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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Issue : Games : Mad Libz



The Electronic Entertainment Expo is a thing that happens every year in June. It remains a thing because video game companies descend upon the LA Convention center to show the world what they have been up to for the last year. That's cool.

It would be easy to think that E3 is about video games industries engaging with fans in celebration of who we are and what we love to do, but it's not. It's about marketing and public relations. We as an industry go there to engage in growth, networking, conversion, and mindshare. Fan's are entitled and go there to get free stuff and see things first so they can tell their friends they saw all the things already. Also fans can't get in (they get in).

There is barely a person in the building not involved in some way or another with the industry. Indentured remora desperately hanging to the side of a blood mad shark. Our feet hurt, our smiles are premeditated, we are hungover, our voice is one interview from mutiny, and we are above all simply crawling through another day at work.

People really love to poo-poo this fact, but it;s hard not to understand why it exists and persists. Video games and the things video games run on cost a lot of money to make, and it's not a Field of Dreams situation. You can build it, but you aren't guaranteed they will come.

So we go out there to make as much noise as possible, make it all seem like a really big deal, so the company can make more money, the creators can feel like the product sold on the strength of it's merit, and everyone can keep their jobs for another year. Such is life.

There are two kinds of meetings that take place at E3, closed door and informal. Closed door is on a schedule, and the closed door silent agreement is to respect each others time. There is a structure to a closed door, a rhythm, and a finite space to sit in that chair. Informal meetings, now they can be tricky.

These informal meeting happen while you are hanging out in the front of your booth, they happen while you are walking to grab lunch or a smoke, they happen when you have free time to roam the floor (just kidding, you will never have time to do this). These type of altercations can get tricky because people don't know when to shut the fuck up and let you live, and there is no silent rule telling them not to. It's the goddamn wild west.

Here is how I have learned to reign it in. I believe if an informal takes you longer than eight minutes to get out of you are not doing life right. I use the Madlibs minute method. Here is how it goes:

M1 - 3 v.1 (Know the person): Holy hell __name____! You salty dog! What's up it's been forever!

M1 - 3 v.2 (Don't know the person): Ok wow nice to meet you __find out name____. So, [make sweeping motion around the hall] this is so crazy right!

This is the intro phase, take thirty seconds to establish or reestablish a rapport. It helps later when you or they are going to ask for something, probably money or product. Ask about their trip, ask about their kids, ask about anything personal, nothing about work. This establishes the tempo of the dance.


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M3 - 6: (Know the person): Ok, so are you still at __company__. How is it over there? I heard they __share industry tidbit___.

M3 - 6 (Don't know the person): So you are over at __company__. You guys are doing really great things! Whats next?

This is the meat, this is where you talk about work. Not tipping what you wan't, nothing too revealing, keep in mind this is still an operative for a competing lord. Listen to what they are giving and respond accordingly. As you go, find places to segway into the pitch, or to get them to tell you why they are really standing there talking to you, because it's usually never just to catch up.

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M4 - 8: (Know the person): Alright, I hear that... Well speaking about that there is something I wanted to ask you about ___your wants___. Is there a way we could work ___your wants___ into __their wants__? Would you be open to hopping on a call to chat further?

M4 - 8: (Don't know the Person): That is just great, so glad to hear that worked out. Actually I am really glad I ran into you because I feel ___my wants__ in __a semi shared objective__ align well to the goals of your company. We should set up a call to talk further.

This is it, the finale. This is the part where business cards come into play. If you find yourself at one of these events, first of all have a business card, second, when someone gives you their card make sure to look directly at it and test the card stock, make a really big deal about it so they know you consider it important and through the transitive property them as well.

After this sacred ritual has occurred, no more talky, it is time to go, but always make sure to mention a party that might be happening or suggest going over to check out their thing, although you both know it's never going to happen, it's polite. And that's it, there are other ways to go about an informal, and they are probably better, but that is how I do, so that's what I wrote.

Fuuuuck, I wrote a lot of things. This is one boring post, which is ok, because I want to stress how boring and soul sapping E3 is if you work the event. You feel like a musician that woke up one day at a music festival but instead of playing music you are the promoter. Everyone else is dancing or singing or drinking, and there you are behind the curtain watching facilities rig a twenty something USC post grad Tifa to a pulley, and wondering how traffic is going to be on the way home, because you just want to go to sleep. Fuck video games.

Anyway, I hope information makes it out to Comicon, there was no swag to be had at E3 so don't bother hitting me up asking, and Polygon gave Batman a ten? Really? Polygon goes to ten? Also, keep pushing, you are amazing and you deserve it all. I need you to believe that. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : v.2984 Issue : People : Boochie

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