This Post Was Written by
Zachary Connell, Hunter College
The linguistic aspect of this culture is how the people on this first level have labeled their reason to hate the game now instead of like it. It stems from the “fandom” of the game, and how the game became popular with the “normies”. Both of these words have been used the describe the large number of people who, according to the first level users, have taken their trend and ruined it by spreading it to other websites like Facebook, DeviantArt, and Tumblr. The biggest moment that turned Undertale from a popular “meme” to the laughing stock of the internet was just one video posted by Matthew Patrick (AKA MatPat) on his YouTube channel “The Game Theorists”. The video explains how on a trip to see the Pope, he used his meeting to give him a video game: Undertale. While there was not much towards the game because of this, it is symbolic for the game’s spread outside of this first level, and into the public, and eventually, a new trend was born, this one making fun of Undertale rather than celebrating it.
Zachary Connell, Hunter College
Over time, throughout our world, there have always been trends and jokes that were once extremely popular, and loved by all, but have slowly faded away into obscurity, replaced by the next hot topic. Within that other world titled “The Internet”, however, a new system has emerged. Once something popular has been around for too long, it does not just disappear like it used to, the opinion of it changes. Instead of going away, it just becomes a victim of hate, instead of a bringer of joy. But when, why, and how does this change take place?
To give you an example of what I mean, take the video game Minecraft, which came out in 2010. While I cannot speak for everyone, I certainly played a lot of Minecraft in Middle School, and I know for a fact a large number of children still are playing the game to this day. On the Internet, the popularity for Minecraft had been gone for awhile, but just recently Minecraft has resurfaced, but not because people are playing the game, but because they are making fun of it, and those who do play it. This resurgence in popularity has stemmed largely from poking fun at the game’s younger audience in an ironic way. When the game was still originally popular, it was popular to create parodies of popular songs that have to do with Minecraft. YouTubers like “MineCraft Awesome Parodys” and “GalaxyGoats” have reignited the popularity by making intentionally horrible Minecraft parodies of popular songs, to poke fun at the younger audience that still plays the game, and combined, have over 450 thousand subscribers:
Undertale, another video game, has been another once hot topic to be the subject of ridicule on the net. Unlike Minecraft, whose popularity came about before the internet had gone full throttle, Undertale came out in late 2015, and once was extremely popular on every level of the internet. What are the “levels” of the internet? Well, recently there seem to be at least two distinct levels of pop culture on the internet. The first level consists of websites like Reddit, 4Chan, and some YouTube channels, where most internet trends seem to begin. The second level is… everything else. Undertale was once enjoyed by the users on these “first level” websites, and they brought the small, indie game into the limelight. Once the popularity spread outside the small internet community on the first level, they claimed that the “fandom” had ruined the game, and started a new trend about hating the game instead of liking it.
The newest and largest case of internet code switching yet has taken Undertale out of the line of fire, however. Just recently TV Series Rick and Morty has almost out of nowhere to become the latest trend to be hated by these communities on the first level. The internet’s mockery of Rick and Morty, like Undertale, stems from the “fandom” it has created. The internet begun a massive campaign to make fun of both the show and its fans after the show’s fans caused a riot at a McDonald's on October 9th because they wanted a sauce that was mentioned in the show. This has caused a much larger scale backlash against the show and its fans that has become much more than a trend in the first level.
This leads to the potential problem with all of this hate. While jokes here and there are fine, sites like Reddit are growing every day, and this culture is spreading very fast. I believe that all of this only comes from a lack of ability to accept things you do not like. The only reason that people are hating on anything is because they cannot accept what other people might want to do with something that they believe is theirs. I think that to fix the problems the internet has, a good first step would be the try and bridge the growing gap between these two metaphorical “levels” of the internet, and let people like what they want to like without having to face hate for it.
Is this level of negativity bad for the future of the internet?
Should trends be a game of “finders keepers” where the groups who make them keep them?
Is hating on things other people like a good thing, even if those people never see it?