Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
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Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is an annual video game trade exhibition run by the Entertainment Software Association. During the fair, major video game developers including Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony unveil new games and hardware during presentations and in booths purchased on the showroom floor. Due to the notoriety of the event, memes typically coincide with the annual event each year, whether on the event as a whole, specific announcements or overall reactions.
E3 was co-founded by IDG's Infotainment World and the Interactive Digital Software Association in 1995 as an exhibition for the computer and videogames industry. Prior to the creation of E3, video game creators attended the Consumer Electronics Show and the European Computer Trade Show, which covered a broad area of consumer technology products. For gaming news sites and communities, E3 is one of the most significant annual events, bringing in sneak peeks of new hardware and software in development for gamers.
The first event was held from May 11th to 13th, 1995, in Los Angeles, which featured the unveiling of Sony's PlayStation video game console and Nintendo's Virtual Boy game console. The event drew 50,000 visitors.
- 1996: Nintendo's unveiling of the Nintendo 64 console; Capcom’s preview of Resident Evil and Square’s teaser preview of Final Fantasy VII.
- 1997: Announcement of Half-Life, Quake, Unreal and Fallout, as well as showcases of Banjo-Kazooie and Metal Gear Solid. The event drew 40,000 attendees.
- 1998: Introduction of Gran Turismo, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Duke Nukem Forever. The event drew 70,000 attendees.
- 1999: The dawn of the sixth generation era consoles; Sega's unveiling of Dreamcast; Nintendo's announcement of GameCube, as well as Electronic Arts' The Sims.
- 2000: Sony's showcase of PlayStation 2; Microsoft's review of an early version of Halo: Combat Evolved. The event drew 45,000 attendees.
- 2001: Nintendo's introduction of GameCube and several titles, including Pikmin and Super Smash Bros. Melee; Microsoft's introduction of Xbox. The event drew 62,000 attendees.
- 2002: Microsoft's unveiling of the online multiplayer service Xbox Live; announcements of DOOM 3 and Metroid Prime.
- 2003: Valve's unveiling of Half-Life 2; the birth of the Reaction Guys, a multi-pane reaction image featuring then-staff of gaming review site IGN, the earliest known meme spawned from the annual event. The event drew 60,000 attendees.
- 2004: Sony's announcement of PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo's announcement of Nintendo DS. The event drew 65,000 attendees.
- 2005: Unveiling of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. The event drew 70,000 attendees.
- 2006: Microsoft's announcement of Halo 3; Nintendo's announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy, Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Wii console. The event drew 60,000 attendees.
- 2007: Nintendo's announcement of three Wii peripherals, Wii Balance Board, Wii Zapper and Wii Wheel; Sony's announcement of Silent Hill 5. The event drew 10,000 attendees due to the major downsizing of the event.
- 2008: Microsoft's showcase of Fallout 3 gameplay footage; Square Enix's announcement of Final Fantasy VIII for Xbox 360; Sony's introduction of MAG (Massive Action Game) that can host up to 256 players. The event drew about 5,000 attendees.
- 2009: Unveiling of new motion-sensing devices for Sony PlayStation (PlayStation Move) and Microsoft Xbox 360 (Kinect); Announcements of Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M, Final Fantasy XIV and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker; Sony's announcement of new portable console device PSP Go. The event drew 41,000 attendees following the major expansion of the exhibition.
- 2010: Nintendo's reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a Wii MotionPlus-compatible title; THQ's announcements of Saints Row: The Third and Red Faction: Armageddon. The event drew 45,600 attendees.
- 2011: Nintendo's announcement of Wii U and Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS; Release of Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS; Microsoft's announcement of Halo 4. The event drew 46,800 attendees.
- 2012: Nintendo's announcement and showcase of Wii U and several titles, including New Super Mario Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo Land and Wii Fit U. The event drew 45,700 attendees.
- 2013: Microsoft announces the Xbox One's price point for $499 with heavy TVDR focus. Sony unveils the PlayStation 4 for $399 without new DRM or Used Games restrictions. The event drew 48,200 attendees.
- 2014: Sony's announcement of hybrid console PlayStation TV and game-streaming service PlayStation Now; Nintendo's announcement of Amiibo; Announcement of Grand Theft Auto V for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 48,900 people attended.
- 2015: Microsoft announces gradual backward compatibility of Xbox One with Xbox 360 titles, Gears of War 4. Sony announces The Last Guardian for 2016, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy VII remake for PS4 and Shenmue 3 Kickstarter. Nintendo announces Star Fox Zero, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Metroid: Federation Force, Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival and Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. 52,200 people attended.
- 2016: Microsoft announces Xbox One Slim mode 'S'. Sony announces Crash Bandicoot Remakes, Days Gone, Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding, Resident Evil 7, PSVR games such as Batman: Arkham VR and FFXV VR. Nintendo announces the title of the newest Zelda game: Breath of the Wild. 50,300 people attended.
On June 10th, 2017, Electronic Arts held a press conference presentating the games A Way Out, Need for Speed Payback and Star Wars Battlefront II (shown below, left). The following day, Microsoft gave a press conference unveiling the upgraded Xbox One X console (shown below, right).
Throughout the event, YouTube featured live coverage of the conference at YouTube Gaming (shown below).
Devolver Digital's Press Conference
On June 11th, video game publisher Devolver Digital released a comedy sketch, which mocked E3 press conferences and unethical business practices in the video game industry (shown below).
The Last Night
That day, a trailer for the upcoming cyberpunk platform game The Last Night was released, in which players will control the protagonist Charlie while exploring a dystopian, futuristic city (shown below).
That evening, the game became a trending topic on Twitter. Meanwhile, some Twitter users began criticizing the game's developer Tim Soret for posting tweets in support of GamerGate and criticizing feminism in 2014, referring to the overwhelmingly positive reaction to The Last Night as a "Milkshake Duck".
Bethesda's Creation Club
Also on June 11th, Bethesda unveiled their upcoming Creation Club software, which will allow players to purchase Fallout 4 and Skyrim (shown below). Within 24 hours, the announcement trailer was heavily downvoted on YouTube, with many comparing it to Bethesda's horse armor and Valve's Steam Workshop paid modding controversies.
The E3 2021 conference marked the return of the convention after it took a year off in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the cancelation of E3 2020. E3 2021 was fully virtual due to the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic but took place between June 12th and 15th via livestreamed events.
Xbox Series X Fridge
On June 13th during Microsoft and Bethesda's showcase, the company ended its presentation by teasing an Xbox mini-fridge that mimics the design and parodies of the Xbox Series X console (shown below).
Shortly after the reveal, memes referencing the Xbox fridge appeared online as users commented on the new product (examples seen below).
Reaction Guys / Gaijin 4Koma (2003)
Reaction Guys / Gaijin 4Koma is an exploitable 4-pane comic series featuring two photographs of IGN employees. The first photo, in which the men appear uninterested, was taken during Nintendo's 2003 E3 press conference during the announcement of the game Pacman vs.. The second photo, in which the same men appear excited, was taken one year later during Nintendo's E3 press conference during the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Giant Enemy Crab (2006)
When Sony unveiled the Playstation 3 at E3 2006, a demo was shown for the game Genji: Days of Blade. During the live demo, the player was shown encountering a large enemy crab to which the narrator proclaimed, "you attack its weak point for massive damage."
During the same press conference, Sony Executive Deputy President Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai announced the PS3 would cost "Five hundred and ninety-nine U.S. dollars" at launch. The quote became infamous for being an extremely high price for a console. Hirai also spawned another phrase "Ridge Racer" (With the words usually being elongated) when talking about a Ridge Racer game at the press conference.
My Body Is Ready (2007)
"My Body is Ready" is a catchphrase that often associated with images where the subject is posed in a sexually inviting manner. It originated during Nintendo's 2007 E3 press conference when the Wii Fit peripheral unit was unveiled by Nintendo executive Reggie Fils-Aime who proclaimed, "My body is ready". The line was later referenced by Reggie himself during Nintendo's E3 2012 conference.
WABAM! / The Bottom of An Avatar's Shoe / Well BAM refers to an accidental glitch that occurred during Microsoft's unveiling of its upcoming motion controller Project Natal (now known as Kinect) in. When Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda demonstrated the Kinect's abilities, he said "You ever wonder what the bottom of an avatar’s shoe looks like? Wabam! There it is." At the same time, his on-screen avatar glitched showing its right arm protruding through his torso and his left arm and legs twisted into an awkward pose.
Translator San (2009)
Translator San / He Just Doesn't Give a Fk refers to the Japanese-English interpreter Takayuki Nushida who became the subject of an exploitable photoshop meme after translating at at E3 2009 using a pen and notepad.
Remember Me? (2009)
Remember Me? / Mysterious Black Dude (MBD) refers to a character who appeared in a trailer for the game Metroid: Other M at Nintendo's 2009 E3 press conference. In the trailer, the character removed his visor and asked "Remember me?" despite never having being introduced before.
Mr. Caffeine (2011)
Mr. Caffeine is the stage name of television personality Aaron Priceman, who hosted Ubisoft’s press conference at E3 2011. During the presentation, Priceman's jokes were generally met with uncomfortable silence from the audience, receiving negative reviews from many gaming publications. As part of Ubisoft's 25th anniversary, the press conference featured videos of Ubisoft franchises such as Driver, Tom Clancy's Future Soldier, Just Dance and Assassin's Creed. To transition between the conference and these videos, Priceman would make the sound effect "doodly doodly doop" while moving his hands left to right.
Great Job Jeremy (2011)
Great Job Jeremy is a phrase repeatedly said by Zindagi Games president Umrao Mayer to his on-stage assistant Jeremy Ray during the gameplay demonstration of the motion-control action-adventure game Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest for Sony PlayStation 3 at E3 2011.
No One Trailer Should Have All This Power (2011)
“*No One Trailer Should Have All This Power*”, also known as *No One X Should Have All This Power" and “Power Goes With Everything”, is a catchphrase that refers to trailers, or other videos, using the Kanye West song “Power” as the audio track.
Non-Specific Action Figure (2012)
Non-Specific Action Figure is a figurine featured during Nintendo's 2012 pre-E3 direct conference designed to showcase the Wii U's online features. The conference showed a player talking to the figure, often directing questions towards it.
Satoru Itawa Holding Bananas (2012)
"Satoru 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.
I Feel Just Like a Purple Pikmin (2012)
“I Feel Just Like a Purple Pikmin” is a memorable quote by Reggie Fils-Aime during the E3 2012 Nintendo Press Conference. The quote was said after the announcement of Pikmin 3 by Shigeru Miyamoto at the beginning of the conference. After Miyamoto left the stage, Reggie stepped up and said the quote “I feel just like a purple pikmin." The phrase quickly began to spread on many video-game-related sites and forums, such as IGN and GameFaqs.
Just Let It Happen, It'll Be Over Soon (2013)
"Just Let It Happen, It'll Be Over Soon" is a controversial joke made by the producer of Killer Instinct, the upcoming reboot of the 1994 fighting arcade game for Xbox One, to his female co-host during their on-stage gameplay demo at Microsoft's pre-E3 press conference held on June 10th, 2013. During the showcase, the two presenters casually exchanged playful taunts as they try to beat each other and when it became clear that the male producer was dominating the game, he jokingly said to his struggling colleague: "Just let it happen, it'll be all over soon."
The banter was reportedly met by some nervous laughter and groans from the audience at the conference, as noted by video game designer Jonathan Blow via Twitter (shown below).
"Let's bring a woman on stage and joke about how she's bad at games, and say stuff like 'relax, just let it happen, it'll be over soon'"??
— Jonathan Blow (@Jonathan_Blow) June 10, 2013
Meanwhile, on Twitter, the producer's remark was received far less favorably, with many interpreting the trash talk as an unintended joke about rape and others vilifying the episode as a perpetuation of misogyny and sexism that remains visible in the video gaming world. Blogger Devin Faraci of Badass Digest also chimed in on the troubling implications of the dialogue, while acknowledging that it may have been the heat of the moment that led to the joke (shown below).
In some ways this wasn't a big deal. The banter was tasteless, and we don't know how the decision was made as to who would go up against the producer on stage. What makes this a big deal isn't the fact that it happened, but that it's indicative of a larger cancer eating away at the gaming community (and, to be fair, many other geek communities, but it seems most horrible in gaming). This, basically, is what institutionalized misogyny looks like.
In contrast to Twitter users, many Redditors quickly went up in arms to dispute the labeling of the producer's remark as a "rape joke," spawning several discussion threads on /r/TheRedPill, /r/MensRights, /r/SRSsucks and /r/SRSGaming.
Trash talking between guys = lol grow a pair
Trash talking between guy and girl = omg he's talking about rape, he's raping about rape, rape's raping rape
The presentation was met by mixed opinions from several internet news sites, including The Atlantic, Kotaku and The Huffington Post. Later that same day, a Microsoft spokesperson told the gaming news site Kotaku that the banter was unscripted and apologized for the banter.
"The comments in question during the Killer Instinct demo were not scripted. The demo was meant to include friendly gameplay banter and there was there was no ill intent.”
The Villager (2013)
The Villager (a.k.a Creepy Animal Crossing Villager) is a nickname given to the male protagonist character of Nintendo’s social simulation video game franchise Animal Crossing. Following the announcement of his inclusion as a new character for the Super Smash Brothers franchise in June 2013, fans of the game quickly began characterizing the Villager as a psychotic and ruthless killer through image macros and video remixes.
"A Weapon to Surpass Metal Gear" (2013)
"A Weapon to Surpass Metal Gear" is a catchphrase from the end of the E3 2013 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain extended trailer. The phrase is often used to describe abnormal machinery/weapons, much like tacticool, and because of its ambiguity, it has lead to many online discussions about what could actually surpass a metal gear. Because of its use in the trailer, videos with the phrase often contain the song Sins of Our Father or Nuclear playing in the background.
Super Smash Bros. Character Announcement Parodies (2013)
Super Smash Bros. 4 Character Announcement Parodies, also known as "Super Smash Bros. Challenger Approaching," are photoshopped images of character introduction cards for the game Super Smash Brothers as featured during Nintendo's showcase of its upcoming title Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS/Wii U.
Reggie vs. Iwata (2014)
Reggie vs. Iwata refers to a comical promotional video featuring Nintendo executives Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata competing in a battle that was released during the 2014 E3.
"Standing On The Edge" (2014)
Nuclear is a 2014 pop-rock song by British musician Mike Oldfield that became closely associated with the Metal Gear fandom, particularly the opening lyrics “standing on the edge,” after it was featured as the background music during the screening of an extended trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at Konami's 2014 E3 press conference.
"Life-Sized Meme" (2015)
"Life-Sized Meme" (also known as "Pitch-a-Meme") is a memorable quote said by Aisha Tyler, American actress and the host of Ubisoft's 2015 E3 press conference, during an improvised interaction with Rick Boer, a professional cosplayer who dressed up as Assassin's Creed protagonist Jacob Frye, in the audience. The brief exchange, during which Tyler remarked how Boer is dressed like a "life-sized meme" and asked if he would like to "pitch a meme," instantly gained notoriety online for the actress' cringeworthy use of "meme" as a marketing buzzword.
#HaveAWank is a hashtag that was used to mock the tediousness of interviews and panel discussions that were livecast during the annual PC Gaming Show at the 2015 E3, which quickly became a trending topic on Twitter after it was coined by Daniel Hardcastle, the host of Nerdcubed’s Twitch channel, on June 16th, 2015.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force Criticism (2015)
Upon its unveiling at E3 2015, Metroid Prime: Federation Force was heavily criticized by fans of the series, becoming one of the most discussed and controversial game of both that year's E3 and 2015 in general. Criticism was mainly aimed towards the game's lack of true Metroid series elements and therefore not resembling any other Metroid games: in fact, the most criticized elements under this lack of resemblances were the game's focus on FPS action and multiplayer instead of exploration and isolation (and therefore the lack of a single-player mode), the graphics (both the technical aspect and the use of a cartoonish super-deformed style, considered unfitting with the Metroid series' mature tones) and the absence of the Metroid series' famous protagonist Samus Aran.
Cyberpunk 2077 Keanu Reeves (2019)
Cyberpunk 2077 Keanu Reeves refers to character Johnny Silverhand of the 2020 role-playing video game Cyberpunk 2077, played by actor Keanu Reeves. Following the release of the trailer for the game at Microsoft's Xbox E3 2019 gaming conference, as well as the Keanu Reeves' presentation of the game, multiple memes referencing the actor's appearance in the game were posted online.
E3 Canceled (2020)
E3 2020 Cancellation refers to the canceling of the Electronic Entertainment Expo following an announcement from the Entertainment Software Association on March 11th, 2020, due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The news comes after a growing list of canceled events caused by the viral outbreak sweeps the globe, but is also allegedly attributed to concerns over several major partners, developers and companies pulling out of the annual video game conference in recent years. The event's cancelation resulted in an influx of memes referencing the event that month.
Xbox Mini Fridge (2021)
Xbox Fridge is an upcoming mini fridge product from Microsoft that copies the design of the Xbox Series X gaming console. Inspired by the memes that compared the design of the console to a fridge, the Xbox Fridge was announced at E3 2021 in June 2021.
 Wikipedia – Electronic Entertainment Expo
 3dsbuzz (via Wayback Machine) – E3 Nintendo Conference Rundown
 Twitter – Jonathan Blow's Tweet
 Twitter – Tweet Results for 'Microsoft Rape Joke'
 Birth Movies Death (formerly Badass Digest) – Hilarious Rape Joke At Your E3 Presentation, Microsoft
 The Atlantic – The Rape 'Joke' at Microsoft's E3 Reveal Is a Bigger Deal Than Another Bad 'Joke'
 Kotaku – The Trash Talk During Microsoft's Conference Was Awful [UPDATE]
 The Huffington Post – There Was An Awkward, Rape-Insinuating Joke At This Official Xbox One Event
 Reddit – 'Feminists' are accusing Microsoft for making a 'rape' joke on their E3 presentation, when there isn't one.
 Reddit – Twitter feminists get upset at a "rape joke" during E3 presentation.
 Reddit – "Rape Joke" at E3 Causes Irreparable Emotional Damage
 Reddit – "Feminists" are accusing Microsoft for making a "rape" joke on their E3 presentation, when there isn't one
 Reddit – Twitter feminists get upset at a "rape joke" during E3 presentation. Pretty extraordinary case of projection because no one thought of rape except them
 Reddit – Rape joke at Microsoft conference [E3]: ‘Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon’
 The Atlantic – Why a Microsoft Employee Is OK with a Rape Joke Made About Her at E3
 YouTube – YouTube Live at E3
 YouTube – Xbox Mini Fridge
Jun 01, 2013 at 06:34PM EDT
Jun 14, 2016 at 01:49PM EDT
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