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If my YouTube videos all turned out to be an ARG

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by UberScout, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. UberScout

    UberScout Are you there, God? ...Hello? V.I.P Member

    Apr 16, 2017
    What would happen?

    What would be my viewers' reaction if I had secretly revealed, even as an inside joke, that the whole channel is actually a trail of clues leading up to a message to my viewers saying that I am in desperate need of help coping with life and sealing my sanity?

    Anger? Surprise? I've had countless people on YouTube show me nothing but support no matter what I put on my channel. It would go without saying that I am becoming quite popular indeed (you'd have to view my channel to see the proof of this, just search "Kazuma Kanjifreak" on YouTube) but would this be a bad idea?

    I have tried to do ARG-type videos in the past:

    "Vague Silence" was a Gmod ARG attempting to tell the story of my suicidal depression, using procedurally-spawning NPCs that fought each other to the death and bloodied ragdolls to move it forward. It was not successful.

    "Paperface" was supposed to be an animation featuring a man made of paper who would break into people's houses, and steal their food, leaving money behind in its place. It never got made or released.

    "Life Unyielding" was another one of my "lost" videos done for a seperate ARG. It was a split-screen recording of two life simulator games, Tamagotchi for the GameBoy Color, and Alter Ego for MS-DOS. The video was supposed to feature both the Alter Ego character and the Tamagotchi pet dying at the same time, both revealing clues to a now-503'd website I had up at the time. It never got released.

    "I_CANT_OPEN_MY_EYES.wmv".... I don't want to talk about this one. It got too realistic.

    And yet... I feel like I have to keep posting clues. To what, I don't know yet. But I feel like I have to get my message out there somehow, that autism is not something to be taken for granted, and that while it is a product of hyper-intelligence for some, it can also quickly become a deadly, threatening illness to the host, if it is abused and mistreated too long.

    Like me...
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  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    Are you using the term ARG to mean this?

    "The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story
    that takes place in real time and evolves according to players' responses."
    Alternate reality game - Wikipedia
  3. UberScout

    UberScout Are you there, God? ...Hello? V.I.P Member

    Apr 16, 2017

    Ah yes that is correct. Clues that point to IRL stuff.
  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

    Aug 10, 2016
    As a fan of this sort of thing I have a bit to say about it:

    To some degree it might depend on a couple of things.

    Firstly the more complexity you want, the larger of an audience you need. ARGs are typically not "solved" by individuals, usually a community or group of fans works together to solve them... that's part of why they work in the first place. The idea isnt just "well let's make a challenge for these guys", but instead is "let's make a challenge that will KEEP THEM DISCUSSING THIS".

    If you want to create a big ARG you're going to need to generate a large audience FIRST. Quite large. How exactly one goes about doing this, I'm not sure.

    Secondly though is what you want the thing to involve.

    You could go the Marble Hornets route, and have this complex maze of twisting puzzles that extends beyond just Youtube itself, with ciphers to find and codes to solve and sites to explore.

    However, this brings immediate problems. While a community can follow along with that, sort of... not everyone will, and this approach takes a lot of luck. The issue is that the average viewer just... wont. They wont watch because it wont make any sense to them. Or because that type of experience simply isnt what they're after. Those types of viewers however WILL take in the experience... IF someone ELSE makes analysis series about it. You know, one of those "X Explained" sorts of things. But boy do you need a BIG freaking audience to get noticed in that way.

    You could also go the route that's been more popular lately. The puzzles are there, contained within the lore, but the lore itself is also contained. It is not pushed outside of the videos, and if it ever is, it'll only be very slightly. For instance, a quick picture or something posted in the community section of the channel on rare occasions.

    An example of this is a series I've talked about on here before, Gemini Home Entertainment. There's a whole lot of story and lore going on with this one, and like any ARG, it's never told straightforward. A lot of disparate videos that at times seem entirely disconnected, but you need to view all of them to start to piece together what's going on. But also, the puzzle of the lore isnt TOO complicated. It's not like "here's this ultra-complicated code, crack it". Instead it's more like "okay, there's a bunch of details in these videos that are important... find them, and then figure out the timeline and how they all string together".

    That type has gotten a lot of attention lately... it aint just Gemini. It's popular because it appeals to both the "solve as a community" group, AND the more average "I just watch the videos on my own". It doesnt force anyone outside of Youtube itself, and THAT is an advantage.

    Fortunately the subject matter of something like this can be anything you want. A good example is a channel by the name of hiimmarymary (what a name). At first glance it seems to be about this girl who wakes up, to find herself stuck in a bizarre, fake version of her home, which quickly proves to be filled with dangerous entities, and it's the story of her survival and escape from them and that house. But... it's also truly a story about depression, and the series is a spectacular example of a unique way to tell a story about such a topic.

    Lastly, you need to come up with your method of presentation. A game wont work. A video OF a game, now that CAN work (like Petscop). Or you could go with live action filming, like marymary does. Perhaps instead you could have everything be drawn, such as in the Walten Files.

    And... yeah, that's everything there is to it, in terms of the main important stuff.

    I say this as someone who is a HUGE fan of the ARG concept... when it's done right. I'm familiar with a ton of them and the design of them fascinates me.

    I think the toughest part though is gathering that audience. There's little point in starting one of these if you dont have a community that's going to get enthralled by it enough to want to discuss it.

    It is a very interesting idea though. There are lots of series out there in relation to a lot of subjects... but I've never seen one that is in some way about autism. Not one. I dont think it's been done before.

    Be interesting, then, if you could be the one to make that happen, eh?