Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Harlem Shake

If you've been anywhere near a computer, there's a good chance you've seen the internet's latest phenomenon, the Harlem Shake. The first few videos gained such resounding approval from the deep web that a format was created and hundreds of videos were made and uploaded.

Usually, I'm not into the social media hype, but there's something about the Harlem Shake that is strangely attractive. First started in New York by a man named Albee, the dance became popular through various artists and music videos, even possibly inspiring the chicken noodle soup. Albee stated that it was "a drunken shake anyway, it's an alcoholic shake, but it's fantastic, everybody appreciates it."

But what's most interesting about the format isn't the dancing person wearing a motorcycle helmet or the completely random "dances" performed by people in their underwear. It seems most people took the format to heart and included, as one of the key elements, video games.

Some of the most popular ones feature people playing.

Sometimes, memes tend to reflect real life, with a purpose of transferring information. Here, we have a few people, sitting around in a living room playing video games. What can the inclusion of video games in the Harlem Shake say about gaming? Well, for one, it's quickly becoming a household staple. Maybe even a routine part of some of our lives.

The term meme originated from the word gene, once defined as a unit of cultural transmission, imitation, and replication. Even though the context has changed, it still functions as it once did. The Harlem Shake perpetuates gaming culture, including its stereotypes(have yet to find a video featuring a girl holding a controller), creative freedom, bonding properties, and fun. The videos are universal, producing creations from anywhere with an internet connection.

The Harlem Shake spawned many gaming related videos, featuring Slender Man, Nintendo, and Minecraft. No subject remains untouched, but there are quite a few referring to video games and notable characters. And yes, they're all rather funny, with this one being a community feat.

These small windows in your browser offer a glance into the lives of others, allowing us to see what we have in common.

And of course...

I'll just leave this here....


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