Musings on E3 and Childbirth

By Ryan Winslett in Infinite Ammo
Friday, June 15, 2012 at 9:58 am
Landyn cover.jpg

At about 5:45 a.m. on the morning of June 4, I was heading down the road with my family en route to the hospital in Lake Havasu, Arizona. My sister-in-law was scheduled for a C-section, and my new nephew, Landyn, was expected to enter the world at around 8 a.m.

The little guy came on schedule, but with a bit of fluid in his lungs. As a result, Landyn had to be put into an oxygen tank for the first day of his life. We weren't able to hold him yet, and that was seriously tearing at the old heartstrings.

I stared through the window as my nephew kicked the air, occasionally popping his eyes open for a quick, blurry peek at the world around him. I made my way into the room my sister-in-law would call home for the next few days as she recovered. Only an hour or so out of surgery, she was still pretty groggy from the morning's ordeal.

Eventually she turned on the television and started flipping through the channels, not looking for anything in particular.

"Wait, go back," I said as a familiar logo featuring a pair of letters flashed across the screen. I had forgotten Spike would be broadcasting E3 content this year and, I'm a little ashamed to admit, my morning was suddenly brightened by the fact that I could jump in on the EA press conference that was about to kick off.

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So there I sat, surrounded by family in a hospital room while my sister-in-law recovered and my nephew figured out how to cough the crap out of his lungs just down the hall. I stared up at a tiny TV featuring one of the first pressers of the biggest annual event in the world of video games, getting pretty excited for what this year's show might offer.

My brother and girlfriend are both handy as hell with a controller in hand, so we three sat and discussed what we were seeing, occasionally making jokes about stuff like "scheduling" a birth so early in the morning on the first day of E3. I remember my mom looking up during the presentation of the latest Madden, shocked to discover she wasn't watching a live game.

Both the EA and Ubisoft pressers served as a backdrop for the next few hours of banter and waiting. We ooed and aahed at some of the footage but, for the most part, we all agreed it wasn't the most impressive show we had seen. We were all pretty tired at the time and, let's face it, we had a few more pressing matters on our minds but, looking back now, I think that sentiment pretty much holds true for the entirety of this year's E3.

Eventually we were told that Landyn would not be able to come out of the oxygen tank that day but, once they got him weened off of the O2, he'd be a perfectly healthy baby boy. It was with heavy hearts that we made our way out of the hospital at around 4 p.m. that afternoon, still unable to cover the new family member in hugs and kisses.


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We got back to my folks' house in plenty of time to catch the late G4 showing of the Sony presser, which didn't exactly help my outlook on this year's E3 event. There were some bright moments but, on the whole, the show fell flat this year.

My sister-in-law and the new baby were released from the hospital just a couple of days later and both are now home, happy and healthy. I spent a lot of time during those two days catching up on what was happening on the E3 floor, all the while feeling less and less impressed. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was actually covering the show myself last year. It would be impossible for a few videos and a boatload of write-ups to compare to the experience I had in 2011. Then again, maybe this year's show just sucked.

That's not to say there weren't a bunch of great games shown off, just that there were far fewer than in recent years. That's probably due to the impending generation change. Fewer games will be coming out for current consoles these next couple of years while developers ramp up production on the stuff we'll be playing throughout the next generation.

By the end of that next cycle, Landyn will likely be old enough to play some games alongside the rest of family. That, at least, is something for me to get excited about.

Infinite Ammo is a weekly column by Ryan Winslett about video games, the industry that make them and the people who play them. He can be stalked via his blog at and followed on twitter @RyanWinslett.

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