Sunday night, after the Bethesda Press Conference, Devolver Digital had a scheduled show. However, no one truly understood why since they don't really make AAA titles. But I and others were game to see what they had.
We were not prepared for what came next.
At first, it seemed that Devolver was just taking a light-hearted jab at press conferences as a whole. With the woman on stage garnering the attention of the audience by shooting a pistol in the air and having an intercut fake audience applauding all of this was very obvious to me as simple comedy. However, as she started talking, I noticed that it was becoming more than a simple jab at the over-the-top enthusiasm of these grandiose press conferences.
After showing a few games that were already announced, we were treated to a sketch of sorts. This was the moment that the show became so much more than I thought. Making fun of E3 wasn’t enough -- Devolver needed to make fun of the internet as well. By having a literal way to throw money at the screen, it all seemed very obvious to me who was the target here. Then, the turn happened. It became a bloody affair and I was very confused as to what they were trying to do.
During the Serious Sam trailer, i thought about what i was watching. Then it dawned on me -- absurdist comedy. It all made sense now. In the style of “Tim and Eric: Awesome Show Great Job,” “The Eric Andre Show,” the YouTube sensation “Don’t Hug Me: I’m Scared,” and Monty Python, I started to appreciate what I was seeing. The conference ended with a Scanners-esque head explosion. At this point, I finally understood everything I had seen.
The downside to all of this was that not many people watched it. The Bethesda presser left such a bad taste in most E3 viewers’ mouths that they disconnected entirely. Those that ended up watching it were split. Something I’ve experienced with absurdist humor is that it’s certainly not for everyone.
As I sat there thinking about what I had seen, I loved it more and more. As my good friend SlappyMeats stated “An aggressive parodic bit that takes the piss out of capitalistically informed institutional production? Sign me up!”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s very much a shining beacon during such a heavy event.
Thank you Devolver Digital.
If you would like to take a break from the news barrage, the video to the whole show is below and runs about 15 minutes.