Memes 101

You own a hot air balloon. Your dream is to stay in the air forever, never touching the ground, never returning to the hellhole that is Earth. Day and night, the sky is beautiful and free; perfect to sail through to infinity and beyond!

You must, however, avoid anything that poses a threat to your balloon: birds, airplanes, satellites, drones, asteroids, shooting stars, migrating butterflies, stormy rain clouds, lightning, celestial bodies, etc by moving to their left or right. If obstacles hit your balloon, you will have to go back to Earth. Additionally, you must find fuel to power your balloon. Some friends of yours regularly float up propane by way of large helium balloon bouquets. You need to collect the propane tanks before you float out of reach.

Each day will pass by in a 24 hour period indicated by the changing colors of the sky, which acts as a background. Players will be awarded points for obstacles avoided, fuel collected, and numbers of days spent in the sky. The game ends when the player runs into an obstacle. The game will be vertical and should work on mobile.

This game is inspired by the of “Do you love the color of the sky?” meme. I thought the original iteration of the meme was quite pure in sentiment, asking the viewer if they love the color of the sky, providing a very long gradient image of the sky over the course of a whole day, and stating that the creator definitely does in saying  “i Love it the Colour of Sky Very Much!!!” with a smiley face and two clouds. It’s cute, even if the post makes you scroll down for what feels like forever.

I don’t think I ever saw the original meme. By the time it got to tumblr, people changed the text to complain about the post’s length and inserted images to re-contextualize the meme to fit certain fandoms, or to put viral images like Grumpy Cat or John Cena on the end of it. I know I reblogged a couple of these posts, although I can’t find them now. My blog’s archive has way too many shitposts for me to wade through to find a “Do you love the color of the sky?” post. On tumblr, the very annoyed parodies of this meme were way more popular than the original.

I want to represent the essence of the original meme, creating a calming and relaxing experience rather than the playfully irritated tone of the mutated meme.

The readings were a little confusing on the first read, but under all the formal language is a history and origin of meme-like culture and musings on the electronic/internet landscape. I have considered meme in the context of today’s youth internet culture before, particularly in how we collectively use neo-dada-esque imagery and morbid, existentialist humor to cope with our disastrous and hopeless reality (which btw has permeated down to children!!! the elementary school students I work with say things like “I’m gonna die, I’m dead already!” all the time), not yet on how it is a subversion of advertising and power structures.

It’s really amazing how a generation can connect directly with each other, worldwide, through self-generated media. For example, somebody dabs at the Olympics, everyone online relates to them for a moment. Culture hacking is leading a movement away from corporate interests; it aids us in thinking for ourselves, and it is the ultimate form of “if you don’t like it, make it yourself.” (I do disagree with Project Cyberpunk’s definition of the words “slash” and “slashing;” those words have a very specific connotation and usage in fan culture. They could have used fan fiction or fan work instead, even if works manipulated from original works are not made by fans.)

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