Role-playing is popular on TikTok, although normally that means someone dressing up in cosplay to make a video where they welcome you to their fantasy tavern. (opens in a new tab)or maybe offer you a quest (opens in a new tab). Over the past month, a new kind of role-playing game trend has overtaken the platform. It’s called “dabloons,” and the hashtag has over 730 million views (opens in a new tab).
TikToker Sweezy (opens in a new tab) claims credit for starting it, after posting a slideshow (opens in a new tab) which offers the hungry viewer a hamburger and ends with the punchline that it will cost you “4 dabloons”, as demanded by a cat holding four claws. (An image that had previously become a meme on Instagram (opens in a new tab).) Others continued the gag with slideshows and videos featuring fresh stew bowls, soup, or entire RPG shopping experiences. (opens in a new tab)while others featured cats and other characters (opens in a new tab)but mostly cats, who handed out the imaginary currency instead.
Soon players were keeping track of their wealth and inventory in the Notes app, on paper character sheets, or doing entire accounting spreadsheets. (opens in a new tab). And where there is wealth, there is crime.
This includes abusers who demand viewer chatter (opens in a new tab)self-reported dabloon launderers (opens in a new tab), and counterfeiters whose too-good-to-be-true deals turn out to be fake by the end of the videos. Apparently there are also dabloon assassins? An entire economy with its own black market has emerged, as evidenced by this inflation warning that is sure to follow (opens in a new tab).
If you’re confused by all of this, you’re not alone. A significant number of videos on the hashtag come from people puzzled by this whole absurd situation. (opens in a new tab). But the internet has always been a place where people will take anything “ha ha only seriously”, where anything can accumulate a bunch of made up rules and become a game overnight. Like the game (opens in a new tab)that you just lost.
It shouldn’t be long before the dabloons start asking questions. They created an imaginary economy, but how are dabloons less invented than cryptocurrency? Besides, how are dabloons less made up than any money that isn’t dispensed by an internet chat? Capitalism is just a game you pretend to play with, when you really think about it, man.
My wife now charges my children a million dabloons for pudding.November 27, 2022
Anyway, in the meantime, I hear there is a lady dressed in cosplay who has items for sale (opens in a new tab) at competitive prices that have yet to be affected by the dabloon inflation crisis.