Thursday, 1 July 2010

Vuvuzela takes digital world by storm!

Photograph: Jon Devo

One of this World Cup's surprise news stories has been the controversial and infectiously popular vuvuzela horn. But after causing a global media storm, it appears that the vuvuzela has infiltrated the digital realm as well.

A Computer whiz kid from Poole in the UK has made a ‘patch’ that allows gamers to use the vuvuzela as a weapon in the arcade game classic DOOM.

The 15-year-old school boy, who goes by the online username “Ultraboy94fsr” uploaded a video of himself playing DOOM using the patch to Within minutes, his video received 65 000 hits. After a few days, the video reached almost a million views, proving the vuvuzela’s popularity among the gaming community as well as football fans.

The vuvuzela has also attracted the attention of app developers who have jumped on the band wagon and created the – Vuvuzela 2010 – app for the iPhone and the newest must-have gadget, the iPad. The free app which mimics the distinctive vuvuzela sound was created by Dutch development team and has already been downloaded by over 3.5 million users worldwide.

The vuvuzela has been a feature of soccer in South Africa for decades and was inspired by the “Kudo horn” that was once used to warn and summon community members for gatherings.

South Africa’s tradition of blowing vuvuzelas at soccer games has sparked global outcries and complaints. Many called for a ban at the start of the World Cup due to the vuvuzelas apparently “ruining” the matches for TV viewers.

Some players and coaches have also complained that they cannot communicate effectively during the games, due to the sheer volume of noise created by the crowd blowing their vuvuzelas.

The sound has been compared to a swarm of angry bees and has also been accused of killing the stadium atmosphere as many other countries have a tradition of singing at soccer matches. This tradition, some claim, has been completely drowned out by the vuvuzela sound.

One thing is for certain though, the vuvuzela seems to be here to stay. Many foreign visitors to this year’s World Cup are taking them home as presents and overseas sales of the controversial horns are already in the millions. So if you can’t stand the sound of the vuvuzela, it’s safe to say, you’re doomed!

- Mr Devo

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