Remember 2023? The answer can be no. It was a lot. Between a deluge of major games — Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo IV, Baldur’s Gate 3, Armored Core 6, and Starfield, to name a few — the eclipsing cultural moment of Barbenheimer, the writer and actor strikes, the morphing of Twitter into X, the multi-pronged legal action against the Microsoft-Activision acquisition, and the rise of AI, the year in Culture was a constant drone of milestone moments.
Which could easily make you forget everything else that happened. Below, please find select things that really seriously actually happened over the last 365 days that no one would judge you for forgetting.
The M&Ms had a spokescandy controversy that ended with a Super Bowl
The year kicked off with the de-sexification of the green M&M, conservative pundits yelling about melt-in-your-mouth-not-your-hands candy, and then a Super Bowl commercial that only added to the chaos. 2023 promised to be a year!
Shrek was rumored dead
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was a late-December 2022 surprise, so we spent a lot of time thinking about what it meant for Shrek in January. Our leading theory: Shrek died. Eventually we got to ask the directors for comment. Believe them if you must.
Two dudes tried to steal $300,000 worth of GenCon goods and got extremely busted
We do not condone theft but if you were gonna walk into GenCon to pilfer a pallet of MTG cards, wouldn’t you wear a mask? Well, two New Yorkers who thought they were the Danny Oceans of the collectible card game scene did… not do that.
E3 2023 was a no-go, but at least in April 2023, the organizers believed there was hope for the legacy gaming event. But alas, by the fall, E3 was 100% dead. Time to reminisce about the very first E3!
Amouranth, Seinfeld, and the Pope all had an AI moment.
Nothing may explain the dizzying anything-goes moment of AI tools quite like the 14-day lifespan of the automated Seinfeld episode generator that — inevitably? — made a transphobic remark and wound up getting banned. But maybe good can come of the technology: This sounds like a troll, but actually Amouranth is all in, if only for the rest. And then there was the puffer coat Pope… maybe the most 2023 story of 2023.
BioWare apologized for a commemorative Commander Shepard corpse statue
“This statue was intended to be part of a series commemorating some of the key and most emotional moments in the series” — and it very much did.
Max announced a 10-year-long Harry Potter TV series
Charles Martinet wrapped a legendary career as the voice of Mario and all he got was a cameo in the Mario movie
The War Thunder Discord was somehow at the center of another classified document leak
The FBI arrested 21-year-old Jack Teixeira earlier this year over leaking documents that contained information about Russia’s war on Ukraine, amongst other classified topics. Note to all gamers: Git less gud at leaking!!
Grimace shake, we shook
It’s not too early to be nostalgic for simpler times, when we ordered purple milkshakes at McDonald’s and pretended to die on the floor.
People got super weird about Oppenheimer’s sex scene
The Barbenheimer double-feature reinvigorated movie-going, yet a few people left the theater worried that it was unnecessary for Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh to be naked with each other. C’mon folks, it was July and really hot outside.
Post Malone bought Magic the Gathering’s $2 million Lord of the Rings One Ring card
Shame on you for forgetting that our leading rapper-turned-mana-caster swooped in to grab Wizard of the Coast’s golden ticket. (But geez, think of the taxes!)
Colleen Ballinger aka Miranda Sings performed a ukulele song to respond to toxic workplace allegations
There’s a lot of sensitive material in this report on Ballinger’s year of controversy, but perhaps the most sensitive thing is your ears as they listen to a classic YouTube response vid backed by a small stringed instrument.
“Planet of the Bass” exploded as a listenable shitpost
Kai Cenat incited a riot in New York City in attempted PS5 giveaway
The streamer power is real, and as Cenat taught us all this year, potentially dangerous if wielded without much thought. Cenat in particular has become a subject of curiosity, and as we wrapped up the year, was worth exploring.
“You’re so Skibidi, so Fanum tax”
There’s no quick explanation here, you are either in or out.
Kojima did a Kojima thing just before calling it a year
With most of the major game releases in the rearview mirror, Hideo Kojima took to The Game Awards to really melt brains with the unveiling of OD, a… game? Experience? Horror thing? Kojima and Jordan Peele babbled for a bit after airing a cryptic trailer and when it was all over we collectively forgot everything that happened in 2023, thus this round-up.
Now, this is your moment: What has the world collectively forgotten from the past year?