Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Of Cookiez and Internetz

Image: Frank the mouse rolls an oatmeal cookie slightly larger than himself.

Predicting what's going to happen next is a natural part of reading literature. It's a sort of self-test that you understand what's going on, and have taken up the author's hints. It's also generally way too fun to speculate the wildest outcome possible, and see it unfold.

On the internet, this can take on the form of betting. This practice started when the internet was young and people would jokingly say, for example, "Is that so? 100 monopoly dollars says otherwise!" Prior to that, people bet in Coca-colas (probably inspired by playing Jinx) or in actual money. Discussion could later, at any point, become a rambling on how the actual prize would be mailed, with both parties knowing, in all seriousness, that it wouldn't. This annoyed the heck out of the other readers who were forced to scroll past this (sometimes on a DOS console!).

For this reason, the current practice is to bet in cookies (the kind websites leave on your computer, also known as "cookiez") and internets. This is particularly true of the comments section on the webcomic Housepets!, which in turn brought it over from other comments sections. Needless to say, these prizes are never actually phisically awarded. After all, cookies are just small text files that usually don't have the same effect on any other computer, and the Internet is, well, too big to be awarded.

I've never participated in these bets until now, because I thought the idea was just too ludicrous, but recently, I thought, "what if I was awarded a cookie?" Since my avatar is a mouse, that cookie would be bigger than him. And would be quite heavy for him to boot. This train of thought led me to modify the third panel of my Halloween Story, add a clip-art cookie, and create the image above.

If anything, I've just made the concept even more ludicrous.

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