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This week's column features a conversation between Harry and Rodney "Rodders" Stockton, an up and coming young writer who just spent the past week enjoying the sights and sounds of E3. Harry assures me that Rodney knows what he's talking about, definitely exists, and isn't simply a foil for 600 words of bad jokes and poorly observed political and social commentary - Ed

Harry: Hello Rodney.

Rodney: Hey Harry! Man, what a week I've had. The stories I could tell you!

Harry: Rodney, you're using too many exclamation marks. This column has a strict quota. I am now unable to use one for the next 800 years.

Rodney: You would not believe the things I saw out in LA, man! There were billboards with pictures of games on them that were so tall I thought they might get caught up in the clouds!

Harry: I am sighing right now Rodney, but since this is written down, people are just going to have to use their imagination as to the face I'm making. Now, before we get too derailed, would you kindly tell me about the best game you saw at the show.

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Rodney: No worries! So there I am, out on the show floor, looking for some hot cakes to bring back for you...

Harry: Did you just...?

Rodney: What, man?

Harry: Oh god just finish the story.

Rodney: So yeah, I'm out on the show floor and I spot this enormous booth. It's got pictures of dudes and dudettes all in like super-powered battle armour. And, like, it's steampunk, and I think there was a freakin' dinosaur there too? Oh man, it was so sick. So then I got in the queue to go and play it.

Harry: And?

Rodney: Nah man, that's it. I got in the queue. It was too long and by the time I got to the front E3 had closed!

Harry: You were in a queue at E3 for five days?

Rodney: Hah! Nah man, I'm still there. They've taken the stand down now, but I'm never leaving. This place is like the mecca for the games, right? I'm pitched up for next year to get some hot exclusives before anyone else.

Harry: You live in the convention centre now?

Rodney: You better believe it! This is where all the scoops happen. This time next year I'll be like the Tess Daly of games journalism. Maybe even the Ant and Dec.

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Harry: You realise that E3 is nothing more than a well managed stage show designed to build hype for the big games coming out this Christmas? There's no journalism there, people are just reporting directly on the things they're shown. No scoops, just an invitation to join the PR club in ratcheting up the excitement for a product you've had nothing to do with.

Rodney: I think I saw the back of Hideo Kojima's head!

Harry: You've simply become another cog in the gaudy machinery of mass consumerism. All the glitz and glamour is a mirage, opium for the masses, as giant corporations reap the benefits of a creatively bankrupt industry determined to out-churn the sequels it churned out last year.

Rodney: I bet next year I'll get to play Dark Souls Remastered Redux! That'd be so sweet!

Harry: You're a symptom of the enthusiast press, Rodney. You're so concerned with keeping your position of vague influence that you never think for a single second that position is being manipulated by those with more money and far more clout. You're a puppet, the industry's hand rammed so far into your behind that your breath smells like other people's fingers.

Rodney: What do you reckon I could cosplay with a bin bag and a strip of torn carpet?

Harry: I'm starting to think that inventing you for the purposes of a weak joke in this column was probably more hassle than it was worth. I'm sorry, Rodney, but I'm going to have to let you go.

Rodney: But, but man! I've got so much to offer. I'm like the good cop to your bad cop. We could make a killing as a column-based double act. Please! Please just let me live.

Harry: It's too late Rodney. I'm taking back your life force. You had your chance, and you wasted it. I had high hopes. You have dashed them. Dashed them, I say.

Rodney: Oh god I'm so weak. I'm so... Oh awesome is that a life-sized replica of Norman Reedus? I can't feel my hands. I don't have hands. Harry, I've always loved you.

Harry: You were meant to be the best of me, Rodney. You were meant to mean something, to pull me back from this abyss. All I see is darkness now, Rodney. All I see is the dark.

Rodney: muffled existential screams I swear to all that is holy I am going to fire this idiot - Ed