Who created this amazing pixel art of Ranny from Elden Ring, sitting next to the main character of Hollow Knight, and why? The answer is r/Place, the battlefield of Reddit, where everyone can put a point and change the course of meme history. In an era when most of the modern internet is garbage, r/Place is back, and it’s still very cool.
Partly an April Fool’s joke, partly a sociological experiment, the pixel Internet animation Place has returned after a five-year break and has become bigger than ever. It originally debuted in 2017 with one simple idea: to allow random internet users to collaborate on a piece of art, but allow them to place only one pixel every five minutes. The results ranged from expected to strange. Some people helped shoot Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. Others created a large black void, and similar anomalies acquired their own narrative, as users reacted to what was happening in real time. The idea belonged to Josh Wardle, at that time a Reddit employee, whom you may know as the creator of Wordle.
Now r/Place is back, has doubled in size and reflects the last half century of online culture and technological development. Fans have spent the last four days fighting for a blank canvas to express solidarity with Ukraine and transgender rights, advertise meme promotions and troll each other’s fandoms. This has led to strange feuds and unlikely alliances, as various Internet spaces and large online personalities engage in real-time takeovers.
A rundown of some of the weirdest teams reported on Fanbyte shows Spyro fans trying to join forces with community fans, and Nier fans reaching out to Kingdom Hearts fans. Unable to compete big, most bands settle for the minimum area they need to properly convey the logo of their fandom in pixels. To achieve greater efficiency, some groups combine images or protect existing works of art as part of larger acquisitions.
The Final Fantasy XIV logo has been in existence for more than a day with coordinates 1274 x 534. Meanwhile, Hollow Knight fans are trying to keep an ode to Silksong, the long-awaited sequel to the game. “Our top priority is to fix the Hornet needle in Silksong,” wrote one of the fans gathering forces in Discord. “Need help with the thread,” another replied. Meanwhile, the Elden Ring community has teamed up to create Erdtree, which is part of Hollow Knight Radiance.