Customizable Videos to Feed Your Ego

Ransom Riggs

We're witnessing the dawn of a new era in viral: the customizable video. It all started earlier this year with a company called Paltalk, who had stumbled across a technology that allowed them to "customize" certain simple aspects of a video with matching and motion-tracking. The technique was most easily adaptable to text, and so in the midst of a brutal primary election, they released a video in which you could enter anyone's name -- and make it seem as if they were a new dark-horse candidate in the primaries. Make your own here.

You for President

This player won't let you embed custom videos, so I snagged someone's customized for-president video from YouTube -- a fella named Marc Dussault. And no, he's not really running for president.

The technology soon caught on elsewhere, migrating out of the political sphere and into the world of entertainment. A customizable video promotion for the Showtime series Dexter raised some eyebrows, in that the videos imply that the person who's name you enter is next on the titular serial killer's hitlist. Other fun tweaks allow you to upload a "mugshot" of your victim, as well as choose from a list of personal traits like age, occupation and hobbies, which are worked subtly into the video. (You can make your own, here.)

Dexter "Hitlist" Video

But the most fun application I've seen of this technology so far has been by, who just released a new customizable video which posits that Obama lost the election by one vote -- and that voter is whomever you choose to enter into the video's customization website. (In this case, it's our own Jason English.) Customize your own, here.

You Lost the Election for Obama