEW Games Shown: 0
Initially, this seemed like a tough category. After all, there were a good nine or ten companies whose terrible booth setups led to walkway arteries so congested, they should have been passing out Actifed.
But when it comes to total disregard for public safety, no booth could top Blizzard's. Successfully navigating past their booth required a combination of sharp wits, quick reflexes and some sort of wedge-like object to split the crushing wall of geeks lined up to stare at StarCraft: Ghost and World of Warcraft, both of which were on the floor for the two prior E3s. You got it - no StarCraft 2, no Diablo III, just two games that people either already own or stopped caring much about 24 months ago.
We salute you, Blizzard. We also expect you to pay for the funeral arrangements of one Jimmy Robinson, an 18 year-old Gamestop employee who sadly did not make it through your surging tide. He just wanted to see Activision!
They actually had a guy twirling fire.
Game Boy Micro
The Spin: It's a small GBA with a great screen! Finally!
It's a small GBA with a great screen? Wha?
Okay, so this one wasn't so tough.
I suppose, in a sense, our worst fears were not realized. We all heard rumblings of Nintendo developing a new Game Boy system, which made the GR staff burn effigies of Mario in our sacrificial courtyard. How could they even consider releasing a new handheld right after making such a hubbub over the "we're still waiting for those cool games" DS?
The answer? They didn't. Instead, Nintendo unveilied their latest mediocre concept with the Game Boy Micro, which is nothing more than a tiny Game Boy Advance with a brighter screen. Of course, if your hands are larger than those of a Keebler Elf, it might not be so comfy.
Most mystifying of all is Nintendo's bizarre explanation for such a seemingly useless device:
"We're making the gorgeous Game Boy Micro for image-conscious folks who love video games, the ones who want the look of their system to be as cool as the games they play on it," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Because of its diminutive size and industrial-hip look, Game Boy Micro immediately identifies the person playing it as a trendsetter with discriminating style."
We have a winner.
Location: South Hall, Towards The Back Approximate Cost Of Space: 1 million dollars Number Of Games Shown: Either 1 or 0. Size Of Stage: 20' x 20' Max Number Of People Onstage: 15 Question Of The Week : WHO IS TQ?
We finally figured out who TQ was - an online game developer from China. Maybe. They also might be called NetDragon. We eventually discovered that they did, in fact, have a game at E3 called Conquer Online, which looks like a bad Super Nintendo game.
Anyway, TQ decided that if you're going to show your stuff at E3, that stuff might as well scream at the top of its lungs into a microphone. They hired half of some Wannabe Nickleodeon Team Dance Brigade Squad and three exceptionally phony hip-hop MCs and proceeded to unleash them all on unsuspecting passers-by. It was like dealing with a mean, pushy homeless guy - if you looked 'em in the eye, they wouldn't leave you alone. Awful dance routines and constant hollering about "Getting Up!" and "Feelin' It!" did a fantastic job of hiding the total lack of actual booth content.
Ben even got into a shouting match with one of the fake MCs, who kept yelling "C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! Yeah!" prompting our bitter editor to holler back "Why!? Why!? WHY?! WHY?! OKAY!"