Monday, December 20, 2010

Still Here

*Looks around*

Oh, come on, you lot are still hanging around? It’s the holidays, people! Geez!


Yes, I'm alive. I had thought that the end of the semester would mean lots of free time to write. And it has. Only it's lots of free time to write things which I have a pressing incentive to get done now, at the expense of things without an immediate deadline (such as this). I apologize; my hope had been to get one or two posts up last week, but that didn't happen. It probably also won't happen this week either, as my schedule is even more packed than it was during school. I am working on a post about Seeking Truth, since it's been a while since I wrote something about a specific blog, but that will take some time.

And for those in the audience following the blogs which include it in their Mythos, tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. Prepare yourselves for excitement, action, and adventure. If anyone does succeed in killing Slendy that day, I'm putting my money on it being through rock. Probably something inspiration, like Masterplan, or whatever it is you whippersnappers is listening to these days. Maybe we'll see an original composition blow him away.

New plan. Whoever can create the best lyrics to battle Slender Man with gets a prize.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I would like to start off by satisfying my desire for attention and acknowledgement by saying that today is my birthday. My depression over becoming an old man (20 years old. Next thing I know, I’ll be having grey hair and going senile) is being countered by the fact that everyone who’s given me gifts so far has given me something Terry Pratchett related. It wasn’t coordinated; they just all seemed to think, “Hey, you know what would be a great thing to give Omega? That new Discworld book.” (the UK version, of course. Because having extra u’s in words is great fun) or “a Discworld calendar” or “that one Discworld picture book”, etc. Fun times.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. A while ago, Zero mentioned the idea of blogs being in generations; kinda groupings based on when they were written, but also how they were written. That got me thinking, and for a long time I was considering making a full post about it.
Cept then Zero beat me to it.
Which leaves me with only one path open to me. If I am to win (yes, WIN! This is totally a contest!) then I need to make a LONGER post than he did! Because that makes complete and total sense!



I’ve divided the blogs into three generations. The divisions are based more on content than time, as there is some overlap at points where one generation began and another ended; or the occasional blog that has an earlier generations style.

Generation 1

The earliest Slenderblogs; a golden age, when men were sissies and codespeak was still stylish. Examples of blogs in this generation include Just Another Fool and In My Head.

The features of this generation are a more interactive ARG style, an undefined Slender Man, and a tone closer to House of Leaves than Lovecraft.

The first generation of Slenderblogs is the most unique of the three. While later blogs would be more story focused, these ones were closer to a traditional ARG, with lots of puzzle solving for the readers. When something was posted which looked like a bunch of random letters or meaningless phrases with the shift key used a few times too many, it was usually a hidden message, not a way of conveying insanity or general scariness. The largest difference between this and later generations was the actions of Slender Man. Barely anything was known about him, so he was treated like a force instead of a character; he barely even appears in JAF. The focus of the story was more on the effect Slender Man was having on the characters, and their attempts to uncover the mystery surrounding them. It’s also the reason for the “Everyone dies/goes insane in the end” cliché; fighting back wasn’t seriously considered at this stage.

Generation 1 was short lived, with only a few blogs in it before Gen 2 began. The actual transition wasn’t very clear cut; while the blogs which caused the transition are obvious, those blogs retained some of their Gen 1 influence in their style.

Generation 2

The one which came after Generation 1 (Hooray, I can count!)

Defined by setting up canon rules for Slender Man, introduction of proxies, and making Slender Man an antagonist figure.

The two blogs which got the ball rolling on Gen 2 were Seeking Truth and Tutorial. Stylistically, Seeking Truth would be a Gen 1 blog, except for the character Zeke Strahm. For the first time, a character willing to act aggressively against Slender Man was introduced into the Mythos, which would lead to even more blogs taking up arms against Slendy.
Tutorial, unlike ST, is very much a Gen 2 blog, with little connection to Gen 1 beyond taking place in the same mythos. Rules were established for Slender Man’s actions, the possibility of survival by running was made, and proxies were introduced not just as Masky/totheark rip-offs, but actually having their own rules guiding them.

Puzzles were almost entirely dropped in Gen 2; while they still occasionally popped up from time to time, they were rarely a large part of the story. More often than not, codes were in the comments, not the story, and tended to be from trolls/gamejackers.

The most important change from generations was how Slender Man was treated in the story. Now that he had been given rules, and been made into something to fight against, he was no longer an unstoppable force, but an actual antagonist. The conflict of the stories became less about the terrible affects Slender Man had on people, and more on a conflict against Slender Man.

This was also the time when crossover between blogs began. Instead of staying on their blogs, characters started to comment on each other’s blogs. The blogs were no longer self contained universes, but all taking place within a single setting.

Many of the Gen 2 blogs are still ongoing today, even as Generation 3 is picking up, which makes it difficult to claim that it has ended entirely.

Generation 3

Since Gen 2 hasn’t totally come to a close yet, it’s hard to say when the exact moment where we transitioned to the third generation happened. The time I find most likely is when Robert passed on the Sage titles.

The third generation of Slenderblogs is defined by large amounts of crossover between blogs, high amounts of proxy involvement, and Slender Man assuming a more passive, sitting back on his throne role.

The crossover thing if pretty obvious now; even on blogs with a much more Gen 2 style, you’ll still find more comments from other bloggers than you did in the past. And now, instead of being self contained stories, it’s often necessary to follow multiple blogs at once to understand the full story. This is an extension of Gen 2 practices, just taken to a further degree. It started with M, Zeke, Shaun, Jay, and Robert commenting on each other’s blogs, and occasionally mentioning them in a post. But their stories still remained mostly independent from each other, just with some character interaction. What we’ve got in Gen 3 is stories actually affecting each other, and not just in minor ways. What happens in one story can cause a character from another story to take a different course of action than they would have otherwise. It also means the occasional 100+ comment post.

And proxies. Gen 3 has way more proxies than the previous ones. Previously, blogs would have a handful of proxies in the story, who tended to just be minor distractions from the main Big Bad, Slendy. What’s happened in Gen 3 is a higher priority put onto the proxies, making it not uncommon for characters to face multiple proxies over the course of the story. What this does is turn the threat into more of a physical one than a mental one; the characters’ main worry is being stabbed by a crazy knife nut, not staying sane. When overdone, this can turn the story into something out of a zombie apocalypse movie, though instances of that happening have decreased lately.

Slender Man’s less involved behavior in Gen 3 is related to the increase in proxy attacks. Instead of tormenting individuals personally, his proxies do it for him, while he stays in the background. He tends to be reserved for more dramatic or dangerous moments.

One last note about Generation 3: I’ve seen most people put the start of Gen 3 at Zero’s “Real” post, and Redlight’s posts on White Elephants. I’d disagree with that (which should be obvious, because I did disagree with that up at the start of the Gen 3 section), for a few reasons. First off, the elements that I consider important to Generation 3 began appearing after the Sage titles were passed on, and have continued through the Real and Redlight posts. Secondly, the change in writing after those posts was not in style, but in tone. We went from “Yeah, let’s go kill that Slender Guy!” back to paranoia and insanity. All the things which are currently in Gen 3 existed before those posts; what they did was cut off a lot of the deadwood which was holding them down. Finally, I don’t like the implication that White Elephants was part of the super hero stories just because they all used Core Theory. There is a massive difference between Core Theory as was presented in WE and the Core Theory which so many people started using after the Sage transfer. WE didn’t have supernatural which couldn’t be explained away with “Slendy didn’t” (which is basically the Mythos’s equivalent of a Wizard Did It), individual proxies were a legitimate threat instead of mooks to be defeated by the dozen (the only time Robert encountered a large group of proxies, he called the police on them instead of confronting them), titles were symbols describing roles instead of grants of power, and until the Sage transfer, the tone was still dark and pessimistic. Original Core Theory was a logical conclusion of the idea that Slender Man came from the Tulpa effect, based on the nature of myths and stories in our culture. The Core Theory post WE was something else entirely.

But enough ranting. There’s been speculation on what the next generation of blogs would be like. Most guesses seem to be based on the gradual increase in optimism from the blogs. The next generation is likely to be filled with positive outlooks, and characters who are just plain awesome.
My hope is that the next generation looks something like this.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weapons of Effect

Time for a fun topic, boys and girls. We’re going to talk about weaponry! And how none of them seem to work against Slender Man!
Wow, that last sentence is pessimistic….


-Used In: Seeking Truth, In My Head, Make it Count
-Effect: None obvious effect in Seeking Truth or In My Head. In Make it Count, upon firing a gun at Slender Man, the shooter began coughing up blood. When brought to the hospitals, the doctors said that she had somehow pierced her lung, though no visible entry or exit wounds were found.
-Final Verdict: Don’t use them. Either it has no effect, or really bad effects.
-Note: Time for me to rant a bit here. Most of my life, I have lived in Texas. As such, I have been exposed to a lot of gun culture, even though most of my life here has been spent in a city which never heard that hippies stopped being fashionable. This gun culture has included a basic knowledge of gun safety. Because of that, every time I read a comment of someone saying, “You should get yourself a gun! Even if it won’t stop Slender Man, it can protect you from proxies!” I cringe. One of the very basic rules of gun safety is, if you have not had any experience or training in handling a gun, do not use a gun. A gun doesn’t just work by point and click, like in a video game. You need to know how maintain the gun, as well as minimize the chances of it going off prematurely. Someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing with a gun is more likely to shoot themselves or a friend then they are to shoot a proxy attacking them. So, please, unless the person you are talking to has handled a gun, been to a shooting range, or has a gun license, stop telling them to go and get a gun as soon as possible. It’s all going to end up with someone accidentally shooting their face off, and that’s never a pleasant thing.

Baseball Bats
-Used In: Da Watcha, EverymanHYBRID
-Effect: Drove Slender Man off in Da Watcha, but the ending of that blog involved having a rave at Slendy’s house, so it isn’t exactly the most reliable source. In EverymanHYBRID, it resulted in Evan bleeding from the mouth and needing to be hospitalized.
-Final Verdict: Baseball bats seem to be oddly popular for use as a weapon, probably because they’re so easy to get. Still isn’t likely to help much against Slendy.

Fire Extinguisher
-Used In: White Elephants, Anomalous Data
-Effect: Caused Slender Man to flee in White Elephants, had no effect in Anomalous Data
-Final Verdict: Chance of success varies depending on how Slendy works at that moment. So, might work, might not. If it doesn’t, you can always just do what B did and use it as a blunt weapon.

-Used In: EverymanHYBRID, Scared
-Effects: After trying to ram Slendy with their car, the Hybrid boys blacked out, then woke up back in their home. In Scared, Slendy just Slenderwalked out of the way, causing them to crash.
-Final Verdict: Well…. It didn’t hurt Slendy. And it doesn’t look like the boys were harmed, but we really don’t know what happened during that gap. And it definitely didn’t work in Scared. Might be safest to just not try it.

A Magical Bone-Thing
-Used In: Dreams in Darkness
-Effect: Drove Slender Man off sometimes. Not a 100% success rate.
-Final Verdict: Really can’t say, due to the unreliable narrator deal. Even if there was a bone that drove off Slender Man, it’s doubtful anyone could find it again.

Yes, seriously.
-Used In: A Really Bad Joke
-Effect: Left Slender Man thoroughly confused.
-Final Verdict: Possibly might work, but this is a serious case of “Don’t try this at home, kids!”

Human Mask
-Used In: A Really Bad Joke
-Effect: When placed on Slender Man, he appeared to have a breakdown, and started losing shape.
-Final Verdict: Another thing which may work, but actually putting the mask on Slendy successfully without being eaten would be a bit of a trick, especially now that he knows what to expect.

Holy Water
-Used In: Scared
-Effect: Caused a loud shrieking noise. Jack, Stephanie, and Drew all blacked out, so we don’t know more than that.
-Final Verdict: They survived, which is a plus, but we can’t tell whether Slender Man was planning to kill them there or not. So no real way to determine whether it was effective or not.

-Used In: Finding the Darkness
-Effect: Slendy screamed, and then Ryan blacked out. Pretty similar to the holy water effect, really. Since the use of the crucifix, Ryan hasn’t made note of any Slender Man appearances, though he’s still got creepy shit happening to him.
-Final Verdict: Same as holy water.

-Used In: Breaker
-Effect: Cut off Slender Man’s arms. Eating the flesh from those arms gave SamJaz SUPER POWERS!
-Final Verdict: Ohoho, Breaker. No, do not try to cut off Slendy’s arms with an axe. It won’t work.

Weaponized Operator Symbol
-Used In: White Elephants
-Effect: Caused Slendy to scream in pain then vanish.
-Final Verdict: Another case of unreliable narrator, so we can’t be sure if it even works. If it does, reproducing the conditions would be difficult (have to make the symbol out of Slendysubstance, and then have Slendy step onto it.)

Shouting Angrily at Slender Man
-Used In: CUT!
-Effect: Um…. Actually…. Worked. Somehow. Slender Man left the room.
-Final Verdict: Go ahead and give it a try. See what happens. Don’t expect it to work, but if it does, well, good for you.

The Power of Rock
-Used In: None, sadly.
-Effect: I can only guess what would happen, since no one has tried it yet. My prediction is that Slender Man would be blown away by the awesome power that is ROCK and be utterly annihilated. And thus, the world would be saved.
-Final Verdict: Someone get a guitar and set up a massive stage outside. Then we can rock Slender Man to death.

In the end, we still don't have anything that can assuredly harm Slender Man. At the moment, the only things which seem to be potentially harmful are all memetic weapons (the $20, the mask, holy water and crucifix, and the operator symbol), and none of those do lasting harm to him.