Let’s talk about dabloons

TikTok users created a sprawling RPG involving a cat and gold coins.

Doubloons were Spanish gold coins coveted by pirates. Dabloons are something else — an elaborate, entirely user-generated TikTok game surrounding a fake currency.

Let’s talk about dabloons

It started with a cat

In 2021, an image of a kitten’s paw with the caption “4 dabloons” went viral on Instagram, followed by one of a black cat and its toes.

The meme spread to Tumblr, Reddit, and, eventually, TikTok, where users decided they “earned” dabloons whenever the cat appeared.

A sprawling game ensued

Though dabloons have no real-world value, some players started keeping track of their earnings.

The “dabloon cat” itself evolved into a fantasy RPG merchant, selling weary travelers “stew” in exchange for dabloons, while others began roleplaying characters:

Even brands were getting involved, including Ikea, the Sacramento History Museum, and Toys R Us.

Unfortunately, the pretend economy also cratered, as some accounts gave away large amounts of dabloons, causing dabloon inflation.

What’s the point?

One could argue that Gen Z and millennials, who use TikTok the most, enjoy role-playing in an economy where skyrocketing home values, student loans, inflation, and a looming recession don’t affect them.

At the very least, it’s a social game where all that’s required is imagination and a willingness to be silly with others.

Compared to the bickering that takes place across social media, it’s kinda heartwarming.

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