Yesterday, I had my first experience of Playstation Move. Stood in a tiny booth, with a good ten people watching as I stumbled through the Table Tennis demo and forgot to hold the trigger when trying to serve. There was an opened-up PS3 to one side of me, showing off techy stuff, while the other had posters and standees for the game I was already playing.
The game? It was alright, although I did feel there was a second’s delay that felt a bit nasty. The controller is lovely to hold, even if the glowing ball is a bit odd. I, however, was awful- Not the kind of thing you’d expect from someone who’d just netted the Wimbledon trophy on Wii MotionPlus Grand Slam Tennis. At first I blamed this on the delay and my lack of skill. However, I could easily sight another, more realistic reason for my failures: The environment.
I’m the kind of person that hates people watching over my shoulder. I could never cope with a tournament, no matter how good I am at Tetris or Smash bros or whatever, there’s just too much pressure. The event scenario is the same. Developers, PR staff and young female employees constantly have their beedy eyes on you, often rather than the screen. (There was a blonde lady at the Street Fighter booth who seemed intent on watching the concentration on my face rather than the thrust on Chun Li’s thighs.)
Off-putting? Not half. No, I’ve never been to E3, but from the smaller gaming conventions I’ve visited, it almost seems like a waste of effort. They say first impressions last: I’m so glad I didn’t start Super Mario Galaxy in front of a crowd of on-lookers. Starting some games is a magical occasion, Galaxy being one such example and I can’t understand why you’d want to witness the game’s early moment in such a cramped environment. The worlds on the screen may be perfectly formed, but off it it couldn’t be worse.
Perhaps it’s time that gaming events where put to rest- My personal experiences may seem fantastic in the short term (Playing games early and getting coverage for KN) but there’s nothing quite like settling down into a comfy chair with a brand new game that’s just earned itself 95% on Metacritic and you’ve been anticipating for 3 years. Lights down, TV on, press start to begin- The hustle and bustle of big conventions is a world away, and that’s just the way I like it to be...