Let’s start out with A SHAMELESS PLUG!!!!
Cause we all like that sort of thing.
I’ve recently been given a position at the Examiner to write articles about zombies. So in case you ever wanted to know what Omega’s opinions on zombies are, you should check it out. And then follow it religiously.
Would you believe that I had been planning on making a post about The Tutorial since December? Just goes to show how incredibly on top of things I am.
I’ve already mentioned The Tutorial several times, as it has been a huge part in establishing some of the foundations of the Mythos. Here we follow M, the original Runner, the man who decided to make a blog about giving survival tips to those hunted by Slender Man. Being the first blog in this style, The Tutorial created or codified many of the ideas we see present in the Mythos today.
The Tutorial is scarce on plot most of the time; most of the posts are either M doling out advice, or explaining his current situation. We know M had a brother, who was killed by Slender Man (along with the rest of his family), and we sometimes are given a flashback to an event in M’s past, when he was less experienced at running, but this is mostly the extent of the backstory. For a while, there were hints of a plot appearing, through M’s dreams of a forest and a feeling he had that things would change soon, but schedule slip caused those plot threads to die off.
M the Runner
The Tutorial practically invented the concept of a Runner in the Mythos. We had seen hints of it in Marble Hornets, as Alex appeared to have temporarily escaped the Operator by running away. But The Tutorial was the first time we had a story which focused on someone surviving Slender Man through running; most stories at the time were fairly static in their location. And apart from Seeking Truth, most focused far more on the protagonist going insane than they did on survival. The Tutorial changed the setting for both the authors and the characters. Those writing Slenderblogs were given a new way to handle their characters, which spread rapidly. Writing Runner characters was popular for a long time (before Fighter characters replaced them): a Runner protagonist allows the author to create a character who manages to be genre savvy and proactive about their survival, as opposed to those who just quietly break down at home, while also retaining the sense of helplessness which is useful in horror.
For the characters, it created a common trait of genre savviness. With M’s Tutorial, there was now a place where characters could learn the basics of this creature who was hunting them, and how to stay alive. For some time, commentors would often post a link to The Tutorial whenever a character realized they were being stalked. Barring the “Why are you posting a broken link?” excuse, it would be hard for the character to continue to act in such a confused manner after being introduced to the Tutorial.
M the Codifier
If you look back through this blog, you’ll notice that I have brought up M and The Tutorial a lot. That’s because he was the one who laid down much of the foundation which the current blogs use. Much of what M posted was based on what was seen in Marble Hornets, but with an explanation behind it, instead of leaving it a mystery. The Operator Symbol was given a purpose, Slender Man’s teleportation was discussed, and proxies were given their first real definition.
M’s thoughts on proxies may be one of the most long lasting effects; prior to The Tutorial, stories had existed where Slender Man had human servants, but it was M who first gave them a name and rules. M created the title “Hallowed”, which was the name most used before “Proxy” overtook it in popularity.
Not everything that M said has been taken as gospel truth. The getting up high rule was never very popular, and using masks as protection never took off (until Maduin made his own version of that concept). And as more time passes, more bloggers move further away from M’s ideas. Not as an intentional rebellion against him, but because people are starting to find new ways to look at the things he posted, or explore his ideas from new perspectives.
M the Unkillable
M cannot die. I am convinced of that fact. Time after time, he has vanished for months, until people began to claim he must be dead, only for him to suddenly return and make a comment on someone’s blog. His last post may have been in December, but M made a sudden return in March within the comments section, only to vanish once more. M represents one of the few characters who have managed to stay completely sane and alive during his entire time stalked onscreen (other characters, such as Tony or Sandra, have been involved with Slendy for a longer time, but most of it was before they started their blogs). M is one of the only two surviving protagonists from the earlier times in the Slenderblogs (Zeke being the second), and as such his blog stands out. If you ever want to see firsthand how the Mythos has changed stylistically over time, all you need to do is compare The Tutorial with any currently active Slenderblog. Both will be a story about someone who is at this time being stalked by Slendy, but the environment, tone, and events in them will be markedly different.
It’s almost been a month now since M’s last interaction, so I’m guessing we’ll soon start to see people claiming that he’s either dead or gone. But after seeing M go through so much, I’m starting to think that I’ll only believe he’s dead once I see the body. And maybe not even then.
The Tutorial: http://getuphigh.blogspot.com/
The Tutorial TVTropes Page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheTutorial
The Tutorial Unfiction Thread: http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=29853