Informant is a facebook page that regularly posts memes. As the page’s primary following is teens and young adults, most of their content is humor based on 1990’s & 2000’s American youth culture.
This particular post shows Ness, a character known from successful Nintendo game ‘Super Smash Bros Melee,’ with a retro Dixie cup print on his clothes. By combining the popular 2001 video game character with the distinct folk pattern of 2000’s school cafeteria cups, this satirical image is aimed to evoke nostalgia.
The folklore: In gamer culture (in League of Legends), there is always something called a “meta.” The meta is referred to by gamers as something that is the most popular or trending style of play at the time.
Informant is a 39 year old Ecuadorian male, who plays the video game, League of Legends. League of Legends is a multi-player real time game where teams battle each other.
Informant’s Folklore: The “meta” means the style of the game that people are playing at that time. For example, the trend at the time. So the meta this week, everyone is playing this one particular character because they saw one of the best players in the world playing this character and kicked ass. So now everyone wants to play that character, so that character becomes the new meta. It also can apply to how you play the game, and the strategies you use.
Informant: Where did you learn this from?
Collector: I just learned it from people talking. I remember someone I met online said “meta” in a group chat on League of Legends, and I was like what does that mean? And they explained it to me.
Informant: What does this mean?
Collector: Well, the players of League will always try to find the most powerful player in the game, and they will try to exploit that character. And League of Legends notices it and nerfs the character by taking away some of his power. So by nerfing him, it makes another character more powerful. And the whole process changes it.
Informant: Why do you think they do it?
Collector: It’s like chasing the white rabbit, because they’re trying to make the game as fair as possible.
I think that the gamer culture, just like any other entertainment culture, developed the idea of the “meta” to reflect what’s popular or trending. It’s a saying that’s known to the League of Legends’ gamer community: you only know what it means if you’re part of that community and if you stay up with the trends.
SCP: Containment Breach is a horror computer game that is based on user-generated stories on the wiki/website SCP Foundation. SCP stands for “Secure, Contain, Protect”. The game takes place in a facility that hunts, tracks down, and categorizes supernatural objects, or SCPs, that are either safe, euclid, or keter. You can come into contact with safe SCPs without getting harmed. SCPs that are euclid are unpredictable, and keter SCPs will kill you.
The main types of characters in the game are scientists with code names, the SCPs, and finally the D-class personnel. There is a seemingly infinite amount of D-class personnel, and you play as one of them. They are prisoners sent to the facility for experimentation purposes, and they die off very easily because they’re always dealing with the SCPs.
The first SCP you meet is this giant baby that’s facing the wall. You have a blink meter, and every time you are forced to blink, the baby moves closer to you. When it’s right in front of you, it kills you. [Informant's] favorite is the butler. It can do anything you want it to do, as long as it is reasonable. He would ask,” What can I do for you?” in a very butler-like manner. You can ask him to kill a D-class personnel in the neighboring room, and he would point at a surveillance camera, saying, “Is that camera on? I can’t do it if it’s on.” And once you turn it off, he would disappear and then come back, having accomplished the goal. If you ask him to get a bar of gold of, say, 99.99% purity, he would say no, but ask if a a lower purity were okay. There are also inanimate SCPs like a train ticket SCP, which would affect the train that the ticket-holder takes.
Anyone who passes the test to be a writer on the website can create an SCP. The SCP Foundation website is a wiki that is open for comment. If people see a bad SCP, they’ll mark it down, and if enough people dislike it, they’ll remove it. There are rules, like no using clichés, and no SCPs that can be described in two words (like “basically Wolverine”). The game developers then take these user-created SCPs and put them into the game.
I found it very innovative for a video game to be based on user-generated content. It throws into question the idea of authorship but it is also somewhat reminiscent of the way folklore was spread / the way people told stories before the institutionalization of writing/publishing/etc.
My informant tells me that the Leeroy Jenkins story is pretty short, and that the results of it are far more interesting than the original story. Basically the story goes that this group of 15 guys were in a raid dungeon getting ready for a big fight, and they were talking about their plan, when one of the members just decides to screw the whole plan and charge right in. He screams his name, “LEEROYYYYYYYY JENKINNNNSSSSS” really loudly in their chat, and just runs in. The rest of his group is forced to follow and they all end up dying in the encounter. Fortunately, because one of the group members was recording the event, we can see the whole thing happen on YouTube.
This video became an instant hit among players of World of Warcraft, with players showing the video to their friends. I myself was shown the video by one of my friends who also played the game. There were many videos that only WoW players would have found amusing, but no one else would really get. However, the Leeroy Jenkins video and story started to spread to other video games and even outside of gamer culture. If you go online, you can find fan art of Leeroy, comics, demotivational posters referring to Leeroy, custom Warcraft figurines. The video became so huge that Blizzard, the developers of World of Warcraft, invited the actual player of the character Leeroy to come give a quick speech at BlizzCon in 2007, and do the trademark “Leeroyyyyyyy Jenkinnnnnssssss!” shout. The also put a reference to Leeroy in the game itself. Essentially, re-enacting the Leeroy Jenkins video will earn the player an achievement called “Leeroyyyyyyyy!” which also rewards the player with the title “Jenkins” that he or she may put on their character.
Within the gaming community as a whole, shouting “Leeroy Jenkins!” is synonymous with shouting “CHARGE!” and is usually shouted either at the beginning of a game, or when the player goes “balls to the wall” or “goes Rambo.” Even players who have never played World of Warcraft in their life understand the meaning of the phrase. In this sense, “Leeroy Jenkins” has become a folk saying.
As for the origins of the story, my informant tells me that the player simply thought the plan was ready and just charged in ahead. According to other sources I have heard in the past, some say that Leeroy was away from his computer getting food while the plan was being discussed and so he didn’t hear it, and when he got back he assumed they were all ready to go and so he just charged in. Others say that he thought the plan was stupid and knew they would all die anyway and so Leeroy just decided to charge in and have fun. One other variant I have heard is that the guild who made the video did it as a joke video, knowing full well that their plan was stupid and so they were just trying to be funny. This is the version I like to believe because everyone I know who has done the fight shown in the video says that their plan is stupid and would never work ever. According to Leeroy himself, he and his guild buddies were just drinking at the time and being generally stupid, though he will neither confirm nor deny if the whole thing was staged.