TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s netizens and meme enthusiasts celebrated Taiwan beating Finland and being ranked first in the online clicker game Pop Cat, on Thursday (Aug. 12).
Pop Cat is a popular meme and looping video featuring a cat named Oatmeal, whose mouth opens to form a large, dramatic “O” then closes again. In the game, players click the image of a closed-mouth Pop Cat to open its mouth to a popping sound effect.
The game tallies players’ “pops” by country, and lists a live global ranking on its page. Finland had topped the list since April until a swarm of Taiwan netizens recently began to flood the server with pops, finally overtaking Finland’s pop count on Thursday night.
A popular meme page in Taiwan, Taiwan Memes, rallied its fans by posting a video that demonstrates using a massage gun on a finger to increase the speed of popping. Later, after Taiwan reached the top rank, it posted a celebratory video of an “Online Award Ceremony for the Inaugural Pop Cat Olympics."
The Pop Cat clicker game started to draw attention in Taiwan shortly after the Tokyo Olympics began, and gained momentum as the event progressed. The game’s popularity has exploded over the past few days, as Taiwan continued to celebrate its athletes’ successful performances, and netizens strove to take home another “gold medal.”
So many pops flooded the website on Tuesday (Aug. 12) that its creators rushed to save its server and improve the game’s performance. However, some spoilsport netizens also criticized the Pop Cat trend as meaningless, and a waste of time that showcases Taiwan’s habit of self-congratulating.