Steamed Hams?: How Communities Shape Their Memes

How are memes born? While there’s no set answer to such a wide question, there are some interesting trends to consider. A cursory glance through the archives of Know Your Meme proves that anything’s game.

For instance, stolen footage of home video embarrassment ranks among the earliest memes. In fact, such examples predate the internet with terrible shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos. Years after its televisual popularity, the same mean-spirited instinct becomes meme with the Star Wars Kid and his cohorts.

Of course, not all viral videos or images are entirely accidental. Accidents, after all, can be contrived. Corporations have gone to great lengths to capture the magic of memes for marketing, even if it includes trying to sell shoes by having Kobe Bryant pretend to jump over an Aston Martin.…   [continue reading]

YouTube Poop: Advocating Low-Quality

If you’ve never encountered YouTube Poop, you’ve probably never delved too deep into that weird side of the internet. I can’t precisely recall how I first stumbled across it, but it’s something you can’t forget when you do. As one of the most confrontational and polarising forms of YouTube content, it’s widely seen as large-scale trolling. Even its moniker is off-putting. However, is there something of merit in the folds of their merciless edits? The deeper you fall into its aggressive charms, the more it warrants analysis. Firstly, for the uninitiated, exactly what is a YouTube Poop?

Many researchers and fans trace its true beginnings back to 2004.…   [continue reading]

A Case for Luigi

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

Mario is the proud progenitor of the world’s very best selling video game franchise.  His titles have influenced almost every generation of home console and he’s entertained countless individuals internationally – from the young to the old.  With that in mind, what of his younger brother – Luigi?  Since Mario has clearly taken the fore, Luigi’s been conversely left in a large and imposing shadow.  This has had the effect of rendering him vastly more interesting over the years, despite his sidekick trappings.  While he’s only held three true starring roles in his “career” (in Mario is Missing! …   [continue reading]