Also: anti-easter eggs, Man-Crates, and cursed Vines.

Via Kéké on Twitter

This week, we're talking about the power of positive posting, the guys living like Goku in Bali, and the long shadow of a Vocaloid troll.

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Heartless developers attack gaming elders

The recent shooter Selaco has an impressively weird easter egg — maybe an anti-easter egg. Whenever you try to use the code “0451” on in-game keypads, you get an electric shock. Eventually the developers send you a stern in-game email warning you to stop. The whole bit is an attack on the conditioning of immersive sim players, who’ve been taught that the code will always unlock something somewhere in any game with a keypad.

  • Introduced in 1994’s System Shock, 0451 became a staple in games by developer Looking Glass Studios, who also started using it as their office door code [link]
  • 0451 or 451 was later used in dozens of games, including all the mainline Deus Ex, Bioshock, and Dishonored titles, as well as conscious throwbacks like Prey
  • With the recent resurgence of the imm-sim genre, it’s cropping up in indie titles like Shadows of Doubt and Fortune’s Run [link]

You might be wondering: “but what is an immersive sim?” The answer is: don’t ask. It’s basically any hybrid first-person shooter/RPG/stealth game that reminds you of Deus Ex, but the imm-sim status of particular titles has been the subject of a lot of tedious debate. People have joked that the genre is just “any game where 0451 opens something.” That’s what the Selaco email says — Selaco isn’t an immersive sim, so stop trying the code!!


  • A PC Gamer feature from 2018 pondered the end of the “second wave” of immersive sims [link]

Reply guys became Yeah men

The green “Yeah!” button from Nintendo’s Miiverse (2012-17) briefly overran Twitter last weekend. Users began spamming the Wii-era stickers in replies after the platform started hiding users’ Likes from each other, which meant you could no longer see what your friends have been Liking. But you could still see friends' replies, so replying with a "Yeah!" was both protest spam and sort of useful.

Overnight, a hundred Yeahs bloomed:

  • Nintendo’s original Yeahs varied slightly in tone based on users' expressions, reading "Yeah!", "Yeah♥", "Yeah...", or "Yeah!?” [link]
  • Twitter posters ran with this and invented a universe of new Yeahs with altered text and characters, including "Super Yeah!", "Evil Yeah!", a Game Boy-looking Pikachu "Yeah!", a tongue-out "Freaky!", and a Freddy Fazbear "Hur!" [link, another roll call link]
  • There's now a browser extension for a permanent Yeah! button [link]
  • While some users are still posting requests for "yeahs if you fw this" today, the flood of manual Yeah! spam has already mostly receded [link]

It was the sort of community event that seemed more likely to arise on fun-loving Tumblr than bitter old Twitter. While you could find plenty of users complaining about the spam, the mass revolt felt like the platform's most positive moment in months.

AI "dream machine" births only nightmares

The history of video AI so far is just a timeline of bad tweets. The latest are from guys proudly using Luma Dream Machine, the current AI video model-of-the-week, to add motion to meme screenshots. But the supposed Hollywood-annihilating power of the model was immediately punctured by users making unsportsmanlike comparisons to the actual movies and TV that had been clumsily recreated. Luma’s wrong-faced, six-fingered Captain Picard joins the Gatsby cats (April 2023) and Princess Jane (September 2023) in a long chain of AI creations that weren’t ready for prime time.

However, in the world of Discord shitposting, some of Luma’s uncanny visions have caught on:

  • The ancient Vine of the “9+10 kid” takes a disturbing turn as the camera drifts into the hallway behind him to reveal a threatening figure [link]
  • YouTube personality Mutahar does a backflip, animorphs into a cat, and then mutates into an old man and a penguin; a Discord version of this clip was set to Bruno Mars’ “Locked out of Heaven,” which adds a lot [link]
  • These videos are made by taking a still frame, running it through Luma’s image-to-video process to produce a five-second clip, then stitching them back together, which is why they change direction every five seconds

Some users noted that Luma seems better at horror than anything else. While many videos have been called cursed, using Luma feels like casting a curse on an existing video. This might be the main thing that the early generations of video AI products are good for: taking something familiar and letting it spin out into chaos. 


  • OpenAI’s upcoming Sora seems to blow Luma out of the water, but an interview with the agency ShyKids suggested that its outputs are similarly hard to control [link]

The unlikely success of a Vocaloid troll 

Kasane Teto is a prime example of the internet “yes, and”-ing a joke into fruition. You might have seen her before; she’s showing up in recent TikTok “brainrot” videos like this one, and Kasane Teto videos from fifteen years ago have been recirculating in YouTube recommendations. She’s a UTAUloid — a personified voicebank similar to a Vocaloid, only designed for a program called UTAU — created as an April Fool’s joke by 2channers in 2008. It was a response to the growing popularity of Hatsune Miku, a Vocaloid owned by Crypton Future Media; they made a fake web page announcing Kasane Teto as Crypton’s fourth Vocaloid. In contrast to Hatsune Miku’s cheerful and easygoing personality, Kasane Teto is characterized as mischievous, occasionally coming off as a standoffish “tsundere.” Her voicebank was inspired by Doraemon, an icon in Japanese pop culture. 

Over time, she developed a cult following amongst Vocaloid fans, who expanded her backstory with music and fan art. She’s since become accepted by the industry; SynthV, another voice synthesis program, released an official Kasane Teto voicebank last year. Part of the reason she’s stuck around is the price: UTAU is a freeware alternative to Yamaha’s notoriously expensive Vocaloid program, making her voicebank much more accessible than her Crypton counterparts. This isn’t the first time a UTAUloid has ascended to internet fame, either; “Nyan Cat” features another UTAUloid named Momone Momo.

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NxWorries' Why Lawd?

Kill Knight
It’s been a while since I felt the high-score madness that I used to get from games like Devil Daggers, Resogun, or good old Geometry Wars. But Kill Knight had me seeing red again. It’s a top-down arcade game with a mix of swordplay and gunplay and a mess of overlapping systems for reloading guns and health. After each run, your score is very pointedly compared to those of your friends. If you’ve been into Vampire Survivors-like one-thumbstick games lately, the number of inputs in play (four triggers and two face buttons) may seem crazy. But after a few minutes, it just feels good to be back in the frantic, bloody-minded headspace of the Xbox Live Arcade. The demo’s out now; full game sometime this year. [Chris]

NxWorries, Why Lawd?
For a long time, I thought NxWorries’ 2016 debut Yes Lawd! was one of the best rap albums of the 2010s. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I realized there was no rapping on it at all: just Anderson .Paak’s honey-coated, almost vaudevillian melodies, showering effervescently over Knxwledge’s bottomless reservoir of dusty beats. A decade later, the duo returns to an alt-rap landscape full of artists exploring similar sonic terrain, but they still sound singular, still gliding cocksure through an endless montage of after parties, infinity pools, and brunches where no one takes off their sunglasses. Some bitterness has crept into .Paak’s loverman schtick, but the tension is welcome; Why Lawd? feels like a conversation with an old friend where you cut through the bullshit and immediately get a measure of how life has actually been the past 8 years. Anyway, the loose, lived-in Why Lawd? is another imminently listenable collection from a duo on par with Madlib and Gibbs. [Clayton]

Chum Box

Elation for the Wonder Box 6000


  • The 5-minute demo for the absurdist claymation forum-dweller comedy Elation for the Wonder Box 6000 was one of the standouts from the latest Steam Next Fest. It’s another indie game where you walk around a city clicking on oddballs and listening to their jokes; but, hey, that’s one of the most consistently funny genres out there [link]
  • The animator Mitchell Hammond continues to reimagine the original 1987 Metal Gear as an anime production packed with personality [link]
  • The riddle-filled weirdo dungeon crawl Cryptmaster is Typing of the Dead x Wordle [link]
  • Probabilistic tic-tac-toe [link]
  • 2002 FPS No One Lives Forever 2 featured cube-shaped henchmen called Man-Crates [link, via Daily FPS Enemies]

The Internet

  • At first glance, this Instagram “male-only retreat” in Bali seems to be a bro fitness/leadership hustle; at second glance, it is that, but it’s also “directly inspired by the Dragon Ball Z hyperbolic time chamber” [link, and their DBZ-citing pdf]
  • The Undertale fandom has an enduring “code switching” joke about a moment when the game’s bilingual developer, Toby Fox, shifted gears in the middle of a Japanese sentence [link]
  • “Cartoon beatbox” guy Verbalase, infamous for commissioning a highly suggestive animation about himself and a character from Hazbin Hotel, has resurfaced with a horny new video about Five Nights at Freddy's character Roxanne Wolf; this time around, many commenters saluted him, saying “respect for doubling down,” etc. Disappear for six months, become a “character” in the mind of the internet, then reappear and double down — is this the formula for weathering online PR disasters? [link + summary of the Hazbin incident]


  • The subreddit for Stable Diffusion — an open-source image generator — melted down after a version of a long-hyped new model, Stable Diffusion 3, turned out to produce comically mangled anatomy when given simple prompts like "woman lying on the grass." [link]  


  • “The idea of research as leisure activity has stayed with me because it seems to describe a kind of intellectual inquiry that comes from idiosyncratic passion and interest. It’s not about the formal credentials. It’s fundamentally about play.” – Celine Nguyen on the site [link]
  • “...this history also teaches us that when we start to hear the promise that practical telepathy is only a few steps away, it may be just part of the proleptic promise intrinsic to the very idea of telepathy.” – Roger Luckhurst in Aeon [link]
  • “A good spreadsheet shows you the universe and gives you the ability to create new ones. And the people in this room, in their dad jeans and short-sleeved button-downs, are the gods on Olympus, bending everything to their will.” – David Pierce on the Excel Olympics [link]

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