“Do you know the way?” If you’ve played VRChat for at least 10 minutes this year, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase more than once. But why?
VRChat was released February 1st of last year. However, it’s gained an insane amount of traction in recent weeks. Naturally, with anything that gets big in this day and age, it’s bound to be full of memes. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a single VRChat gameplay video on YouTube nowadays that doesn’t include any memes, and today’s hottest trend is none other than Ugandan Knuckles showing us The Way.
Now I know what all you casuals are thinking. “When did Knuckles become Ugandan and what’s The Way?”. Well you better pull up a chair, because if you’re not careful, this could make your brain hurt.
The VRChat Ugandan Knuckles meme is an amalgamation of several different sources found all over the net. The first main source seems to be from YouTube animator and game reviewer Gregzilla, who included a very brief clip of Knuckles (in quite the derpy form) saying “Oh No”. This clip was later remixed into the various Knuckles Sings videos, giving it even more notoriety. Later, this chibi Knuckles was turned into the 3D sprite found commonly in VRChat by DeviantArt user tidiestflier.
Meanwhile, on the Ugandan forefront, we turn to Twitch streamer Forsen. Forsen, a popular PUBG streamer, was notable for being a victim of Stream Sniping, a practice where his viewers watch his livestream and use that advantage to snipe him. Sure, it’s a common practice, but the viewers would then yell in the game chat about being Ugandan Warriors a la “Who Killed Captain Alex?”.
So we’ve got the character’s backstory, but now we move on to the execution of the meme. The first documented portrayal of Ugandan Knuckles in VRChat was seen in the December 22, 2017 YouTube upload “YOU DO NOT KNOW THE WAY”. This video includes all the popular tropes, including the titular phrase, the Ugandan Knuckles tribe, Can of Beans, speaking in clicks, and more.
As more videos were created with the characters, more memes became associated, including their search for The Queen, spitting on non-believers, and having ebola being the key to finding The Way. Needless to say, a meme this easy to replicate is spreading like wildfire.
So is The Way the best meme of 2018 because of it’s quick rise to numbers and inclusion? Or is it the worst because of it’s sheer annoyance? There are certainly points to both sides of the argument, but one thing is certain. You, sir, still do not know The Way.
VRChat is available on Steam for free as well as in a free download from http://www.VRChat.net