Preface: Here is a brief (in-universe, but still very very applicable) rundown on how memetics function from the creepypasta masters of SCP Foundation.
Simply put, a meme is a phrase, or an image, or a sound, or anything you can perceive that will bring up with itself a chain of rigid associations that will shape your reaction or intepretation of them and everything that is bundled with them, into a certain, very specific, shape. You see a picture of Morgan Freeman with a caption, should you try to imagine how these words would sound aloud, you WILL hear them in his voice. You see a person post on the BSN whose avatar is a Batarian, you will either mistrust him or her by default or, if you're Tankarmax or know her well enough, you will not. The same incidentally applies to Udina avatars and TIM avatars (which might be part of why people feel so strongly about Mr. Priestly's posts). You hear a song that is happy, but you heard it when you got news your grandmother died, for example, and it will bring tears to your eyes.
And now, on to the main show.
Games, by default, as a storytelling medium, are very awesome. They allow the writer to ingrain and interest and hook the player - the viewer, the listener, the reader, the perceiver - in a unique way. By making them do whatever it is the player character does, by making them associate themselves. There are dozens of ways to do it - the easiest being putting the story into first-person-view (which, for a while, at least as far as marketing went, was more than enough to yell about "incredible level of interactivity", although until Duke Nukem 3d that was not really something they delivered on). But you can also let the player make decisions that will affect the story, or will make them FEEL like they are. Or make them feel like they aren't, but then justify it up and down and all around.
Oh, you doubt that?
Would you kindly think again?
You make a good drone, innn-sect, and you will, at some point, notice that there are certain things that games have made you re-think, or consider re-thinking, which sometimes is almost as good. No, this isn't the KotOR2 talk all over again, we'll have that one some other time.
So here's my question to you -- outside of the obvious contextual association (like hearing a certain almost-mechanical almost-lifelike voice upon reading "Aperture Science We Don't Know What It Does Device"), logic-chain association ("GAME OVER, PLAYER ONE. BE VIGILANT" brings up a certain melody accompanied by the sound of a pneumatic press in me) or blunt emotional trauma to the head (go on, look at this picture and try not to hear one of the two musical pieces that will immediately spring to mind)...
Are there any memetic staying-power everything-overriding triggers that you may or may not have pertaining to gaming? A tune you hear, a phrase you read, a picture you see, that brings with itself a chain of associations and recollections that, if you see it in a different context, would change THE CONTEXT, not be changed by it?
I'll give you a few freebies. Feel free to suggest your own.
"I'm selling these fine leather jackets."
"I need scissors, 61!"
Memetic Viruses and You: Does Gaming Affect Our Minds?
Blog entry posted by Noelemahc, Jun 18, 2012.
About the Author
A Russian Econ major with a minor in graphomania. Used to write for a Russian gaming magazine a while back, apparently wasn't very good or they wouldn't've cancelled his column to replace it with one devoted to listing erotic fanservice moments in videogames and anime series. Has a penchant for long-winded distracted rants and a bizarre affection for very old videogames.