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E3: Day two on the showroom floor

Is 2012 a strong year for E3? Depends who you ask...

Following yesterday's noble attempt to impart some sense of what it's like to actually be at E3, we've gone and done it again for the expo's second day.


Despite opening from 10am until 6pm, there's always a massive morning line-up to get into E3. To be the first. For some reason, today's line was entertained by a troupe of kilted bagpipe players. It was probably part of some promotion, but then again, as we saw yesterday, weird stuff happens at E3 for which no reasonable explanation can ever be given.

Take this for instance: one of my fellow game reporters visited the Devil May Cry booth to get some hands-on time with the game. As you might expect, the "behind closed doors" booth was just a bunch of people playing and talking about the game, except in the centre of the room there was a woman pole-dancing. Completely out of anyone's line of sight.

The proximity of attractive women as strategy to increase a game's appeal is in full effect on day two, but I don't want to labour that point again. The mood of the convention on its second day is as fun as you'd expect, but it's hard to overcome the sense that E3 doesn't have anything truly new in 2012. Sure, most of the stands offer an opportunity to play previously unplayed games, but they're all games we've read about over the past months, and usually belonging to a series we know intimately already. There's little on the showroom floor that is surprising. We're definitely on the fag-end of this console generation.

This seems to be the prevailing attitude among other people I talk to today: the new IP from Ubisoft (Watch Dogs) and Quantum Dream (Beyond: Two Souls) are the two titles most liable to elicit a strong reaction, and that's because they were both authentically surprising, ie - they surprised us, ie - there was little to no pre-E3 coverage.

That said, at lunch time, as I ascended an escalator in search of some typically heart-attack inducing American fast food, a woman in front of me screamed. It wasn't just a squeal-scream, but rather an authentic, truly wretched, stabbed-in-the-face-with-a-tusk scream.

Make no mistake though: it was also a "pleasure-scream". And the source of this horrendous mirth? The sight of a huge, truck-sized Lego Batman poster seemingly suspended in the air. While I and many others were bemoaning the lack of novelty at the 2012 E3 convention, this woman was amazed just at the sight of a poster.

So yeah, if there's at least a handful of people in the world who can be brought to such rapture by the sight of Lego Batman, that alone justifies this industry's existence as far as I'm concerned. You just want to hug people like that, who love stuff so completely and shamelessly. That's why we line up.