Thrillers are a conservative genre. Like Greek tragedies and murder mysteries, they upset society's balance in order to right it, and to re-affirm it in the righting. Like Wagner's operas, they keep an unresolved chord going for hours just to set up the sheer biological joy of its final resolution. A good thriller must provide comfort after the thrill. Many people have read The Da Vinci Code while riding on airplanes, senses irked into a state of low-grade discomfort and dulled by oxygen deprivation, dehydration, and slipping time zones. The characters in a thriller should not grab them too insistently or they will weep into their chicken Chernobyl; the plot must obey only the logic of the jet-lagged, and no suggestion of philosophical anarchy should threaten to bring down the premises by which airline passengers continue to believe that lift plus thrust will keep them airborne to their destination.
Thinking about this brings to mind a comparison with alternate reality games (here's an example of one). ARGs are similar in that they work by chronology, live on the Web, and call attention to their status as real things. But ARGs are housed in multiple sites, including many Web sites with different look and feels, off-net GPS searches, email messages, and so on. In contrast the docu-horror/blogstory form is, on a simple level, monologic. ARGs' dialogic voices generate an appearance of deepened realism, with multiple sites triangulating the same story. Docu-horror/blogs refer to the outside world for contextual deepening (cf Floyd Collins for Ted), much as any work of fiction, but not to seemingly external sites actually part of their project.
Anticipating quick deconstruction of this dualism, let me ask where these two forms blur into each other? For starters, the Web forum responsesto "I Found" and "Ted's" become quite forensic, as participants work with story and documents to better understand them. EvenSnopes gets into the detective action. Their close reading of Photoshopped images, examination of posting times, testing logic, etc. resembles the main work of the ARG player. Additionally, the act ofmirroring (and adding supplemental content) docu-horror/blog stories implies the kind of triangulation by multiple voices which benefit ARGs.
"I found a digital camera in the woods" posts a series of digital images, purportedly found in an abandoned camera, to a web forum in order to sketch an eerie story of walking in the woods. Some of the pictures are quite striking, and the minimalist approach to fright is nicely done.
It's a 3.3 mpixel Powershot S20! Slightly scuffed, but otherwise fine. It rained the next day, so I was really lucky to get there when I did. When I got home, I also saw it had a 300 mb hard drive inside! This must be like a £250 value folks, I pity the fool who dropped it so carelessly. Anyway, just wanted to share. It also had some nice pictures on it, and I'm putting those up in this thread, hence the 56k warning. Not sure why some of them are blurred...
This makes for a nice comparison with the blog asstorytelling application idea, as both approaches rely on sequential publishing for effect. "I found a digital camera" is, obviously, more image-driven (suggesting "La Jetee").
IGEfacilitates currency trading between the economies of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).
Implications are fascinating. One blog (I'm still looking for it) mentioned designers buying up other game's currency to devalue it, crashing the competition. Will players emerge who begin games already equipped with potent storehouses of currency, forming a global MMORPG elite?
In latest developments, officials have detained several staff and web technicians in indepedent companies who have served or helped the previousely banned reformist websites, Emrooz and Rooydad, in order to gain access to the hosting accounts that were used to serve those websites. They have apparently siezed control of the servers, have shut them down and have deleted all the information on them.
Reza Khatami, chief of the major reformist party, Jebhe-ye Mosharekat, has protested to the new wave of pressure in a public letter to the vice-president, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who is in charge of the legal and parliamentary relations and also has a popular website himself. The letter now appears on one of the remaining addresses, Rooydad.com, which is not under control of the agents.
Frustrating news is that no news agency or paper has reported on this in English. However, among the reliable Persian sources, BBC Persian and Reporters sans frontieres has covered it.
Participants in the games may respond to written questions from reporters or participate in online chat sessions -- akin to a face-to-face or telephone interview -- but they may not post journals or online diaries, blogs in Internet parlance, until the Games end August 29.
To protect lucrative broadcast contracts, athletes and other participants are also prohibited from posting any video, audio or still photos they take themselves, even after the games, unless they get permission ahead of time. (Photos taken by accredited journalists are allowed on the personal sites.)