Yesterday, I went to the giant videogame confab E3 with my friend Jordan Mechner, who created Prince of Persia and is writing the movie version for Disney. We were there to see footage from the next Prince of Persia game — which looks damn good, what with the chariots and Babylonian rooftops and all. (And no, I’m not breaking any non-disclosure agreements. I saw exactly what anyone on the convention floor would have seen.)
For those who don’t know, E3 is huge. Huge. Everywhere you looked, you saw flashing screens and guys with laptops waiting in lines to buy overpriced sandwiches. As Jordan put it, “It’s like a giant airport, and every flight just got cancelled.”
You often read about how the videogame and movie industries are such close cousins, but the movie industry doesn’t have anything that really compares to this. Sure, there’s the Cannes Film Festival and other international film markets, but those are really geared towards distributors. The target audience here was the hard-core gamer, the super-consumer whose tends to be the opinion-leader. Unlike a film festival, they’re not just showing you a trailer for the game, they’re putting a controller in your hands. They want you hooked.
It’s like Crack Con 2005.