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 Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man

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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 21, 2013 7:01 pm

If I understand correctly, the major complaint about 8 Pages was that it didn't take the full Mythos into account--is that right? I remember reading that 8 Pages was just a software test and that the creator didn't really intend for it to become the phenomenon it did.

In the context of a video game, what would be a better way to "translate" the mythos into playable form, to use Voidmaster's term?

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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 21, 2013 7:24 pm

Well, what I meant is that it has to be done properly or else the effect is lost.

Slender: The Arrival gets it right, for the most part. Atmosphere and ambience are paramount, along with the sense of consistently being pursued.

To bring in more of the mythos, you might involve the idea of a network of Runners, with a series of 'safe houses' and pathways that work their way across the states, or Europe. Bring them directly into a plot that is usually considered for a slender vlog, as opposed to something like the Eight Pages, or even The Arrival.

The Arrival is a good step forward, but it still didn't really have a plot, or at least one that I've seen. I admit, I've only played it through to the 2nd to final level.

I mean there are so many untouched ideas floating around in the Mythos that could be used well in a video game. Cults, rituals, special artifacts and writings, etc., etc.

Video games have only really stuck their toes in the potential plot points and game mechanics, and I hope a lot of them go for it and try them out.

As long as tension, anticipation, ambience, and fear are kept as the paramount themes, I can't see the game in question messing up too much.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyTue Apr 23, 2013 12:28 am

Ah, I see. So there's just a ton of narrative options that haven't really been explored.

It's definitely a rich and complex mythos. There's so much going on I hardly know where to start.

At this stage I feel I should point out that I tried playing The Arrival with a friend just last night, and we both nearly had heart attacks on multiple occasions. And we're both horror fans.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyTue Apr 23, 2013 6:27 am

The Angry Scholar wrote:
Ah, I see. So there's just a ton of narrative options that haven't really been explored.

The Slender Man mythos is one of the only myths that let's you create your own narratives with the story. There are tons upon tons of options that haven't been explored because the myth is so open to innovation and construction that literally anything can be made from it.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 24, 2013 4:51 pm

sethlapod555 wrote:
The Slender Man mythos is one of the only myths that let's you create your own narratives with the story. There are tons upon tons of options that haven't been explored because the myth is so open to innovation and construction that literally anything can be made from it.

That's very interesting. This idea of ostension that I'm working with has a lot to do with direct experience of the thing itself. Do you think you would find the mythos less interesting or enjoyable if it was not so open to interpretation/participation?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 27, 2013 10:32 am

Oh yes. Vastly so.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 27, 2013 10:57 am

The Angry Scholar wrote:
But what makes Slender Man seem real to begin with?

I think it's mostly because, there are just so many pieces of "evidence" in the Mythos (The numerus vlogs/blogs, the woodcuttings, photos, etc.) that makes it seem that Slender Man actually exists, when of course, in real life, Slender Man does not exist. The people who created Slender Man, and the people who continue to add to the legend of The Slender Man, and even a good majority (In my opinion anyway.) of the people who watch the vlogs/read the vlogs, know that Slender Man, in reality at least, does not exist.

But for the people who do not know that The Slender Man is just a creation of somebody's mind, and actually take the "evidence" as fact, that's what makes it real.

In my opinion at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 27, 2013 12:52 pm

awkwardraptor wrote:
But for the people who do not know that The Slender Man is just a creation of somebody's mind, and actually take the "evidence" as fact, that's what makes it real.

In my opinion at least.

Oh, so the fact that it could be real is important? If it seems real enough that newcomers think it IS real, that in turn makes it seem more real for people "in the know"?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 28, 2013 6:43 pm

The Angry Scholar wrote:
awkwardraptor wrote:
But for the people who do not know that The Slender Man is just a creation of somebody's mind, and actually take the "evidence" as fact, that's what makes it real.

In my opinion at least.

Oh, so the fact that it could be real is important? If it seems real enough that newcomers think it IS real, that in turn makes it seem more real for people "in the know"?
pretty much, yes.

Basically, knowing that Slender Man is not real, but knowing that there is always even the slightest possibility of there being an actual Slender Man is what I believe to make Slender Man scary.

it's basically like say, you watch Marble Hornets or one of the other really popular vlogs and you know it's fake, but there is always that little part of your mind thinking that it could be real.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 28, 2013 7:01 pm

Your Imagination could think a lot about it and make it look real
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyMon Apr 29, 2013 1:06 pm

I've got some good news for you, Scholar! Someone compiled a 192-page PDF file of everything that the original 2009 Slender Man mythos had to offer. There is so much info on the original stories and photos (even some that I haven't seen/read before) all compiled into the file. This really is a good source of info. Here's the Mediafire page for it:

mediafire.com ?ayru5dep5q7cc9k
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyMon Apr 29, 2013 8:23 pm

sethlapod555 wrote:
I've got some good news for you, Scholar! Someone compiled a 192-page PDF file of everything that the original 2009 Slender Man mythos had to offer. There is so much info on the original stories and photos (even some that I haven't seen/read before) all compiled into the file. This really is a good source of info. Here's the Mediafire page for it:

mediafire.com ?ayru5dep5q7cc9k

Wow, that's a handy thing to have. Thanks very much for the link!
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyThu May 02, 2013 10:37 am

sethlapod555 wrote:
I've got some good news for you, Scholar! Someone compiled a 192-page PDF file of everything that the original 2009 Slender Man mythos had to offer. There is so much info on the original stories and photos (even some that I haven't seen/read before) all compiled into the file. This really is a good source of info. Here's the Mediafire page for it:

mediafire.com ?ayru5dep5q7cc9k

Oh, looks Slendy Very Happy I want to read!
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyThu May 02, 2013 12:13 pm

The Angry Scholar wrote:
sethlapod555 wrote:
I've got some good news for you, Scholar! Someone compiled a 192-page PDF file of everything that the original 2009 Slender Man mythos had to offer. There is so much info on the original stories and photos (even some that I haven't seen/read before) all compiled into the file. This really is a good source of info. Here's the Mediafire page for it:

mediafire.com ?ayru5dep5q7cc9k

Wow, that's a handy thing to have. Thanks very much for the link!

It is very handy. And you're welcome! I'm currently reading through it; so many stories and characteristics of the Slender Man that we never see anymore in current stories. I'm currently 25 pages in.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyFri May 03, 2013 12:53 am

sethlapod555 wrote:
It is very handy. And you're welcome! I'm currently reading through it; so many stories and characteristics of the Slender Man that we never see anymore in current stories. I'm currently 25 pages in.

Wait, so there are things that are no longer really a part of the mythos? It's changed that much?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyFri May 03, 2013 6:08 am

Well, not necessarily "no longer", they just aren't used or seen as much. There are stories in the original mythos about the Slender Man grinning, speaking with a voice that is like "nails on a chalkboard", making different faces to children, among other things/characteristics of the Slender Man and his behavior that are rarely used in recent stories.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySun May 05, 2013 11:53 pm

sethlapod555 wrote:
Well, not necessarily "no longer", they just aren't used or seen as much. There are stories in the original mythos about the Slender Man grinning, speaking with a voice that is like "nails on a chalkboard", making different faces to children, among other things/characteristics of the Slender Man and his behavior that are rarely used in recent stories.

I see. Would you say that a more standardized version of Slender Man has emerged over time?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyMon May 06, 2013 6:17 am

Oh yes, in many ways, but not completely. A basic look/behavior of the Slender Man has definitely formed over the last 4 years, but some branch off from that. One well-known series named The Angel's Game (YouTube name theoriginalaliendude) branches off from the basic look/behaviors. For one, they've made the Slender Man appear with a black undershirt and red tie rather than a black suit jacket and white shirt and black tie, and they've also had him wear some sort of business hat. They also had him have more human behaviors such as walking, hand-to-hand fighting and axe wielding, among other things.

The only thing that doesn't seem too standardized is the Slender Man's backstory in the current stories in vlogs and blogs. The backstories vary with most every story, including such things as Nazis, Egypt, different dimensions outside our own, Native Americans, Nephilims, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyThu May 09, 2013 9:27 pm

sethlapod, this is really interesting stuff.

In folklore we talk a lot about the ideas of tradition and variation (i.e., stability and change). Legends and myths and folk tales exist in many different versions, and understanding the reasons for the changes over time and space was a big focus for earlier generations of folklorists. These things are definitely in play as far as Slender Man is concerned.

Do you think your appreciation of Slender Man would change if the whole thing was produced by some film company (for example), and there was no real opportunity for participation (in the form of forums, ARGs, etc)?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyThu May 09, 2013 11:05 pm

I believe the magic lies behind the creativity behind amateur filmmaking/storywriting kids and adults that have a big imagination and a lot of time on their hands. That's what makes the Slender Man mythos beautiful. It's not all about movie magic, big budgets, or professional filmmakers. It's about the community, it's about creativity in smaller numbers that make it all one big collective mythos.

So to answer your question, yes, my appreciation for the Slender Man mythos would be altered if it was done by film companies rather these broke kids with big minds.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptyFri May 10, 2013 9:11 pm

Do you feel that some versions of the mythos--Marble Hornets, the video games, etc.--do a better job than others? And if so, what do you think makes them better?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySat May 11, 2013 9:02 am

Yes, there are different Slender Man stories, be it a vlog, blog, or ARG hybrid, that use the mythos in a lot more resourceful and plentiful way.

What I would say makes them better is the way that they use their knowledge of the mythos. Many vlogs that I have seen use a method to the Slender Man where the Slender Man shows up, there's distortion, and the protagonist(s) runs away. The thing they don't know is that the distortion isn't essential. Many of the early Marble Hornets entries didn't include distortion, neither did the original Slender Man photos in the Something Awful forums. Basically, what makes a good Slender Man story is how they use their knowledge of the Slender Man mythos and how well they can replicate key elements.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySat May 11, 2013 12:51 pm

How about "The Arrival"? That seems to make heavy use of the distortion effect. I know people were saying that "8 Pages" wasn't well-liked by fans. Is "Arrival" any better, in terms of how it handles the mythos?
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySat May 11, 2013 1:08 pm

It wasn't necessarily the game that made the fans upset, but rather the fans that came from the game acting like they knew everything about the Slender Man from simply the game.

Though, The Arrival did incorporate tons of mythos elements that came from even early-mythos stories and forward, on account that it was written by the crew of Marble Hornets.
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PostSubject: Re: Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man   Experiencing the legend: a scholarly study of Slender Man - Page 2 EmptySun May 12, 2013 10:07 pm

Ah, I think I understand. It had to do with claims to authority about the mythos itself.

Edit (5/17/2013): I really want to thank everyone who responded to my questions. You've all been a tremendous help, and I greatly appreciate your time and patience.

I'm nearly finished with the first draft of my article. If it's successfully published, I'll post a link here on the forums so anyone interested can take a look.

Thanks again!

Edit (11/28/13): Hello again! I wanted to let everyone know that my article has been published. If you're interested, you can view it here: http://semioticreview.com/index.php/thematic-issues/issue-monsters/22-the-sort-of-story-that-has-you-covering-your-mirrors-the-case-of-slender-man

Thanks again for all your help!


Last edited by The Angry Scholar on Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Article update)
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