Bad Footage, Funny Meme: The New Trend for Recording Concerts on 3DS – IGN

Some of the footage in this post includes flashing images.

We totally understand if you’re not ready to head back out into the world, but you might be missing out on a strange trend at the gigs of your favourite artists. It’s becoming more and more likely that someone, right up front, will capture a moment on their Nintendo 3DS.

It’s not clear who started the trend, but it is a trend. 3DS filming is now almost certain at gigs by extremely online artists like 100 gecs and Porter Robinson, but they’ve since been spotted at shows by the likes of Rina Sawayama, Deftones, Tyler The Creator, JPEGMAFIA and Charli XCX.

Is the footage any good? Absolutely not. The maximum resolution of the 3DS camera is 640×480 pixels. The audio isn’t any better, with the microphone totally incapable of withstanding any level of amplified bass. It’s probably one of the worst tools to use if you want to revisit the experience of seeing the performer again in any decent fidelity. And yet it’s captured the hearts of gig-goers all the same.

As far as we’re able to tell, the emerging phenomenon started in October of last year at a show by British rock band Bring Me The Horizon (no strangers to being memed, as their song “Can You Feel My Heart” has become the backing track to the GigaChad). The trend began to really take off recently, with the likely cause being this viral tweet documenting pictures being taken on an original DS during a London show by South Korean boy band ATEEZ.

We spoke to New York pop band Anamanaguchi, now touring internationally again for the first time since being postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic, who have also noticed the trend. DM’ing us, the band wrote:

“Yeaa it’s sick. Been happening at our shows for a while now but definitely seeing it more and more. Honestly it’s always way more hype footage than the like iPhone 15 front row super stable full set in 4K HD footage lol. Love 20 seconds of bassboosted deep fried totally shredded DS audio. The audio gets so wrecked, it always takes us a second to figure out what song of ours it is loll but it sounds and looks so good.”

It’s become such favourite fixture at gigs that the band has (possibly jokey) plans to run with the trend: “No one steal our idea but we’re thinking of putting out a ‘Live on 3DS’ album .. maybe press it to vinyl lol.”

So, what’s the point of all this? We can only speculate on the individual motivations of people jumping on a meme that’s sprung up from nowhere (and if you are one of those people, get in touch!): It’s obviously very funny. Everyone knows that you’re going to get a low fidelity capture. It also stands out among all of the other people in the crowd recording the show on their phones. It helps that the two-screen design of the 3DS is so unique and ubiquitous that anyone who sees it immediately knows what it is.

Doing this also marks the artists among a select few where it would even make sense to try recording them this way. Doing something this strange still feels like a totally normal thing to do when seeing the notoriously eclectic 100 gecs – does it have the same tone when you do it at Michael Bublé?

It’s not happening everywhere, and maybe we’re threatening to make it uncool by documenting it, but we recommend doing a Twitter search for your favourite artist + 3DS and you might just see it. We’re interested to see how this trend continues – will we see anyone recording the show on the Game Boy Camera? Here’s hoping.

Mat Jones is IGN’s UK Social Coordinator, and will turn back into a pumpkin at midnight.

Thumbnail credit: GamerJasonUK on Twitter.

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