Special Events

E3's got game in L.A.

Medieval warriors, intergalactic vixens and Strawberry Shortcake--everybody who's anybody in the world of video games showed up last week at E3, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo at the L.A. Convention Center. The show drew an estimated 60,000 attendees and celebrities--ranging from director Steven Spielberg to rapper 50 Cent to tabloid goddess Paris Hilton--to view the latest in video games and consoles and play at plenty of parties.

Party hosts ran the gamut from console-maker Nintendo, game developer Vivendi Universal and retailer Best Buy, each vying to tap into the hyperactive gaming culture. The scene was just as lively on the show floor, where exhibitors plied attendees with light, sound, special effects and gorgeous models, all to gain an edge in the $25-billion industry.

Online game developer NCsoft grabbed attendees' attention with daily shows from edgy troupe Mutaytor, featuring gyrating dancers and a relentless percussive beat. Nokia created a sleek, white lounge with shifting images projected onto vapor to draw visitors to displays of its N-gage mobile gaming unit.

Nintendo, promoting its lower price "Wii" console, staked out an exhibit booth five times the size of most on the show floor. While gamers faced a three-hour wait to enter the exhibit, the booth's dazzling, large-scale projections took some of the pain away. "I just wish that once," says David Corwin, head of Santa Monica, Calif.-based projection and multimedia design firm Megavision Arts, "I would have the budget to do something like that."

Photos by Special Events Magazine

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