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Amid The E3 Hype, Gaming Figures Acknowledge Orlando Tragedy [UPDATE]

Just a day after the worst gun massacre in U.S. history, it might be hard to get into the mood to hype anything, video games or otherwise. A few of the people hosting this year’s big E3 spectacles found their own way to acknowledge Orlando before the hype.


Yesterday, the hosts and developers at the Bethesda E3 showcase wore rainbow ribbons. This morning, Xbox chief Phil Spencer prefaced Microsoft’s E3 press conference with sympathy for the Orlando victims:

Ubisoft’s E3 host Aisha Tyler followed up a goofy dance number with sentiments from the Paris-headquartered company which has been close enough to recent terrorist tragedies:

Before all of that, though, YouTube’s E3 gaming host Geoff Keighley delivered a more personal comment about his own mixed feelings about hyping games, some of them violent, right after Orlando. Geoff’s a friend of mine, and it’s obvious that he was moving into hype mode by the end of this, but I hear what he’s saying about how it can feel weird to be getting excited about gun games in moments like this.

Now before we spend 12 hours together, I honestly would be uncomfortable moving forward without saying something about the terrible events that had happened this past weekend in Orlando. We were all shocked by these senseless acts of violence and we’re thinking of those affected.

And I was going to bed last night thinking about doing 12 hours today with you guys and showing off games. And I realized that it may seem insensitive to some that we’re spending a day showing off video games, some of which, let’s face it, are violent. But as I thought about it more I realized the power of the platform we have today and the amazing diverse line-up of content that we’re about to show you.

Last year, this livestream was the largest one of the year on YouTube and that to me means something really important. Millions of people around the world unite and come together around a true passion and love for games and this medium.

I’ve been to all 22 E3s, and I get excited about this show, because games are the most powerful form of entertainment out there. At their best, games let us escape or sometimes let us reinvent who we are no matter where we’re from or what circumstances we find ourselves in. I fell in love with games when I was a kid, and games were my sanctuary that kept me away from a lot of bad stuff in this world. And I honestly have never looked back.

So I hope that today we can spend a few minutes thinking about how we can use the power of games and this community for the greater good to bring us together and use that love we have for this medium to make the world a better and safer place.


UPDATE - 6:27pm: And here’s Sony Shawn Layden from this evening’s PlayStation press conference...

Editor-in-Chief. Playing: AC Odyssey (need to get back to Ashen, Spider-Man, RDR2, Iconoclasts, Arkham Origins, Sushi Striker, Samus Returns, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint)

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I didn’t catch Microsoft’s attempt but the Ubi one felt almost in poor taste.

“Deepest condolences. I’m standing next to a giant giraffe and a candy cane. Let’s talk about the games we want you to buy.”

I don’t know how they would have done it better though... so much for constructive criticism.