Memes come and go from time to time. Some are just silly and last only for a short period, while others seem to stick with us for what almost seems like forever. They are the top of the heap of funny for being so memorable that we cannot seem to forget them. They are so well integrated now into our culture that we can recognize it by saying the name.
With that said, let us look back to an earlier year. To where the internet was still new and was used more for work or flash games. Where those that have mastered the web now have only just begun to figure out the potential the internet held. All the way back, to 2003. Where 10 years ago, On April 14 2003, came the Star Wars Kid.
The video was a simple one. It was a 1:48 long video featuring Ghyslain Razaa, a Canadian teenager, who filmed himself fighting against imaginary sentries with a golf ball retriever as though it was a double-sided lightsaber like the one Darth Maul uses in the movie Star Wars, Episode 1. He recorded it on November 2 of 2002 on an 8mm camera, but forgot to take the cassette home.
The tape was later found by three classmates on April 14 of 2003 where it was posted to Kazaa, a popular P2P file sharing network on the same day. It spread when in April 22, it was found by a Wisconsin game developer discovered the video and blogged the first CGI-edited version of the video, now equipped with a glowing lightsaber and appropriate sound effects. Blogs started posting it under the name star_wars_kid.wmv
This phenomenon had the Star Wars Kid become one of the first, if not the first viral video created on the internet. On July 16, 2003, following the mass exposure on Star Wars Kid, Andy Baio and over 400 fans of the video raised $4,334.44 in donations and sent Ghyslain a 30GB iPod, a gift certificate for an electronics store and a “thank you” letter. However, Razaa’s parents filed a quarter million-dollar harassment lawsuit against the families of his schoolmates for emotional sufferings and psychological damages, raising serious concerns of privacy invasion for the first time in a new age of the Internet.
The popularity of this video would soon catch attention to other videos on the internet that would go viral. Things like “Dramatic Chipmunk”, Antoine Dodson’s “Bed Intruder” and “Going to the Store” probably would not have been as successful without Razaa forgetting to grab that video. So we of the internet community salute you Star Wars Kid on your tenth anniversary on the internet.
Also in this week, Sports Balls replaced with Cats click here.
PSY is at it again, with his new hit ‘Gentleman’ click here.