April 20: Whoops
On April 20, PSN went down again. On April 23, Sony announced that it had shut it down because of an “external intrusion.” The hackers might have stolen 77 million users’ personal information, which included addresses, birthdays, online IDs, and maaaaybe, you know, credit card information.
June 14: The Duke Nukem Forever joke ends … well, the one about it never coming out, anyway
We first heard about Duke Nukem Forever in 1996. It came out in 2011, and everyone got so used to it being this thing that someone was constantly working on that we weren’t really prepared for it to actually come out. But it wasn’t very good, so it still provided some laughs even after its 15-year development.
Nov. 11: The most common career-ending injury in Tamriel
When Skyrim, the fifth installment in developer Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls epic role-playing series, came out on 11/11/11, players started to notice something about the game’s guards. It seemed like a lot of them had once been adventurers like us, but then tragedy struck like an arrow to the knee. Exactly like an arrow to the knee, in fact.
March 6: Everyone loves Mass Effect 3
The Mass Effect sci-fi action-role-playing series started in 2006 with one promise: The player’s choices will matter. In 2012, the third and final part of hero Commander Shepard’s quest to save the galaxy arrived, and absolutely everyone was satisfied with the ending. Oh, wait, no. They hated it.
May 15: Diablo III launches. Except the opposite of that
Action-role-playing game Diablo III was one of the most anticipated titles of 2012. And then it came out, and nobody could start it. The issue came from the game requiring everyone who played it to maintain an Internet connection at all times, and it turns out that that sort of thing will clog the servers right up. With Diablo III unavailable, the Internet decided to keep itself busy making silly pictures about Error 37, the problem’s official name.
March 5: It happens again
Almost a year after the small problem with Diablo III, developer Maxis and publisher EA released a new title in its SimCity urban-planning series. Like Diablo III, it required a constant Internet connection, even when playing the single-player mode. And also like Diablo III, its fans found themselves unable to play due to network outages and server issues.
April 12: Phil Fish vs. Minecraft
Developer Mojang’s creation game Minecraft is almost an entry in itself if for no other reason than the “___ rebuilt in Minecraft” posts that started showing up all over the place since the game came out in November 2011. But then one brave man stood up and said, “No more.” That man was Phil Fish, the maker of indie puzzle game Fez. He called for an end to the posts on Twitter. And then an hour later, this happened. And so a comment about a meme became a part of that meme, and the Internet opened up and swallowed itself like Pac-Man.
This list is obviously not comprehensive. If you have a favorite self-sustaining joke from this console generation, let us know in the comments.