Electronic Entertainment Expo.
E3 used to be THE event for gamers. Its golden age, when the internet was in its early teens.
In that era, gamers all around the world crowded around their screens, waiting for the latest trailers to download, visiting their favorite websites to find out what they would be anticipating in the coming year(s).
It was for this E3 that all companies producing or publishing video games, large and small, saved ammunition throughout the year. The most “niche” gamer came out of E3 week with a wishlist the length of their arm.
That was another era. Today, things are different.
Of the big video game platform holders – Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo – only one brand attends. Other big industry players, such as Electronic Arts, space their revelations throughout the year, usually saving but one to three morsels for the show.
For years now, E3 is a dinosaur that marching on the road to extinction. In an age when any company has direct access to fans through Twitch and YouTube and Instagram and many other channels, why invest thousands of dollars in the show floor? A space where only a limited amount of people can go, who might even distort the company’s offerings once they pass the word out into the world?
But culture is a very difficult force to change. E3 no longer makes sense to anyone, but we still have it; many companies continue to save some “fireworks” to shoot these days.
These are still some of the most intense days in the world of video games. Perhaps this in itself is reason enough: the knowledge that on this date – on this arbitrary date – few quaint novelties will be revealed; with luck, something to add to that wishlist that now, instead of coming into being during a single week, is growing steadily throughout the year.
Even when it no longer has any apparent functionality, a thing still has a reason to exist, as long as it is part of a group’s culture.
Being part of culture is a functionality in itself.