As Leah Finnegan wrote in her newsletter, “If there’s one thing bloggers hate, it’s writing.” She was writing to explain how Saturday Night Live is the perfect show for bloggers—it’s short, low-input fodder for content. You place some HTML code into a blank template, write a witty paragraph, and hit publish. That scheme demonstrates why every Sunday morning sites flood with viral SNL clips and each weekday late-night clips proliferates into your feeds.
Every blogger is guilty of it, myself included. When you heedlessly chase a fresh look for your site and social platform, you can succumb to some stale practices.
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It also serves as motive behind every website publishing a video by a YouTuber named vexal this President’s Day. In it, he appears to program a method to play the video game Doom while driving a Porsche 911. By simply inserting a USB stick and the game’s CD disc, you can honk your horn and turn your steering wheel to control your favorite video game while riding around.
The only problem, of course, with this video is that it’s a prank. This isn’t real. It’s an ongoing joke involving the ability to play Doom on almost most new pieces of hardware, like calculators, ATM machines, and printers. That’s why vexal’s joke works—it’s plausible you might be able to run Doom on a car, too.
He administered a similar joke two years ago, claiming you could play Doom on a toaster. Again, all you needed was a USB stick and light programming capabilities and there you were controlling Doom via toasters. (This is why a toaster rests in vexal’s passenger seat in the video; it’s a comedic callback.)
One look at this reddit thread shows an online community in on the joke. This is a troll working an entire industry to his satisfaction.
vexal is keeping the bit going with comments like “And to answer everyone’s number one question, is it a real video: Yes, it really is a video” and “Some Japanese cars are better for running JRPGs. You can run American games on them too usually but the experience might be sub optimal.” All insider jokes from the gaming community that might go over outsiders’ heads.
Regardless, the bit is good and deserving of a round of applause. The media, much to one President’s delight, unwittingly delivered vexal’s punchline for him.