The Simpsons Visit the Expensive Electronic Entertainment Expo
This week’s episode of The Simpsons (the series’ 492nd overall) featured an obvious take on the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known to most as E3. Following up on previous Surprise Dad Days like Cemetery Paintball and Go-Karts on Real Roads, Homer Simpson decided to take his kids to E4: the Expensive Electronic Entertainment Expo.
There were references all over the place, starting out with statues of the Master Chief, a Big Daddy, and a football (and chicken leg)-wielding John Madden. From there we get to see Furious Fliers, a version of Angry Birds that goes horribly wrong when an angry bird is sent into an under-construction children’s hospital (complete with direct-from-Angry-Birds sound effects).
Once inside the convention hall thanks to their VIP passes, the game references come in quick succession. There was Grand Theft Scratchy: Itchy City Stories; Cosmic Wars, a take on Star Wars; several varieties of Blocko (a take on Lego) including Cosmic Wars and Angelica Button; World of Krustcraft; Jalo; Shaun White: Time Snowboarder; Dig Dug: Revelations (a pretty funny knock on all of the games with that subtitle); Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life Online; Driver’s License 2: License to Drive; Assassin’s Creed: Summer of Love; Human Centipede; Q-Bert: Origins (another example of too-many-games-have-this-subtitle); Earthland Realms 2: The Outing of the Elves; Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game; Medal of Duty; and ZiiHop, where you sit on an exercise ball.
Systems included GameStation, ProtoVision, Ybox 360, Funtendo’s brand-new Zu Zii, and the coin-operated GameStation 3. Company names included Electronic Crafts, Chalmskinn Interactive, and Bongo Games.
Only two games were given much screen time. Guts of War II: Entrails of Intestinox was a God of War-inspired action game featuring attacks like “colon slash” and “rectum kill.” One of the developers was on hand to boast, “We’ve made a game that’ll reward the hardcore gamer with hundreds and hundreds of hours of…” before being cut off by Bart, who managed to beat the game in almost no time at all. Unfortunately the dev made no mention of whether the game is “easy to play but hard to master.”
The game we see Lisa play was Marching Band, where players stomp their feet and play either the saxophone or clarinet while trying to keep the crowd’s enthusiasm up. After clearing the first level, the second level consists of studying for a chemistry test during the twelve-hour bus ride home.
This isn’t the first time The Simpsons has parodied videogames; The Simpsons Game was overflowing with parodies, references, and homages. The aforementioned Grand Theft Scratchy was among the games that was to be in there, only Grand Theft Auto maker Rockstar was displeased and the name ended up being dropped.
If you missed the episode and want to catch it online, it won’t be available on Hulu for almost another week, unless you’re a Dish Network subscriber. For the rest of us, it’ll be up on November 21.