The proof of the effectiveness of a rhetorical term is in the emotional reaction of the target. And the targets, they are most certainly reacting:
The new “NPC” meme mocks leftists by depicting them as unthinking and reflexive automatons. The meme has upset the left so much that Twitter is now banning people posting it for “dehumanizing speech,” but its humble origins are the computer-controlled characters of limited intelligence found in most video games.
The popular NPC meme trend frames its targets as non-player characters (NPCs) who reflexively spout neo-Marxist axioms in response to real-world events. Actual NPCs are computer-controlled characters in video games with limited scripted responses given the parameters of the games in which they appear. For example, NPCs may assign quests to the player in games like Skyrim, or join the player as a companion in Fallout.
Built on the long-running Wojak meme, the NPC meme mocks leftists as expressionless in appearance and bot-like in behavior. The universal standard appearance illustrates the left’s political homogeneity.
And, as those who have read SJWs Always Lie know, rhetoric is effective because it points toward the truth. SJWs don’t think for themselves. They change their beliefs as the Social Justice Narrative evolves and when the Narrative is in conflict with objective, material reality, they insist that the Narrative is true. They do as they are instructed, they do as they are programmed, as we saw in the recent self-destructive decisions by Bleeding Cool and Indiegogo.
They are, in a word, Non-Player Characters.
I suspect that the reason the rhetoric is so effective is that it is most utilized in the very technological spaces that are populated by the people who are most familiar with the acronym. One senses the fine hand of GamerGate at work in this. And there is nothing that hurts the feelings of a prideful SJW who firmly believes he is smarter and more thoughtful than most than a contemptuous observation of the fact that he does not even think for himself. It also lends itself very well to visual rhetoric, aka meming.
How do we know it’s effective? Because the Social Justice Thought Police are already attempting to bury it.
Twitter suspended 1,500 accounts that were using the NPC meme as their avatar.