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Press X to Jason is a catchphrase mocking a particular scene in the PS3 video game Heavy Rain. This catchphrase accentuates the sometimes awkward voice acting within the game and has helped bring to light numerous bugs and glitches as well.
On January 29, 2010, GameTrailers.com, a site well-known for its abundance of video game trailers and reviews, released the first video showing the footage from Heavy Rain in question titled Exclusive Mall Gameplay taking place in an early part of the game located within a mall.
Around 0:26, Ethan Mars, the main protagonist in the game, calls out to his wandering son Jason. Players are prompted to call out to him at any time by pressing the “X” button on the controller. Some instances within this video and others included awkward voice acting, odd facial animation, character movement, and graphical glitches which became a subject of hilarity to many users.
Heavy Rain is a game that makes extensive use of a game mechanic known as Quick Time Events where a player must simply press a button at the right time to succeed. The blatant use of Quick Time Events in games has received much ire from gamers and gaming journalists, most notably being Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw of The Escapist. To lampoon the spectacle of the concept, Croshaw coined the catchphrase “Press X to not die”.
Many viewers of the video identified the crux of Quick Time Event humor and comments were made under the video in homage to Yahtzee’s popular phrase.
On February 4, 2010, YouTube user masterfox3000 posted a video, titled “PRESS X FOR JASON”, depicting bizarre edits to the original video on GameTrailers.
While not the most popular video, it did serve as the springboard of the phrase that was adjusted shortly after to “Press X to Jason” to fit with Yahtzee’s well-known Quick Time Event quote, then spreading to multiple game forums as a joke.
On March 12, 2010, heavy.com hosted a flash game titled Press X To Jason: The Game by user K. Thor Jensen, featuring an 8-bit rendition of the scene from Heavy Rain. The goal of the game is, obviously enough, to press “X” to “Jason”.
Musician Eric Fullerton uploaded a unique song to YouTube called “Press X to Jason” on May 23, 2010 which details the events of the Heavy Rain scene in musical form. Within the first three months it has gained over 100,000 views.
Other videos lampooning the scene have also popped up on YouTube: