NPC internet meme

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Popular graphic used in the NPC internet meme.

The NPC internet meme (derived from non-player character in video gaming), is a politically right-wing internet meme that represents liberals/leftists who do not think for themselves, lack critical thinking skills and have been politically indoctrinated.

According to website The Verge:

Last week, The New York Times published a piece about an insular 4chan meme that had started to bleed over into political Twitter. At the time, NPC — an acronym for the gaming term “non-playable character” — had been weaponized.. in an attempt to “own the libs” by calling them automatons, but it was still a relatively niche meme very few outlets had touched.

Along with a couple of stories before it, the Times’ article kicked off a domino effect: its publication prompted popular members of the alt-right — including Paul Joseph Watson and Infowars — to amplify the meme to their audiences through YouTube videos, articles, and tweets. Search results for “NPC” increased, according to Google Trends...

Suddenly, a meme... [was] telegraphed to a massive audience in a jarringly forced display of virality that highlights just how quickly an inside joke from an insular community can spread with the oxygen of press coverage. [1]

The rise of the NPC internet meme

Google Trends graph of the number of worldwide searches for the term NPC
Kitler the cat was immediately canceled and a Kansas City meteorologist forced to make a public apology and rectification for thoughtlessness and insensitivity.[2] See: Cancel culture

There has been a huge rise in the use of the NPC meme on the internet as can be seen by this Google Trends graph of worldwide searches for the term "NPC".

The main factors are:

1. Elon Musk taking over Twitter which gave a boost to the political right.

2. Supporters of right-wing politics are getting more active in culture war issues such as anti-woke backlash.

3. The growing hunger for free speech and growing anti-cancel culture sentiments.

4. The rise of a few other right-wing friendly social media platforms (Rumble, Gab, etc.).

5. Right-wingers are aggressively building their own ecosystem.

6. A right-wing populist programme normally encompasses factors such as economic protectionism/problems and anti-imigration/anti-illegal immigration sentiments and these factors are rising in some countries.

7. European right-wing political figures (Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orbán, Andrej Duda, etc.) are using the European Union corruption scandal as a political weapon and inciting anti-EU sentiment ahead of the 2024 European Parliament elections which is giving a bounce to right-wingers.

(The popularity of video gaming is somewhat down from its coronavirus pandemic high so that cannot explain why the NPC meme is currently rising in popularity in the above Google trends graph.)

See also


External links