Old 07-16-2008, 05:50 PM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default At E3, Insiders Thrive as Booth Babes Go Extinct

</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com LOS ANGELES -- The videogame industry struts its stuff each year at E3, but the party is decidedly more intimate than it used to be.
Formerly known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the annual conference now dubbed the E3 Media & Business Summit has evolved from a public event that drew tens of thousands of gamers to an invitation-only dog-and-pony show for videogame journalists and industry insiders. Unlike the old days, this year's E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center is short on booth babes and swag.
Still, heavy hitters like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony pulled out all the stops as they tried to pique journalists' interests. Here's a peek behind the scenes at the event, which ends Thursday.
Left: Gunnar Johannson of Swedish gamemaker Grin takes a call Wednesday from his mother in Sweden. She had not heard from him in a couple of days and wanted to make sure he was OK. Not to worry -- he has his Bionic Commando promotional arm to protect him.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.comRyan Treit, a reporter for Xbox.com from Seattle, is the lone rider (besides the photographer) on Shuttle Bus No. 3 late Tuesday afternoon. The shuttle carries E3 attendees from the Los Angeles Convention Center to the hotels that house them.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Tracey Thompson, PR consultant for Bethesda Software, is watched over Wednesday by a member of the Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout 3.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com The Neversoft Band plays Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" Tuesday night as Activision shows Guitar Hero World Tour to the world for the first time in a former Los Angeles church.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Louis Bedigian, freelance journalist, left, and Ryan Geddes, associate editor of IGN Xbox, type away Wednesday outside Nintendo's media booth.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com John Drake demonstrates Rock Band 2 on MTV Games' backroom stage Wednesday. The booth, fully stocked with aftermarket toys like an Alesis electronic drum kit, was the music gamer's ultimate dream venue.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Nyko appears to be the only company at E3 that still hires booth babes. Casey Dee, left, and Bernard Hoang show off their musical talents Wednesday morning as Michelle Ballee works the bar in the background.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com The registration line at the Los Angeles Convention Center is a shadow of its former self Wednesday. Unlike in years gone by, it was a breeze to pick up press credentials every day in 2008.
</img>: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Red velvet curtains, Christmas-style lights and blue mood lighting set the tone in the Nintendo press room.


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