Edmund McMillen Reveals His Biggest Impact Isn't Binding of Isaac Or Super Meat Boy

Despite selling millions and getting a ton of recognition, Edmund McMillen's biggest impact is an emote on Twitch.

By Daavpuke, Posted 01 Feb 2023

Edmund McMillen, the game designer behind The Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy, has been hanging out on TikTok lately, like we all do. The legendary independent creator talked about his surprising lasting impact in the game industry.

The Binding of Isaac was released in 2011 and quickly became one of the most popular indie games of all time. Its combination of randomly generated dungeons, challenging gameplay, and dark comedy captivated players for over a decade, spawning multiple expansions. Super Meat Boy, co-created by McMillen and Tommy Refenes in 2010, was also a critical and commercial success, selling over a million copies in its first year. That was back when indie games received curated backing from big platform holders, like Xbox.


Yet, on TikTok, McMillen said that when he is out in the world, talking to people around him, few recognize him from his games. Whether he mentions his work to adults or children, neither of his hit games tend to ring a bell. However, when McMillen mentions the crying child emoji on Twitch, BibleThump, suddenly everyone understands the reference.

BibleThump is the default Twitch emote that represents sadness, depicted with a crying cartoon face. That image is taken from the titular protagonist in The Binding of Isaac. Weirdly enough, just that one level of abstraction is enough for most people to not know that the emote is related to a game. In his TikTok video, Edmund McMillen states:

"Nobody actually even knows. I would say, a great majority of people have no clue that [BibleThump] is from a game, let alone The Binding of Isaac."

Despite selling millions and getting a ton of recognition, particularly in the indie scene, Edmund McMillen's biggest impact is an emote on Twitch. Let it be a lesson that, no matter how pervasive you think a property is, it's more likely that someone doesn't know about your favorite video game, show or movie. Hell, TikTok currently has a trend where kids are finding out about Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai, through a Family Guy meme. Neither The Binding of Isaac nor Super Meat Boy can stand against a cultural touchstone like that, probably. The world is chaos.

Daav Valentaten (@DaavPuke)
Editor-In-Chief, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Edmund McMillen, Florian Himsl
Developer(s): Edmund McMillen
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Horror
Release Date: 2011-09-28

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