Apprently it is news to some people that E3 is dead. I wrote my own eulogy to E3 a couple of month ago, around the time E3 is suppose to take place. The real E3, not whatever just happened last week.

E3 was important to the industry because it represented gaming as a “Culture” and that’s why we need it back.

A one word summary of why E3 was cancelled is “Money.” Next-Gen wrote an article called “Ten Reasons for E3’s Collapse” in which almost every reason boils down to big players weren’t happy with spending money on the show.

My one word rebuttal to why E3 is important and why the games industry need it back is “Culture.” Culture is what separates a fad from a lifestyle. A culture is about self identification and belonging. Culture is worth much more than the amount of money spent on E3, because it ensure that the games industry as a whole become a lasting force within the mainstream.

E3 may have started as the usual trade show, selling to retailers and meeting the press, but it became a symbol of gaming as a whole. The general public’s interest in E3 was huge. Getting/sneaking into E3 was a rite of passage for some gamers. ESA responded by making it harder and harder to sneak in when it should have embraced the public.

Too many people saw E3 in terms of short term personal gain, as in “what E3 means for my game,” and not about what E3 means to the industry.

If the movies industry cancelled the Academy Awards, or downscaled it because it was spending too much money on it without any return, what would you think about the future of that industry? Would you think they were an up and coming industry or an industry on the way down.

Yet the biggest show for the games industry, and the focal point of many mainstream coverage was cancelled without any warning. Is that really the industry that has surpassed Hollywood in revenue?

If we want gaming to be taken seriously by the mainstream, then we should take our industry seriously first. Otherwise we’ll have travesties like Spike TV’s video game awards, which trivializes the industry.

What E3 should be, is a celebration of the industry and a focal point for the public. It should be an opportunity for gamers to meet the creators and see the new games coming out. Think of it as PR for the industry then perhaps the bean counters will relax the purse strings.

What do you think of E3, past and present? Do you think we need the excitement of the old E3? Or perhaps the excesses were too much? Email me at blog@alwaysongames.com or write a comment below.

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