BB Video: Doctor Popular's Awesome Yo-Yo Stylings

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Today on Boing Boing Video, a yo-yo demonstration by world champion yo-yoer, game developer, "craft mogul," and nerdcore rapper Doctor Popular. This episode is an excerpt from our marathon live streaming coverage of the Game Developer Conference, during which "Doc Pop" graciously hung out with our crew and offered insight. We hope to bring you more of those conversations soon, particularly his thoughts on game development. He also creates comics based on internet memes and social network etiquette dilemmas, my favorite of which involves the social awkwardness of "unfollowing" someone on Twitter. Some of his "Memes in Real Life" internet arts are here. The guy's a genius, and his yo-yo-ing is nothing but hypnotic.

Scott Beale at Laughing Squid has a bunch of posts on the eclectic range of Doc Pop's work.

* Hideo Kojima on Metal Gear Solid Touch (games)
* Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance.
* Jane McGonigal - Games Can Change the World.
* Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at
* Boing Boing Video and Live at GDC09: archive
* Boing Boing Video and Live at GDC09: archive

[ Credits and props for BBV Live @GDC09: Production Team -- Jolon Bankey, Derek Bledsoe, Daniela Calderon, Eddie Codel, Xeni Jardin, Allison Kingsley, Matty Kirsch, Alice Taylor, Wesly Varghese. Special thanks to Wayneco Heavy Industries (accommodation and studio facilities), Virgin America Airlines (air travel), Celsius (thermogenic energy beverage), (streaming video host). Moral support, production assistance, additional talent, and good vibes provided by: Domini Anne, Scott Beale, T.Bias, Jeremy Bornstein, Brandon Boyer, Chris The Van Guy, Peter S. Conrad, Marque Cornblatt, Wayne, Bre, and the entire de Geere family, Marcy DeLuce, Cory Doctorow, Joel Johnson, Kourosh Karimkhany, Jim Louderback and the Revision 3 team, Karen Marcelo, Rocky Mullin, Alicia Pollak, Jackie Mogol, Taylor Peck, David Pescovitz, Micah Schaffer, and Teal. ]


  1. Wow, that’s a useless comment, KATHEROSE. Wow.

    I was going to say, nice yo-yoing, but why are amazing yo-yo demonstrations always accompanied by such awful techno tunes?

    Surely more appropriate in this case would have been some hi-energy 8-bit glitchcore or something?

  2. @13Strong You’re saying Katherose is mean, and then you bash whoever made the techno song =P

    But really, it’s a shame you can’t hear what he’s saying, it’s probably pretty interesting. Maybe in the full video they don’t dub over the music?

  3. There are certainly better yo-yoers out there, but DocPop invented many techniques that the new guys are now using and improving on.

    And that was also a really great transition from on-string to off-string.

  4. Hey Xeni and BB crew, it was fun hanging out with ya’ll. If anyone would like to see the “Unfollow” comic, it’s here
    And a collection of my Memes In Real Life can be found here and

    Katherose, this is just an off the cuff demo, if you’d like to see more polished yo-yo videos of mine, please check these out:

  5. @church, we’ll be featuring DocPop’s music in future episodes. @everyone else, don’t be such sourpusses! how can people be cranky and demeaning about yo yo videos, ffs? be nice, enjoy being alive, and if you don’t like it, move along to the next post.

  6. @KATHEROSE – Way better? Awesome, how about sharing? I mean, I thought that was some damn fine yoyoing for an impromptu demo, but if that failed to impress, i’d love to see what knocks your socks off.

  7. @9 Mike Estee,

    At this level, it’s like hearing an argument about who’s the best first chair violinist. I’m sure informed people can make rational arguments, but it’s so far out of my league that I’m in no position to judge.

    Short version: I likee. More with the yo-yo.

  8. Unfortunately, the framerate on the video is low enough that I can’t see the yo-yo when he really starts going.

    1. @Loraan, yeah, I know the video quality is poor. What we’re seeing here is the compressed flash video file that Ustream records, alas, not an original recording we edited. We’ve since figured out how to work around this, both with Ustream and with our production process when taping live-stream events for later reuse. Apologies for the poor quality!

  9. @DOC

    dude, we worked at the pulse together for a minute! good to see you still rockin it!

  10. All these vids are of butterflies…

    Does nobody use the classic duncan woods anymore? Besides me?


    Yeah, people do use imperial style yo-yos but it’s not as popular. It’s called 2A in tournament division classification, where a single butterfly yo-yo is 1A.

    Though, they don’t use wood ones as much as plastic because wood is more inconsistent in weight and density, is less durable and cant be manufactured to the same tolerances to accept the ball bearing axle that all modern yo-yos use. Most modern butterfly style yo-yos used by these type of players are made of precision machined and anodized aluminum, though many use molded plastic or machined delrin as well.

    here are a few more modern style videos.





  12. Let’s all compare the finals of the World Yo-Yo Contest with impromptu casual demos!

    Next week can we see what the Iron Chef cooks for himself on a busy Tuesday morning?

  13. Chill Box. We know the deal. I <3 Doc. I don't know how many times I watched The Glass Lab Vol 4 ( The guy invented Skin The Gerbil! I even own one of his denim wallets.

    Doc's a showman. Any yo-yoer with any PR chops at all knows that when you're doing a demo for a bunch of regular people you've gotta keep it simple and flashy. If you bust out all your newest super technical string tricks you'll just confuse everyone. He did well. I'm super geeked to see this on BB.

    I was just spreading the love and info about new school yo-yoing in general, after Doc opened the door.

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