As the school year winds down, we have reached the tail end of prom season, when seniors across the nation get to live it up one last time before going to college or joining the workforce. It’s one of the very last chances to do something weird and arbitrary and funny.
Take this past weekend for example, when senior Chris Burwell took a copy of the Nintendo GameCube game Super Smash Bros. Melee to prom. Photos of Chris started going viral over the weekend, racking up hundreds of likes and shares on Facebook, and thousands of notes on Tumblr.
We had a few questions, so we called up Chris (whose preferred fighter is Marth) to find out why he brought the 2001 video-game classic to the most important high school event. (There are more pictures below the interview.)
I guess the first question is, why did you take a copy of Super Smash Bros. to prom?
I’m a big fan of the game. There’s a big fan base for Super Smash Bros. Melee specifically, and I’ve been a fan of the game for a long time. I saw a couple weeks ago that a guy took his waifu to prom, and I thought, That’s very funny, but I’m not that bad. What else could I do? And I thought I’ll take Melee, because there’s such a big fan base and I’m one of those fans. It felt right. It was the heat of the moment.
When did you decide this?
Literally the day of the prom.
Did you ever considering asking another classmate or something, or was it always going to be Smash?
It was always going to be Smash. I’m not, like, a total loser, but I don’t know any girls that I would take.
So walk me through it. How did you arrive at prom?
I went with a group of friends. We all pitched in and rented a party bus. We got to the park at six, we all took pictures and everything, and so I had my mom take pictures of me with my disc and the case and everything. When it was time to go, I realized — because they search you when you get to the prom, because you can’t bring in anything against the rules — it would be a long thing to explain bringing the disc in a full case, so I took the disc out and wrapped it in a napkin. I put it in my jacket pocket and I just had the disc the whole night.
How did your friends and chaperones react?
I feel like none of my friends or the people that knew me were all that surprised. They know me, they know my humor. It was a really good conversation-starter. “Hey, what’s going on?” “Oh, that’s my date, Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube.” It’s like, no one’s loyal these days but Melee’s always there for you. People were mostly pretty chill with it; they just thought it was funny.
How many people were at the prom.
I’m bad with estimating numbers, but I’d say it’s a couple hundred.
Did you … dance?
Yes, I did. There were two different areas. There was a place where there was a band for slow-dancing. I didn’t do that but there was a DJ in another place so I was bouncing around and doing all that.
Yesterday, you put some of these pictures online. What has the response been like?
I first put it on a Facebook group I’m part of called Melee Hell. It’s like 18,000 members, we’re all just fans of Melee. It’s just memes and jokes and stuff like that. I figured, “I’ll put it up here because people like the game and I won’t get destroyed for doing this.” It just blew up. I uploaded my very first picture on the way to the prom, just me and the disc, and it got a ton of likes. So then it’s like, “Oh, this is something that I should roll with.”
Then it got even bigger, so I put it on Twitter and Tumblr. The response has been … Melee Hell is just like, “You’re my hero,” but the response on Twitter and Tumblr has been like, “This is kinda sad.” I should expect that.
Do you regret it at all?
No, man. I had the time of my life. This was my first high school dance — I never did anything like that before. I was just like, “I’m gonna go, it’s my last year, I’m a senior. This will be my first prom, I should do something memorable.” I think that’s very memorable and I don’t regret it at all.
In high school, you’re always trying to be something you’re not, or trying to conform. Just do whatever. No one cares about anything. In the end, this does not affect my life positively or negatively. Just do what you want.
This interview has been condensed and edited.