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Click-and-drag GIFs are a fun way to help you make simple decisions

Need to make an important decision? Just ask a GIF.

Mar 1, 2020, 2:33 am*

Internet Culture

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Warning: This post includes strobing GIFs.

Every so often, Reddit “discovers” a cool Internet trend that the Tumblr community has been using for eons. This week, it’s click-and-drag GIFs.

When you click and drag a GIF, the image you see while dragging stops moving, giving you a freeze-frame from the GIF’s animation loop. At some point, someone figured out that you could turn this into a game like rolling dice or flipping through a deck of cards.

For example, this GIF cycles through posters for the top-rated films in theaters right now. Click and drag to see which movie you should see this weekend! (N.B. Whatever the answer, you should just go see Mad Max: Fury Road.)

The subreddit /r/clickanddraggifs has grown popular over the past few days, with redditors submitting plenty of creative new additions to the meme. Here’s a useful one to add little chaos to your Reddit usage: a GIF that tells you when to upvote or downvote at random.

And here’s one that cycles through different reaction memes:

So far, most of Reddit’s click-and-drag GIFs are simple choices like which video game to play next. But on Tumblr, the click-and-drag GIF genre evolved past this long ago.

Click-and-drag GIFs are mostly used in choose-your-own-adventure fanfic games, with a multiple-GIF post illustrating different aspects of the story. This relatively simple one tells you which Supernatural character is your first kiss, which is your worst enemy, and so on.

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They’re also used for writing prompts, giving you some inspiration if you’re out of ideas. Need help thinking of character traits for your post-apocalyptic heroine? Here you go:

Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr

Click-and-drag GIFs are the online equivalent of those origami fortune-tellers you made in elementary school, except with more anime references and NSFW fanfic prompts. Our favorite so far is this silly insult generator from Tumblr user ben-c, a universally useful public service.

Tumblr

Tumblr

You preposterous…desk lamp?

Photo via Sandstein/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 3.0)

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*First Published: Jun 2, 2015, 11:19 am