Desperate for normality? E3 announces dates for next year

It’s odd how in times of global crisis, it’s things that shouldn’t matter really that can sometimes hit home the hardest.

In the world of PCs and technology, the cancellation of global gaming showcase E3 was a sign of the impending apocalypse – obviously, it shouldn’t matter in the slightest, but it was an example that the world had changed and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it.

It’s slightly heartwarming then if a little pre-emptive perhaps, that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced the dates for 2021 extravaganza. Doubtless, there will be a succession of further announcements as to how it will be bigger and better than ever (although it will have to go some to be better than E3 ‘98 in Atlanta, you’ll have to trust me on that one!).

June 15 to June 17 2021 are the dates to pop on your calendar (in pencil perhaps), and the ESA has only said that they are “reimagining” the event. No further details as to what that might mean, but it does allow them some wiggle room going forward.

While there is obviously some merit to announcing dates – companies have to prepare after all – it seems unlikely at his stage any real plans will be put in place, either by organisers or potential exhibitors. There’s not actually much point to making a serious financial commitment as we truly don’t know what position we will be in with the pandemic. I certainly won’t be booking my travel for a good while yet.

Yes, it’s hard to see us still being locked down in this manner in 12 months time, but there realistically could still be a degree of travel or gathering restrictions in place. Seventy thousand tech-heads under one roof over a three-day period is unlikely to spread joy among public health officials at any point in the near future.

If anything though it is an example of a desperate desire to return to some form of normality. Any kind of glimmer, even if potentially unrealistic, is welcome at this stage.

We might not know what E3 2021 will look like, or even humanity, but it’s nice to know that the show must go on*

(*unless it gets cancelled again)

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Been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. Spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written tech content for GamePro, Official Australian Playstation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Twitter: @iampaulmcnally

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