9 More Horrible Video Game Memes That Need to Die
“Meme” just means “idea that spreads” but on the internet, it means beating a dead horse’s stones to get blood out of them. There is generally a huge disparity between the humor value of an internet meme and how much people like it. Just come up with something new to say once in awhile to avoid this stagnation; or failing that, you can at least write a stupid list of easily-digestible platitudes. I sure know which one pays the bills!
Monkey cheese humor at its worst. Don’t have anything funny to add to a conversation? Photoshop (or even better, MSPaint) this ugly picture of Luigi into a picture as a substitute for a joke and watch the accolades roll in. It’s an old meme, but even to this day I still see people post Weegee, thinking that the mere presence of a video game character without context is a surefire recipe for hilarity. You could use Luigi to try to make some sort of jest and succeed at comedy, but why go to the trouble of writing something when you can copy-paste instead?
8. The Konami Code
People who quote the Konami code out of context want to impress you with their knowledge of “retro” games. They’ll ask if you remember when games had cheat codes, or when games were hard, or when games had pixels in them, if you can “do the Mario”, and they want you to praise them for their esoteric knowledge as if they discovered a heretofore unknown Sefirot of the Kabbalah. Just because you played a rad game like Contra doesn’t make you some sort of keeper of sacred truths. Either say something interesting or don’t waste the internet’s time. Thumbs this up if ur a 90s kid!!!!!
At first glance, this one seems kind of funny even if you’ve never played Pro Wrestling for the NES. It has Engrish, a dopey-looking character all excited, and slightly off-center text, and of course real fake wrestling was at its peak in the mid-late 80s. And indeed this tidbit from a (honestly mediocre) game was funny in the ancient days of yore. It didn’t give us Strong Bad like Tag Team Wrestling did, but it was a bit of a giggle.
So what makes this one less enjoyable than the similar “WOW! YOU LOSE!“? Failed internet comedians haven’t run the latter into the ground over the course of three decades, that’s what. “A Winner is You” is up there with “All Your Base” when it comes to wheezing, hackneyed, terminally ill pop culture references that people just won’t let die. They don’t even tack gimmicks on and perform slight variations of it like with other memes; they let it fester like an untreated overzealous self-blading. Reviving “A Winner is You” to genuine funniness at this point is about as likely as Macho Man beating the Undertaker at the next WrestleMania.
I know I already complained about people who quote and shoehorn Pokemon flotsam into everything, but this one is particularly annoying. We can all get a laugh out of badly-constructed message board posts. I know I’ve made enough worthless posts of my own to fuel Helldump for a lifetime. But the important part of a joke is to not let it overstay its welcome. Just referencing a joke is probably going to be inferior to the original joke itself, so why drag it out? Why run a meme into the Diglett, especially when it wasn’t that great to begin with? The real answer is most likely because you’re all Flaaffies who suck at Nintendo’s teat and get excited at the mention of one of your holy relics. What’s supposed to be the funny thing about Mudkips? That their name is funny? Yeah there aren’t any Pokemon that have that particular feature. Pokemon sucks, find a better meme.
You know what Pokemon meme doesn’t suck? Slowpoke doesn’t, since you can use it as a vector for actual funny jokes. Proof:
5. Wise fwom yo gwabe
Listen to that three-second clip. Is it worth repeating forever and always tittering at it like… like people who quote internet memes? The easily-amused are endlessly entertained by Elmer Fudd speak, lisps, stutters, mumbling, and other speech impediments. You don’t have to be an interesting character like Tak Fujii; just talk like Jeff Goldblum as a gimmick and people will think you’re the original comedian of comedy. If I were on Tumblr I’d be complaining about able-tongued privilege, but instead I’ll complain about your attempt at humor being sucky.
Blurry robot speak isn’t a joke, it’s a technical limitation. And technical limitations in video games are only funny when you’re playing Custer’s Revenge. This meme made Altered Beast endure a lot longer in the public consciousness than it deserved, and the 2005 reboot didn’t improve things, either. Ditch it.
In theory you should be able to use this as the punchline to, say, a comic with a series of escalating calamities, culminating in the much less serious problem of your efforts in a game of Team Fortress 2 being stifled by a disguised foe. In reality, people use this as a catchphrase whenever something even slightly unusual happens. See someone you know at a place you didn’t expect? Spy sapping my sentry, lol! Get banned from your favorite fanfiction forum for your disgusting/criminal fetishes? Oh man your sentry sure got sapped! Get sent to a torture chamber indefinitely because you were in the same square mile as someone suspected of criticizing the United States government? GET A LOAD OF THIS SENTRY GETTIN’ SAPPED OVA HEAH!
The sapping of sentries is the new “ironic” and it is shameful.
“Oh man, those Creepers! So terrifying! My pickaxe broke! I need to collect 50 more chunks of linoleum ore to finish the guest bedroom to my mansion that’s based on the Tardis! Hey, check out my cool new mod that gives the player realistic blocky genitalia! Be sure to like and subscribe!”
Minecraft fans are terrible. But you knew that already, because they enjoy Minecraft. They are enraptured by arranging trillions of pretend blocks in order to create a 100:1 scale model of a freaking My Little Pony character, her entire stable of friends, and all of their reproductive organs. I realize that making jokes about autism and aspergers is low-hanging fruit (Especially since I’m not just the president of sperg… I’m also a client!) but how else do you explain the popularity of an astonishingly ugly game that apes a hundred-year-old real-life toy but with fewer options and forced grinding?
Minecraft lovers will tell you that you can do anything in the game, that the only limit is your imagination. They said that about that DRM-riddled junk Spore, too, and they said it about SimCity before that, not to mention every game where you can explore stuff or build anything. Just because you can stack cubes in the shape of the USS Enterprise doesn’t make the game innovative or deep, and I’m speaking as someone who collected batteries as a child because he didn’t like real people toys. I might have at least 30 ranks in my autism skill tree, but Minecraft just isn’t anything special and it’s baffling how completely it has saturated our culture.
Or maybe I’m just bitter because I’m a shut-in internet nerd who knew what Minecraft and Slenderman were years before I heard my five-year-old nephew asking his mom to buy products based on them.
2. Anything from Duke Nukem
If you want to defend the old Duke Nukem games, I won’t hate you. Yes they were basically Doom with strippers, but at least they ripped off a great game and kept its advantages intact. But the character himself? Trash. And not because I’m offended by sexism, but because I’m offended by plagiarism.
The quotes stolen from 80s B-movies seemed more like placeholders for new one-liners that they were supposed to add later, yet somehow made it into the final version. Enjoy the games if you like (except Duke Nukem Forever, even the most devoted Duke Pukers couldn’t stand that swill) but don’t you dare lie and say that the protagonist is cool and witty. Duke’s not the king of anything unless you count his dead empire of broken promises, mountains of cliches, and sexism so prurient that Dave Sim would write thirty thousand words about why it’s too unfair to women.
1. Normal internet memes inside video games
Remember that wacky image macro you kinda chuckled at once? Get ready to laugh at it again, because video game developers are on the cutting edge of popular culture and they know exactly what you’re looking for! Not cool stuff like John Romero’s head on a spike, we’re talking vain repetitions of stuff that 4chan farted out 6-12 months ago. This is some prime grade-A comedy, baby!
This annoyance isn’t just a new thing, either. The Working Designs translation of Lunar: The Silver Star Story was filled with unnecessary dialogue changes containing pop culture references so embarrassing that even the dorks playing JRPGs cringed. But in modern times, it’s worse. The internet is obviously fast paced and old jokes get worn out and discarded, so during a game’s production time you can expect any references to other media that it contains to be as outdated as Archie comics trying to be hip by playing the Wii.
No, Zybourne Clock is unironically hilarious, but I’m gonna need more than a reference to it to match its greatness. Throw me a bone, here, internet. I like seeing things that are funny on purpose.