What's This New 'Call of Duty: Warzone' Gulag Meme Referencing, Anyway?

One of the most prominent memes in the gaming community right now happens to be the 'Call of Duty: Warzone' gulag meme, but what's it all mean?


Apr. 11 2020, Updated 10:15 a.m. ET

Source: Activision

Most everyone is spending a lot more time at home these days. Due to the impact of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, there's suddenly a ton more people hanging out playing video games too, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and other games in the series. And when people spend a lot of time playing games, memes inevitably arise because of it. There's one in particular that's been floating around lately, as well: the Gulag meme, which is a Call of Duty: Warzone reference. 

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So wait, what is this "gulag" reference all about? Let's roll back a bit. The game these memes are talking about is Call of Duty: Warzone, the free-to-play installment in the popular shooter series. Basically, the last player standing ends up winning the game, much like the massively popular game Fortnite. But if you die, you still have a chance at redemption. You're sent to the prison known as the Gulag, and you have to win a 1v1 fight to potentially respawn. Here's where the memes come from. 

Source: YouTube
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Why are people making 'Call of Duty: Warzone' Gulag memes?

Basically, going to the Gulag in Call of Duty: Warzone means you've died in-game and you've been transported to an area where you might be able to get a second chance. If you win the fight, you'll simply be sent back to the game's main map after being lifted there via helicopter. Of course, there are plenty of jokes being made about this very mechanic because of how funny it can be, especially with the way people react to being sent there after dying. 

Source: Twitter
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Most memes revolve around people acting silly, or other players freaking out when they're sent to the Gulag because it's their last shot at coming back to life if they can't hack winning a 1v1 match. With two different people vying for supremacy and only one lucky person getting sent back, people start getting crazy and acting like there's no way for them to ever play another match. But we get to laugh at their "misery" at the very least, right?

Source: Twitter
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This mechanic is fairly unique to the Call of Duty series, because most matches find you simply going back to respawn after an entire round has ended in some game modes, or after a match has concluded. It's also different from Fortnite in that you'll have to simply start a whole new game if you want to come back and have a second chance in that one. 

So if you play Call of Duty: Warzone and think you aren't good enough for a lengthy game, you can feel secure in the knowledge that you've always got a fighting chance when you return to the Gulag, and you can always have a good laugh about your performance, too. Or at least someone out in the world will. That's where these memes ended up coming from to start with, anyway. Maybe the Gulag isn't such a bad place to be, after all?

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