about that recursive wil wheaton t-shirt…

I'm guessing a non-zero number of you have seen this picture:


I further imagine that some of you have seen the animated version. (Warning! May cause seizures, nausea, trips to Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite.)

Like all awesome things, this comes with a story.

Paul (of Paul and Storm) texted me one day and said, "Storm and I wanted to give you a surprise gift, but you have to grant permission for it to be made. You're going to get an e-mail asking for permission to use your image. I promise you that it's going to be for something awesome, so please say yes."

I am very good at following directions, so when the e-mail arrived, I did what Paul asked, and then waited for the arrival of a pen with a cartoon version of me on it that, when clicked, revealed my epic wang.

Thus began a saga wherein Paul would say, "Hey, go get your mail. Something awesome is waiting for you."

I would reply, "I'm working on my keynote. I'll pick it up when I get some time."

About 45 days later, I finally picked it up. I opened it in my office, saw myself looking back at me from infinity, and couldn't believe that I'd waited so long to pick it up. (On the other hand, it was a wonderful reward for completing the first draft of my keynote.)

I called Anne into my office, and revealed it in the usual manner, by slowly lifting it up to my chin and showing it off.

"Oh my god," Anne said. "It's you … and you … and you … and you …"

"All the way to infinity," I said.

We shared a Sci-Five, to commemorate the occasion. You know, like you do.

I wore this shirt to Emerald City Comicon, where it was photographed a few times, always to much laughter and occasional applause. I wore it again at PAX, where this now-famous picture was taken by Paul.

This picture has been sent around the Internets in all the usual places, first appearing on Reddit, then Fark, then Epic Win, and today it got to Digg. It's been pretty awesome and a lot of fun to see it compared to the Infamous Clown Sweater and the Velvet Wesley (and its own recursion), but I feel sad that the man responsible for actually making the thing isn't getting the attention and congratulations that I believe he deserves.

I intend to correct that, right now:

The Recursive Wheaton (also known as the Wheaton Singularity) is an Infini-tee, created by Scott Meyer, who also creates an amazing and wonderful webcomic called Basic Instructions. This is the strip where the Infini-Tee was born. I understand that, once a year or so, Scott will accept commissions for your very own Inifini-Tee, if you ask him nicely (and throw him some shiny gold rocks, or a chest of electrum pieces.)

I come across cool stuff online all the time, and I always like to know where it came from. I don't know if Scott even cares, but speaking as a creator, it's really important to me that credit is given where it is due. If you see this, Scott, thanks for making such an awesome T-shirt and entertaining webcomic. And thanks to Paul and Storm for giving me such an epic gift.

40 thoughts on “about that recursive wil wheaton t-shirt…”

  1. As awesome as the tee is, what really got me like OMG is the sci-five.
    We do it ALL the time especially at hipsterish parties, you know just to show, that we are a different tribe.
    But the name is wrong. We call it the NERD-FIVE.
    Love your blog and good luck with all your future endeavors.

  2. That shirt is so awesome and I love it even more after finding out that Scott made it. Everyone one should read Basic Instructions on a regular basis!

  3. Careful! This is a cunning trap by Archmage Wheaton to steal our souls! If you gaze into the eyes of infinity, it will suck in your very essence and fuel his dark designs!

    Or something? I dunno. I just wish I had a cool shirt like that for posings. :/

  4. HEY! I finally figured out how to comment on here…took me long enough. Wil, you’re awesome, and that shirt is awesome to the power of a ridiculous non-zero number. Just really wanted to say thanks for inspiring me, as I’ve actually started writing again because of the wonder that is WWdN:IE. In the few months I’ve followed your blog, I’ve been made to laugh, been uplifted, been appalled (pretty much only at the clown sweater, and the Velvet Wesley), and a variety of other emotions. Anyway, long story short (too late), thank you for bein’ the stylishly pimpin’ personality you are…and ’cause I’ve always wanted to quote it…to those people who didn’t invite you to that Con, “Suck my fat one you cheap dime store hood(s)”

  5. Huh. Y’know, when I saw the photo of you in the shirt, I could have sworn it was Scott Meyer who made them, but I couldn’t find a link on his website. It’s been driving me crazy. Thanks for settling that, Wil!

  6. I also love Basic Instructions, been reading the strip since Dilbert creator Scott Adams mentioned him on his blog. If you ask very very nice, he also sometimes does Facebook avatars.

  7. Best shirt ever!!!!! If this shirt went up for sale to the public, I can’t imagine the turnout it would bring. I would have to get it in the color grey, cause you can wash a grey shirt over and over and have it still look new…meaning I would be wearing that shirt a lot! You are just all kinds of awesome, Mr. Wheaton!

  8. Wow, that’s wild! I have an autographed copy of Scott’s book, and of some of your books as well. Two great things that go great together. I have seen that Infini-tee advertised on his site but I didn’t remember about it until I saw you mention his name. I’ve stolen his one tagline “Your hide will make a fine poncho!” as my signature on some message boards (ones that have a sense of humor, of course.)

  9. Nice idea! Also, I think it can be expanded for geek couples! i.e, instead of Wil->Wil->Wil->Wil->… you can have one person wearing Wil->Anne->Wil->Anne->… and the other Anne->Wil->Ann->Wil->… :)

  10. Of COURSE it’s Scott Meyer, I knew the style was familiar! I’ve been reading Basic Instructions for a long time now. He’s a very funny chap.
    Thanks for linking to the animated version, I couldn’t find it anywhere when I saw people mentioning it on twitter.

  11. Greetings, the 1-4 people who accidentally read this comment.
    It seems I cannot nowadays take two steps in the Net without bumping into Mr.Wheaton, especially this bloody picture. Thus I decided to bump him back and made something for him. However, I haven’t found any way to send him a private message.
    Feel free to tell me that I’m missing something under my very nose. Or is “just this guy” simply kidding when he says he’s not a huge celebrity? Has he already reached the Dr. Manhattan-status where he cannot be reached by lowly worms?

  12. Going down the shirt recurses to infinity. But going up, the recursion terminates with you. You are the Termination Wil.

  13. Hi Wil. Love the shirt. Wanted to take to opportunity to thank you for your great keynote at PAX East. It was my first time at anything like this, and as a [former] non-gamer, I fell deeply in love with the whole scene. My hubby (the Harmonix RBN guy) dragged me to this crazy thing. Your talk, the beautifully weird, friendly accepting vibe, and the hours I spent learning Dominion have made me a new girl. I have already pre-registered for PAX Prime! Thanks for your part in that. All the best to you -Christine

  14. The facial expression adds so much more… like holding back laughter.
    I love how people are so crafty!
    I love the easy ability to make t-shirts these days.
    I made one on zazzle for my brother for christmas. It was epic. There were tears. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbecker70/4494330848/
    Then spring came and I got all excited and made more things. One time I made a mirror out of a window. This time I made hanging plant containers out of coffee cans. But from the legendary New Orleans Cafe DuMonde coffee cans.
    They’re all in my kitchen.
    I love being crafty.

  15. This definitely scores an Epic Win over the Sheldon Cooper “Bazinga!” Tee. Moonpie is doubtless squirming with geekish envy. Totally geek-tastic!

  16. I’m starting to have ideas for derivative works. Hm.
    I might have another unrelated shirt you would like. I emailed you an offer for it. Let me know if you want one.

  17. Holy brain-trip, Batman! I think my geekery function just maxed out. Must replace circuitry.
    Nope, maxed out again. *sporfle*
    And this is why I really should have listened to Paul when he told me to follow this blog.

  18. The world would be an infinitely better place if everyone had a recursive t-shirt.
    P.S. My girlfriend and all my other friends refuse to Sci-Five me. What can I do to get them to start being cool?

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