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The Story of Reddit’s r/place

A couple weeks ago something amazing happened. Something immature, sure, but beautiful none-the-less. Reddit, one of the most popular websites in the world (with close to 8 billion page views per month), decided to conduct a little April Fool’s Day social experiment. With the creation of a subreddit called r/place, Reddit turned to its users and asked them to work together to create something unique.

According to Reddit’s blog:

“Each year for April Fools’, rather than a prank, we like to create a project that explores the way that humans interact at large scales. This year we came up with Place, a collaborative canvas on which a single user could only place a single tile every five minutes. This limitation de-emphasized the importance of the individual and necessitated the collaboration of many users in order to achieve complex creations. Each tile placed was relayed to observers in real-time.”

As users began exploring the subreddit, they quickly realized that they needed to work together. The first group completed work to appear was a Dickbutt (a popular meme on the website). Striking a resemblance to early cave paintings, these artists used a grid method to depict this rudimentary, yet recognizable meme in the bottom left-hand corner of the 1000×1000 grid map. From there, r/place exploded into different factions ranging from a blue corner, to maps of all different kinds, to famous works of art. Small wars broke out over the precious real estate, but in the end, you will be pleased to know that there were no hate symbols, (some insensitive one’s but this is the internet here people).

After 72 hours we were left with a weird, but striking portrait of what an anonymous, crowd-sourced piece of art will look like (estimates have it at over 60,000 users participated). For an absolutely amazing account of what took place between internet dwellers, check out http://sudoscript.com/reddit-place/. Take a look below at some of the highlights.


"Dickbutt" the first recognizable image to appear in r/place

“Dickbutt” The first recognizable image to appear in r/place

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The “Blue Corner”

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Van Gogh’s The Starry Night

May 15, 2017

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