Video Games Take Center Stage at E3

In its heyday, E3 was the world's largest video game convention, complete with rowdy fans and "booth babes" -- women dressed in skimpy outfits. Since 2006, the babes have been banned. It's probably just a coincidence, but the event has also gotten smaller ever since.

"In the past few years, it's gotten more and more about the business than the games," said Cocker. "In the past, it used to be these huge events. Now it feels like a giant big press conference."

E3 has also been plagued by industry dropouts. Activision Blizzard Inc., one of the industry's biggest game companies, pulled out of both the trade group that runs the conference, the Entertainment Software Association, and the trade show itself. George Lucas' game studio, LucasArts, and Id Software also dropped out of the ESA but will participate in E3.

Other criticisms of the conference include timing. E3 runs later now than in previous years and coincides with a sales lull for some companies. It also means many autumn titles that will be shown here have already been publicized.

"It's still a big deal, but it seems like some of the life was sucked out it," said Cocker. "It's not over yet though."

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