A few miles from my house is a busy Y intersection with a gas station nestled between two of its pothole-spotted radii. There is an open field across the road from the gas pumps, so that everyone who passes through the intersection or exits the gas pumps is afforded a nice view of the field. Most of the time this is just a bit of pleasant scenery, but when the election cycle comes around and candidates want to remind us who they are, the field is an irresistible place to put their signs. White signs blossom and nod in the breeze, proclaiming the names of various politicos in all caps. (There's also a sign that says, "FREE SIRIUS BLACK", but only because I'm trying to infuse this population of rubes with a bit of culture.)
It makes sense on cardboard, but in practice the whole thing turns into a freakish experiment in Darwinian advertising. The early small signs end up with other signs in front of them, and larger signs towering over them, and even larger signs in front of all of those. Only the overly large and obtrusive shall survive. It's a sea of red and blue placards all trying to cock-block each other and capture the attention of passing drivers, who honestly couldn't give a damn what idiot gets elected for deputy assistant director of the city dogcatcher's net-inspector union. The result is that the view becomes a wall of noise and people stop looking that way. I mean, who has time for all that reading while you're texting your friends and driving with one knee?
This is not unlike E3, when everyone gathers together under one roof and everybody tries to talk at the same time. If we were to abandon this tradition right now and never look back, the entire industry would be better off.
Wanting to make sure they have something interesting to say at E3, some companies delay making big announcements until the event. Other outfits rush to get things ready for E3. In effect, E3 sucks all of the news out of the adjacent months and compresses them into a single week of chaos and booth babes. It's the advertising equivalent of jamming everyone into an elevator and giving them all megaphones. This is no way to keep consumers informed.
Sure, by the end of the week the hardcore, news-hungry gamers will have digested the big announcements from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. The big dogs always have the biggest signs and always get the headlines. But there are about two hundred publishers and developers trying to elbow their way to the space in front of the cameras. For every game or company we hear about, we're missing ten others.