E3 attendance from outside the industry

e3expo.com makes it sound pretty grim, but does anyone here know if any shmoozing or tactical use of the Force is likely to gain entry to this year’s show? My older son is interested, as a birthday fantasy. An extra difficulty is that he’ll be turning 17 - apparently the minimum age for entry - on the last day of this year’s show.

Or is there anything similar now that’s open to the public?

PAX is probably a better show for him.

Unless they changed something up in the last few years (I haven’t been since they made the ill-advised and short lived format change), if you knew anyone in the industry it was easy to get an exhibits only pass, but more difficult to use it. They were actually checking pay stubs and/or business cards.

However, if you work someplace that the name sounds even remotely like a game company, it’s not like they’re checking it off against a registry or something. I could easily get in with my business from my current company, even though we don’t do games.

PAX in Seattle is the fan show.


Thanks, guys. PAX does look like what he’d really want, other than not falling on his birthday! But I’ll check it out and see if a planned trip will work as a birthday treat too.

I do work for a big software company that might pass a casual check, but he doesn’t. And it would probably be pretty non-fun to be so far outside the exhibitor expectations. Maybe if he had some ideas about working in the game industry, but so far, he’s just a player like me.

E3 previously had an age limitation, not sure if they do anymore or if it still does, how much it is enforced.

PAX would definitely be more his speed; I saw tons of kids there every time I went.

At least that’s ALLEGEDLY how I ALLEGEDLY got in last year…allegedly.

It’s also worth noting that almost everything worth seeing at E3 these days is behind closed doors. Stay home and watch a feed or broadcast of the press conferences. It’s a much better vantage point. Spend the travel money on PAX instead, where everything is out in the open and there for the fans to see and play.

Last E3 I was at (2001) there were a few 14-16 yr olds walking around, and I was like WTF?!

After years of spotting the random teenager or two roaming E3 I came to the conclusion that the tired people trying to do business don’t appreciate seeing kids walking the floor. And most importantly - it’s boring for the kids. As noted, the good stuff is in lectures/previews/q&a, and at parties, both of which are tougher for kids to sneak into.