What started as an April Fools’ joke has now turned into what looks to be a long-running social experiment. The Button is the next big thing on Reddit.com, the front page of the internet. The concept is simple. The timer counts down from 60 seconds, each press of the button resets it and everyone gets a single button press. It’s a simple concept, but nobody knows what happens when the timer expires. The twist in the game is that the lower the timer is when you press it, the more exclusive a flair (the colour next to your user name) you get. Basically it’s some kind of bizarre internet version of season two of the TV show LOST.
In a just two weeks, The Button has spawned mock factions of different colours banding together, groups of people strategising in order to get the next rarest colour and, of course, a multitude of memes. The most entertaining was user Ztripez, who after posting a picture of the website live in his office prompted this entertaining, if not downright immature, reaction. Even various artworks have come from this, including a visual representation of each button presser.
The participation in this social experiment rivals that of Twitch Plays Pokémon, where the collective internet attempted to play the one game of Pokémon at the same time, with results that can only be described as anarchy. At its peak Twitch Plays Pokémon had over 120,000 people playing simultaneously, though this number is tiny when compared to the more than 750,000 people who have already pushed the button.
Speculation is wild on what will happen when the timer finally finishes. Some say that nothing will happen, others say that some kind of new feature will be debuted on the website, though the popular joke answer is that the game Half Life 3 will finally be announced.