Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Society reaches its apex with million-dollar emoji-reading game show

In news seemingly designed to make older generations shake their heads, expressing anger through words and actions like moldy old dinosaurs, there’s now a game show in development based on the art of interpreting emojis. The Great Emoji Challenge is being put together by Studio Lambert, the company that taught the world that employers weren’t just distant, unsmiling gods, but actual people, via Undercover Boss. The studio is extending its philanthropic efforts by develpoing the new show for both U.S. and U.K. audiences, presumably with localization concerns—like the fact that in England, the smiling poop emoji contains an extraneous “u,” and a little chunk of black pudding—being addressed as development goes on.

There have been an increasing number of news stories requiring the use of the term “emoji” lately, with studios racing to give their viewers a way to transform every daily interaction into a rebus of smiling faces and characters from The Strain. Sony recently paid nearly a million dollars—which, as it happens, is how much contestants on The Great Emoji Challenge stand to gain if they’re true masters at deciphering “hands clasped, frowning heart, unctuous zebra” into a meaningful sentence—for a movie somehow “about” them. Now, at least, The Great Emoji Challenge—a title whose grandiosity truly captures the epic pomp that bizarrely lucrative smiley faces demand—will turn the ability to successfully read them into a profitable skill.


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