Memes. Everyone kind of loves them to a certain degree. Sure, they’re popular and some are quite humorous. However, they’re mostly fads. They fade away into the obscure corners of the internet after some time. One day you might be pulling out a body part because of Harambe, and the next you could be losing your 12-year-old Xbox Gamertag due to Ninja’s apparent death. That’s exactly what happened to a man with the Gamertag “Ligma” all because of the meme.
For starters, while this isn’t strictly about esports developments, it does involve esports personalities and streamers in general. If you’re someone who diligently follows these current trends, you might’ve heard of Ligma.
According to Knowyourmeme, it’s a fictional disease that has been a meme since, well, May 28, 2018. The meme was born when a random Twitter user @Galevik tweeted gun control activist and Parkland student David Hogg. When Hogg asked what Ligma was, Galevik replied with: “ligma balls bitch.”
That zinger eventually spread like wildfire when Fortnite‘s star player Ninja got trolled as well. In mid-July, an image of Ninja dying “due to Ligma” surfaced. After that, he was pestered with questions about his apparent death — leading to another round of questioning involving “Bofa.” The question — “Who’s Bofa?” — is answered with the retort “Bofa deez nuts.” Streamers and YouTube personalities also joined in the mix, such as when PewDiePie stretched an 11-minute video to explain how “Ninja got Ligma.”
So yes, the meme became popular owing to internet culture and well-known online personalities getting involved in some capacity. It seemed like just another day on the internet until the meme ended up causing harm. Reddit user CaptainOfAwesome recently reported that he lost his 12-year-old Xbox Live Gamertag due to Ligma.
That’s because of the meme’s popularity. Since “Ligma” was followed by “Ligma balls,” it was deemed an offensive or rude term. With how Microsoft handles Gamertag reports, there seem to have been quite a number of players who were out for the real Ligma. CaptainOfAwesome mentioned the many messages he received from random players asking him about the meme. At the same time, there was also the notion that reporting the Gamertag might have been due to jealousy. Think of how popular a person could be on the internet if he’s the talk of the town, right?
Unfortunately, CaptainOfAwesome — the real Ligma — wasn’t even aware of the meme at first. He’s a “gamerdad,” a married man, and an adult. Due to so many responsibilities in life, he probably does not have time to focus too much on memes and online stuff. He actually came up with the Ligma Gamertag because of his Guild Wars character — Ligma Rensin. All in all, he’s been using that online persona for well over a decade “since Halo 2 for the OG Xbox.”
Because of the veracity of reports, his username was instead automatically changed to the less provocative “AngryKitten1025” whilst his wife’s username “MrsLigma” was also changed. Yes, even though her wife hasn’t used her account for years, someone thought about sending a report after finding out about it.
It’s like the old prank calls in The Simpsons. Bart might call Moe’s using a fake name, and Moe might ask patrons about “Seymour Buttz.” People laugh, and Bart snorts. Because of how rampant and instant information spreads today, a joke can be popular for millions. Unfortunately, that also means a “Seymour Buttz,” “IP Freely,” and “Jacques Strap” might get screwed over in return.
CaptainOfAwesome gained a lot of support from other gamers on Reddit, even making it to the front page of r/all. His post has almost 40,000 upvotes. Naturally, Microsoft and Xbox staffers took notice. None other than Larry Hryb, the Director of Programming for Microsoft’s Xbox Live came to the rescue. Hryb, also known as “Major Nelson,” replied to Ligma promising to do the best he could.
In a recent update to his post, CaptainOfAwesome thanked everyone for their support. He now has the Ligma Gamertag restored. Unfortunately, his wife’s “MrsLigma” account has yet to get fixed.
We’re hoping that everything works out well for the couple. Considering how easily memes and random ideas spread due to internet culture, and are spurred on by trends and personalities, this just goes to show how important it is to ascertain what types of information are truly important. After all, our Gamertags and usernames, in a way, define our online identities and personas.
Ask yourself — of the dozens of pro gamers and streamers you know, how many of them do you actually remember by their real names? Exactly. You’re more likely to remember someone by their moniker as opposed to their real-life names. That’s why the resolution of this issue is fairly important. Your “decades-old online name” should take precedence over some random meme that just popped up a few months ago — no matter how asinine said meme is.
I’m a contributor for various sites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella: Destructoid, dailyesports.gg, PlayStation Enthusiast, PC Invasion, and Flixist. Games. Movies. Travel. History. Warhammer. Dad jokes. All around nerdy stuff. You name it, I’ll happily chime in.