There are so many options these days for gamers to get together and geek out on their favorite genre and any other genre they want to experience at gatherings from E3 to Emerald City Comic Con and Gen Con. E3 debuted in 1995, Gen Con started out as Lake Geneva Wargames Convention in 1968 with more and more conventions popping up and gaining in popularity all over the U.S.

This is a good thing for gamers. This is a good thing for the gaming industry. This is a good thing for people to find others who like the same kinds of things they do and relate in all our geekiness and nerdiness. It’s our family and our friends. It’s our comfort zone, a relief from the day to day stress and problems. It’s our zen and our love.

Unfortunately this year it’s going to have to overcome a world-wide virus. Randomly picking 10 years ago as a starting point we’ve had the following world impactful diseases which have been prevalent. Here’s a quick list of a few things I found on the WHO website from 2010 forward. I left a lot of stuff out for brevity and due to it being less widespread:

2010 H1N1, Avian Flu
2012 there was a different coronavirus in the UK, interesting
2013 H7N9 (avian flu) and MERS (which is a version of a coronavirus)
2015 ZIKA Virus
2018 Ebola, H1N2
2020 COVID-19

So far E3 has cancelled their show, though they have stated “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”  Emerald City comic con organizer Reedpop announced a delay with an undefined date of “…Summer 2020 with date and detail announcement forthcoming.” Overwatch League’s Boston Uprising has also cancelled their April 25-26 event for the same reasons, and they are working on solutions for matches and ticket holders in the mean time.  The good news here is that their June 27-28 event “…is currently expected to proceed as planned, with tickets for the event remaining on sale.”

Others like SXSW have stated they will follow the directions of the City of Austin and announced “The City of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions.” The good news is they followed that with [we are] “…working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU.”

I expect that as this virus runs it’s course we will find more and more adjustments and changes and cancellations coming. Time to beef up your virtual access and break out the virtual reality jokes from 20 years ago. Unless you’re younger, in which case it’s time for you to improve on all the old jokes you hear.

The good news: even with the impending doom and gloom that we hear in the media regarding COVID-19, all of the gatherings that we know and love are adjusting to provide as much joy as they can virtually. Yes there is a virtual reality joke to insert here, each of you can pick your own and laugh.  For the introverts reading this, congratulations; You’ve reached paradise!  For the rest of us, we’re just going to have to suffer through a little bit less of others until this blows over. Then we can get back to sweaty, awkward, smelly meetings in massive convention centers with beautiful cosplayers standing around getting all the attention and pictures.

For when that happens, here’s the link to your new favorite Con shirt.

But the important question is WHY IS EVERYONE BUYING ALL THE TOILET PAPER?!?!?!?

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