Our opinion of The Simpsons? It’s certainly waned an awful lot since the twelfth season, but we can forgive it. We grew up with it, it helped shape our generation, and it’s a cartoon for God sakes – put the pitchforks down…
We still watch it, but more in the sense that we feel a duty to, like visiting an elderly relative in a care home. It still offers a lot of modern social commentary – yesterday’s newest episode, season 23’s ‘The Food Wife’, had the surprising opening of Homer taking Bart and Lisa to a video game convention. It piqued the interest of the gamer in me, and I was hugely surprised and pleased at the accuracy of the writers’ take on modern gaming culture.
Here are our five favourite jokes from the episode. And if you haven’t seen it then obviously look away now… SPOILERS BELOW!
The E4 Expo
A shameless take on E3, Springfield’s E4 is an acronym for ‘Expensive Electronic Entertainment Expo’. As someone that’s spent thousands of pounds on consoles, accessories and games over the years, I felt it hit the nail on the head in spectacular fashion.
Guts of War II
Bart plays the sequel to the original Guts of War. The funniest part isn’t the obvious God of War reference or the names for some of the lead character’s moves (colon smash and rectum kill), but the exchange between Bart and the David Jaffe-alike designer behind him:
Designer: “We’ve made a game that will reward the hardcore gamer with hundreds and hundreds of hours of –“
Bart: “Finished it.”
Designer: “But, working on this game cost me my marriage. I… I have twins I’ve never met…”
A simple but effective generation gap joke. Homer stands in front of a GameStation 3, shoving quarters into the CD slot, lamenting how many quarters the machine takes to start up.
Medal of Duty
Bart, Lisa and Homer need to get to Hall G to see Funtendo’s latest console presentation in three minutes. They’re in Hall D, and there’s a slew of nerds in their way. We see things from Homer’s perspective – a third-person Call of Duty-style HUD display appears as he flings objects at people and barges them out of the way. He gets hit by an E4 party pack. The screen goes red and heavy breathing accentuates his panic as he crawls towards the nearest pizza stand to regenerate his health and carry on…