James Ashley, Atlanta-based Microsoft MVP and author of Beginning Kinect Programming with Microsoft Kinect, has been running monthly challenges since around the release of the HoloLens Developers Kits. Each month, those of us who follow what happens in the community can look forward to seeing what creative ideas come out of these challenges. It has been a treat, to say the least, and who knows ... maybe one of us here at Next Reality even won one of these before his time here.
This time around, HoloLens Challenge #16 was set around playing with the idea of visual puns — a term Dr. Richard Dawkins coined "memes." What was once left to the latest Saturday Night Live catch phrases, before the internet's rise to power, was eventually replaced with what we have now — one long collection of memes, sourced from the internet and quoted at a constant rate.
If somehow you are not familiar with internet memes, they are often pictures or quotes purposefully taken out of the original context for the purposes of humor. Though sometimes they are simply quotes that were funny or odd in their own right. These pictures and quotes get repurposed and adapted into many meanings and contexts, and they spread like wildfire.
- "It's Over 9,000!"
- "Thank You, Mario! But Our Princess Is in Another Castle!"
- "It's Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This!"
- "All Your Base Are Belong To Us."
- "Do a Barrel Roll."
OK, well, I guess Saturday Night Live still finds ways of staying relevant, even if by accident.
If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you have likely run into some of these images or phrases even if you had no idea what they meant or the interest enough to find out. In a sense, memes are culture reflecting back onto itself through a twisted mirror, with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.
The winner of the challenge, Kyle Gomboy from Wavelength Studios — who has been covered on Next Reality a time or two — took a few of very old memes, More Cowbell from SNL (which keeps coming up somehow), what is likely considered one of the first memes of the millennium, and the YouTube classic Chocolate Rain. In the spirit of memes, Gomboy mixed them together creating actual chocolate rain with a Unity particle system to make "More Chocolate Cowbell Rain."
"HoloMom & HoloDad" by Maki Sagimoto / HoloEyes Inc.
And "Love is in the Air" by Vincent Guigui.
Congratulations to Kyle Gomboy on his win, as well at the runners up. And thanks to James Ashley for giving something to excitedly look forward to every few weeks.