Reddit’s r/place has overtaken the Internet by a storm. For those who don’t know, r/place is a social experiment done by Reddit on April fools day. It was first introduced on 1st April 2017, only to be ended after two days. It made a recent comeback on 1st April 2022 and lasted for four days.
What is Reddit’s r/place?
Reddit’s r/place was a social experiment where users could edit a single pixel of a massive canvas. One user could only change a single pixel to one of the 16 color palettes before being locked out for 5-20 minutes. The result of this experiment was an ever-evolving and most meaningful piece of art created in recent years.
Many online communities from Reddit, Twitch, Discord and other social media platforms participated in this experiment. Each community represented itself through pixel art. One could also spot countless references from popular culture, Internet memes, and politics.
Due to the limited space, Reddit made two expansions on the canvas for more communities to be represented on r/place. In real-time, it looked like a war between different communities that were trying to create, defend, and destroy territories on the canvas.
Like 2017, most of the pixel art seen this year was of national flags from different countries. Many of these artworks also showed support for Ukraine due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
There’s also a longer 10-minute timelapse of r/place if you want to check that out.
Notable pixel arts
- National flags
- Neverending rainbow snake
- Star Wars poster
- Among Us
- and many others
Reddit’s r/place 2022 and streamers (xQc)
One major factor that impacted this social experiment was the involvement of streamers and their live audiences. Many popular Twitch streamers instructed their live audiences to participate in this social experiment by drawing specific things on the canvas.
One of the most popular streamers on Twitch, xQc (a.k.a. Félix Lengyel), even broke his all-time viewership record. According to Twitchtracker, on 5th April 2022, xQc had more than 270,000 live concurrent viewers while streaming r/place.
The end of r/place
Reddit ended the social experiment by only allowing users to place white pixels. It wasn’t long before the whole canvas returned to its original blank white state.
This event showcased the collective unity of the Internet even during a time of great division and polarization. Many have even dubbed this event the greatest experiment on the Internet.