[Photos of the E3 2017 lot by Spencer Zehren]
Somewhere in the 372 miles between Phoenix and Los Angeles lies the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm – a tourist attraction that literally bowls you over between the sheer scope of the operation and all the god damn wind. The striking imagery of those stark iPod-white windmills jutting up from the California desert evokes a Star Trek-esque utopian vision of Americana that currently lies rotting in an unmarked grave. The wind farm also serves a second purpose: an unintentional speed trap, as the wind tunnel slows the cars on I-10 to a unified 50-60 miles per hour as the gusts whip around them. It’s a stunning vista.
The San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm is easily the best part of the drive between Phoenix and LA, a six-hour tour of landscapes that would fit perfectly in a Spaghetti western, towns in various states of decay, and a handful of rest-stop Wendy’s. It’s also the last leg of the journey for the Devolver Digital Penske truck, a yellow six-wheeler packed with the fragile equipment Devolver needs to put on their dog and pony and beer show across the street from E3. The truck needs to make a full round trip, from Austin, TX, to Los Angeles, and back to Austin once more.
This journey is taken in service of the Devolver Digital E3 Lot, a parking lot leased by Devolver during the show, where independent developers take appointments in AirStream trailers and everyone else takes full advantage of the free beer and food. It’s a uniquely off-brand part of attending E3; everyone knows the Devolver lot, even if they’re just going to take advantage of the free food. And yet this shibboleth – this weird part of E3 that has become so curiously intrinsic to the showgoing experience in the past four years – was born from opposition to E3 and their masters at the ESA.