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Real Yakuza Use a Gamepad is a disclaimer from the PC version of the 2015 video game Yakuza 0 that recommends playing with a controller rather than keyboard and mouse. The disclaimer gained popularity as source material both as a pop culture reference and an exploitable, with jokes utilizing Real Yakuza Use X phrasal template.
On August 1st, 2018, the video game Yakuza 0, originally released for PlayStation 4 console, was released for PC. Upon launch, the game displays a launch screen with a recommendation to use a controller instead of a keyboard and mouse (image shown below). The screen contains an image of a controller and the message "Real yakuza use a controller." The message is also displayed in later PC releases of Yakuza video games.
On December 3rd, 2020, VK Yakuza fan page ПОШАГОВО ЭКСТРЕМАЛЬНЫЙ極|РАШН ФЕНДОМ ФО YAKUZA posted the earliest discovered meme that used the screen as an exploitable, replacing the controller silhouette with a silhouette of Lada Niva. The post received over 230 likes in six months (shown below, left). On December 8th, an unknown Redditor posted a meme that replaced the silhouette with a Bikini Bottom Control Pad for GameCube console. The post received over 470 upvotes in the /r/yakuzagames subreddit in six months (shown below, right).
The exploitable format did not see further spread until March 22nd, 2021, when Twitter user @sapgoon_ tweeted "real yakuza use a wii fit balance board," with Twitter user @CBamanaboni posting a meme based on the tweet (shown below). On the same day, Nexus Mods user Vaereen created a Yakuza 0 mode that replaced the launch screen with @CBamanaboni's meme.
In the following months, more versions of the meme were created, with the controller silhouette typically being replaced with various gimmick controllers.