Subway Surfers Has Been Taking Over TikTok Feeds Lately

Subway Surfers Has Been Taking Over TikTok Feeds Lately

If you spend time on TikTok, you might have noticed that some type of video collage pops up all over your For You page. Maybe there’s a clip from the adult cartoon Family Guy, or socialist Twitch streamer Hasan “Hasanabi” Piker talking about Black Lives Matter. But regardless of the images, it’s likely that one of the other panels will play gameplay from the endless running mobile game Subway Surfers. And if you don’t know what’s going on, well, great! Because I was too.

A likely breakout of the #corecore trend intended to comment on the oversaturation of societal stimulation, these collages feature two to four videos playing simultaneously, none of them related to the other.

In an example posted on January 17 by British power metal band Dragonforce, there are videos of Family Guy and a live broadcast from the band. The left side? It’s entirely dominated by Subway Surfers, the Temple Run-esque endless runner co-developed by Kiloo and Sybo Games that’s been out for over a decade. This video garnered nearly 15,000 likes and nearly 200,000 views. And that’s just one of the many videos currently circulating that inexplicably feature Subway Surfers.

A strangely satisfying combination

So why are Subway Surfers popping up all over TikTok?

Dr. Natalie Coyle, a psychologist with a doctorate in mental health research and author of several articles focusing on the psychology of video games, thinks the concept of “visual tactility” comes into play here. By posting “bewitching” or “relaxing” content next to each other, like perfectly picked up foam or endless running montages, creators can hold the user’s attention for longer. periods.

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“In the Hasanabi videos I’ve seen that adopt this collage format, there are usually two types of videos separated by the main one: Subway Surfers, and then content considered ‘oddly satisfying’, like cutting moss in perfect symmetry.” Dr. Coyle said. “It’s sometimes called ‘visual tactility’ in research, but it’s still an emerging area of ​​study.

Coyle suggests that each part of these collages can promote different effects in a viewer. While she notes that it’s not yet known if simply watching gameplay footage can induce the legendary “flow state” activity, she thinks that if any type of gaming video could do it, it’s footage of an endless runner like Subway Surfers, racing down a set path with few other distractions to consider.

“If focusing on a video game and reaching its optimal route isn’t your thing, oddly satisfying content / visual tactility content [that is playing alongside it] can increase your receptivity to key information from the video,” she said. “So in a nutshell, while game footage like Subway Surfers has the potential to heighten auditory attention, ‘oddly satisfying’ video has the potential to relax viewers, improve listening, and increase their chances of remembering the content discussed in the main video.

Subway Surfers is gaining players, in part thanks to TikTok

Developer Sybo Games looks set to capitalize on the chaotic trend, posting similar TikToks to the official Subway Surfers account. Company CEO Mathias Gredal Nørvig told Kotaku that thanks to this “era of user-generated content”, the game is seeing “a new wave of eyes” in addition to the millions of existing active players of Subway Surfers. .

Hasanabi’s editor, Ostonox, told Kotaku he called the TikTok trend “retention bait,” with a panel of video collages being the “main content with audio” while the rest of the clips were just there. to capture the viewer’s attention. Initially a satirization of the #corecore videos he saw on the app, Ostonox said that whenever he used the format on Hasanabi’s account, the videos performed extremely well in the first 30 minutes, in part because that they encouraged people to watch longer and listen to the full video. message.

“Pairing three different split-screen videos into the same TikTok works great on a short-based platform because TikTok prompts users to move away from a video when they get bored,” said Ostonox. “So when your attention starts to drift to one of those ‘retention bait’ videos, your eyes might just jump to another panel with someone cutting colored kinetic sand or images from mobile games where a character is collecting pieces. This strategy is used by many accounts on TikTok who seem to just post clips of TV shows like Family Guy, but since I posted about it I’ve had other creators commenting on how great it has been. success for them too. In fact, many of our reviewers said the format helped them absorb information better, which reminds me of the fidgety toy trend from years ago that claimed students could learn better if they could do something thing with their hands while listening.

It’s unclear if video collages, especially those featuring Subway Surfers, actually have an influence on a viewer’s attention span. One thing is clear, though: while these videos may seem lopsided, they’re hugely popular, with creators from Hasanabi to Philip DeFranco using them on their own TikTok accounts. So get ready, y’all, there could be a lot more Subway Surfers in your TikTok future.

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