The virtual YouTuber phenomenon is a burgeoning and potentially lucrative niche market. With Kizuna Ai getting picked up for an honest to goodness TV show, it seems others are beginning to take notice of the niche personality delivery style as well. In a space normally reserved for a reminder to check your spam folder for Janitor acceptance emails, it looks as if 4chan is trying to break into the game by soliciting its users for a virtual YouTuber design.
The Vtuber contest, currently underway, runs from August to October with voting commencing on October 1. The voting process will last one week, allowing 4chan pass holders to vote on the user submitted designs. 4chan stipulates that designs must feature a female character, the four leaf logo, and be safe for work—noting that 4chan will retain the right to use the design for commercial purposes.
Aside from the announcement itself, there hasn’t been much other information offered up regarding the campaign. Nonetheless, 4chan denizens and diehards have already started sketching out their entries. We asked Cris (MajorMilk), one of many to begin uploading their preliminary drawings, about his reasons for participating in the design contest.
For Cris, it’s mostly about the art: “I draw as a hobby. Plus, other than paying for a pass one time, I have yet to give anything back to that site. I don’t put it in some exception on my ad blocker.” For many users ad block quickly became a necessity when browsing, after the new management began experimenting with different advertisers. For a website that’s publicly cited its operational cost woes, getting users to pay to vote for a design that might come to rake in some cash could be just what the doctor ordered.
“I would also like to show the world a lovable girl that gives 4chan a slightly more positive light,” Cris remarked about his design—“she’s very cheerful.” Indeed, a cute and charming design could help to rehabilitate 4chan a bit, especially in lieu of being linked to the recent violence in Toronto.
Could this be a farewell to Yotsuba Koiwai, the defacto mascot of 4chan? Only time will tell. Until then, curious channers can check out the official design submission form, and discuss the contest in its dedicated sticky on /qa/.
Image Source: @Major_Milk