Last week, an April Fool experiment run by Reddit generated a level of participation and an artistic reality that the experimenters never dreamed of. Redditors were invited to change a single pixel of a blank canvas, making it any color that they desired. They could change pixels only one-at-a-time, with a waiting period of 10 minutes. To create any visible pattern would require large-scale cooperation.
Within a few hours, all the drama of human relations began to unfold in miniature. Alliances formed to realize their pet ideas. National flags. Van Gogh. Da Vinci. Single-color patches. Written messages. Commercial logos. Vigorous debates on various Reddit subreddits propelled the cooperation as well as the battles.