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The Flood Forum (now known as #Offtopic) is the 10th listed forum on the site halo.bungie.net (now also known as bungie.net). It is arguably the most active forum on the site, excluding private groups within the site. It is named after the Flood, a parasitic enemy from the game series Halo, which was made by Bungie. The forum was established in 2004, and it was created to house anything random or out-of-place.
The users of the forum call themselves “Floodians”. It’s an inside debate on what makes one a “true” Floodian.
The Flood originally came from a thread created by a user on April 15th, 2004. He/she told ‘stosh’, one of the Bungie employees, to implement an “offtopic-topic” forum because there wasn’t one at the time. Stosh told ‘Sketch’, another Bungie employee, to make it, but he thought it would “turn into a spam pit the likes of which no website has ever seen before.” In the end, however, he created it because other users were tired of the spam and off-topic threads made in other forums.
The Challenge Accepted rage face used in rage comics was helped with the spread in the early stages from a single thread on the Flood titled “When your teacher tells you…” and reached 12 pages mainly comprised of posts to do with impossible tasks with “Challenge Accepted” on the end of the the posts bodies. The 4 panel comics were believed to be started from this.
When someone is surprised with something on the forum that one had posted, many users will post “Ming=Blown”, this is a deliberate spelling error as the idea to post it that way has become an inside meme for the forum users, it originated from a thread titled “Flood, Prepare to have your ming blown.” The posters in the thread picked up on the typo and started the make jokes on it. (Many users of the internet in general make remarks toward things they find surprising with “Mind=Blown”.)
This idea has been known to have spread across to various different sites such as YouTube and Facebook, in the form of JOHN CENA across a comment or forum post body, although typically without the hyperlink and regarded as a kind of annoying deliberate spam.