Gamer Joker, also known as Gamers Rise Up and We Live in a Society, is an image macro series featuring depictions of the DC Comics supervillain Joker accompanied by intentionally edgy or cringeworthy captions. The memes typically praise video game enthusiasts and criticize women named Veronica who friendzone them in favor of dating “jocks”. Examples of the meme are frequently submitted to the Gang Weed Facebook page.
In early April 2015, an image macro of the Joker with the caption “When the nice guy loses his patiance (sic) / the devil shivers” was submitted to 9gag, where it gathered upwards of 38,600 points and 520 comments over the next three years.
The earliest known image macro associating Joker with gamers was submitted to a “cringe thread” 4chan’s /lit/ board on May 2nd, 2017. The image featured a screencap of Joker (played by Jared Leto) from the 2016 film Suicide Squad with a caption claiming that “studies done have proven that gamers are in fact better in bed” (shown below).
Seinfeld “We’re Living in a Society”
On May 23rd, 1991, NBC aired the episode of Seinfeld “The Chinese Restaurant.” In the episode, the character George Costanza (portrayed by Jason Alexander) grows frustrated after losing his place in line to use a payphone (clip below). Expressing his anger, he yells, “You know, we’re living in a society! We’re supposed to act in a civilized way!”
On September 2nd, 2017, Redditor spbl1598 submitted the same image to /r/justneckbeardthings, where it received upwards of 10,000 points (89% upvoted) and 480 comments prior to being archived. On February 25th, 2018, Redditor AeliteStoner submitted a Joker image macro captioned with various claims about the sexual prowess of gamers (shown below). Within two months, the post gained over 1,200 points (97% upvoted) and 100 comments on /r/ComedyCemetary.
On March 8th, 2018, Redditor HornyNcurious66 submitted a picture of Joker and Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad captioned with a message deriding a woman named Veronica for friendzoning “ten times” (shown below). Within one month, the post gained over 400 points (97% upvoted) on /r/gamingcirclejerk.
On March 23rd, Redditor Kabar_in_the_gay_bar submitted an image macro of the Joker with a caption about curing “being a bitch” with “gamer cum” to /r/CringeAnarchy (shown below). On March 27th, the /r/GamersRiseUp subreddit was launched to collect examples of the Gamer Joker image macros.
On April 11th, the >Implying video games are fun Facebook page posted an image macro featuring various actors portraying the supervillain with the titled “What Kind of Gamer Are You?” (shown below).
Many Gamer Joker image macros include a screenshot of Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight along with the caption “This meme was made by / Gang Weed,” in reference to the Gang Weed Facebook page (shown below).
On March 23rd, 2018, the /r/gangweed subreddit was launched as a self-described “meeting place for all gang weeders.” The subreddit is largely dominated by Gamer Joker-style image macros. On June 11th, nd Urban Dictionary entry for “gangweed” was created, defining it as an “epic gamer” who was “rejected by women because they only want jocks” (shown below).
Petition for Inclusion in Joker Film
On September 23rd, 2018, Change.org user Bill Wilson started a petition to “Make Joaquin Phoenix say ‘We live in a society’ in the new Joker film”. The Joker movie refers to the Todd Philips-directed Joker origin film. Within three days of the petition’s launch, the campaign received more than 23,000 votes of the 25,000 vote goal. In the description of the petition, they wrote:
“We all know about the Joker’s way of thinking and his philosophy. he’s Intelligent, Nihilistic and with a Wicked Sense of Humor. and his views on society speaks large about his character, and i belive so as many of you do that if we add this line in the movie it’ll make it significantly better and will show more depth in the twisted mind of the Joker.
“what i have in mind is a scene where the Joker sees a kid in a resturant playing Fortnite on his phone while his grandfather is reading a book (insert book title here). and he looks at them and says “damn, we live in a society”. he may say this line as he looks into the camera thus breaking the 4th wall”.
We Live in a Society
We Live In a Society is a series of images that compare two similar things, one popular and the other under-acknowledged but complex, using photoshopped social media reactions. The image is also captioned by the phrase “We live in a society,” implying that the cultural conception and opinion is wrong. The format, however, is not to be confused with the phrase “We Live In a Society” commonly found in Gamer Joker memes.