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Iwata Holding Bananas refers to a pre-recorded clip of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata staring intently at a banana bunch that was screened during Nintendo’s 2012 E3 press conference. The random placement of Iwata silently looking at the bananas struck a chord with the E3 audiences and many viewers on the web, triggering a series of photoshopped images, parodies and remix videos on various gaming forums and imageboards.
On June 5th, 2012, Nintendo held a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), officially unveiling the Wii U’s tablet controller GamePad and launch titles including the New Super Mario Bros and Nintendo Land, a theme-park party game made of 12 minigames based on multiple franchise characters. The conference event was immediately followed by Nintendo’s preview reel of upcoming releases, which opened with a gag clip of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata staring at a bunch of bananas in silence.
Later that afternoon, the indie video game blog Destructoid featured the banana clip in a post titled “Bananas Win E3.” a thread titled “Iwata Banana” was posted on the international gaming community GBA Temp forums, which included a screenshot of Iwata staring at the bunch of bananas. Soon, the usual photoshop threads based on Iwata’s banana video followed on Giant Bomb, Neo GAF forums and the /r/gaming subreddit.
On June 6th, the gaming blog Lazy Gamer highlighted an edited video of Iwata staring at Nintendo America’s president Reggie Fils-Aimes, who acknowledged his quote My Body is Ready during the pre-conference event earlier that week. As of 10:30pm, approximately 20 derivative videos based on Iwata’s banana have been uploaded to YouTube.
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Washington Post – E3 2012: Nintendo details Wii U, focuses on third-party games