Say what you mean
E3 is a damnably exciting time. The sheer glut of games, surprise announcements, new initiatives and rallying speeches makes it an incredibly inspiring time to be a gamer. But sometimes those attempts at inciting celebration go a bit weird. Sometimes PR euphemisms are woefully transparent. Sometimes jokes fall flat. Sometimes middle-aged executives borrow their teenage kids' clothing and trawl the internet looking for the latest buzzwords, technologies and memes with which to awkwardly appear 'down with the kids'. And sometimes presenters gloriously freewheel off the corporate message, with spectacular results.
Basically, a lot of strange things are said at E3. So to help you wade through the babble-mire, I've picked out this year's funniest, silliest and most meticulously on-message utterances and translated them into their underlying meanings and subtext. Click on and be enlightened.
Sing along with the common purpose
Phil Spencer: "This week we share a common purpose with our friends at Sony, Nintendo, and the developers and publishers in our industry."
Translation: "Please start grouping us in with the cool guys again. Hardly anyone invites us to parties any more, and when they do, it's awful. Last week Satoru Iwata locked us out in the garden after a barbecue, and everyone just pointed and laughed through the patio windows for two hours."
Phil Spencer: "Our goal is to make Xbox One the best place to play games this generation."
Translation: "Our goal is now to make the Xbox One a place to play games this generation, because it turns out that's all people want to do with it."
You made the Xbox One
Phil Spencer: "Your feedback showed up in the console we launched in November and in the monthly updates we've delivered since."
Translation: "The greatest minds in Redwood worked on this thing for years, but then it turned out that crowd-sourcing a strategy from furious internet commenters yielded better results in 6 months, so we went with that instead."
The tagline lied
Phil Spencer: "You are shaping the future of Xbox and we are better for it."
Translation: "We are better without Kinect."
And now onto Nintendo...
Only we are capable of innovation
Reggie Fils-aime: "We're committed to it [the Wii U GamePad]. We believe that it is a key innovation that, otherwise, all you're doing is making prettier pictures and using faster processors, and not bringing a lot of uniqueness in terms of gameplay."
Translation: "Please ignore every other game at the show using increased processing power to further the possibilities of gameplay and artistic expression. In fact ignore every game that has done that in the past. And don't you dare bring up the fact that Super Mario 64 changed gaming forever through the use of additional horsepower."
Reggie Fils-aime: "Only on Nintendo systems will you be able to enjoy all the different experiences in this 'Toys to Life' category."
Translation: "Skylanders and Disney Infinity did our idea way before we got round to it, but we have Mario toys as well as those other, currently more successful games."
Good as it's ever been
Reggie Fils-aime: "Whenever I'm over in Japan and lucky enough to see these new games, I'm reminded of the first video game I fell in love with. Super Mario World on my Super NES. I played it endlessly, finished with 99 lives, and I still have that cartridge. I bet you remember the first game you fell in love with too. Those of us who play games know that there's nothing quite like them in the world. And those of us that love Nintendo know that no matter what's going on in our lives, we can always count on these games to deliver fun and great gameplay. Because it's Nintendo."
Translation: "Please, for the love of God, engage your nostalgia before watching any further. It's all that's kept us going for the last few years, and we're really going to need it on our side if this sucks."
Reggie Fils-aime: "They're working on some amazing new projects that underscore the point that there's never been a better time to play games on Nintendo platforms."
Translation: "Engage your nostalgia, but try not to dwell on that brief period between 1983 and 2005." Aaand time for Ubisoft...
Let's be realistic
Aisha Tyler: "And someone actually asked me recently, why do I keep doing these pressers when the internet is so full of bullshit?"
Translation: "You see, corporate America? This is what happens when a French company hires a real person to present a conference--with total freedom--instead of using an executive PR-bot! We can communicate directly with our audience and that makes people like us!"
Aisha Tyler: "The fact is that dancing makes people happy, and frankly I can't think of a place that needs dancing more than a post-pandemic New York City where millions of people have died from a virulent contagion. Just bleeding from all of your orifices makes you want to jump up and shake it."
Translation: "Bloody hell, modern video games really do come up with some unnecessarily grim excuses for murdering loads of people."
Aisha Tyler: "It is exciting, it is terrifying, it's uplifting, it's even gonna get a little sweaty. It's hella fucking smokey, apparently it's 4:20 in this bitch. Everybody clapping is at the back of the theatre because they were late."
Translation: "Like it or not, Corporate America, but you really cannot engage with your demographic without making a few pot jokes. CoD lobbies full of 'xXxBong_Lord_666xXx' and 'T0kEsN1p3R' should have taught you this years ago."
Dan Hay: "On November 18th, you'll be travelling on a bus headed towards an armed border at the foot of the Himalayas. We'll give you a fake passport, a little bit of cash and a gun. After that, well, youre fucked."
Translation: "People like it when Aisha swears, so I will swear also."
No girls allowed
James Thereien: "A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes [inaudible]. It would have doubled the work on those things. And I mean it's something the team really wanted, but we had to make a decision... It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development."
Translation: "Of the ten international studios worth of staff who've been making this thing for the last few years, no-one thought it might be important to put in at least one female co-op character until we'd run out of time. And it's far too much work to do now. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to spend the next 6 months poring over brick textures for the DLC."
And Sony time!
Shawn Layden: "It's an immense pleasure, and a unique thrill, for me to introduce on this stage the worldwide premiere of gameplay footage from Mortal Kombat Eks."
Translation: "I have never seen Roman numerals and am unfamiliar with the concept."
Adam Boyes: "Kind of gives a whole new meaning to the term 'Fresh kicks', right? Hehe."
Translation: "I have been given a joke that I was promised would go down really well after a zombie-related trailer involving running shoes. I was promised that such witty, affable japery would immediately make me the new Jack Tretton. I am now not sure that that joke even made sense."
Adam Boyes: "Battlefield: Hardline takes the cops and robber fantasy we all played when we were kids, but then it goes to a whole new level, with awesome action, stunning visuals, and a grappling hook! C'mon!"
Translation: "Please. C'mon. Seriously, throw me a bone. The 'kicks' joke died, I know, but it wasn't my fault. Look, I'm being all enthusiastic and giddy about games like Aisha does. We can make this work, right? C'MON!"
Let it go
Adam Boyes: "Grappling hooks and ziplines. That is my jam!"
Translation: "I said a thing that people say on Twitter. Forget the 'kicks' joke, okay?"
You've gone too far
Adam Boyes: "That's Tim Mohr-er-fu-hn Shafer."
Translation: "Right, I'm going to swear like Aisha does. But no, I can't! I'm on stage in front of the whole world, and my mother is probably watching. I can't say 'fuck' here. Oh shit, I just did. Shit, I said 'shit'! Fuck! SHIT!"
Adam Boyes: "You know after watching the likes of Brobocop and Bronan the Brobarian in Bro Force, I can't help but bro-out all of our PlayStation names. We've got Andrew Brohouse, Scott Brody, Brohei Broshida, right? Okay. Yeah, I'm moving along..."
Translation: "I'm trying too hard to be the new Jack Tretton. I should admit that, chill out, and just get on with it."
Note: This is, ironically, exactly the point that Adam's self-effacing bumbles actually did turn him into the new Jack Tretton. I also recently discovered that he has actually now changed his Twitter name to 'Adam Broyes', with 'Brohei Broshida' following suit. Our boy has pulled it off.
The sincerest form
Adam Boyes: "Please enjoy."
Translation: "Screw it, this is going great now. I'm going to be the new Iwata as well."
Things making more sense now?
So those are the results of my taking a mighty cleaver of clarity to this year's E3 talkings. But have you spotted any more? Any other nonsense, amusements and transparent PR lines you'd care to translate? Drop them in the comments.
And while you're here, dip your ladle into our bubbling cauldron of E3 goodness and see what other delicious nourishment you can pull out. I'd personally recommend fishing around in the general areas of The goriest, nastiest moments of E3 2014 and The most awkward, uncomfortable moments of E3 2014.