Sunday, June 17, 2012

The E3 2012 Experience: "How much do you know about the game?" he asked

“How much do you know about the game?” he asked.

When receiving a one-on-one gameplay demo at major events like gamescom or E3, developers, producers and PR folk are usually keen on finding out your base level of knowledge regarding the game they’re presenting.

“How much do you know about the game?”

It’s a way of discovering at what level the demo can take place on - if the presenter can dive down into deep wells of understanding and make use of this knowledge by explaining more complex subjects with more colloquial language… or if even the most basic concepts need to be explained ad nauseam.

“So how much do you know about the game?”

The question is, I’d imagine, a way of sussing out your base level of interest in the game, too. If you know about the title and even the franchise, you might be more receptive to the demo about to take place.

If I was a cynic (…), I might even say it’s a way of determining how much energy is required on the part of the presenter. ‘Should I spend less energy on the demo because this journalist has no interest in my game?’

“So I always ask, how much do you know about the game?” he asked.

I don’t take any pleasure in knocking the wind out of the sails of developers, producers and PR folk who ask me that question, but I have on a few occasions, generally when receiving a demo for a licensed game - something based on a comic book or toy property.

“Not a whole lot, sorry,” I reply.

It’s not that I don’t know about the game, it’s just that I can’t recite all of the information back at the presenter all in one go - my brain doesn’t work quite like that. I know the game exists, I know the premise and the genre and the characters and the actions. I just don’t know about the game. That’s why I’m there to play it.

A writer of any kind is expected to have performed at least a small amount of research into his or her subject and we never go into a demo or interview blind, but the purpose of seeing the game is to find out about that title, surely?

“So how much do you know about the game?”

It hasn’t happened very often at all (counting on one hand here), but I do feel bad when I have to admit that my knowledge of a game doesn’t match that of the game’s presenter. That doesn’t mean I’m not completely interested and excited to learn more, though.

Does that answer your question?

The E3 2012 Experience series of articles aims to give those of you who didn’t attend the show a chance to sneak a peek at the inner workings of this annual event, with photographic, video and written tours of what El33tonline saw and did during the four-day extravaganza.

Look forward to more entries to the series over the coming days and weeks!


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