Roleplaying is popular on TikTok, but normally it means someone dressing up in cosplay to make a video welcoming you to their fantasy tavern (opens in a new tab)or maybe offer you a mission (opens in a new tab). Over the past month, a new type of RPG 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 slide show (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 claimed by a cat holding up 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 of bowls of fresh stew, soup, or entire RPG shopping experiences (opens in a new tab)while still 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 holdings in the Notes app, on paper grade sheets or creating entire spreadsheets for accounting (opens in a new tab). And where there is wealth, there is crime.
It includes robbers demanding viewers’ dabloons (opens in a new tab)self-proclaimed dabloon money launderers (opens in a new tab), and fakers whose too-good-to-be-true offers are revealed to be fake at the end of the videos. Apparently there are dabloon assassins out there too? An entire economy complete with its own black market has emerged, as evidenced by this warning about the inflation that will surely 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 who are confused by the whole nonsensical situation (opens in a new tab). But the internet has always been a place where people want to take everything “ha ha only seriously”, where everything 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 can’t be long before the dabloons people start asking questions. They have created an imaginary economy, but how are dabloons less complex than cryptocurrency? For that matter, how are dabloons any less complex than any money not distributed by an internet tax? Capitalism is just a game for us to pretend to play along with, when you really want to think about it, man.
My wife now charges my children a million dabloons for pudding.27 November 2022
Anyway, in the meantime, I hear there’s a lady dressed in cosplay who has merchandise for sale (opens in a new tab) at competitive prices that have not yet been affected by the dabloon inflation crisis.