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Polandball (meme)

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Group of Polandball characters

For the character, see Polandball (character).

Polandball is an internet meme that consists of user-generated cartoon comics, artworks, and communities. It satirizes countries, characterized as balls with eyes and their flag as their skin (widely known as "countryballs"), interacting with each other mostly in poorly written English, and exhibiting personalities derived from national and international opinions and stereotypes of them. The comic style can be called Polandball (even though Poland is often not among the characters in comics), or Countryball (also, collectively, countryballs). [1]

The meme has developed differently than many other internet memes in that it has a strong community of followers across many websites, but is not always completely known of or understood outside of its communities. Regardless, Polandball has become a staple of many websites to depict international events. It has drawn the attention of scholars, front pages of websites and newspapers, game developers, politicians and ministries, and even celebrities, amongst other people.

Early HistoryEdit

Countries being depicted as balls and circles was not an idea that Polandball's creators invented. As such, Polandball has had several spiritual predecessors.

Bruno Bozzetto's WorkEdit

Bozzetto

Bruno Bozzetto is the first person who did an animation similar to countryballs.

Polandball could have been inspired by the work of the italian animator Bruno Bozzetto. In his cartoon "Italy vs Europe", released in 1999, the European UnionEU-icon and ItalyItaly-iconare portrayed as circles. [2] [3]  The works of Bruno Bozzetto are some of the first modern work depicting vast things, like genders and nations, as circles. His work also shares many of the same characteristics of Polandball, like manifesting creativity out of basic stereotypes. His work went viral quickly, and may have become sediment for the first Polandball comics.

Drawball.com incidentEdit

The roots of Polandball can be traced to an event dubbed a 'cyber war' among Polish Internet users in on a website called drawball.com, which occurred in August, 2009. The website, which offers a larger, circular-shaped virtual canvas, allows internet users to draw what they want on the canvas, based upon what has previously been drawn by other users. The idea of ​drawing the Polish flag on the entire canvas rallied thousands of Polish 4chan users together, and they were able to paint the entire canvas with a red top and white below, with the word "POLSKA" written in the middle. This coordination devolved into drawball's familiar chaos soon afterward when it was covered with a giant swastika. [4]

DRAWBALL

Image of the incident, before and after

Polandball's BeginningsEdit

The beginnings of the actual meme began a month later, on Krautchan, a German-language imageboard website.
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One of the first Polandball comics, created by Krautchan frequenter FALCO.

The first Polandball comics are attributed to a British user of Krautchan's English-speaking /int/ imageboardd, dubbed "FALCO", who in September 2009 created the meme using Microsoft Paint to troll another user dubbed "Wojak". Wojak, a Polish-British frequenter of /int/, was speaking of his poor employee contributions and nationalism for his former country in a rambling style. Eventually he began talking about how superior Polish women are to women from other countries. FALCO created the first Polandball comics to satirize this, along with several others later, and they became the most foundational stereotypes attributed to Polandball.  This caught the interest of many users of the board, who then began spreading and imitating FALCO's comics across the internet. Russians espoused it the most, themselves creating their own stereotypes of drunken enjoyment and obsession with making fun of Poland. These stereotypes were placed into the character Russiaball. In similar fashion, many other stereotypes began forming for the various other characters of Polandball.

Later HistoryEdit

Polandball, after being established by the community from Krautchan, began spreading their works across other websites in addition to cementing the popularity on their home website. On Krautchan, the meme became so widespread that the managers and moderators of the website established markers for the anonymous users' home countries using countryballs instead of flags. This later became a feature among many other /int/ boards on other imageboards, and is also an optional feature. (The rest of the end sentence was gone because of some lousy person who randomly put 'IT'S COUNTRYBALLS NOT POLANDBALL'

RedditEdit

Polandball World 2015

Polandball map of the World in 2015

See main article: /r/Polandball

Another large Polandball community is headquartered on Reddit. On Reddit is a "subreddit" named eponymously after Polandball. It currently has 180k subscribers around the world, mostly from America and Europe. It is known for its strict rules for how comics and comments are posted and shared. Many regard the subreddit as a source for high-quality comics, while others criticize it for its heavy moderation or its tendency toward a more complex style of art. Controversial rules include the banning and temporary banning of certain jokes and a heavy comment policy which bans the use of any meme (including subtle meme references and even having a meme title for a comic).

How Polandball WorksEdit

Polandball walking

How Polandball walks

Many of the elements that made up the original comics have been carried on in later works. The mostly apolitical nature of Polandball is something that has remained with it throughout its history. Most comics are very innocent of actual offense, and any offense actually triggered is usually pinned and made fun of in a way that still gets across the innocence of what is going on. The comics can even reveal the creator's character (poorly-conceived comics are often very nationalist and unhumorous, akin to the user itself).

This innocence of Polandball stems from the fact that many jokes FALCO created for Polandball were simply made up from Wojak's ramblings. As an example, it is so obvious that not all Polish people work for Britain as plumbers that it is impossible for any related jokes to be too offensive. It remains, in spite of this, accurate enough to be recognized across the internet by many different nationalities as poking fun of international behaviors. This does not mean that Polandball is non-offensive - rather, it is as offensive as possible while remaining innocent of what it talks about. This is so that the community surrounding Polandball can return and participate in it regardless of any real offense taken to the viewer. Usually, how abrasively offensive a joke in Polandball is is related to how influential the actual country is. For ex: jokes about America are very common and can be very deadpan, jokes about Liechtenstein are rarer and usually about how small and irrelevant, yet stable, it is as a country.

The many different Polandball-related communities across the internet often put in place rules and social stigmas so that the foundation and principles of the meme remain with it.

FormatEdit

See also: Official Polandball tutorial

Polandball comics are also written in a specific style and language usage. Common phrases include X cannot into Y or X cannot into Y (derived from the popular "Poland cannot into space"), Remove kebab (derived from remove kebab music video), gib clay or gib (item).

Other MediaEdit

GamesEdit

Main Article: Polandball games

Polandball's Adventure: Escaping from AustriaEdit

Polandball's Adventure: Escaping from Austria is an adventureous RPG game about Polandball trying to escape out of Austriaball's basement.

Polandball ShooterEdit

Polandball Shooter is a free online multiplayer game and a modification of the original Teeworlds game, available for all major operating systems.

Poland can into space! (Lemon Tea)Edit

In 2014, a game about Polandball was released for Android. The gameplay is based off of Flappy Bird. Players also have the opportunity to play as the other countryballs.

Polandball's Grand Adventures: Platformer Shooter game in early develop. Follow the story of Polandball collecting other country's vital power to develop his tech.

Polandball World Edit

A 2016 indie game aiming to let players control countryballs find and build Poland's ship so he can enter space. As of July 21st, it was up for vote on Steam's Greenlight program.

Countryballs: Balls at War Edit

Countryballs: Balls at War is a third-person shooter game developed by Falconssj and the 9gag community. It started production late 2016. It will be released mid-late 2017.

ReferenceEdit

  1. http://books.google.com.co/books?id=tZVbAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA86&dq=%22Polandball%22+-inpublisher:icon&hl=es&sa=X&ei=s-OcUtziJ8P7kQf03YCgCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22Polandball%22%20-inpublisher%3Aicon&f=false A Case Study of Internet Memes
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAJNFoHuLno Italy vs Europe
  3. http://www.bozzetto.com/filmography.pdf Bruno Bozzetto's filmography
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YNo707FsBYU%7CVideo footage of the incident

See alsoEdit

VTE
Polandball Wikia-icon Polandball Facebook-icon Community Reddit-icon
Sites Facebook-icon FacebookReddit-icon Reddit (R polandball-icon /r/PolandballR polandballart-icon /r/PolandballartR stateball-icon /r/stateballR borkball /r/BorkballR reichtangle /r/ReichtangleR planetball /r/Planetball) • Polandball Wikia-icon Polandball WikiKrautchan-icon KrautchanTwitter-icon TwitterInstagram-icon InstagramGoogle+-icon Google+
Famous Polandball Users France-icon 440HertzAlberta-icon AaronC14Switzerland-icon APUK-icon brain4breakfastNorway-icon Butt_BillionaireKiribati-icon CaptainKiribatiItaly-icon Cerf_Italy-icon Daft LordDickRhino-icon DickRhinoNewJersey-icon DirtPiperGermany-icon Earl of GreyUruguay-icon Erudite DemigodCanada-icon FedcomPoland-icon jPaoloAlberta-icon legitprivilegeTaiwan-icon NalaliSingapore-icon Ninjabear613Brazil-icon OtávioReichTime PolandballmodPortugal-icon RapuaIDrowzee-icon ReaganYaddar-icon yaddarZimoNitrome-icon ZimoNitrome
VTE
Earth-icon Modern countries and dependencies of Polandball Poland-icon
Caveballs 1-icon 1ball2-icon 2ball3-icon 3ball4-icon 4ball5-icon 5ball Australian Aborigines-icon Australian Aboriginalsball6-icon 6ball7-icon 7ball (Maori-icon Maoriball) • 8-icon 8ball
3-icon Americas Anguilla-icon AnguillaballAntigua-icon Antigua and BarbudaballArgentina-icon ArgentinaballAruba-icon ArubaballBahamas-icon BahamasballBarbados-icon BarbadosballBelize-icon BelizeballBermuda-icon BermudatriangleBolivia-icon BoliviaballBonaire-icon BonaireballBrazil-icon BrazilballBritish Virgin Islands-icon British Virgin IslandsballCanada-icon CanadaballCayman Islands-icon Cayman IslandballChile-icon ChileballColombia-icon ColombiaballCosta Rica-icon Costa RicaballCuba-icon CubaballCuracao-icon CuracaoballDominica-icon DominicaballDominican-icon Dominican RepublicballEcuador-icon EcuadorballEl Salvador-icon El SalvadorballFrench Guyana-icon French GuianaballGreenland-icon GreenlandballGrenada-icon GrenadaballGuadeloupe-icon GuadeloupeballGuatemala-icon GuatemalaballGuyana-icon GuyanaballHaiti-icon HaitiballHonduras-icon HondurasballJamaica-icon JamaicaballFalklands-icon FalklandsballMartinique-icon MartiniqueballMexico-icon MexicoballMontserrat-icon MontserratballNicaragua-icon NicaraguaballPanama-icon PanamaballParaguay-icon ParaguayballPeru-icon PeruballPuertoRico-icon Puerto RicoballSaba-icon SababallSaint Barthélemy-icon Saint-BarthélemyballLucia-icon Saint LuciaballSaint Pierre and Miquelon-icon Saint Pierre and MiquelonballVincent-icon Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesballKitts-icon St. Kitts and NevisballSint Eustatius-icon Sint EustatiusballSint Maarten-icon Sint MaartenballSuriname-icon SurinameballTrinidad and Tobago-icon Trinidad and TobagoballTurks and Caicos-icon Turks and CaicosballUSA-icon USAball (California-icon Californiaball) • VirginIslands-icon Virgin IslandsballUruguay-icon UruguayballVenezuela-icon Venezuelaball
2-icon Europe Abkhazia-icon AbkhaziaballAlbania-icon AlbaniaballAndorra-icon AndorraballArmenia-icon ArmeniaballAustria-icon AustriaballAzerbaijan-icon AzerbaijanballBelarus-icon BelarusballBelgium-icon BelgiumballBosnia-icon BosniaballBulgaria-icon BulgariaballCroatia-icon CroatiaballCyprus-icon CyprusballCzech-icon CzechballDenmark-icon DenmarkballEstonia-icon EstoniaballFaroe-icon Faroe IslandsballFinland-icon FinlandballFrance-icon FranceballGeorgia-icon GeorgiaballGermany-icon Germanyball (ReichTime Reichtangle) • Gibraltar-icon GibraltarballGreece-icon GreeceballGuernsey-icon GuernseyballGypsy-icon GypsyballHungary-icon HungaryballIceland-icon IcelandballIreland-icon IrelandballIsle of Man-icon Isle of ManballItaly-icon ItalyballJersey-icon JerseyballKosovo-icon KosovoballLatvia-icon LatviaballLiberland-icon LiberlandballLiechtenstein-icon LiechtensteinballLithuania-icon LithuaniaballLuxembourg-icon LuxembourgballMacedonia-icon MacedoniaballMalta-icon MaltaballMoldova-icon MoldovaballMonaco-icon MonacoballMontenegro-icon MontenegroballNagorno-Karabakh-icon Nagorno-KarabakhballNovorossiya (seperatist)-icon Novorossiyaball Novorossiya-icon (Donetsk-Republic-icon DonetskballLuhansk-Republic-icon Luganskball) • Netherlands-icon NetherlandsballNorway-icon NorwayballPoland-icon PolandballPortugal-icon PortugalballRomania-icon RomaniaballRussia-icon Russiaball (Crimea-icon Crimeaball) • San Marino-icon San MarinoballSealand-icon SealandballSerbia-icon SerbiaballSlovakia-icon SlovakiaballTransnistria-icon TransnistriaballSlovenia-icon SloveniaballSouth Ossetia-icon South OssetiaballSpain-icon SpainballSweden-icon SwedenballSwitzerland-icon SwitzerlandballTurkey-icon TurkeyballUkraine-icon UkraineballUK-icon UKball (England-icon EnglandballNorthern Ireland-icon Northern IrelandballScotland-icon ScotlandballWales-icon Walesball) • Vatican-icon Vaticanball
8-icon Africa Algeria-icon AlgeriaballAngola-icon AngolaballBenin-icon BeninballBotswana-icon BotswanaballBurkina Faso-icon Burkina FasoballBurundi-icon BurundiballCameroon-icon CameroonballCape Verde-icon Cape VerdeballCAR-icon Central African RepublicballChad-icon ChadballComoros-icon ComorosballCongo-icon CongoballDR Congo-icon DR CongoballDjibouti-icon DjiboutiballEgypt-icon EgyptballEquatorial Guinea-icon Equatorial GuineaballEritrea-icon EritreaballEthiopia-icon EthiopiaballGabon-icon GabonballGambia-icon GambiaballGhana-icon GhanaballGuinea-icon GuineaballGuinea-Bissau-icon Guinea-BissauballIvory Coast-icon Ivory CoastballKenya-icon KenyaballLesotho-icon LesothoballLiberia-icon LiberiaballLibya-icon LibyaballMadagascar-icon MadagascarballMalawi-icon MalawiballMali-icon MaliballMauritania-icon MauritaniaballMauritius-icon MauritiusballMayotte-icon MayotteballMorocco-icon MoroccoballMozambique-icon MozambiqueballNamibia-icon NamibiaballNiger-icon NigerballNigeria-icon NigeriaballRéunion-icon RéunionballRwanda-icon RwandaballSão Tomé and Príncipe-icon São Tomé and PríncipeballSenegal-icon SenegalballSeychelles-icon SeychellesballSierra Leone-icon Sierra LeoneballSomalia-icon Somaliaball (Somaliland-icon SomalilandballPuntland-icon Puntlandball) • South Africa-icon South AfricaballSouth Sudan-icon South SudanballSudan-icon SudanballSwaziland-icon SwazilandballTanzania-icon TanzaniaballTogo-icon TogoballTunisia-icon TunisiaballUganda-icon UgandaballWestern Sahara-icon Western SaharaballZambia-icon ZambiaballZimbabwe-icon Zimbabweball
1-icon Asia Afghan-icon AfghanistanballBangladesh-icon BangladeshballBhutan-icon BhutanballBritish Indian Ocean Territory-icon British Indian Ocean TerritoryballBrunei-icon BruneiballMyanmar-icon BurmaballCambodia-icon CambodiaballChina-icon Chinaball (Hong Kong-icon Hong KongballMacau-icon MacauballTibet-icon TibetballUyghur-icon Uyghurball) • East Timor-icon East TimorballIndia-icon IndiaballIndonesia-icon IndonesiaballJapan-icon Japanball (Okinawa-icon Okinawaball) • Kazakhstan-icon KazakhbrickNorth Korea-icon North KoreaballSouth Korea-icon South KoreaballKyrgyz-icon KyrgyzstanballLaos-icon LaosballMalaysia-icon MalaysiaballMaldives-icon MaldivesballMongolia-icon MongoliaballNepal-icon NepalRawrPakistan-icon PakistanballPhilippines-icon PhilippinesballRussia-icon Russiaball (Siberia-icon SiberiaballWinged Doom-icon Omsk bird) • Sri Lanka-icon Sri LankaballTaiwan-icon Taiwanball (Chinese-Taipei-icon Chinese Taipeiball) • Tajik-icon TajikistanballThailand-icon ThailandballSingapore-icon TringaporeTurkmen-icon TurkmenistanballUzbek-icon UzbekballVietnam-icon Vietnamball
Middle-east-4ball-icon Middle East Bahrain-icon BahrainballCyprus-icon CyprusballEgypt-icon EgyptballIran-icon IranballIraq-icon IraqballIsrael-icon Israelcube (Palestine-icon Palestineball) • Jordan-icon JordanballKurdistan-icon KurdistanballKuwait-icon KuwaitballLebanon-icon LebanonballNorthern Cyprus-icon Northern CyprusballOman-icon OmanballQatar-icon QatarballSaudi Arabia-icon Saudi ArabiaballSyria-icon SyriaballTurkey-icon TurkeyballUAE-icon UAEballYemen-icon Yemenball
7-icon Oceania Australia-icon Australiaball (Christmas Island-icon Christmas IslandballCocos Islands-icon CocosballNorfolk Island-icon Norfolk Islandball) • Fiji-icon FijiballFrench Polynesia-icon French PolynesiaballGuam-icon GuamballKiribati-icon KiribatiballMarshall Islands-icon Marshall IslandsballMicronesia-icon MicronesiaballNauru-icon NauruballNew Caledonia-icon New CaledoniaballNew Zealand-icon New Zealandball (Cook Islands-icon Cook IslandsballNiue-icon Niueball) • Northern Mariana Islands-icon Northern Mariana IslandsballPalau-icon PalauballPapua New Guinea-icon Papua New GuineaballPitcairn Islands-icon Pitcairn IslandsballSamoa-icon SamoaballSolomon Islands-icon Solomon IslandsballTokelau-icon TokelauballTonga-icon TongaballTuvalu-icon TuvaluballVanuatu-icon VanuatuballWallis and Futuna-icon Wallis and Futunaball
Others Antarctica-icon AntarcticaballGypsy-icon GypsyballIlluminati-iconTrilluminatiAtlantis-icon Atlantisball
Terms in italics are unrecognized and partially recognized states

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