Reddit Turns Half-Life Meme Into CERN Gift
CERN will receive a wrecking bar from Reddit on behalf of its user community, a love of the game Half-Life, and a cheeky sense of humor.
The forthcoming startup of the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN labs in Switzerland had people joking about the similarity to the events that kicked off the first-person shooter, Half-Life. “Our understanding of the Universe is about to change,” CERN’s LHC site says.
To gamers who populate social media site Reddit, the comparison of LHC to Black Mesa in Half-Life proved irresistible. The game’s protagonist, Gordon Freeman, fights his way through the aftermath of a resonance cascade and a resulting alien invasion when a massive scientific experiment goes horribly wrong.
Some have compared LHC to Black Mesa, though scientists have dismissed the possibility of LHC bringing about the end of the universe (yes, really.) But to ensure the good guys have an edge in case things in Switzerland go completely pancake-shaped (ie, horribly wrong), people on Reddit suggested sending a crowbar, Freeman’s signature weapon, to CERN just in case.
Alexis “Kn0thing” Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and the artist who draws its alien mascot, decided to make this happen. On Reddit all, Ohanian noted he purchased the crowbar/wrecking bar for CERN, with the intent to paint it red as it is in the game.
One commenter at Ohanian’s blog suggested red rubber coating rather than regular paint in response. Another commenter, on the Reddit thread, said in response to a question about sending a training manual that the Half-Life Anthology and Orange Box would suffice.
The time for all of this to come together took roughly a day. There are few forces stronger than an unleashing of geek creativity and humor. Except, of course, for the LHC. And mysterious briefcase-toting men.