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[ARG/Chaotic Fiction] The Slender Man Mythos

Topher

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RPGnet Member
Banned
New website that I think is pretty cool.

It's basically meant to be an introduction and/or web portal to the chaotic fiction/ARG aspects of the Slender Man mythology. The guy is still putting it together, but it's already useful. It's got an FAQ to explain just what the heck is all this Slender Man malarkey, a news page with links to the most recent updates of the various serieseseses, and compiled links to both in-game/fiction resources and out-of-game/fiction resources, handy for doing archive binges. Right now it's mostly dealing with vlogs, but it looks like the next big update of the site will introduce a hub for non-video blogs (and a future update will add a hub for writers/directors/puppetmasters to share resources - seems like a good place to put costume tips, tutorials on how to do audio/video distortion, etc).

The neatest thing for a totally new person is the "previews" hub, which has links to sample episodes from ten different slendervlogs. Most of them seem to have been picked for being Wham Episodes or for having particularly scary moments, and aside from the big three (Marble Hornets, everymanHYBRID, and TribeTwelve) there are videos from completed series like Angel's Game, up-and-coming series like Andersen Journals, TJAProjects, and Dark Harvest, and even some of the less popular (unpopular!) stuff like MyDarkJournal and Apple of Our Eye (which is a pretty bad series, but this episode does have one pants-wetting moment in it).

If you like this kinda stuff but are behind on a series, this is a good organized place to catch up. If you have been interested but weren't sure where to start, also a good place. If you have no idea what I'm talking about but like scary stuff and don't mind amateur production values, this is a good place to try some samples and see if you might be into it. Check it out!

Topher
 

Topher

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RPGnet Member
Banned
BTW, of the ten episodes he's got up in the Previews area, here are my thoughts:

* Marble Hornets: Entry #18 - A good choice for a standalone sample. Jay's exploration of the abandoned house is nicely creepy, and this episode introduces a new character with a bang. Doesn't really lose anything from being watched out of context. Highly recommended series.

* everymanHYBRID: Episode #6, Healthy Eating - Argh. I really want to recommend this one, since EMH is my favorite slendervlog, but it's a Wham Episode whose impact is really reliant on how it subverts the events of the past five episodes. For context: up until now, each episode has had at least one blatant, poorly-hidden appearance by "the Slender Man" - but a cheesy, amateurish Slender Man. Hopefully that makes the reveal here make a bit more sense. Great series with some of the best, most likeable characters in the genre, check it out.

* TribeTwelve: Night Recording - Effectively creepy standalone, but not the best choice for this series - I would have gone with one of the Observer's videos, like COMECLOSER, for its nightmarish qualities. On the other hand using this episode exposes more people to the "Foliage makes Noah angry" meme, which can only be a good thing. Probably the series that does the best job of being a straight-up horror movie, despite the occasional shaky acting (Noah's parents, OMG).

* MLAndersen0: The Alley - Great standalone episode, even if we don't get to see Michael showing off his monologue skills (this series has some of the best acting of any slendervlog, as long as Michael is alone on the screen). Always good to see a SM who can get really tall, too. Worth checking out because there aren't many episodes yet, the standard "slendervlogs have unreliable narrators" trope is played out to its logical conclusion, and they seem to be doing something neat with reference to the color of SM's tie.

* Dark Harvest: Log #12 - I'm not the biggest fan of this series, but admittedly I haven't watched much of it yet. They do a decent job of conveying panic, I guess. Note that the knife-wielding guy is someone dressed like Slender Man, but is not actually SM.

* TJAProjects: The Stares to Nowhere - An important episode in that it introduces a creepy new character, but not the best choice - I would have gone with My Baby Is Home, personally. I really recommend the series, though. TJ and Amy are a refreshing change from the standard "Bro" protagonists, and the non-Slender supernatural antagonists are effectively unnerving.

* Angel's Game: Part Two - This series is actually finished now - the only one to my knowledge that has reached a real conclusion (there have been others that stopped without actually ending, if you take my meaning). I like it, although it definitely went off in its own direction mythos-wise, and this episode is pretty good. The shoutout to Games Workshop is amusing, too. ^_^

* MyDarkJournal: OBEY - Ugh. I really dislike this series, although I thought the idea of starting from the villain's point of view and only later introducing the protagonists was clever. I dunno, it's all too self-consciously Lynchian and kind of feels like a Nine Inch Nails music video.

* The Outside Agents: ............. - I gave this series a shot, but dropped it a few episodes in. It felt like they were trying to be EMH, but with a band instead of fitness videos. I will give them props for actually killing off one of the main characters, though - even if it does look a bit like the guy has been attacked by an angry jar of strawberry jam.

* Apple of Our Eye: Car Trouble - Another series I really really don't like. Too many cast members who aren't differentiated enough (to the point that I heard they had to make a "who's who" video to help viewers keep the characters straight). All this episode really has going for it is one (admittedly effective) jump scare.

If any of you guys check this out, I'd love to hear your reactions. I'd rather discuss this stuff here than at unforum, those folks scare me. >_>

Topher
 

Dirigible

i come in peace
Validated User
I watched Marble Hornets some time ago, and chewed through Everyman Hybrid and TribeTwelve today, and...I think I'm about done with the Skinny Bloke Mythwich. It's all the same effects and cliches; start watching a new one and you know you'll get ear-piercing electronic screeches, colour wobbles, microsecond glimpses of something tall and black with a white smudge for a shirt and face, SPOOOKY SKETCHES, blah blah blah blah. Do any of them do anything new? EMH mixes in some other creepypasta, but other than that they all seem to be done by rote.
 

Topher

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RPGnet Member
Banned
I watched Marble Hornets some time ago, and chewed through Everyman Hybrid and TribeTwelve today, and...I think I'm about done with the Skinny Bloke Mythwich. It's all the same effects and cliches; start watching a new one and you know you'll get ear-piercing electronic screeches, colour wobbles, microsecond glimpses of something tall and black with a white smudge for a shirt and face, SPOOOKY SKETCHES, blah blah blah blah. Do any of them do anything new? EMH mixes in some other creepypasta, but other than that they all seem to be done by rote.
One of the most common complaints about the various vlogs is that they're all too much like Marble Hornets and don't try enough new stuff. Weirdly, though, series that try to do new stuff often get bitched at for not being "faithful to the mythos," which I tend to read as code for "not enough like Marble Hornets." Go figure. Unfortunately the fact that they're all amateur productions makes it much more likely that we'll get video and audio distortion and memory/perception mindfuckery and "slendersickness" and lurklurklurkLURK rather than full-on tentacle flayings and such.

Having said that, EMH is one of the few series to do anything with the "bags of blood and organs hanging from trees" aspect of the original stories, and adding the Rake has given them a more violent and immediate antagonist to face. T12 has tentacle effects that aren't too bad, but again, focuses on the mindfuckery. TJA is the only one to my knowledge that has a story dealing with an actual child in jeopardy, and has added some secondary antagonists that I think are new and different (Sight is arguably non-evil, and the plague doctor thing spits black goo into people's mouths); their SM is also a bit more direct, with a burning touch. MLA seems to have two Slender Men in it, with the one in the red necktie seeming to be vaguely protective of Michael while the one in the black necktie is more aggressive; it also goes farther than any other series in making its narrator both very sympathetic and VERY unreliable. Angel's Game has its own take on the mythology, with nephilim and possession and prophecies and such, and IIRC has a scene where SM kicks a dude to death.

But yeah. If subtle surreal creepiness on a budget doesn't flip your trigger, you won't find much here to like. I'm very much into "less is more" horror and mindfuck stories, so it really works for me, even if I do wish more creators used different aspects of the original SM stories or just made up their own new aspects.

Topher
 

Dirigible

i come in peace
Validated User
But yeah. If subtle surreal creepiness on a budget doesn't flip your trigger, you won't find much here to like. I'm very much into "less is more" horror and mindfuck stories, so it really works for me, even if I do wish more creators used different aspects of the original SM stories or just made up their own new aspects.
It's not that at all. It's that it's all the same surreal creepiness on a budget, beat-for-beat in some places.

and IIRC has a scene where SM kicks a dude to death.
You had me at kicks a dude to death <3.
 

Topher

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You had me at kicks a dude to death <3.
It's been a while since I watched that one so in the interests of not misleading you I went back and checked; amend that to "kicks a dude into unconsciousness and leaves him with broken ribs and a concussion."

Topher
 

Topher

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Okay, another interesting find. Save it for when you have a four-day weekend or something, though.

This dude has created playlists that contain practically every SM-related vlog (he is missing a few series and plans to implement them soonish), with all the episodes in chronological order. They're not divided up by series, so once you get past the "all Marble Hornets, all the time" period, you'll have a variety of different stories going on. It's really interesting to see things arranged this way and see when stuff in one series happened in relation to stuff in another (especially when it comes to the crossovers that are becoming more frequent).

Playlist #1
Playlist #2
Playlist #3

Like I said, this is a lot of video, so don't try to archive binge it all at once or you may break your brain.

Topher
 

AliasiSudonomo

Trying to be a bird
Validated User
Speaking of Marble Hornets, they've been expanding quite a bit lately - better effects, and (perhaps in response to the very same 'every vlog is mimicking Marble Hornets' issue mentioned) they seem to be taking a fairly different tack on the slenderfellow.

Then again, unlike EverymanHYBRID and the like, MH has always been more of a 'web series', than an ARG. There's a little bit of in-characterness with the twitter feed but for the most part they seem to have their plot down and they're doing it. (On the bright side it means the DVD of season one is possible - I'd despair trying to capture one of the more chaotic ones.)
 

Topher

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RPGnet Member
Banned
Speaking of Marble Hornets, they've been expanding quite a bit lately - better effects, and (perhaps in response to the very same 'every vlog is mimicking Marble Hornets' issue mentioned) they seem to be taking a fairly different tack on the slenderfellow.
Yeah, season 2 really has a different vibe than season one in a bunch of different ways. I know at least part of it has been an increased focus on actual acting - Troy has said that in season 1, Jay was kind of deliberately less of a character and more an extension of the camera, and that they consciously decided to make him more of a real person for the second batch (and he's been taking acting classes along with his filmmaking classes, which helps). And you can tell they're trying to break out of the "sameness" problem.

Then again, unlike EverymanHYBRID and the like, MH has always been more of a 'web series', than an ARG. There's a little bit of in-characterness with the twitter feed but for the most part they seem to have their plot down and they're doing it. (On the bright side it means the DVD of season one is possible - I'd despair trying to capture one of the more chaotic ones.)
TribeTwelve could do it, but yeah, EMH just wouldn't work as a DVD collection unless you added a bunch of scenes of some narrator character saying "and then in the ARG, this happened..." It's something Jeff has talked about on his personal blog, the difficulties with doing a DVD. Angel's Game has the same issue, even though it's less ARG-y than EMH, just because so many of the critical storyline developments didn't get communicated on video, but through freaking Facebook of all things, which makes it all kind of go to hell at the end if you watch it now, after the fact. I guess the downside of chaotic fiction is that if you're not there as it happens you're just not going to be able to experience the story in the same way.

Topher
 

Topher

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Banned
And also spreaking of MH, totheark's video response to Entry #43 finally went up last night, and it is weird as shit.

Someone at unforum did a spectrographic analysis of the audio. Check out this happy crap:



And a closeup:



:eek:

Topher
 
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