ARG,  Blogging,  Character Blogging,  Coffee,  Fiction,  Immersive Fiction,  ImmersiveFiction,  Virtuality,  writing

The unreal are among us

How carefully do you read the profiles of bloggers when you stop by their page? If you’re like me, you’re focused on what they have to say and occasionally you’ll dig further to learn more about them. Maybe we should rethink that. Here’s why:

Name : Tatum McGarland
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Occupation: Grief Counselor

Blog: Under the Bridge

But not really. She’s a character in an online Serial: A Timely Raven

Or this one seems sweet and tragic:

My name is Alyse Hanssen, I’m 30 years old, and I need help finding my brother. On December 7th, 2007 my kid brother Teddy Hanssen disappeared.

Missing Teddy Hanssen

Teddy and Alyse aren’t real either. This is one of the character blogs used to promote the movie Cloverfield

Over at Teach Me Tonight there was a post on Fictions and Reality this week that mentions the difficulties of distinguishing fiction from reality:

“So what is fiction? Simply stories that do not pretend to be about real events. That’s the easy answer, but of course there is more to it than that. The relation between fiction and reality is not a straight-forward one. The two have a peculiar way of getting mixed up together; distinguishing the two is not quite as easy as one might think, or hope.” (Talbot 5)

Fiction, then, is selective. It can take elements of reality, but the particular elements which are chosen, and how they’re placed together to form a whole, reflect choices made by the author, both consciously and subconsciously. What of reality? To a certain extent, all of us construct that too…

Teach Me Tonight: Fictions and Reality

 I would add that reality can take elements from fiction and use them to form a more interesting if not improved reality.

We already discussed Pixelvixen707. She’s not real, but she’s doing a fantastic job reviewing games. She’s vocal about the industry’s neglect of female gamers. She provides a real service. There’s a dimension in the fiction and reality blend that we’re just starting to explore.

Character blogs have been around for a few years and maybe just long enough that it’s time to test the limits and see what we can do with a character blog. Or better yet, why confine characters to their blogs?

 Kelly Jamieson and Pixelvixen haven’t. A character from Kelly’s Sexpresso Night story, contacted PixelVIxen about her prior employment as a barista. Juliet (Kelly’s character) and Rachel (Pixelvixen’s “real?” name ) chat about coffee, gaming, men, and work.

You’ll learn about “tantric coffee consumption”, characterization, and secret code words for lets go have sex. Have a look.

So now characters are stepping out of their stories, crossing genres even, to get to know each other.  It’s like those fantasies I had as a kid about the toys in the toy chest sneaking out to have fun after everyone went to sleep.  What’s next? 

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