That Time Memes Made a Game 1000% More Popular


Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a video game where you take control of a samurai sword wielding cyborg mercenary who’s on a mission to save a bunch of child-brains from being forcibly conscripted into a proxy war by a nano-tech infused Republican Senator with a three mile wide forehead. Warmly received on release, the game has since enjoyed a renewed success and critical reanalysis, in part, due to MEMES. Which is ironic given that the game is about, among other things, memes. Erm, the other kind.

To clarify for anyone who thinks memes are just funny pictures you see on the internet, the plot of Metal Gear Rising evokes the original definition of meme. That being and idea or cultural norm that’s passed on by “non-genetic means” which is just a fancy way of saying shit you do to fit in without ever being taught to do so like queueing or styling your hair a certain way. The most important thing to note though is that the game uses the classical definition of meme a lot and divorced of the aforementioned context that is very, very funny.

In the years since it’s release the game has undergone something of a critical reevaluation due to the fact that, despite the fact it centres around a child-brain kidnapping ring being foiled by a high heel wearing cyborg who breakdances people’s kneecaps off, is weirdly prescient. For example, the game’s final boss is a right wing populist shithead who screams Make America Great Again as he makes a rousing speech closer to a wrestling promo than a political speech.

The game also has a minor plotline about the police being weaponised by a corporation to subjugate the populace and brutalise them into obedience as well numerous allusions to the idea of war as a business. Reminder, this game was released in 2013.

Anyway, around 2022 the game started to become popular again, not due to these elements mind you (though they were noticed as soon as its renewed popularity resulted in conversations being had about it’s content) but, oddly enough. A meme. Specifically, this one.

Exactly why people latched onto this particular image from the game isn’t clear, as is often the case with memes which are ephemeral and hard to define by nature, but they did and they latched on hard. Which naturally resulted in people wanting to check out the game it originated from and realising that it whipped all kind of ass. This in turn saw people making more memes about the game which further increased it’s popularity to the point where the total number of players julienne-ing the fuck out of cyborg police officers increased by a reported 1000% All because of, to quote the game’s main character.