Tuesday is an auspicious day for the Web: the 10th anniversary of the “All Your Base are Belong To Us” video that spread like wildfire across the Interwebs a decade ago. (The meme existed before this point, but Feb. 15, 2001 is the day the infamous Flash video was released, marking its emergence as a global explosion of weirdness culminating in a call from your Mom asking what “All Your Base” meant.) A line of especially bad English from the 1989 game Zero Wing released for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis console, the phrase was sampled and put to music, and was turned into an Internet phenomenon by various sites including the Something Awful forums. It was most people’s first introduction to the now-familiar concept of the “Internet meme,” which describes an image, video, joke or other concept that spreads quickly through the frictionless tubes of the Internet. Now these memes are a daily occurrence, from Giga Pudding to Popin’ Cooking DIY Sushi Candy to spinning leeks and jokes about numbers being “over 9000,” and it’s hard to remember that there was once a simpler time when pictures of cats did not rule our world.
Feb. 15 is the 10th anniversary of “All Your Base.”