place redditthe social experiment that the platform started in April 2017 has once again become one of the biggest events on the internet. On April 1, 2022, five years later, the subreddit r/place re-enabled the blank canvas made up of hundreds, thousands, or millions of pixels, in order to allow users create works of art by drawing a pixel of up to 16 colors every five minutes. The mural, which has been active since the Day of the Innocents from 2022 until last April 4, it has been filled with country flags and has gone viral thanks to streamers like Ibai or El Rubius, who decided to go to their audience to invade the drawings created by the French.
The Reddit project, however, goes far beyond the event that the aforementioned content creators organized. That battle, in fact, is only a small part of what has been the Reddit Place of 2022. What has allowed the mural to reflect small works of art based on pixels, the flags and the most distinctive elements of each country and community, has been the incredible collaboration and participation of Reddit users.
In 2017 I followed place reddit in a completely different way than I have done this last time. He was not an active user of the platform, he simply accessed the portal to see how the drawings that Internet users were creating were progressing. That is, as a mere spectator.
This year, however, I have not only been digging through the different subreddits in search of memes and interesting drawings hidden in the gigantic canvas. I have also contributed my grain of sand by participating in some designs and putting pixels to clean the flags of Catalonia and Spain from users who wanted to destroy both designs. This has allowed me to learn more about the organization of the different communities with the aim of creating and defending these small works of art. And more specifically, see how the subreddit community has organized r/spain.
Discord, the main tool to organize and create ties with other communities
If there’s one thing we learned on Reddit Place 2017, it’s that no one can go it alone when it comes to creating a drawing on canvas. 5 to 20 minutes of waiting is too long for anyone else to place one pixel on top of another. Therefore, the collaboration of multiple users is needed to be able to create somethingeven a simple logo in a 5 x 5 pixel area. Also to be able to defend that creation from other users who try to find a hole to annoy or create their work of art.
the subreddit r/spainone of the many communities that have participated in the project, created for the occasion another subreddit for organizational purposes called r/esPlace and with a clear objective: create the flag of Spain on the canvas. In this forum, made up of more than 4,000 people, the participants have spent days posting relevant information about which areas they can or cannot invade. Also, in what places of the mosaic pixels are needed to clean up the destruction of other users and what other drawings related to the country can go inside the flag to give it a more artistic touch.
The general organization, however, has been carried out through a Discord server and through different channels dedicated to dealing with specific topics. For example, one of the channels was dedicated to the proposal of pixel arts (designs created based on pixels). There, users shared their ideas and candidate creations for the mural. In another channel, called ‘Place_votos’, those ideas were voted on. The general chat, on the other hand, focused on other organizational issues or served as a place for conversation between users.
In addition to the organization collaboration and peace treaties with other Reddit users belonging to other communities, it has also been important to maintain order on the gigantic canvas that has occupied the front page of the platform for the last four days. The community of Spain, in fact, has starred in one of the most striking and curious designs of the entire Reddit Place: the creation of a tunnel so that a green line created by another community and that crossed the entire canvas, would not prevent the Spanish from continuing to expand their flag.
The Discord of r/spainin addition, he has a channel called ‘Place_diplomacy’. This is intended to strengthen ties with communities from other countries to avoid invasion on the canvas, as if it were the UN. It has also served to defend itself in case other users decided to paint over the different works of art that were drawn on the flags. Portugal, for example, has been one of the allies, since its flag was just a few pixels from the Spanish one, and it has helped on occasion to repair the damage caused by other users, and vice versa. To show alliance and peace and prevent encroachment between different communities, members of the subreddits they drew hearts with the colors of the flags in the stripes of the different mosaics.
Reddit Place is more than a bunch of streamers fighting over who puts up the most pixels.
One of the events that has marked the Reddit Place of 2022 is the war between spanish and french streamers. Ibai, El Rubius, and others, asked their Hispanic supporters to enter the canvas to attack the previously created French flag. Many of them, who used bots to avoid the five-minute wait, managed to paint the Spanish flag over the French one, practically, in record time. Live, the French community tried to fight back without success.
The battle gradually spread to other drawings created by different communities, something that the most loyal users of Reddit did not like at all, who spent their entire weekend stamping a creative design. The battle, in fact, also angered some members of the Spanish community. Posts on the subreddit created for organizational purposes made it clear that it was not fair game. The messages on Discord also reflected the disappointment of those who spent the entire weekend creating in community. Also the complaints about the lack of help they received from the Spanish streamers and their respective audience.
Even so, the Reddit community in Spain has managed to have its space on the huge canvas of Reddit Place. The flag has been covered with some of the most characteristic elements of the country. For example, the flags of the different Autonomous Communities, Cervantes, the Ecce Homo, the potato omelette, the Spanish guitar or even the Mercadona logo. Also of monuments such as the Sagrada Familia, the Segovia aqueduct or the Kio towers.
All these designs, let’s remember, were proposed and voted on Discord, and created by the participants of the server based on sketches that showed the exact coordinates and where each pixel should go. Some of the community members also took advantage of the scripts OR robots as tools to try to defend the so-called Pixel Arts from other users.
There are curious moments that have also marked the day of Reddit Place in the Spanish community. Among them, the small disputes between those users who tried to draw a purple stripe at the bottom of the flag to make it republican. Finally, an agreement was reached and it was included in a heart, like the rest of the Autonomous Communities. A capacity for agreement that the Congress of Deputies already wanted on more than one occasion.
Highlights from Reddit Place 2022
Beyond the battle between streamers, the excellent organization of the different Reddit communities and the curious mosaic that they managed to stamp on the Spanish flag, the creation of the platform’s mural has also left iconic moments that will be remembered, if not for life, for a long season.
One of them is the amazing detail of the flags created by the French community and Italian. The Canadian flag also takes the medal for one of the most outstanding designs on Reddit Place, but for being a complete disaster. Many users also dedicated themselves to painting Among Us figures camouflaged in the different designs. And communities like ‘OSU!’ they managed to demonstrate their enormous capacity to revive their art in the face of attacks from other users.
Reddit Place 2022 ended on April 4 as it began: with a completely blank background. The platform removed at the last moment all colors from the available palette, except for white. Users who had set up bots to paint their drawings therefore inadvertently transformed the design. The rest of the users simply dedicated themselves to eliminating the curious works of art. Fortunately, many users managed to capture the entire canvas before this happened.