I tried to get a high score in the E3 portal but everything broke

You may have already seen some mutterings about this on social media, but E3’s online portal opened up to press this week – and to nobody’s surprise, it’s a real mess. This year’s E3 is all-online thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the portal is supposed to be some sort of substitute for the physical show, featuring virtual booths for exhibitors, online events, and a variety of articles and bits of content about games.

The portal goes a little further than you might expect, however, with old-school internet forums, an avatar system and a gamified rewards system. The latter is what really caught my attention, as not only can you earn points from nosing around the portal, but you can also compete in online leaderboards to see who is The Biggest E3 Fan. Naturally, this appealed to my competitive side and I set out to land myself a spot at the top of the virtual podium. “With a limited pool of games media, this will be a cinch,” I thought. But alas, my attempts to do so were foiled by an unexpected enemy: the E3 portal itself.

Things started off pretty well. After doing some strange password reset shenanigans to actually get into my account, the E3 website presented me with an avatar creator (if you’ve ever heard of a picrew, it’s basically that). I don’t know why the avatar creator exists, but I think it might also be the best part of the E3 website. It’s surprisingly lenient with what it will allow you to do – there are colour wheels for your hair and eyes, and you can even move your facial features around. Don’t expect the sort of silliness you can get from something like Nintendo’s Mii Maker, but the E3 avatar creator isn’t afraid to get a little weird:

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