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The 10 keys to a perfect E3 press conference (or drinking game)

If you aren’t putting on an E3 press conference, at least you can play along

E3 press conferences are a theatrical marvel. Elegant. Charming. Full of gaffes.

But what makes them so special? What are the things you need to create a perfect E3 showcase? And — once you figure out what those things are — could you use them for a drinking game?

I have unraveled the mystery, distilling the essence of an E3 press conference down to 10 keys. And if you, like most people, aren’t putting on an E3 press conference, you can play along with us as we stream the E3 press conferences on our Twitch channel. Here’s when we’ll be streaming this week:

  • Xbox E3 briefing: Sunday, June 9, 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET
  • Bethesda E3 keynote: Sunday, June 9: 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET
  • Ubisoft E3 keynote: Monday, June 10: 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET
  • Nintendo E3 Direct: Tuesday, June 11: 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET


Big Intro

  • Drink if the intro has choreography
  • Drink if the intro involves more than one human on stage
  • BONUS POINTS: Musical number, drink three times

Business Gamer Fashion

  • Drink for every pair of jeans onstage
  • Drink for every untucked button-up shirt onstage
  • BONUS POINTS: If someone wears a gamer t-shirt with a blazer over top of it, take three drinks

Inappropriate Set Dressing

  • Drink if the set is thematically similar to the game shown
  • Drink if the set is more than just a screen behind the presenter
  • BONUS POINTS: If there are human performers used as set dressing, drink three times


  • Drink every time a number is said
  • BONUS POINTS: Drink three times if the number has no context

Vague Rambling About Innovation

  • Drink anytime one of these words or phrases are said:
A list of 10 innovative words and phrases: 1. Innovation 2. Groundbreaking 3. Game changing 4. Immersive 5. Never been done before 6. Like you’re living in the world of the game 7. More *adjective* than ever before 8. It’s not science fiction... it’s scie
The 10 innovative words and phrases all E3 presenters must say
  • BONUS POINTS: Drink three times if the presenter says “wow” after looking at the screen

Game trailer montage

  • Drink for every new game trailer shown in the montage
  • BONUS POINTS: Drink three times if the montage is set to an Arcade Fire soundalike


  • Drink if you audibly say “What?” “Hell yeah!” or “What!?”
  • BONUS POINTS: Finish your drink if they announce a VR Fishing game

Heartfelt Emotion

  • Drink if someone recounts a childhood memory
  • Drink if someone gets a little choked up
  • BONUS POINTS: Drink three times if someone cries


  • Drink every time there is a technical issue
  • Drink every time there is a human mistake
  • Drink if you’re POSITIVE they must have planned the gaffe
  • BONUS POINTS: Drink three times if someone says something that’s unintentionally horny

Big Finish

  • Drink if the presenter says “One more thing”
  • Drink if the final trailer has a voiceover or a landscape shot
  • BONUS POINTS: Finish your drink if it’s literally just a title screen

Actually, this game might kill you. Please be safe. Enjoy E3 responsibly.

If you enjoyed this, check out the rest of our E3 2019 videos on YouTube! We’re digging into Pokémon Sword/Shield, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and of course, the mere concept of E3 itself. To see new gameplay out of E3, check out Polygon Guides. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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