Where does But can it run Crysis? come from?
Crysis was an extremely sophisticated game when it was released in 2007. It represented a considerable advance in both gaming experience and in system requirements needed for gamers to play it. Crysis ran on a cutting-edge API framework from Microsoft only available on Windows Vista at the time, used more than one gigabyte of texture data, and had more than a million lines of code. This meant you could only use it on a select few machines that had the requirements and the capacity to run it properly. First appearing on Twitter in summer 2008, But can it run Crysis? soon became a snarky catchphrase lamenting how difficult it was to find a machine that could, in fact, run Crysis.
Who uses But can it run Crysis??
But can it run Crysis? is often used facetiously, and is asked, for instance, of a supercomputer clearly capable of running a PC game or an outdated computer which clearly cannot.
The phrase can also be used to make light of something impressive. If, for example, a gamer posts a photograph of their setup, bragging about the specifications, responding But can it run Crysis? can poke fun at the boast and issue a reminder that every system has its limitations. But can it run Crysis? is also used to sneer at unnecessarily complex technology, such as a smart fridge.
A variant of the meme, which intensifies the technological requirements, is But can it run Crysis on max settings? The phrase has also become a snowclone, a sort of phrasal template, over the years: But can it run X? where X can be replaced with any game considered to have extremely advanced specs that make it hard to run.
A related meme is it runs Doom, which emerges in 2013. It runs Doom involves trying to load the classic 1993 first-person shooter game Doom, whose technology is now a far cry from the likes of Crysis, onto electronics which are generally not made to play video games, such as a Kodak digital camera, a Canon inkjet printer, or an industrial machine meant to apply PVC strips onto furniture. Like But can it run Crysis? the appeal of the meme is in posing the question of devices that are clearly unfit for the task. However, it runs Doom is focused on discovering surprising devices that run the game whereas But can it run Crysis? is used for humorous effect.
“Someone new from my local area was showing off his battle station. He gets more than 200fps in OW. (BUT CAN IT RUN CRYSIS 3???)”
Tom Tom Vierling Facebook (March 24, 2017)
“Just got an RGB mousepad, but can it run crysis?”
Dewi @DuoH2C Twitter (March 14, 2017)
“The Mira supercomputer processes quadrillions of operations every second. It is powered by 768,000 cores spread across 48 blade racks. It is powerful enough to simulate the entire universe. But can it run Crysis?”
Mark Serrels, “Yes, I Understand, But Can It Run Crysis?” Kotaku (September 26, 2012)