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  • - I accidentally became a meme,

  • and this is that story.

  • (electronic music)

  • My name's Drew Scanlon,

  • and some of you may know me as the blinking white guy meme.

  • I was working as a video producer at a website

  • that covers the video game industry called Giant Bomb.

  • Part of my duties as a video producer,

  • I not only was shooting and editing a lot of video,

  • but because we were a really small team,

  • everyone was always on camera kind of all the time.

  • We did this weekly show called Unprofessional Fridays

  • for our premium subscribers

  • and it was basically just us sitting around

  • playing a bunch of video games.

  • The Giant Bomb fans are amazing

  • and they're very passionate,

  • [crowd cheers]

  • so, there were animated gifs being made of us constantly.

  • So, that part was not really new to me.

  • When that happened, it always was sort of contained

  • within the Giant Bomb community

  • or maybe video games at large.

  • The video of the meme was recorded in just one

  • of these sessions where we'd get together and play games,

  • and my coworker Jeff was playing a game called

  • Starbound, which involves farming,

  • and he said...

  • - So I've been doing some farming-

  • - Nice.

  • - With my hoe here. I can kind of till the-

  • - What kind of a-

  • - So what is that-

  • (deep slow motion voice)

  • And that's the reaction I made to that,

  • sort of, double entendre, I guess.

  • And it was just one joke in a 2 hour show,

  • it didn't, at the time, it didn't stand out

  • as anything particularly special.

  • I think, one of the weirdest things,

  • is that 4 years went by between the fil-

  • when that video was shot and when the meme

  • kind of reached its critical mass.

  • [alarm Buzz]

  • I don't know why that happened.

  • Uh, I always just attribute it to internet chaos theory.

  • The point where I noticed that it had, sort of,

  • blossomed into this larger thing,

  • like outside of the gaming community,

  • was people mentioning to me on Twitter

  • that they saw it used somewhere else.

  • Like, their Mom used it on Facebook or something.

  • She has no idea who you are, but she used it on Facebook.

  • And there were also a lot of tweets using it

  • that had tens of thousands of likes and retweets.

  • Once I got a sense of how large it was,

  • it was honestly a little scary,

  • (somber music)

  • because it felt very much out of my control.

  • I mean, nothing on the internet is within anyone's control,

  • really, but it just, there's something about

  • the scale that was a little alarming.

  • I was very thankful that that clip was fairly inocuous.

  • Something I said may have been twisted into something bad,

  • or it could have been more embarrassing,

  • like, that has certainly happened to people on the internet.

  • At some points, it almost doesn't feel like me.

  • Like, I just made a face on a livestream.

  • It was other people that, you know,

  • trimmed that out and then discovered a way to use it.

  • There's still not a lot of association with me.

  • People think it's Cary Elwes,

  • they think it's Michael C. Hall,

  • and so, you really have to dig a little bit

  • to figure out, to trace it back to again, a real person.

  • I have been recognized one time as the meme guy

  • because of the fact that it was so long between

  • the filming of the video and when it, kind of, got popular,

  • I looked pretty different.

  • Like, I had more facial hair, my hair was longer.

  • So, shout out to the guy at the Dublin Best Buy.

  • Memes are this weird different thing.

  • They're different from, you know,

  • celebrities like actors or something.

  • People expect actors to be real people.

  • They don't necessarily expect that,

  • and this is just my theory,

  • they don't necessarily expect that from memes

  • because memes come from the internet.

  • I don't know that people necessarily will notice someone

  • and say hey, I think I know that guy from a meme.

  • It actually happened right at the time

  • where I was leaving Giant Bomb to start Cloth Map.

  • Cloth Map is a video project on YouTube,

  • but it's supported by my audience on Patreon.

  • Some people, I think, jokingly associated, like,

  • Drew's a big meme now so he's gonna go out on his own,

  • when, like, there was no correlation there at all.

  • My audience sends me around the world

  • to explore different countries

  • through the lens of the games and sports that they play.

  • Games are a lot like food.

  • They're this thing that people come together

  • and do with their family and friends,

  • and it's a commonality across all cultures.

  • On a trip for Cloth Map, I went to Brazil,

  • and I met some people who had heard somehow

  • that the guy from the blinking white guy meme was coming.

  • Like, that was not, I wasn't there to be a meme,

  • I was there to like, you know, ask them questions about

  • video game development in Brazil

  • and they were all very excited to meet me,

  • which, you know, that was strange but kind of fun,

  • which I think, strange but kind of fun

  • kind of sums up the whole thing.

  • I think virality is a weird thing.

  • I think, if you chase it, it doesn't come.

  • I think, people are really good at detecting deception

  • and when people are being inauthentic,

  • that is easy for humans to detect.

  • I think, if this happens to you,

  • I think my advice would be just to embrace it.

  • You can't hide on the internet

  • so whatever is out there, is out there

  • and just try as best you can to have fun with it.

  • [electronic music]

- I accidentally became a meme,

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B1 US BuzzFeed meme blinking white guy bomb people

I Accidentally Became A Meme: Blinking White Guy

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    Minnie posted on 2020/12/17
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