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“You Think This is a Motherfucking Game?” is a rhetorical question commonly associated with image macros of Starecat and other cute animals. Juxtaposing cuteness and intimidating language, the image macros are typically used as reaction images in response to flippant statements or behaviors.
The earliest known use of the phrase “you think this is a fucking game?” can be found in the first verse of hip hop artist DMX’s 1999 hardcore rap song “What’s My Name?” (shown below).
As early as in July 2010, the phrase began appearing in disapproving reaction images of Starecat on the imageboard 4chan. While the exact origin of the Starecat image macro is unknown (shown below, right), its earliest known instance can be found in an article published by the cricket video game enthusiast blog Gamers Cricket on August 4th, 2010.
On December 7th, 2011, Redditor heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey submitted the Starecat image macro to the /r/funny subreddit, where it gained over 8,700 up votes and 95 comments prior to being archived. OOn December 11th, Redditor SpareChang submitted an image macro of a cat wearing a knit sweater with the caption “You think this is a motherfucking game?” (shown below, left) in a /r/atheism post titled “My grandma when she saw I wasn’t bowing my head during Thanksgiving prayer." On July 26th, 2012, Redditor photojoe submitted an edited version of the Starecat image macro featuring Bane’s mask from the film Dark Knight Rises (shown below, right) in a /r/AdviceAnimals post titled “Friend tried to spoil ending of Dark Knight rises for me." Before the post was archived, it gathered more than 7,300 up votes and 220 comments.
On December 24th, Redditor dexxin submitted a photoshopped image of Starecat wearing a Terran Marine’s helmet from the real-time strategy game series Starcraft (shown below, left) to the /r/starcraft subreddit. On September 24th, 2013, Redditor jaycrew submitted an image macro of a swatting cat with the same caption to the /r/AnimalsBeingJerks subreddit, where it garnered upwards of 3,000 up votes and 65 comments in the first 48 hours.
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