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One, Two, Slender Man's Coming For You

In the Internet age of immediate debunking and cynicism, the legend of Slender Man persists. Learn how the myth came to be, and meet the designer behind the terrifying game known as Slender.

Even though Slender Man has no face, do not look at him. Even though Slender Man often appears far away, he’s always near. Even though Slender Man will not physically touch you, he’s dangerous. Even though Slender Man is more terrifying, ambitious and skilled at night, he’s still lurking during the day. Nowhere, it seems, is really safe.

You may not see him, but he’s there. And he’s scary as hell.

There are few examples of believable monster mythologies created in the modern age. The Internet has made it both incredibly easy and deceptively hard for the traditional myth to propagate, but Slender Man is a rare example of a tall tale slowly transformed into a legitimate myth, one that’s expanded well beyond its humble origins on the Something Awful forums. Slender Man is now a creepy creature with a life of its own, and it's only growing.

Cue the “Create Paranormal Images” thread from the Something Awful message boards in the Comedy Goldmine category from April 30, 2009. User “Gerogerigegege” created the thread.

“Creating paranormal images has been a hobby of mine for quite some time,” said Gerogerigegege in a thread that's now, amazingly, three years old. “Occasionally, I stumble upon odd web sites showcasing strange photos, and I always wondered if it were possible to get one of my own chops in a book, documentary, or web site just by casually leaking it out into the web -- whether they'd be supplements to bogus stories or not.”

If you don't see Slender Man yet, give it a moment. Eventually, you will. Have fun.

The first few pages include your typical hair-raising submissions, including poorly Photoshopped ghosts and distorted faces with too much blur filtering. On the third page, however, user Victor Surge posts two altered photographs with accompanying stories. The faux accounts tell of “The Slender Man,” a person, creature or thing that apparently stalks children. It’s the fictional context, combined with the creepy photos, that cements “The Slender Man.”

“One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze,” reads the description attached to the second photograph. “Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as ‘The Slender Man’. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence.”

Like The Blair Witch Project, a little sense of realism goes a long way. Your mind fills in the gaps, and your mind can be an evil thing.

“An urban legend requires an audience ignorant of the origin of the legend,” said Victor Surge in an interview with Know Your Meme. “It needs unverifiable third and forth hand (or more) accounts to perpetuate the myth. On the Internet, anyone is privy to its origins as evidenced by the very public Somethingawful thread. But what is funny is that despite this, it still spread. Internet memes are finicky things and by making something at the right place and time it can swell into an ‘Internet Urban Legend.’”

Responding to enthusiasm from other users, Victor Surge began expanding upon the legend, establishing Slender Man’s distinctive features, tropes that would later be exploited in other mediums, including video games.

In addition to his tentacles, faceless appearance, and suit, Slender Man appears with a layer of fog.

“Both subjects were hunting in the Steinmen woods four hours before sundown,” reads a story about two hunters in the woods who encountered Slender Man. “Surviving subject states that while hunting both men grew uneasy as fog levels rapidly increased. A constant murmuring sound accompanied by a low hum eventually became apparent to the two men an hour after the fog increased.”

Slender Man captured the imagination of the thread, resulting in pages and pages of other users creating material related to Slender Man, diversifying its abilities and establishing a deep history of “sightings.” The thread keeps going, eventually sputtering out around page 46, but Slender Man didn’t die there.

Like Slender Man’s tentacles, the myth spread. Slender Man was just getting started.

The largest tangent, and one more likely responsible for introducing outsiders to the idea of Slender Man, was a YouTube series called Marble Hornets. The first episode of Marble Hornets was published in June 20, 2009, just weeks after Slender Man was conceived on the ground floor of Something Awful. The series follows Jay, a friend of Alex Kralie, a college film student who was preparing to shoot a movie called Marble Hornets, only to give up partway through, following a series of incidents wherein friends described him as distracted, irritated, and paranoid.

The first episode has 1,893,614 views, as of this writing. The series is still going, too, with episode 61 having been published just a week ago. Hundreds of thousands of users are still following the saga, myself included.

In Something Awful’s footsteps, Marble Hornets helps reinforce signs of Slender Man’s presence:

Giant Bomb readers will probably have the most familiarity with episode 10, though.

Like many others, I hadn’t heard about Slender Man until the video game from Parsec Productions, simply titled Slender, started making the rounds. Not thinking much of it, I booted up Slender in the middle of the day. A few minutes in, I shut it off. Slender was too much, even with the sun blaring. Why am I playing this?

In Slender, players are dropped into the middle of the woods, and given a deceptively simple task: collect eight scraps of paper. The pieces of paper are about Slender Man, though, and Slender Man is following you. True to lore, he does not speak and he does not attack, but he stalks. Oh, he stalks. And if you look at him, your vision goes screwy, and it sounds as though someone is blaring a broken, staticy radio through an amplifier meant to fill up a stadium. The sensation is unsettling, and looking at the screen is an exercise in terror.

(The sheer act of writing these sentences is giving me goosebumps, by the way.)

Parsec Productions, the studio behind Slender, is just one man, it turns out. Slender is the twisted creation of 35-year-old designer Mark Hadley of New Mexico. He’s a hard man to get a hold of, one who seems very private, and only responded to my requests regarding Slender with brief, pointed comments after weeks of prodding.

This is not a position you want to be in while playing Slender. It's time to look away, and run.

Hadley was unaware of Slender Man’s origins on Something Awful, and learned of it through Marble Hornet. Slender was merely an experiment for Hadley, who’d never used the popular development tool Unity before. Unity makes a simple game like this doable. Like Slender Man himself, the results were unintentional.

Hadley was reluctant to discuss previous creations, but we can gain some insight from archived pages. Until recently, the Parsec Productions website primarily pointed towards a board game he'd designed called Pancakes. Yes, Pancakes. It's no longer referenced on the site, but a little digging shows the Pancakes page is actually still active, even if the game is temporarily dead.

"That was a (somewhat failed) project of mine from a couple of years back," he said. "I'm also an aspiring card and board game designer, and I had made a simple card game that I was trying to sell, but haven't been successful at it. I took it down for now so that it doesn't cause confusion for people looking for info about Slender."

He would, however, speak to his inspirations.

“I like horror games, and one that especially sticks out is Amnesia: The Dark Descent,” he said. “I liked a lot about the game and I think it did a masterful job of creating a true horror experience through helplessness, atmosphere, and unsettling images (as well as building up suspense instead of relying solely on jump scares). If I had one complaint with it, it's that it doesn't have as much replay value since it's mostly scripted (I like it when games include at least some degree of randomization).”

Randomization is a huge element of Slender’s appeal. It’s resulted in a community of users scribbling out maps to help players who can’t or aren’t willing to put in the time to find all of Slender’s notes.

Slender works because it’s effective at establishing a chaotic atmosphere, and its design plays to Haldey’s own strengths and weaknesses as a creator. The character model for Slender Man is hysterically bad, but since the gameplay forces players to look away from Slender Man to survive, it’s irrelevant. It’s only when the player dies that Slender Man’s blocky polygons becomes front-and-center. By then, you’re so freaked out, it hardly matters.

Haldey said the basic character model for Slender Man was a “limitation of time,” though one he’s hoping to address with a graphical update in the future.

Work began on Slender in the beginning of May, and he released that first version soon after.

“The initial release was actually very limited,” he said. “I posted it to the Unity forums of course, since I had worked on it there. I also posted it to a Slender Man mythos forum, and to one other forum that I frequent. Other than that and the youtube video trailer (which I made to include with the aforementioned forum posts), I didn't really spread it around at all. Someone from one of the forums showed it to a popular YouTuber, who posted a video of himself playing it, and it went viral shortly after that.”

Here’s that original trailer, for reference:

That “popular YouTuber,” by the way, was Tom “JurassicJunkie” Wheldon, whose help in giving Slender an early, centralized place to live probably lead to much of its viral popularity. Upon learning there was no official website for Slender, Wheldon established www.slendergame.com a basic site (it’s more fleshed out now) with details about the Slender Man legend, and links to brand-new mirrors for the PC and Mac versions of the game.

More servers were essential, as all of them kept crashing. Wheldon's site is how I first found the game.

The website actually ticked Hadley off, since players kept assuming it was the official website.

“While initiative is good, I don't think it was right to do it without gaining my permission first,” he said.

Wheldon did ask for permission, but buried under a slew of emails, Hadley didn’t respond quickly. Given how long it took for me to get in touch with Hadley, I can understand why Wheldon went ahead, and solicited forgiveness later. When asked, Hadley still sounds slightly peeved about Wheldon’s site, but seems to have buried the hatchet now that it sports the tagline “this is not the official Slender game site.” The official site, complete with t-shirts, is now up.

Slender is currently at version 0.9.6, which includes some tiny changes to the game, including the addition of fog. As if Slender was a game that needed more ways to creep you out, right? Slender was not intended to be perpetually in development, but Hadley has plans to continue iterating on it, due to its enormous and continued popularity.

Just one of several Slender spin-offs, this one focused on playing with more than one person.

He’s not the only one hoping to capitalize on Slender Man in video game form, either. There’s a multiplayer variant in development called Slender: Source, and an awfully similar game set in different environments called Slenderman’s Shadow. More maps for the latter are on the way, and it gives credit where credit is due, as Slenderman’s Shadow opens with the text “based on Slender.”

The effectiveness of Slender Man as a tool of horror means he (or it) probably isn’t going away anytime soon. There’s even speculation Slender Man was an inspiration for a series of creatures on Doctor Who called The Silence. Who knows?

“We think the appeal about the Slenderman is that he isn't exactly what you'd picture a ‘monster’ to look like,” said Slender: Source designer Justin Hall. “He's sort of 'human' and that's probably what makes him so scary. [...] Why does he kidnap children, why doesn't he have a face, and why does he have tentacles? I think the fact that we perceive him as a human, but he's more than a human makes him scary. The fact that he cannot be explained.”

Hadley, the man responsible for scaring the crap out of so many of us, probably puts it best.

“We know nothing about his motives, his abilities, what he's capable of, or what his ultimate purpose is,” he said. “We only know he exists, and sometimes we're not even sure of that.”

Patrick Klepek on Google+
216 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek

Even though Slender Man has no face, do not look at him. Even though Slender Man often appears far away, he’s always near. Even though Slender Man will not physically touch you, he’s dangerous. Even though Slender Man is more terrifying, ambitious and skilled at night, he’s still lurking during the day. Nowhere, it seems, is really safe.

You may not see him, but he’s there. And he’s scary as hell.

There are few examples of believable monster mythologies created in the modern age. The Internet has made it both incredibly easy and deceptively hard for the traditional myth to propagate, but Slender Man is a rare example of a tall tale slowly transformed into a legitimate myth, one that’s expanded well beyond its humble origins on the Something Awful forums. Slender Man is now a creepy creature with a life of its own, and it's only growing.

Cue the “Create Paranormal Images” thread from the Something Awful message boards in the Comedy Goldmine category from April 30, 2009. User “Gerogerigegege” created the thread.

“Creating paranormal images has been a hobby of mine for quite some time,” said Gerogerigegege in a thread that's now, amazingly, three years old. “Occasionally, I stumble upon odd web sites showcasing strange photos, and I always wondered if it were possible to get one of my own chops in a book, documentary, or web site just by casually leaking it out into the web -- whether they'd be supplements to bogus stories or not.”

If you don't see Slender Man yet, give it a moment. Eventually, you will. Have fun.

The first few pages include your typical hair-raising submissions, including poorly Photoshopped ghosts and distorted faces with too much blur filtering. On the third page, however, user Victor Surge posts two altered photographs with accompanying stories. The faux accounts tell of “The Slender Man,” a person, creature or thing that apparently stalks children. It’s the fictional context, combined with the creepy photos, that cements “The Slender Man.”

“One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze,” reads the description attached to the second photograph. “Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as ‘The Slender Man’. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence.”

Like The Blair Witch Project, a little sense of realism goes a long way. Your mind fills in the gaps, and your mind can be an evil thing.

“An urban legend requires an audience ignorant of the origin of the legend,” said Victor Surge in an interview with Know Your Meme. “It needs unverifiable third and forth hand (or more) accounts to perpetuate the myth. On the Internet, anyone is privy to its origins as evidenced by the very public Somethingawful thread. But what is funny is that despite this, it still spread. Internet memes are finicky things and by making something at the right place and time it can swell into an ‘Internet Urban Legend.’”

Responding to enthusiasm from other users, Victor Surge began expanding upon the legend, establishing Slender Man’s distinctive features, tropes that would later be exploited in other mediums, including video games.

In addition to his tentacles, faceless appearance, and suit, Slender Man appears with a layer of fog.

“Both subjects were hunting in the Steinmen woods four hours before sundown,” reads a story about two hunters in the woods who encountered Slender Man. “Surviving subject states that while hunting both men grew uneasy as fog levels rapidly increased. A constant murmuring sound accompanied by a low hum eventually became apparent to the two men an hour after the fog increased.”

Slender Man captured the imagination of the thread, resulting in pages and pages of other users creating material related to Slender Man, diversifying its abilities and establishing a deep history of “sightings.” The thread keeps going, eventually sputtering out around page 46, but Slender Man didn’t die there.

Like Slender Man’s tentacles, the myth spread. Slender Man was just getting started.

The largest tangent, and one more likely responsible for introducing outsiders to the idea of Slender Man, was a YouTube series called Marble Hornets. The first episode of Marble Hornets was published in June 20, 2009, just weeks after Slender Man was conceived on the ground floor of Something Awful. The series follows Jay, a friend of Alex Kralie, a college film student who was preparing to shoot a movie called Marble Hornets, only to give up partway through, following a series of incidents wherein friends described him as distracted, irritated, and paranoid.

The first episode has 1,893,614 views, as of this writing. The series is still going, too, with episode 61 having been published just a week ago. Hundreds of thousands of users are still following the saga, myself included.

In Something Awful’s footsteps, Marble Hornets helps reinforce signs of Slender Man’s presence:

Giant Bomb readers will probably have the most familiarity with episode 10, though.

Like many others, I hadn’t heard about Slender Man until the video game from Parsec Productions, simply titled Slender, started making the rounds. Not thinking much of it, I booted up Slender in the middle of the day. A few minutes in, I shut it off. Slender was too much, even with the sun blaring. Why am I playing this?

In Slender, players are dropped into the middle of the woods, and given a deceptively simple task: collect eight scraps of paper. The pieces of paper are about Slender Man, though, and Slender Man is following you. True to lore, he does not speak and he does not attack, but he stalks. Oh, he stalks. And if you look at him, your vision goes screwy, and it sounds as though someone is blaring a broken, staticy radio through an amplifier meant to fill up a stadium. The sensation is unsettling, and looking at the screen is an exercise in terror.

(The sheer act of writing these sentences is giving me goosebumps, by the way.)

Parsec Productions, the studio behind Slender, is just one man, it turns out. Slender is the twisted creation of 35-year-old designer Mark Hadley of New Mexico. He’s a hard man to get a hold of, one who seems very private, and only responded to my requests regarding Slender with brief, pointed comments after weeks of prodding.

This is not a position you want to be in while playing Slender. It's time to look away, and run.

Hadley was unaware of Slender Man’s origins on Something Awful, and learned of it through Marble Hornet. Slender was merely an experiment for Hadley, who’d never used the popular development tool Unity before. Unity makes a simple game like this doable. Like Slender Man himself, the results were unintentional.

Hadley was reluctant to discuss previous creations, but we can gain some insight from archived pages. Until recently, the Parsec Productions website primarily pointed towards a board game he'd designed called Pancakes. Yes, Pancakes. It's no longer referenced on the site, but a little digging shows the Pancakes page is actually still active, even if the game is temporarily dead.

"That was a (somewhat failed) project of mine from a couple of years back," he said. "I'm also an aspiring card and board game designer, and I had made a simple card game that I was trying to sell, but haven't been successful at it. I took it down for now so that it doesn't cause confusion for people looking for info about Slender."

He would, however, speak to his inspirations.

“I like horror games, and one that especially sticks out is Amnesia: The Dark Descent,” he said. “I liked a lot about the game and I think it did a masterful job of creating a true horror experience through helplessness, atmosphere, and unsettling images (as well as building up suspense instead of relying solely on jump scares). If I had one complaint with it, it's that it doesn't have as much replay value since it's mostly scripted (I like it when games include at least some degree of randomization).”

Randomization is a huge element of Slender’s appeal. It’s resulted in a community of users scribbling out maps to help players who can’t or aren’t willing to put in the time to find all of Slender’s notes.

Slender works because it’s effective at establishing a chaotic atmosphere, and its design plays to Haldey’s own strengths and weaknesses as a creator. The character model for Slender Man is hysterically bad, but since the gameplay forces players to look away from Slender Man to survive, it’s irrelevant. It’s only when the player dies that Slender Man’s blocky polygons becomes front-and-center. By then, you’re so freaked out, it hardly matters.

Haldey said the basic character model for Slender Man was a “limitation of time,” though one he’s hoping to address with a graphical update in the future.

Work began on Slender in the beginning of May, and he released that first version soon after.

“The initial release was actually very limited,” he said. “I posted it to the Unity forums of course, since I had worked on it there. I also posted it to a Slender Man mythos forum, and to one other forum that I frequent. Other than that and the youtube video trailer (which I made to include with the aforementioned forum posts), I didn't really spread it around at all. Someone from one of the forums showed it to a popular YouTuber, who posted a video of himself playing it, and it went viral shortly after that.”

Here’s that original trailer, for reference:

That “popular YouTuber,” by the way, was Tom “JurassicJunkie” Wheldon, whose help in giving Slender an early, centralized place to live probably lead to much of its viral popularity. Upon learning there was no official website for Slender, Wheldon established www.slendergame.com a basic site (it’s more fleshed out now) with details about the Slender Man legend, and links to brand-new mirrors for the PC and Mac versions of the game.

More servers were essential, as all of them kept crashing. Wheldon's site is how I first found the game.

The website actually ticked Hadley off, since players kept assuming it was the official website.

“While initiative is good, I don't think it was right to do it without gaining my permission first,” he said.

Wheldon did ask for permission, but buried under a slew of emails, Hadley didn’t respond quickly. Given how long it took for me to get in touch with Hadley, I can understand why Wheldon went ahead, and solicited forgiveness later. When asked, Hadley still sounds slightly peeved about Wheldon’s site, but seems to have buried the hatchet now that it sports the tagline “this is not the official Slender game site.” The official site, complete with t-shirts, is now up.

Slender is currently at version 0.9.6, which includes some tiny changes to the game, including the addition of fog. As if Slender was a game that needed more ways to creep you out, right? Slender was not intended to be perpetually in development, but Hadley has plans to continue iterating on it, due to its enormous and continued popularity.

Just one of several Slender spin-offs, this one focused on playing with more than one person.

He’s not the only one hoping to capitalize on Slender Man in video game form, either. There’s a multiplayer variant in development called Slender: Source, and an awfully similar game set in different environments called Slenderman’s Shadow. More maps for the latter are on the way, and it gives credit where credit is due, as Slenderman’s Shadow opens with the text “based on Slender.”

The effectiveness of Slender Man as a tool of horror means he (or it) probably isn’t going away anytime soon. There’s even speculation Slender Man was an inspiration for a series of creatures on Doctor Who called The Silence. Who knows?

“We think the appeal about the Slenderman is that he isn't exactly what you'd picture a ‘monster’ to look like,” said Slender: Source designer Justin Hall. “He's sort of 'human' and that's probably what makes him so scary. [...] Why does he kidnap children, why doesn't he have a face, and why does he have tentacles? I think the fact that we perceive him as a human, but he's more than a human makes him scary. The fact that he cannot be explained.”

Hadley, the man responsible for scaring the crap out of so many of us, probably puts it best.

“We know nothing about his motives, his abilities, what he's capable of, or what his ultimate purpose is,” he said. “We only know he exists, and sometimes we're not even sure of that.”

Staff
Posted by fusrodah

So glad Patrick is back

Posted by AuthenticM

Welcome back, Patrick. I missed your editorials.

Posted by Coafi

I was actually looking into this and didn't find a whole lot of info. Thanks for this, Patrick!

Posted by Little_Socrates

Man, the idea that Patrick is watching MH is awesome.

, if you're looking for more quality series, EverymanHYBRID is the best competitor to MH, and DownMyCellarDoor is a brand-new series about four episodes in.

Posted by Robopengy

Maybe because my friends are so into the whole Slender thing but I'm really sick of it. Keep the reddit crap to reddit and stick to game news.

Posted by jaklap

Great article! Keep up the good work, Patrick.

Posted by LarryDavis

The whole Slenderman thing is really stupid, and this game looks terrible. Sorry. Amnesia rules though, go play that instead.

Posted by smitty86

Slendy PLZ

Also great article Tricky.

Posted by kindgineer

You really enjoy Slender-man, don't you Patrick? He (or it, whatever) is probably one of my favourite mythological monsters and I wish the gaming community would do it a little more justice. I think that the SLENDER/MAN games that we have right now are great base ideas, but there is just so much potential for such a creepy creature. I hope this Mine-craft like obsession with these types of games don't burn out the community before a "real" Slender-man survival horror surfaces.

Great article, as always, and it's great to have you back!

Posted by CJduke

Awesome. This game scared the shit out of, its pretty intense. I hate the thought of being chased, so playing this was like living out one of my biggest fears.

Posted by LikeaMetaphor

I hate to be "that guy", but you've got a typo.

"...brief, pointed commetns after weeks of prodding."

Otherwise, nice write up! I knew of Slenderman, but not really of its origins, and it's great to see what some of the developers behind these games have to say about Slender.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Nice article Patrick.

But I can't help but I can't help but wonder about you Patrick. Getting scared by games! Video games aren't scary!

Edited by stalefishies

It's pretty crazy just how ubiquitous Slenderman has managed to become after barely more than three years.

Posted by Aetheldod

Slender Man??? What the heck is that? Never heard of it

Posted by patrickklepek

@LikeaMetaphor said:

I hate to be "that guy", but you've got a typo.

"...brief, pointed commetns after weeks of prodding."

Otherwise, nice write up! I knew of Slenderman, but not really of its origins, and it's great to see what some of the developers behind these games have to say about Slender.

Thanks!

Staff
Posted by ZombiePie

As someone who didn't participate in but viewed the original Something Awful threads that essentially created Slender Man I have to say that Slender has absolutely no impact on me. I thought the "story" for Slenderman was stupid and comical then and I can't help but laugh whenever I see the Slenderman in Slender.

Moderator
Posted by mbr2

@LarryDavis said:

The whole Slenderman thing is really stupid, and this game looks terrible. Sorry. Amnesia rules though, go play that instead.

Try play it before spewing your shit. He already wrote an article about Amnesia.

@Robopengy said:

Maybe because my friends are so into the whole Slender thing but I'm really sick of it. Keep the reddit crap to reddit and stick to game news.

Reddit crap? Slenderman was created buy some people on SomethingAwful even before Reddit was created I think. God forbid someone wrote an original editorial instead of copy-pasting press releases.

Posted by theedangle

Finally able to find some info on the game that scared me just watching Youtube videos of it!

Posted by Iodine

The Slenderman Cometh.

Posted by forkboy

Funny the timing of this as Jeffrey Rowland on his almost-autobiographical webcomic Overcompensating just finished a short 10 comic arc where he hunted down the Slender Man & I had no fucking idea what that was about. I always seem 3 or 4 steps behind the latest meme!

Interesting article

Posted by Iodine

@mbr2 said:

@LarryDavis said:

The whole Slenderman thing is really stupid, and this game looks terrible. Sorry. Amnesia rules though, go play that instead.

Try play it before spewing your shit. He already wrote an article about Amnesia.

@Robopengy said:

Maybe because my friends are so into the whole Slender thing but I'm really sick of it. Keep the reddit crap to reddit and stick to game news.

Reddit crap? Slenderman was created buy some people on SomethingAwful even before Reddit was created I think. God forbid someone wrote an original editorial instead of copy-pasting press releases.

+1

Posted by Pox22

I just started watching Marble Hornets a few days ago, and it's freaking me out. Probably doesn't help that I only have time for it after midnight. I found this article on GB to be highly coincidental. I generally don't like scary movies and games--but I get a real House of Leaves vibe from Marble Hornets, which I think first drew me in.

Posted by Brenderous

NOPE

Edited by BelligerentEngine

Slender Man is some of the... dumbest low rent internet mythos out there. I really got fed up with this shit when someone on the Pathfinder boards proposed that Slender Man is a CR24 encounter, CR24 are you fucking kidding me Moth Man is CR6 and as far as I'm concerned Moth Man is gonna be double-dicking Slender Man nine times out of ten.

Posted by perilator666

makes me wanna make a zalgo game.


Posted by Sauson

Good article. I think the idea of Slenderman is pretty cool but I don't care much for Slender the game. I love horror games but when the whole thing is just pop ups scares it makes it pretty lame.

Posted by Rothbart

I know Slenderman is supposed to be scary because we don't know much about him and so we fill in the blanks ourselves, making him even scarier, but whenever I fill in the blanks myself he just becomes silly. Like in that first video: supposedly Slenderman is right there, and they approach him with at least 3 people, then the video cuts. What happened next? Did Slenderman just say "Oh sorry, didn't mean to be in your shot?" We run from him terrified out of our minds, but what happens when he actually gets us? The worst he can do is apparently distort our videos, and that's not all that scary.

Posted by 9999dmg

Good article Patrick. The Endermen in Minecraft are actually based on Slender Man also. The don't attack you unless you look directly at them.

Posted by zigx

Great article Patrick! Glad to see another horror themed article on the site.
 
I think there's an interesting article to be written about why people continue to play horror games that scare the crap out of them. Not saying that it doesn't make sense for someone to do that, I myself keep going back to psychological and suspenseful horror games and movies despite the fact that I tend to scare myself. But it would be interesting to hear why people do it. After all, people who don't get scared at these types of games probably aren't the ones playing them.

Posted by perilator666

also... Gerogerigegege is an amazing band. look it up.

Posted by Sessh

Recently played through Amnesia and am now playing the Penumbra games. These games are great, this one...just...isn't.
 
But it sure seems to have an impact on people, since a few of my friends apparently couldn't stand playing Slender for more than a few minutes. (Not that it would take longer than that to actually complete it.)
 
Cool article,though. Keep 'em coming, Patrick.

Posted by SamDrugbringer

Nice article. I didn't like the game, but I am pretty terrified of the Slenderman. Something about this myth just hits all my buttons, even knowing it's a joke.

Posted by Phatmac

AH NO BAD MEMORIES OF PLAYING SLENDERMAN ARE COMING IN MY HEAD!

Posted by PurplePartyRobot

Everybody runs from Slenderman because he causes interference with electronic devices and causes extreme shaky cam or something?

Posted by keiblerfan69

Patrick is back! I love the original work you do. Can't wait for Must Read this week.

Posted by Cincaid

Damn good and entertaining read, thanks Patrick.

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

For some reason I want to hoist this article up on my shoulders and parade it around the room.

Posted by sonicrift

Article explains that it's about something that isn't real, then links to pair of videos that frighten me. How does that work?

Posted by Rygorff

Seems like Hollywood is already ripping off this myth :

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1658837/

Posted by Heti

Even back when slenderman was a new thing on SA I didn't find it very scary. Most people there even seemed to make fun of those that did.

Posted by EthanielRain

@BelligerentEngine said:

Slender Man is some of the... dumbest low rent internet mythos out there. I really got fed up with this shit when someone on the Pathfinder boards proposed that Slender Man is a CR24 encounter, CR24 are you fucking kidding me Moth Man is CR6 and as far as I'm concerned Moth Man is gonna be double-dicking Slender Man nine times out of ten.

WTF is CR24/CR6? Just out of curiosity...cuz I have no idea what you're talking about, and Google only brought me to interior lighting decorative pieces ^_^

Posted by Brodehouse

@perilator666 said:

makes me wanna make a zalgo game.

HE COMES!

Posted by Homelessbird

@Robopengy said:

Maybe because my friends are so into the whole Slender thing but I'm really sick of it. Keep the reddit crap to reddit and stick to game news.

Did you miss the part of the article where it talks about the game Slender?

Or do you just have trouble with long paragraphs?

Posted by CircleNine

I just don't "get" Slenderman. Both this game and the whole myth of it just seem so what.

Posted by Beforet

@EthanielRain said:

@BelligerentEngine said:

Slender Man is some of the... dumbest low rent internet mythos out there. I really got fed up with this shit when someone on the Pathfinder boards proposed that Slender Man is a CR24 encounter, CR24 are you fucking kidding me Moth Man is CR6 and as far as I'm concerned Moth Man is gonna be double-dicking Slender Man nine times out of ten.

WTF is CR24/CR6? Just out of curiosity...cuz I have no idea what you're talking about, and Google only brought me to interior lighting decorative pieces ^_^

Challenge Rating, it's a term used for tabletop games like Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons to determine how "tough" an enemy is.

Posted by CornBREDX

I played it and it did scare me- mainly because Slender Man comes out of nowhere at some point (scared me twice, second time I was showing it to someone). 
 
I think as a experiment, it works although I wouldn't call it a game per say. I mean, it is a game as it has a progression and a win state (i think) but it's still a bit rough. Anywhos, I like the point he made with randomization. I'm not sure how that can be done in a bigger game but it is an interesting point to make.  
 
Can we make a game scary without it being pre-determined when and where that will happen?

Posted by Draugen

I've never really found mythological creatures wearing suits to be that scary. And I'm pretty easily scared.

But a suit? Meh. Too many real monsters wearing suits for that...

Posted by ShaggE

Slendy does nothing for me, but I fully support this sort of thing. There's something about digging up some creepy video or image on some corner of the internet that's incredibly effective. You don't have the same defensive walls put up that you do during a movie/game/novel, so the horror feels more organic and real, and because the source is usually unknown, you can trick yourself into believing what you're seeing more easily (at least, for awhile, before logic kicks in).

I think this is horror's natural evolution. That safety net of "This is a work of fiction, and here's the person who made it" needs to be taken away. Horror should be unexpected, and it should plant a seed of doubt underneath that skeptic shell.

Posted by Saganomics

@LarryDavis said:

The whole Slenderman thing is really stupid, and this game looks terrible. Sorry. Amnesia rules though, go play that instead.

Agreedo.