Wednesday, 12 September 2012

NBA2K Memes

From its roots on 4chan and its original membership premise of doing it for the "lolz", this internet phenomenon known as memes has evolved into a conventional form of communication for net-users. That is, no longer are memes simply a avenue for humour, but it has also become a form of communication allowing people to connect. In that sense, meme communities can also be regarded as collective intelligence (Lévy 1997) in practice. Lévy’s work contextualises the concept of collective intelligence through knowledge societies. Collective intelligence is shared knowledge which emanate from collaborations and contributions from many individuals. Contemporary meme communities like NBA Memes or NBA humour are knowledge communities which circulate data contributed by basketball fans. The collective contribution of memes enables all members of a community to have access to knowledge because as Lévy (1997, 20) states, “within a knowledge community, no one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity.” Consequently, this collective effort among members allows the internet-based social community to become more personal and authentic in which friendships are formed and norms within the community are, as Howard Rheingold (2000) says, “established, challenged, changed, re-established and rechallenged, in a kind of speeded-up social evolution".

The meme community NBA 2K memes, is a fitting example of Lévy and Rheingold's ideas. On the "about" section of its Facebook page, it encourages users to create memes based on their NBA 2K game play experiences, thus ensuring the longevity of the community via collaborative sharing by individuals bounded by common interests. For the most part, the memes typically take on a humoristic tone by incorporating fecund themes from both basketball and the overall meme culture, such as incorporating the image of "Bad Luck Brian" to convey messages of misfortune or failure, displeasure over Brian Scalabrine's low player ratings within the game, Lebron James's inability to hold his nerve in tight contests, or Kobe Bryant's over willingness to shoot the basketball.




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