The Hitchhiker’s Guide to E3

The biggest games event in the galaxy is under way shortly.

We have scoured the infiniteblackness of space in search of the finest bits of advice andvital information in order to get the most out of this year’s E3.

Travelling around Los Angeles

Los Angeles is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to LA.

Caroline Miller, Indigo Pearl:
Unless you’re in Hollywood and near the Metro, public transport is not really an option. I can’t recommend Uber enough. The licensed yellow cabs are sweaty and mostly driven by maniacs. If you want to recreate a scene from Grand Theft Auto, by all means use one. But if you want a polite driver who knows where he is going and will drive you there cheaply with the air con on – get an Uber.

Lee Kirton, Bandai Namco:
Use the subways if you’re staying in Hollywood and head downtown that way. You’ll get the occasional crazy, but it’s cheap, quick and saves sitting on a bus on a freeway for an hour-and-a-half and cabs are just a rip off.

Bethany Aston, Team17:
Check if your hotel is doing a shuttle service. These run daily to and from the show and can be an inexpensive method of travel in the mornings.

Gareth Williams, Premier PR:
Do keep in mind that Uber drivers barely make minimum wage. Tipping $5 is the right thing to do, and is still cheaper than a taxi. The Metro isn’t nearly as bad as you’d think, and stops right next to the show. It’s also the best way to get across town during rush hour, if you’re normally on the freeway.

Stefano Petrullo, Renaissance PR:
It’s guaranteed your flight back will be overbooked. The good thing is that airlines will happily offer money if this is the case and also an additional night in hotel… be prepared and, if you can, enjoy a well-deserved holiday.

Alex Verrey, Big Boy PR:
If you’re fortunate enough to attend any of the first party media briefs, get there early. If you’re taking a cab, get off a few blocks early and walk. It will save you so much time. Speaking of cabs, the taxi line outside the Convention Center is always insane. Uber is your friend.

Where To Eat And Drink

Human beings require sustenance in order to continue to function. Ideally this takes the form of a balanced diet, consisting of a mix of carbohydrates, fat and protein. But at E3 this typically involves nasty junk food drenched in sugar and lots of terrible American beer.

Simon Miller, Videogamer:
Sugary carbohydrates are not your friends when you need to work all day. Fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes are going to result in an energy crash around an hour after consumed, so make sure to stick to more complex carbs, such as oats or brown rice, to ensure you can get through the day.

Bethany Aston, Team17:
Try and plan in a lunch break or bring energy bars. There’s not too much food at the Convention Center and with the heat and lots of hard work, you want to make sure you’re not burning yourself out. Drink lots of water. El Compadre across the road from the Convention Center does good Huevos Rancheros.

James Cooke, Argos:
Stock up on bottles of water in the hotel room to aid recovery.

Andy Robinson, Playtonic:
Don’t drink the blue stuff at the Saddle Ranch. And especially don’t feed it to Laura Skelly from Capcom – not before midnight, anyway.

Stefano Petrullo, Renaissance PR:
Breakfast will save you: have a steak if you can… This will allow you to run at 100 per cent until the evening. Do not over abuse the energy drinks that will be likely distributed for free if you want to avoid shaking and jumping like there is no tomorrow.

Lucy James, GameSpot:
Try not to eat at the Convention Center, it’s super expensive. If your hotel/AirBnB has a convenience store nearby, pick up some delicious American snacks and bottled water from there and take them in with you. Once you’re free of the Convention Center’s lacklustre offerings (ham duet, anyone?), you don’t need to stumble far to find decent places to eat. The square around LA Live has plenty of nice restaurants and bars.

Kat Osman, Lick PR:
Some lovely places to eat in Los Angeles but it’s hard to get out of the Convention Center once the show startsso have a big breakfast. If you’re up for meat, and a lot of it, Fogo De Chao is a good bet.

Surviving E3

Life – as perceived by mere mortal humans – is a succession of events without any real form of meaning or order. With that in mind, here are some of those same humans providing bits of unconnected advice about not meeting a horrible end in LA.

Caroline Miller, Indigo Pearl:
Wear sunglasses, but have something lightweight like a jacket, as it can be quite chilly inside – the air con will be turned up. Also, wear very comfortable shoes – save the heels for the evening unless you are a masochist, or from Essex.

Lee Kirton, Bandai Namco:
Don’t go wandering downtown into areas you don’t know. Don’t go searching for tattoos.

Simon Miller, Videogamer:
Don’t go to E3. Though it’s a privilege to go to an event with the prestige that E3 has – especially for work purposes – the show itself is filled with idiots.

Paul Sulyok, Green Man Gaming:
Remember to ask every member of Valve you meet when Half Life 3 is being released. Bring a phone charge battery so you can be the first to tweet Half Life 3’s release date.

Andy Robinson, Playtonic:
Rookie journalists: don’t book too many appointments in one day – you’ll regret it. Phil Harrison will never allow you to doorstep interview him, no matter how sweetly you smile.

Mike Bithell, indie developer:
Get hand sanitiser, and use it. E3 lurgy is swift and widespread, and if you’re doing it right, you’re going to be shaking a lot of hands. Worried using it will look rude? Offer the bottle to the person who’s hand you’ve just shaken, they’ll be glad for the help. For bonus points, move over to fistbumps, but I’m not cool enough to pull that off.

Gareth Williams, Premier PR:
The Marriot next to LA Live is a great spot to grab a table and sit there all day taking meetings. Start a tab and sit in the lobby bar area as long as you like. The Wi-Fi is pretty reliable, too.

Lucy James, GameSpot:
Bug as many PRs as you can for Wi-Fi codes, but you’re probably better off grabbing a US SIM card to tweet all your hot takes. Bring a travel adapter and an extension lead if you want to be the hero of the E3 press room.

Kat Osman, Lick PR:
To get from one hall to another, I tend to go a slightly longer way upstairs via the meeting rooms as there’s less traffic to manoeuvre. If you can bear the heat, the outside cut throughs are also useful.

Alex Simmons, IGN UK:
If you’re covering the press conferences, do so from your hotel room or a place with decent Wi-Fi. Although you’ll miss the bright lights and pizzazz of actually being in the room, you won’t miss any of the announcements.

Top Nights Out

You know what I need after a long day of networking and walking around a busy show floor?” the human asks itself, approaching the point of burning out and barely making any sense to their fellow man. I should definitely go out drinking and not get back to my hotel until the early morning. I can’t see any flaws with this plan.”

Lee Kirton, Bandai Namco:
West Hollywood for the evening’s entertainment. Soho House Hollywood is great for celeb spotting and Sunset Marquee and Sky Bar is always a good hang out.

Stefano Petrullo, Renaissance PR:
I love the Skybar. However, it’s not just about Sunset Boulevard: Santa Monica promenade offers a wide array of places and nice tequilas.

Gareth Williams, Premier PR:
The only bar you have to check out is the Power House, just off the Walk of Fame. All the performers end up here, so it’s the only time it’s normal to see Spider-Man sipping a beer, while Michael Jackson smokes outside in the back alley.

Lucy James, GameSpot:
I’m sure there are other bars than the Saddle Ranch, but do they have a mechanical bull? I thought not.

Stuart Dinsey, Curve Digital:
If you want to meet Brits to ease yourself in, head to Saddle Ranch.

Alex Verrey, Big Boy PR:
Realise that you’re old now and embrace your age. Staying up through the night and partying in LA is a badge of honour, I’ll grant you.

Alex Simmons, IGN UK:
Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood is a great sports bar that’s the perfect place to unwind after a busy day on the show floor. The chicken wings are highly recommended, as is the quiz night on Tuesdays.

What’s on Where

E3 press conferences. These unusual rituals are hugely in demand, with games industry humans begging the gods of Xbox and PlayStation for a ticket to attend. For those lucky people who get to go, they begin the pilgrimage by queuing outside stadiums in the heat for hours.

Once inside, they sit in cramped, uncomfortable seats, while enduring the over-enthusiasm of ‘industry people’ who scream ‘yeah’ at every display of on-screen violence. Meanwhile, those who couldn’t get in can watch from the comfort of their air-conditioned hotel room, complete with reliable Wi-Fi and a full fridge.

For those that want to attend these bizarre traditions, here’s where you need to be and when (note: it’s worth getting to the event about an hour in advance).


The Novo,
800 West Olympic Blvd., Suite A335
Los Angeles, CA 90015

The Hammersmith Apollo
45 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9QH
June 12th, 1pm PST (9pm BST)


LA Hangar,
2627 Medford St, Los Angeles, CA 90034
June 12th, 7pm PST (3am BST, June 13th)


The Galen Center,
3400 South Figueroa Street, CA
June 13th, 9:30am PST(5:30pm BST)


The Theater at Ace Hotel,
929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015
June 13th, 12pm PST (8pm BST)


Orpheum Theatre,
842 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
June 13th, 1pm PST (9pm BST)


Shrine Auditorium,
665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007
June 13th, 6pm PST (2am BST)


West Hall – 4822, 5244, 5644
June 14th, 9am PST (5pm BST)

(This is a Nintendo Treehouse livestream from the show floor, not a ‘typical’ conference)

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