On the eve of the largest celebration of million dollar titles and billion dollar publishers, lets not forget the unpaid masses. Games today are often defined by what the community does after the game is released. WarCraft 3, like most strategy games these days, shipped with a map editor. One of the projects that emerged from the WC3 community thanks to that editor was a style of map call "Defense of the Ancients." Demigod, the recently released strategy title is of a similar style to that built and polished by the private coders who worked on the DotA maps. Demigod, then, becomes the latest in a list of major titles that are built on or heavily inspired by the work of private individuals who make maps for the fun of it. Counter Strike is likely the most famous of these mod-to-monetized title success stories, but CS and Demigod by no means stand alone. The mod programmers and map makers and addon developers that we often take for granted are major players in the world of modern gaming, and they cannot be given too much recognition.
Of course, as Bethesda Softworks can tell you, third party addons may not always be a good thing for games. Oblivion found itself re-rated by the ESRB, in part because of a mod put together by some in the community.
Now, regarding E3, I will not be on the floor this year. However, I'll be roaming the Internet looking for the best of E3 news, reviews, interviews, and so forth. The best information I can find I will link here at the Chuckwagon. Plenty of interesting rumors flying around about this years show; should be an interesting couple of days.