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The Morning GIF: Winning “Snake”

Ouroboros is the name of the game, so to speak.


Lorraine Murphy

Internet Culture

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Mesmerizing motion and metaphor, black and white, predator and prey: Snake, I tell you, has it all, especially if you find Pong has too many distracting bells and whistles.

Gaming site Kotaku estimates Snake to be about 40 years old, and the aesthetics certainly back that up. It’s a straightforward intellectual puzzle of the type that could be played in furtively snatched moments on university mainframes, back in the days when control was via punchcard, not mouse. Your snake (you may anthropomorphize if you must) lives in a little box and consumes pellets for food; every time it eats one, it grows. The goal is to eat all the pellets and get your snake as long as possible, filling the entire box before its “head” crosses its body or runs into its own tail, creating an inadvertent ouroboros and forfeiting the game. As the snake grows, this becomes much more challenging. If you get the snake longer than the box can contain, in this case 801 units, you bust the confines of the known universe or at least the game and you win.

In real time, this particular game took over 13 minutes to play out, but you can watch it all unfold in just over two thanks to this zippy GIF. It comes, according to Reddit and the announcement at the end, from a Russian games site. “And now we are going to show you a cartoon. Dialing up the server,” says the somewhat underwhelming announcement, in Cyrillic. You’d think you’d at least get a real mouse or some whuffie or an arcade token to use on Arkanoids

Posted in the Whoa Dude section of Reddit (best links to click when you’re stoned, it claims; we have not tested this boast), it’s received 5,038 points net, with 21,975 upvotes and 16,937 downvotes. More contentious than you’d expect, for a bunch of stoners.

GIF via Happier Sadist/Reddit

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