Since it came up in the attached conversation, I wanted to clear something up about the Christchurch, NZ terrorist yelling "Subscribe to PewDiePie" before shooting a mosque on live video.
It isn't a joke. At least not one everyone can get. This particular phrase is a meme in a very specific online social circle. I don't even believe all PewDiePie subscribers get it. Not even PewDiePie himself is in on it anymore
. And since it's been mentioned, yes, it is comparable to the "Allāhu akbar" Muslim terrorists yell before carrying an attack. It's performative in the same fashion.
In the Christchurch shooting, we can definitely assert this by the live video recording element. This wasn't an impulsive attack by a disgruntled loner, but a carefully planned attack to be broadcasted live, so the choice of the phrase had a very particular significance as well, meant to signify the shooter's belonging to a specific group.
In this context, this phrase clearly isn't about the lighthearted subscriber count battle with an Indian bollywood Youtube channel it started as. It probably has more to do with the multiple controversies PewDiePie sparked since early 2017
including racism, sexism and antisemitism. I don't even think PewDiePie himself is that intolerant, just utterly careless with what he's joking about. But on the other hand, very intolerant people gathering around video games have been delighted to see such grave topics derided this way.
As for the term "gamer", please restrain yourself from commenting if you feel the need to defend the phrase "Subscribe to PewDiePie". After the New Zealand mosque shooting, it just needs to be put to rest.