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In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene,Richard Dawkins, an evolutionarybiologist and ethnologist, proposesthe existence of a th...
“a noun that conveys the idea of a unitof cultural transmission… memespropagate themselves in the memepool by leaping from...
“A meme is not equivalent to anidea. Its not an idea, its notequivalent to anything else, really.Stick with the definition...
The internet, of course, has comeup with its own slightly differingdefinition of the meme, though thecore structure– seein...
My argument, based on my recentresearch of online gamers, is thatwe learn and gain mastery of manyskills through memetic p...
Two quick examples of what I mean.1. From my research: bubbles andsoundwaves2. Leeroy Jenkins: Meme superstar,pop culture ...
The group’s problem?One member, in spite of high skill inmost situations, cannot move leftand right properly, and continua...
The solution:One of the team healers regularlyuses a spell called “holy shield” tomitigate damage taken (“habitually”she’d...
While this example shows quicksynthesis of two memes into a newfunctional meme for a group, thenext example shows the wide...
MEME pool:1. Patient Zero: “Leeroy Jenkins!”2. YouTube, pop culture spread3. Leeroy appears at Blizzcon4. “Jenkins” title ...
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
We Are But Meme Machines
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We Are But Meme Machines

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My Computers & Writing 2013 slide-show. There's a bunch of talky-talking that happens during a number of the pictures, so just reading this might not make much sense. Hopefully if you see the presentation, though, having access to it will remind you of my anecdotes and central premise.

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We Are But Meme Machines

  1. 1. In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene,Richard Dawkins, an evolutionarybiologist and ethnologist, proposesthe existence of a thing he coins the“meme” or “the new replicator.”
  2. 2. “a noun that conveys the idea of a unitof cultural transmission… memespropagate themselves in the memepool by leaping from brain to brain via aprocess which, in the broad sense, canbe called imitation…If the idea catcheson, it can be said to propagate itself,spreading from brain to brain.”-Dawkins
  3. 3. “A meme is not equivalent to anidea. Its not an idea, its notequivalent to anything else, really.Stick with the definition. Its thatwhich is imitated. Or informationwhich is copied from person toperson.” (my emphasis)-Susan Blackmore (2008)
  4. 4. The internet, of course, has comeup with its own slightly differingdefinition of the meme, though thecore structure– seeing, replicating,imitating– is the same…
  5. 5. My argument, based on my recentresearch of online gamers, is thatwe learn and gain mastery of manyskills through memetic practice:through seeing, imitating,replicating, and eventuallyinnovating.
  6. 6. Two quick examples of what I mean.1. From my research: bubbles andsoundwaves2. Leeroy Jenkins: Meme superstar,pop culture icon, in-gameachievement
  7. 7. The group’s problem?One member, in spite of high skill inmost situations, cannot move leftand right properly, and continuallyhe is bombarded by soundwavesand ends up like the picture shows:dead at the dragon’s feet.
  8. 8. The solution:One of the team healers regularlyuses a spell called “holy shield” tomitigate damage taken (“habitually”she’d tell me). She tossed the spellon said player when the rings came,and it didn’t matter if they hit him,because they didn’t actually hit him.
  9. 9. While this example shows quicksynthesis of two memes into a newfunctional meme for a group, thenext example shows the widespreadimpact memes can have in gamingspaces written much wider than asingle group of ten players.
  10. 10. MEME pool:1. Patient Zero: “Leeroy Jenkins!”2. YouTube, pop culture spread3. Leeroy appears at Blizzcon4. “Jenkins” title added to WoW fordoing what Leeroy does in thevideo successfully5. Strategies for earning title aredeveloped and shared

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