If there's one thing I don't want to talk about regarding E3, it's video games.
…Okay, that's not entirely true. But surely you've read enough previews, heard enough rumors, and trudged through enough opinion pieces over the last week to keep you both hopeful and confused for the next few months. So, forget all those big, exciting titles! (Uncharted 3 is total yawncore anyway, amIright?) E3 is so much more than demo stations and booth babes – it's an experience. A stressful, overwhelming, mind-melting, mirth-inducing experience, with plenty of parties for getting heaps wasted.
In fact, here's a guide that I wish I would have had pre-E3. Future attendees, keep this handy for next year.
So You've Decided to Attend E3
by 2-Year E3 Survivor, Lisa Foiles
Chapter 1: Be Excited! Despite the Fact That You Are Doomed.
Congratulations! You've been accepted into the quasi-exclusive event, E3. This means you are either an important person and a keyframe in the motion tween of our gaming society, or you have connections like a boss. Either way, good for you! At least you're an attendee and not one of those chicks in a tight miniskirt handing out GameCrush flyers to passersby who immediately throw them away.
Did you purchase your plane ticket to Los Angeles yet? Fantastic! Let's hope you weren't an idiot and selected the correct flight, one that has you arriving early enough to attend all the pre-expo parties. Pre-parties are just as important as during-show parties, which are not quite as crucial as after-parties, post-expo parties, and "Whose Hotel Room Is This?" parties. (All very quasi-exclusive.)
Chapter 2: You Might Not Even Get Into the Expo! Ha ha!
At this point, you should have a pretty impressive hangover from all your pre-partying and are ready to stumble to the LA Convention Center. Don't try to fight through a crowd to get coffee anywhere—you will not live to tell about it.
Were you confirmed as an E3 attendee via email? Of course you were! Unfortunately, this means nothing. Ninety percent of you will still have to present upwards of 75 forms of identification in order to receive a pass that was never reserved for you in the first place. I assume this difficulty began years ago as a computer error, but now the people at E3 can't get enough of this sick joke. At registry, you can even hear the staff giggle as you frantically search for your passport, birth certificate, and possibly a government-appointed scientist to confirm your existence as a human.
If you somehow get through this process and are rewarded with your E3 Golden Ticket, here's hoping you really enjoy hot, sweaty crowds of people and walking through farts.
Chapter 3: The Expo Floor: Are You Having a Seizure Yet?!
There it is, eight football fields worth of brightly-lit exhibits, 35,000 monitors, and scantily-clad booth babes everywhere who-–easy, champ-–are paid to look at you like that. You have several options here at the beginning of Day 1:
A. You can be intelligent and, using the floor map you grabbed as you entered, find the booth for the game you are most stoked to see and jump in line to play it while the wait is short. But obviously you were not smart enough to grab a floor map, so that option is out.
B. You can go balls-to-the-walls and power-walk from one end of the expo to the other, gazing upon its glory like a wide-eyed pyromaniac in a match factory. This will be great fun, until you realize you've only been there for three hours and your legs have stopped working.
C. Final option, and this is a popular one, you can spiral into a crippling panic attack and collapse into a ball of stress until you finally get an AT&T signal and can text someone to come find you. (Note: You will never actually be found.)
Chapter 4: Hey Kid, Expo Day is Over, GTFO
The first day of the expo has already concluded and, knowing you, you saw almost nothing you wanted to see. Well done! Thankfully, you have two more days to remedy that. Now is the time to get to those after parties!
…You remembered to RSVP for all of those parties, right?
Well, that's unfortunate. Let's just hope you know cool-enough people to at least get you into the quasi-exclusive Frag Dolls party. Because let me tell you, those girls know how to throw a party. We're talking laser lights, open bars, that Asian actor from Heroes, and extremely loud dance music to make you feel like Beyonce but look like Liz Lemon.
Chapter 5: The Next Two Days: Your Feet Say No, But Your Thumbs Say Yes
If you somehow made it back to a familiar bed last night instead of drunkenly chilling with that homeless guy who had his junk out earlier that evening, hats off to you! It was a successful night.
But now you've leveled up and have reached Days 2 and 3. No more dick-smacking around. You have games to play and business cards to hand out; demos to see and swag to bag! Seriously, soak in as much E3 as you can because it'll be over before you know it. Promise your aching feet a pedicure later, even if you're a dude, and press on. It's worth it to wait in lines – if for no other reason than to brag to your friends once you get back home.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to see if a comfortable shoe company will sponsor me for next year. Moon Shoes is still in business, right?
Kotaku columnist Lisa Foiles is best known as the former star of Nickelodeon's award-winning comedy show, All That. She currently works as an actress/web host in Hollywood and writes for her game site, Save Point. For more info, visit Lisa's official website.