LOS ANGELES—The Electronic Entertainment Expo isn't just about new game announcements and a chance to try out early demos of upcoming titles. It's also a chance for the game industry to make a spectacle of itself; to throw together elaborate booths and promotional events that will leave images to stick with attendees all the way until the next E3.
This was truer than ever at this year's show, the first to officially allow members of the public into the Los Angeles Convention Center for E3. Bethesda created an entire miniature Bethesdaland theme park for its press conference attendees, complete with demonic balloon figures and a Ferris wheel. Nintendo transformed its booth space into New Donk City, with painted city walls and statues of enemies overtaken with Mario's trademark hat and mustache. Other booths featured giant dragons, life-sized helicopters, and even some stray Atari 2600 cartridges 40 or so years after their heyday.