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

Some of the footage in this article includes flashing images.

We totally get it if you’re not ready to get back into the world, but you might miss a weird trend at your favorite artists’ concerts. It’s becoming more and more likely that someone, right away, will capture a moment on their Nintendo 3DS.

It’s unclear who started the trend, but it is a trend. 3DS shooting is now all but certain at gigs by extremely online artists like 100 gecs and Porter Robinson, but they’ve since been spotted at shows by artists like Rina Sawayama, Deftones, Tyler the Creator, JPEGMAFIA and Charlie XCX.

Is the footage good? Absolutely not. The maximum resolution of the 3DS camera is 640×480 pixels. The audio isn’t any better, with the microphone completely unable to handle any level of boosted bass. This is probably one of the worst tools to use if you want to review the experience of reviewing the performer with decent fidelity. And yet, he still won the hearts of concertgoers.

As far as we can tell, the emergent phenomenon started in October last year during a show by British rock band Bring Me The Horizon (who’s no stranger to being a meme, as their song “Can You Feel My Heart” became the backing track for the GigaChad). The trend has started to really take off recently, the probable cause being this viral tweet documenting photos taken on an original DS during a show in London by South Korean boy band ATEEZ.

We spoke to a New York pop band Anamanaguchi, again touring internationally for the first time since being postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic, who also noticed the trend. By contacting us in DM, the group wrote:

“Yeah that’s sick. It’s been happening at our shows for a while now, but I’m definitely seeing it more and more. Honestly, that’s still a lot more hot footage than the super stable iPhone 15 full set ranked number one in 4K HD footage lol. Love 20 seconds of fried, totally shredded DS audio. The audio is so destroyed that it always takes us a second to figure out what song it is, but it sounds and sounds so good.

It’s become a staple of gigs that the band have (perhaps wacky) plans to follow the trend: “Nobody’s stealing our idea, but we’re thinking of releasing a ‘Live on 3DS’ album… maybe press it on vinyl mdr.”

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

Doing this also marks artists among a select few where it would even make sense to try to register them this way. Doing something so weird always seems like a perfectly normal thing to do seeing the notoriously eclectic 100 gec – does it sound the same when you do it at Michael Bublé?

It doesn’t happen everywhere, and we might be threatening to make it uncool by documenting it, but we recommend you search Twitter for your favorite +3DS artist and you might see it. We’re interested to see how this trend continues – will we see anyone recording the show on the Game Boy Camera? Here is the hope.

Mat Jones is IGN’s UK social coordinator and will be a pumpkin again at midnight.

Thumbnail credit: GamerJasonUK on Twitter.

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