I’m going to start off this post brutally honest: I didn’t know who or what the Slender Man was before reading these articles. There. I said it. However, now that I have read them I’m actually quite intrigued. I definitely think that I’m going to pop over to the Something Awful forums and take a real peek.
I’d have to say that the most interesting thing that I took from these readings, is the concept that the formation of the Slender Man through the open-sourcing forum is really quite similar to traditional storytelling. Now when you think about it, what do sitting around a campfire and sitting on the web really have in common? At first thought, not really much. There’s a different, more personal quality that comes from sharing stories around a camp fire. On the web, you don’t really see much other than typed words and the occasional photo. So how could they be so similar? Well it really delves down into the formation of the stories told.
When tales come about, they typically originate from one concept. However, the single concept ends there, and the story transforms into different ideas varying from teller to teller. As tales are passed from generation to generation, they are told, changed, and emphasized in different lights. This is no different than the way that the Slender Man was created. Victor Surge simply came up with a concept, a man in a suit who watches children. As Slender Man’s audience grew, he changed from teller to teller. Some say that he has long arms while others argue that he has many tentacles. Does he have a face or is he faceless? What are his precise motives? Each teller of the Slender Man has adopted their own personal idea of who he is and what he does. As his stories are passed down we will continue to see variations for years to come.
Without bringing storytelling to life in the web world, would we have any tales today? Or would we just continue to tell the old, originally shared stories? And most importantly, would we have Slender Man? Without the web, he would be nothing. The world would have no idea who or what he is. The Slender Man is a true representation of the impact that the web can make.
As the world populates and its people grow more and more attached to emerging technologies, it’s important to take on this new platform for storytelling. People of the world would not have known history if it weren’t for our ancestors and the tales that they told. We need to keep storytelling alive, even in this digital age.