[E3] The E3 Dance-Off Boogaloo
You have to believe me now. Of course you do. That’s because I was there. Everyone loved me and asked me if I would be happy with them renaming next year’s event to Matthew3. I declined of course, as I am a humble man. While I was most definitely at E3 I did happen to stumble upon something most peculiar, namely, the Angelina Jolie of Canada and Captain Grammar himself: Usher and Flo Rida.
Attempting to liven up the presentation of two upcoming dance platforms, namely Microsoft’s’ Dance Central 3 and Ubisoft’s Just Dance 4, both companies decided to dangle their wallets towards the respective artists with Usher latching onto Microsoft and Flo siding with the French. Both artists then proceeded to demonstrate the extent to which they could contort their limbs and squat on stage.
Before getting into the thick of this little spiel I would like to point out that I am aware of Ushers’ involvement in the production of Dance Central 3 and I have been led to believe that Flo Rida has a song or two in Just Dance 4. I am not questioning their relevance to the games’ genre but rather to their appearance at E3.
It seems that, while most human beings are globally accepted as to be being evolved from the common ancestor of the monkey, gamers can trace their roots back to the humble magpie. We seem to have an affinity for the shiny. That and tits. I like tits. Gaming developers have caught on to this common trend among my fellow agoraphobics and have catered to it in turn. It is because of this that I can’t help but to feel that both Microsoft and Ubisoft brought both artists in not for their parts played in the games development, but rather to show off their budget.
It is due to this that these events are becoming, more and more so, a metaphorical dick waving competition between companies, each one trying to out-package the other. A budget war so to speak. “I’m going to bring in Usher for this year’s press conference”, says Microsoft. “Oh yeah? Well we are going to bring in Flo Rida”, replies Ubisoft. “Fine! Next year we will have the Dalai Lama explaining the importance of streamlined online user interfaces while wearing leopard spandex”. Satisfied with their retort, the Microsoft team returns to the company cocaine slope which is, naturally, better with Kinect.
Don’t get me wrong. I do admire the effort spent to make these expos as entertaining as possible for its attendees but isn’t the holding of a minors’ musical fantasy gig a bit divorced from the gaming scene? It is here that I will open up this issue for debate but I know that, when I attend a gaming expo as prestigious as E3, I do so with the intent to focus on gaming. Similarly, when I intend to sample the musical stylings of the 21st century pop scene, accompanied by the jiggling of underage females, I do so by hiding in my sisters’ cupboard during a sleepover.
The whole thing just feels out of place. I don’t need pop performances to sway my love for either the game or the company producing it. The quality of the product itself should do that and yet gaming companies seem to pull this same crap every year. It is as if they are assuming that we, the clueless plebs, can’t make up our own minds on what we want to play without being lead to it with flashy lights and a small jingly bell.
This is the advertising style of a company wanting to woo casual gamers. Is that really the market that needs E3’s special attention? At the cost of the core fan base? Players of Angry Birds and Peggle. Finger puppets of Lucifer!
We all enjoy a spectacle. It is one of the few conceivable reasons for Japans’ continued existence but I can’t stomach irrelevance. Usher and Florence Riddell are not the polar opposites of gaming true, but at the same time are about as relative as honey and nuclear fusion.
It is due to instances, such as this, which leaves me wondering whether gaming big-wigs really understand their market as a whole and, more importantly, what they are trying to do to it.
This article is better with Kinect.