There’s plenty of drama on Reddit, but it’s not often that drama gets to play out on the screen.
Until now, at least.
On Sunday, 24-year-old software engineer Micah Price from Cape Town, South Africa, unveiled what can only be described as a niche-but-genius creation: a bot that takes everyday arguments on Reddit and has them play out in the style of scenes from Ace Attorney, Capcom’s animated courtroom-based video game series.
The end result is a gloriously dramatic affair that shines a whole new spotlight on Reddit’s comment section. Price’s video was shared on Reddit’s r/Videos sub shortly after it went live on YouTube, and at the time of writing it’s racked up over 21,000 upvotes.
Price told Mashable he’s always been a fan of Ace Attorney, which sees players taking on the role of defense attorneys who must carry out investigations to protect their clients (the game’s episodes culminate in a courtroom trial where you have to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence to a judge). Price got the idea for the bot from other meme-based videos of the game on YouTube.
“The dramatic music is great,” he said, “especially for the melodramatic debates on Reddit.”
Even better, everybody can join in the fun — all you need to do to trigger the bot is add “!objectionbot” or “!objection-bot” to a Reddit comment on certain supported subreddits (you can view the full list of those here). The bot then scans the thread, finds the top commenters, and turns their discussion into a YouTube video that’s then automatically linked to in the thread (the “objection!” graphic happens when a comment has a negative score, or if the bot’s neural network detects the tone of the comment to be negative).
Price said the whole thing took him about three days to put together. “I wasn’t sure if it would be popular so didn’t want to spent much longer on it,” he said. “I used Python and a bunch of computer vision and machine learning libraries. It’s uber buggy at the moment, though.”
And as for the bot’s future?
“I’ll see how it goes,” said Price. “Only costs me $10 a month to run so no harm leaving it for a couple months. If it’s anything like my other side projects I’ll just end up abandoning it though. Although maybe someone else will pick it up, it’s open source.”
No matter what lies ahead for objection-bot, it’s ripples are already being felt throughout the Reddit-sphere. Godspeed.