Spot On: PrE3 photo tour

With a herd of nerds beating down the LACC door, GameSpot quickly makes the rounds of gaming's biggest event.

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Watching the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) come together is literally watching nothing turn into something. When the GameSpot crew arrives the weekend before the event, the Los Angeles Convention Center floor becomes a seething mass of boxes and forklifts, teeming with grunting, sweating, unionized roadies.

But over the course of 72 hours, the assembled human ants transform the hundreds of tons of boxed-up materials into a glittering maze designed to hawk the planet's biggest mass of game hard- and software on the planet.

Some booths--especially those of lower-end companies and more industry-focused services--are workmanlike. Many tend to compensate for their structural shortcomings by adding the physical attributes of models. Some are designed to intimidate, particularly Microsoft's and the massive Sony and Nintendo booths, which stand 20 feet from one another in the LACC's West Hall.

Somewhere between the Big Three's neon ziggurats and Kentia Hall's array of wacky peripherals are the major publishers' booths. The more elaborate ones are often downright artisitc, incorporating everything from tanks, waterfalls, SUVs, buses, cannons, cars, DJs, conga bands, movie houses, bunkers, flying saucers, and the odd pistol-packing hedgehog.

Before the place was overrun by an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 attendees (and several hundred scantily dressed spokesmodels) during its three-day run, GameSpot snapped more than 70 photos of unspoiled E3 grounds. Check the album for a photo tour of the calm before the now-raging storm.

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