E3 (ne the Electronic Entertainment Expo), is video gaming’s biggest event. Each year, tens of thousands pile into the Los Angeles Convention Center to listen to press conferences, attend panels, soak up cosplay and play demos for unreleased games. Last year, due to COVID-19-related concerns, E3 was canceled. This year, it returned from June 12 through 15 in a virtual-only format, a reminder of the increasingly digital landscape of our lives.

Typically, attendees at E3 are able to wander the exhibition halls, with members of the media scoring key interviews during the event. In the past few years, these press conferences started being broadcasted online, which helped democratize the E3 experience. But this year, with a fully digital E3, the push to bring the industry show to the masses was accelerated like never before, with any computer or smart device owner — press and public alike — able to check out the festivities. The velvet rope of years past was largely gone, which, honestly, is not a bad thing.

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