This fire safety poster was tweeted recently and scored a whopping 21,000 retweets in only a couple of days. It’s an impressive feat for a public service announcement by the Nakagyo Ward Fire Department, but why?

The caption reads: “In life and fire, the reset button doesn’t work.” Okay, class, who can tell me why the reset button doesn’t work? Don’t all answer at once now… No, not because the cable’s on fire. This controller clearly has wireless capability. Oh, I see the person who tweeted this image has their hand up.

“That’s the select button.”

Although it’s a sobering message that we should all threat our lives as the precious delicate threads of existence they are, it’s hard for anyone familiar with video games to see past that glaring oversight. On the other hand this poster prompted some deep thought online over issues like “Why doesn’t a controller have a reset button?” and “Does life have a select button?”

The answer to the first question is easy. A reset button on the controller would be dangerous because you could accidentally hit it and wipe out your entire game, especially when fighting Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat 3 and he just keeps shoulder charging into you like the cheap bastard he is until you just want to hurl your goddamn controller right through the motherfu–

…Okay I’m fine now.

Some people pointed out that certain games had “soft reset” functions using the controller such as “L, R, up, and triangle” or “start, L, and R.” In that sense I guess we could say that the poster is accurate.

So, this leaves us with the question: “Does life have a select button?”

“Maybe it means all of the options and settings we have in life,” postulated one online philosopher. Another suggested: “Using the start button will open the menu, but [our lives’] select button would allow us to simply take a ‘pause’ and be able to look around.” However, some simply took this as a bleak assessment or themselves: “My life doesn’t even have a select button.”

Looking at it practically, our select button would probably be more like the appendix or wisdom teeth. Something that continues to be attached to us which we don’t really need any more since we can just use the directional pad to select things and digest plant material.

It would appear that this poster was originally painted by a young child who mixed up the words “select” and “reset”, which was then published by an adult who never noticed. It’s understandable since even in Japan these buttons are always labelled in English. That may be the case, but we’ll leave you with a comment which suggests a more chilling possibility: “This is just some clever stealth marketing by Sony.”

This “child” didn’t know about the select button but had the wherewithal to include the PS button in the center of the controller and four LED lights indicative of a PlayStation 3 controller? 21,000 retweets? I don’t know, but after slipping on my tin foil hat that theory doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

Source: Twitter via Hamster Sokuhou (Japanese)