[Solved] the early use of memes

Internet memes before were more of images and focused on the humor and parody of said images that were available for replication and modifications with the sole purpose of exhibiting humor. According to a study by Börzsei, one of the earliest and possibly the first internet meme was the “sideways smiley face” composed using punctuation marks created by Scott F. Fahlman on September 19, 1982 (Börzsei, p.5). It spread quickly to other communities thus it soon became a “meme”. When it comes to the rise of internet memes however, one of the most significant internet phenomena (and is possibly the first internet meme) according to Börzsei is the “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” meme. This spawned from the badly translated opening sequence of the 1989 arcade shooter game Zero Wing (Börzsei, p.9). This study has also stated that one of the key components why this error (which became a meme) was such a hit was because of its humor as stated by Börzsei:

Apart from their generativity, an important reason for the success of All Your Base Are Belong to Us is its humor, which is a key component of the meme. It was the desire to continue this joke that sparked the “remixing epidemic” (Knobel & Lankshear), to spread this particular example of “geek kitsch humor” (Taylor qtd. in Knobel & Lankshear). Enjoying the ridiculous outcome of bad translation between languages (here from Japanese to English) is not a peculiarity of “geek culture”, however. This type of humor had been popular for many years by then; it is no surprise that All Your Base Are Belong to Us has struck a chord with people on a scale wider than just subcultures (Börzsei, p.12).

During the mid 2000s, advances in the technology of digital photography, as well as its accessibility to a wider public, resulted in an increasing number of private images appearing online, right at the meme community’s disposal (Börzsei, p.15). Aside from domestic photographs of people, large amount of pet photos were uploaded which played a part in formulating new trends in internet memes (Börzsei, p.15). Börzsei stated two examples of memes which used photos of pets such as Advice Dog and LOLCats, these series of internet memes were all based on the same format: a cut-out of an animal or the head of an animal, plasted over a generic colorful background, with text added above and/or below the face (Börzsei, p.15-26). The text found in these memes were usually funny advices and/or relatable experiences with a splash of humor. Therefore, it can be seen how early use of memes were usually just for laughs, good times, and for the purpose of making it viral. Though there have been no mentions of how internet memes were like during tese times as well in the Philippines, it can be assumed that it was just the same seeing how most of these memes were used and adapted in the country as well during this time and just varied in the text for Filipino language was used in these types of memes as well.

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