Letís play a game: You're a computer programmer who saved up enough money to hypothetically fly around the world. What do you do?
If you're like Matt Harding, you probably recorded yourself dancing like an idiot. Unlike Matt Harding, you probably aren't being paid to do so.
See, the story begins with him quitting his job as a game programmer after inspiring the Destroy All Humans!
games (he gets a creative credit in the game). After doing so, he went traveling with some of his friends, where he made the first video for 'shits and giggles'. It quickly went viral and, at the behest of Stride gum, he made a second video visiting even more countries. Note that Stride gum did not sponsor the video or expect any sort of endorsement from Matt; they simply liked the videos and gave him money to do more with no strings or expectations attached. After being an even bigger hit than the first one, Matt went on to making a third one and got more views than the previous two videos combined. His fourth video was restricted to South Africa to promote the World Cup, but his fifth video - released on June 20th, 2012 - has gone back to the global stage.
All his videos can be viewed here.
Where the hell is Matt? provides examples of:
- Dance Party Ending: More like Dance Party everything.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Bad Dancing. And how.
- One of Us: It's not as evident in his videos, but in his blog, Matt admits to being quite a geek. When visiting the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala he's quick to point out how they were used to film the Yavin IV scenes in A New Hope, he comments how the capsule hotel he attended in Japan allowed him to pretend he was on a spaceship, and he discusses being a fan of Guitar Hero several times.
- Being a former video game designer, it's only natural, really.
- Poe's Law: He made a joke video saying that he faked everything (with robot dancers and submerged airplanes even). People believed it enough that he needed to make a follow up to explain that the video of him saying the video was a hoax was a hoax.
- That video too was inspired by rumors that his video was some kind of corporate hoax. Matt responded that if it were fake they could have chosen someone more handsome.
- Self-Deprecation: He's not afraid to poke fun at himself or his dancing.
- The World Is Just Awesome: One could say the main theme of the videos, especially the first two. The 2008 and 2012 videos are more about blurring the differences between us as a species.
- The 2012 video in particular is pretty much this. As Matt himself put it, the message is that people don't need be afraid of each other all the time.
- World of Ham: Almost everyone dancing in the 2008 video, especially the German guy in the orange crocs at the 2:19 mark.
All in all, it just goes to show you that no matter who you are or where you're from, we all have one thing in common: we all suck at dancing.