Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Internet Meme of The Week: Skyrim

New blog segment here (let's face it, at this point they're ALL new). Each week I'll present an Internet meme and talk about it a bit in detail. Now, what's a meme? A meme an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture (thanks Wikipedia). I like to describe it as something that at develops a whole new meaning among certain social circles.

This brings us to our first meme...which is actually two memes. They both originate from what is currently the most popular videogame out the: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There's a couple more lesser know memes, but the two I'm about to present have gained the most traction.

The first is "I Took An Arrow To The Knee". An acronym you hear a lot in video games is NPC. It stands for nonplaying character. Well, sometimes it's best for nonplaying characters to just shut the fuck up because then programmers have to invent things for them to say. In the game, a common stock phrase that guards utter as you pass is "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee." Now the phrase has gone viral and is often used as an implausible excuse for failure ("I used to write a blog, but then I took an arrow to the knee"). Examples:

Congratulations, you've officially been let in on the joke.

Ok, the second one has been blowing up on YouTube. Before I get into it more, you're going to need to check out the trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Here it is:

Ok, now notice about a minute in where the character shouts something and we're treated to old timey epic sounding music and numerous landscapes from the game? Well, it turns out in the game one of your skills is shouting (I'm not making this up). The shout you heard in the video is the "Fus Ro Dah", which stands for "force balance push". Star Wars fans: think force push with shouting involved. That's Fus Ro Dah. How the meme works is timing the audio for that particular segment of trailer and laying it over videos of things suddenly and violently happening. Here's a few examples:

Congratulations, you've officially been let in on the joke.


  1. I am a little confused ,what is "Fus Ro Dah and what a sword in the knee mean? I know your blog isn't about movies but trailer of the game made me think of movie. Why can't they make movies like some of those video games. There are so many good books on dragons and magical lands, instead of the lame ass scary movies on ghost and zombies.

  2. It's all in the narrative. In reality they don't really mean anything. It's like finding a line you like in a movie and repeating it amongst your friends over and over until they all know what it means. It's hilarious to you and your friends but anyone unaware of the history think it's just random.