oh shit game real life meme: picture of war

Image via dankmemes/Reddit

O s**t, this meme turns video games based on real life back into real life

Games come to life in a dumb new meme.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Sometimes life imitates art, and sometimes memes, which are arguably neither of those things, imitate both. On Reddit this week, everyone is memeing “real life” versions of popular video games, posting photos of the real scenarios the games were based on. The meme always uses the tagline, “O shit, haha! Someone made [game] into a real game!”

The joke of turning these games back into “real life,” pretending to be ignorant that they were based on reality in the first place. Although the “real game” meme wasn’t directly inspired by it, it shares the same DNA as the joke that World War I-themed Battlefield 1 is a “reskin” of an older game … World War I.

In the “real game” meme, war games turn back into actual wars:

modern warfare in real life

Virtual Roblox become real Legos:

roblox turn into legos meme

Simulated people from The Sims become real people:

the sims in real life

Minesweeper becomes real and dangerous:

minesweeper in real life

And Farming Simulator just becomes … farming:

farming simulator real life meme

But nothing is more popular or topical than Club Penguin, the beloved online kids’ game that shut down this week after more than a decade:

club penguin with real penguins
club penguin real penguins on iceberg
o shit haha they made club penguin real
club penguin gravestone


From its original premise, the joke expanded—and got watered down—to cover anything real that resembles a game. Grand Theft Auto: London wasn’t really based on the Westminster terrorist attack from earlier this month, but someone made a tasteless meme about it anyway:

graphic image of london terrorist attack

Another popular variation is to take a game that’s perceived as really bad and depict it as a photo of a trash heap or landfill. It’s not exactly subtle commentary, but it’s exactly what you’d expect from r/dankmemes.

league of legends trash heap irl
infinite warfare is trash meme

Even things that aren’t video games have been swept up in the meme. Look, Pepe the Frog is real!

o shit haha they made pepe real

And so is anime, at least in Japan:

o shit anime is real o shit anime is real map of japan

The “games in real life” meme emerged just after “I had to grind for this view,” a similar concept that replaces views of real-life paradise with scenery from Minecraft. The difference is that the “grind for this view” meme included satirical elements, skewering people who brag on social media about the houses and cars they allegedly worked hard to buy, while the joke of “games in real life” is that the poster is pretending to be extremely dumb.

It’s not a particularly highbrow meme, but it’s one with nearly limitless possibilities—after all, don’t most games have some grounding in reality? O shit, haha, someone made a meme that isn’t funny, but can go on forever! I’m totally [face with tears of joy emoji] about this, fam.

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The Daily Dot