CelebritySpotting at E3

Vin Diesel, Tony Hawk, Stan Lee, and Steven Spielberg were among the big showbiz names at last week's event.

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With so many games and presentations assaulting your senses at E3, it was easy to miss the appearance of several celebrities at the event. Wearing his trademark cap and sunglasses, director Steven Spielberg walked into the Ubisoft tent virtually unnoticed.

While there, he checked out Brothers in Arms, the new World War II shooter which recalls the Spielberg-produced HBO series Band of Brothers. Ubisoft employees, unnerved by the filmmaker's appearance, reportedly looked even more uncomfortable when the Saving Private Ryan soundtrack started piping through the booth. Unfortunately, the legendary director ducked out before GameSpot reporters could snap his photo--although he will appear briefly on the GameSpot E3 DVD.

Speaking of legends, Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee was at E3 to sign autographs at the X-Men: Legends part of the Activision booth. Though his cameos in Hulk, Daredevil, X-Men, and The Simpsons as well as numerous Marvel-movie promotions have made him ubiquitous, Lee was charming in person. Few octogenarians have such a childlike enthusiasm.

Looking less enthusiastic and almost as old was master skateboarder Tony Hawk. A virtual institution at E3 ever since Tony Hawk's Pro Skater's release, the king of vert-skating was almost too relaxed with his surroundings, being mellow to the point of bored. Still, he smiled whenever a fan presented him with a Tony Hawk's Underground 2 poster to sign, aware of the hour-long wait to get his autograph.

Also drawing a large crowd--but not signing autographs--was Vin Diesel, who was on hand to promote The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay at the VU Games booth. Given the darkness of the booth and the fact Diesel was wearing mirrored sunglasses, many thought he was making his appearance in character as Riddick, the light-sensitive, tough-as-nails killer first seen in Pitch Black. But it's unlikely Riddick would need the four bulky men in suits on the booth's perimeter, keeping the throng at bay. Though Diesel did not mingle with the hoi polloi at first, preferring to talk only to select press, VU Games reps insist he signed autographs later on. "From everyone's feedback, he was considered to be very friendly," said the VUG rep.

Other celebs present at the event were: American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth, who sung at the Konami press conference, and porn star/Backyard Wrestling 2 character Tera Patrick, who flirted with visitors to the Eidos booth. Shawn Wayans also stopped by to poke his head into the Atari booth.

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