Friday, July 30, 2010

WoW memes

Since I've been reading alot on KnowYourMeme lately, and since I find the whole occurrence of memes really fascinating, I started thinking about WoW-memes. I've played on several different servers, and some things just seem to come back whether you like them or not. Personally I enjoy most memes, like I said I think the whole thing about memes is kinda cool. You take something, anything and with enough people tagging along you've got a meme. The creative potential hidden in these things is enormous. Imagine if you could have all those people work collectively on something useful? Well you have stuff like Wikipedia, and other open source material/programs. Not to mention all the bloggers, spending hours on their thing for no pay other than some recognition from the readers now and then.

But memes are different. They're awesome because they're not useful. Because they're more like work of art really, and why do people spend so much time with them? Anyone using the internet any amount of time must've seen some kind of meme by now. They're like fashion fads, only with digital work instead. And since anything can turn into a meme it means anyone can work with a meme as well, making anyone a creator and contributor of art.

Memes will come to any digital area for these reasons. Like with "Leeroy Jenkins" that I also mentioned yesterday, they distinguish us from others. By being part of the people who know what Leeroy is all about we mark ourselves. We tell everyone who understand something about us, and we tell everyone who don't understand something about us too. Internet memes are more general, but people who don't know about "Over 9000", "Lolcats", "All your base are belong to us" and other well known memes are seen as bad internet users.

And the same goes for WoW. Even this place has memes, and these memes are very specific. They don't spread outside the WoW-area much, in fact only Leeroy has to some extent (as far as I know), mostly probably because it can be seen without actually playing the game. But there are other memes in WoW that you stumble across constantly. So let's look at some of them.

The "Dirge"-meme is about spam-linking the weapon Dirge into a chat, preferrably trade chat since that reaches the most people. I have no idea how this became a meme, my guess would be that Dirge was one of the best weapons in the game at the time and alot of people wanted it crafted. Spam-linking it became a pun or mockery of all the "serious" people spam-linking it to get it crafted. Like mocking a child who wants something and can't stop whining about it. Although mockery always is amusing to some extent, this meme soon got a life of its own and got mainly as spammy as the ones it was supposed to mock, which isn't as amusing. I saw this meme as late as some days ago in trade chat, but it has died down considerably since its glory days and there are usually great intervals between each occurrance.

A lovely name for a meme, the Anal-meme is about linking the word "anal" with some achievement or skill for a witty combination of words, such as "Anal Hamstring", "Anal Charge" or "Anal Conflagration". This meme was probably created out of a combination of the implementation of being able to link skills in chat windows, and the prepubertal humor of anything that has to do with the rectum. Since the word "anal" is funny in itself, the reasoning goes, it makes any word it is combined with funny too, and people were competing about finding the best combinations. Since prepubertal humor is either hilarious or damn annoying, depending on what kind of person you happen to be, people either loved ot hated this meme. I for one, loved it and even participated in it to some small extent (you may hate me all you like). I'm one of those people who can laugh out loud for almost any "anal"-combination out there, so I am sad to say that this meme has died out pretty much since its prime times. I haven't seen it around for some time now, but I know it reflowers now and then in trade chat when someone is bored. It usually encourages a few followers.

These are the two biggest memes I can think of that are from the WoW-world. There are also other common memes that you can see frequently in trade chat, but they come from the outside, like "over 9000". Not many, so maybe it's time to create another WoW-meme?


  1. Lurk lurk.
    I would say "The Ice Stone has melted" is kind of a meme. :)

  2. Wow yeah, had totally forgot about that one! It's extra interesting since it's kind of a meme created by the game itself. I remember I was questing with some char in Un'Goro when those messages kept spamming in chat and I thought (like everyone else) "what the heck is this about this darn Ice Stone already?". It even got some spread outside of WoW unlike the two I listed. Yeah definitely a WoW-meme :)