The best thing about E3 is watching it from the comfort of your own sofa, in your pants, surrounded by the cheesy dust of whichever crisp brand is your favourite, with the option to shut off the TV and go to sleep whenever you choose. The worst thing about it is the no man’s land of news that occurs up to three weeks before, when the game developers start to become more secretive than a spy with a secret, and publishers deny everything, no matter how innocuous ("are you coming to dinner tonight?" "I CAN’T SAY").
So, it’s no surprise that it’s a little quieter out there than usual, but there’s still enough to feed all your news-hungry mouths. Take a look at John Smedley’s approach to online cheaters in his zombie survival MMO H1Z1: not only did he and his team make the choice to ban around 25,000 less-than-honest players, he’s now playing disappointed parent to their naughty children.
"Dear cheaters," he began in a tweet on Wednesday. "If you want us to even consider your apology a public YouTube apology is necessary. No personal information please. Email me the link." Five people in total submitted apology videos before the deadline, apologising for being bad, bad players, and those five people were admitted back into the game – although Smedley threatened to re-ban one player, who made his video private. That’s just more cheating, dude!
The lesson to learn here is that parents need to educate their kids about cheating online. It might not be one of the usual parenting lessons, alongside how to tie your shoelaces and why you can’t call strangers mean things, but perhaps it should – else find a strange man on the internet teaching your children about the "consequences". Next time, it’ll be a spanking.
Going back to E3, an the rumour mill is starting to really up its momentum. First up, the only game that’s more of an industry in-joke than Half-Life 3: Shenmue. After some blurry, leaked photos of some sort of trailer hit the internet, people started wildly extrapolating from the evidence worse than a dodgy scientist with a deadline. "The photo is of a jacket," they screamed. "The guy in Shenmue has a jacket!!!" Obviously, this means not only a sequel, but remastered versions of the originals, too. And if you don’t believe me, then you’re just a part of their SYSTEM, man. Fight the power.
And finally, in true "…and finally" style, let’s wrap up with a story so weird, you can’t help but think it’s an elaborate PR stunt. Nintendo recently sent out a press release announcing the appointment of a new Sales VP in the US: Doug Bowser ("no relation to the King Koopa and Mario’s long-time nemesis"). They greeted the new employee with a bunch of soft toys – including one of Mario and Luigi tied up. I love you, Nintendo.
Join me next week for an in-depth gushfest about how much I love/am terrible at Splatoon. Which reminds me – the final Splatoon Global Testfire kicks off today at 11pm UK/6pm EST/ 3pm PST.
This is a chance for Wii U owners to try out the online matches for free, but for one hour only. It’s also your last chance to sample the game online before its release – so don’t miss it, yeah?