Roleplaying is popular on TikTok, although it normally involves someone dressing up in cosplay to make a video of them welcome you to their fantasy tavern (opens in new tab)or perhaps offer you a quest (opens in new tab). Over the past month, a new kind of role-playing trend has overtaken the platform. It’s called “dabloons”, and the hashtag has more than 730 million views (opens in new tab).
TikToker Sweezy (opens in new tab) claims credit for starting it, after posting a slideshow (opens in new tab) that the hungry viewer offers a burger and ends with the punchline that it will cost you “4 dabloons” as requested by a cat holding up four claws. (An image that had previously become a meme on Instagram (opens in new tab).) Others continue the joke with slideshows and videos featuring bowls of fresh stew, soup, or whole RPG shopping experiences (opens in new tab)while still others cats and other characters (opens in new tab)but mostly cats, who handed out the imaginary currency instead.
Soon players were tracking their wealth and inventory in the Notes app, on paper character sheets, or in one whole dabloon accounting spreadsheets (opens in new tab). And where there is wealth there is crime.
That includes robbers who claim the dabloons from the viewers (opens in new tab)self-proclaimed dabloon money launderers (opens in new tab), and counterfeiters whose too-good-to-be-true offers turn out to be fake at the end of the videos. Apparently there are also dabloon assassins? An entire economy has sprung up, complete with its own black market, as this shows warning of inflation that is sure to follow (opens in new tab).
If you’re baffled by all this, you’re not alone. A significant number of videos on the hashtag are from people who are baffled by the whole nonsensical situation (opens in new tab). But the internet has always been a place where people take everything “ha ha only seriously”, where everything can build up a bunch of made-up rules and become a game overnight. Like The game (opens in new tab)that you just lost.
It won’t be long before the dabloons start asking people questions. They have created an imaginary economy, but why are dabloons less invented than cryptocurrency? Besides, how are dabloons any less fabricated than money not handed out by an internet cat? Capitalism is all just a game of let’s pretend play along, if you really want to think about it, man.
My wife now charges my kids a million dabloons for pudding.November 27, 2022
Anyway, meanwhile I hear that there is a lady dressed in cosplay who did Products for sale (opens in new tab) at competitive prices not yet affected by the dabloon inflation crisis.