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Show Them Online...

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Our featured subject in this exhibit is the notorious Xbox Kid. (AKA, 360kid, Ecksbawks Kid) This infamous mug first appeared on the cover of the 2006 GameStop Holiday Catalog. Its the face that launched a thousand 'shoops.' In this multi-part exhibit see how this one innocent catalog image spawned literally 100s of photo shop parodies. The evolution of this image is a great example of the true genius that can sometimes be found in the far corners of internet subculture.

The original image caused quite a stir on various internet forums and anonymous image boards. The portrayal of the typical gamer as a somewhat nerdy, braces wearing teenager was met with a humorous level of rejection. This stereotypical image was out of touch with today's gamer. It also showed that Madison Avenue still doesn't know how to sell games to anyone but the average 15 year old. But what really made this image a legend was the accompanying caption. The phrase "show them online" became an instant meme. Say this phrase in the right company and people will immediately know you're talking about the Xbox Kid.

It all started with this one image and this unintentionally funny catch phrase. From there talented, anonymous web artists expand upon the image creating their own parodies, all references to their favorite pop culture icons. Parodies include characters from TV shows, movies, video games and the World at large. No one was safe. Often times a basic template is created and shared among the anonymous image board community. This way anyone can create their own parody image. Its a very democratic form of underground art. You'll find a template hidden among our gallery, just in case you feel inspired to create your very own Xbox Kid.

At the end of the day its the Xbox Kid who gets the last laugh. The original image has spawned literally hundreds of parodies, giving this young man tremendous global exsposure. Even after 3+ years his smiling face is still recognized in gaming communities around the World.

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