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Ratboy Genius is a character created by Ryan Dorin in 2007. The digitally created human-like creature is depicted with oversized rat ears and a human body. The character is used in a number of different video series on Dorin’s personal homepage and YouTube channel.
The first Ratboy Genius video was uploaded to YouTube on July 23rd, 2007. The video was the first chapter in the Ratboy Kingdom series, describing the absurd events of the character’s every day life. The video places the animated characters over on scenic photographs, depicting Ratboy Genius turning into a fish and going for a swim. As of June 2013, the video has more than 14,000 views.
As the series progressed, Ratboy Genius evolved in to a 3D animation and by October 2007, the series began to incorporate animated scenery elements as well as music sung by the character (shown below, left). In 2009, Dorin began a blog for Ratboy Genius to accompany the video series. The character began seeing attention outside of YouTube in 2010, when a thread about the Happyman series (shown below, right) was posted on the Tip of the Hat forums that September. The same month, a "Facebook:/memes/facebook fan page for the character was created, gaining 680 likes as of June 2013. The first mention of Ratboy Genius on 4chan appeared that November in a thread on /tv/ (Television and Film). In December 2010, an in-character Ratboy Genius Twitter account was created.
In August 2011, fan art of the character began to appear on Newgrounds. In September 2011, additional fan art began to appear on deviantART and another discussion thread was posted on the Bungie forums. In January 2012, Ratboy Genius appeared in a screenshot from Left 4 Dead 2 posted to the Steam Community. In October 2012, the subreddit /r/RatboyGenius launched, accruing 24 readers as of June 2013. In February 2013, one of the Happyman episodes was submitted to /r/Cringe, pointing out its “terrible CGI” and “nightmarish voice filters.” The video gained 387 upvotes, 302 points overall and 92 comments. The following month, the first single topic Tumblr blog dedicated to Ratboy Genius launched, averaging 75 posts per month. Throughout 2013, the fandom grew on Tumblr resulting in an anonymous confession blog and an ask blog dedicated to the character. Additional posts can be found under the tag “ratboy genius.”
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