Features & News

Beginnings of E3: Story of a young journalist

June 11, 2010, Author: Jacob Saylor

So, some of you readers may be wondering why I haven’t posted in a while. Well, that’s because for the past two weeks I’ve been doing naught but prepare for this years upcoming E3 expo. It feels like it’s been ages though, with all the happenings over the past two weeks, and that is why this article exists; to share with you my personal experience of it all. A lot of people may be unaware as to what goes on in preparation for E3, or other major gaming conventions, so I thought this would be an interesting way to shed some light on the subject. Before I begin though, I’d like to thank everyone here at TIMJ, but first and foremost; Neil. You’ve been wonderful help in getting my credentials passed and kinks worked out. You’re a good bloke.

Anyway, enough of that, let’s get on to the feature.

Sitting here in small town Wetumpka, Alabama, my hopes of going to E3 began a few years back in 2007, watching the big three duke it out with amazing surprises and passive aggression. I never once thought about going as part of the media, however, I’d planned on going sometime later in life as an attendee. While gaming was always fun, I knew there was always something more that could be done with it. Obviously, I could wait for college and be a developer, but I just don’t know if that’s the kind of job I want. So, a couple of years passed, and around January of 2009 I started looking into online journalism. I talked to multiple freelance journalists about what they do and how they do it, and I finally decided to apply for a website, around February of 2009. I was accepted, and so my career began.

After only a month, I decided that site wasn’t for me. I think I wanted a place where I could voice my opinion, rather than copy news from Gamespress robotically. Funnily enough, the editor told me, in summary, that “You have too much opinion in your work, and it is selfish”. So I resigned, and started looking for a new site. I found This Is My Joystick through a podcast they put up on N4G, and here I am now, preparing for E3 and happier than I could be with any other site.

Being that we are a UK based site, and I live in America, the possibility of attendance for TIMJ at E3 had grown tenfold. Now we were sitting at a firm ten percent chance of attendance, instead of one. We lacked the funding to send me there, and it seemed as if all hope was lost for about a month. I began talking with my cousin, and he offered to drive me to California, if he had to. Now, we talked about this very briefly, and I probably took it way more literally than I should have. I didn’t care, though, I was ecstatic, and rushed onto our staff forums to spread the good word, yelling at Neil to get on with the registration process. After some constant credential-sending to Neil over the course of about four days, we had our e-mail ready to send off to the media team at E3. I clicked send, and one of the most nerve-wracking five days of my life began. Everyone was crossing their fingers, hoping that we would indeed, have a presence at E3.

Me, with my approval letter from the E3 Media Staff

On the fifth day (we’re getting a bit biblical now! – Andy), after checking my e-mail for the millionth consecutive time in the past hour, we received a reply from “Media@e3expo.com”. We were in. Everyone was joyous, and I began my planning. The obstacles weren’t over yet; to book a room in California you have to be twenty-one years of age or older. I am seventeen. The reality of the situation didn’t hit me until the next day, being that we had just received an approval for E3. I thought that there had to be some way around it. There simply wasn’t. Remembering that my cousin and I talked semi-imaginatively about it, I was feeling pretty down. I didn’t think it was actually going to happen. After all that…we may not be going to E3.

However, word spread throughout the family, and without my even asking, four people contributed and decided to send my cousin and I to California. My cousin, my Grandfather, my Mother, and my Uncle all helped out willingly, generally all saying, “This is too big an opportunity for you to pass up. How many seventeen year olds can say they’ve covered E3 as part of the press?”. I rushed onto the forums yet again, ecstatic, again. This time it was for real, this time there was no stopping us, and guess what? There wasn’t. The plans have been made, the dates set. It’s happening.

I know what’s happened so far is only the beginning, and my fellow staff members and I have much planning to do. So far though, things are looking good. We’ve set up some private game interviews, and are raring to go. There is no such thing as over-preparation, and I know that I, and everyone here at TIMJ will do their best to bring you nothing but the best E3 coverage.

See you at E3.