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A Short Bestiary of Creatures from the WebMedieval bestiaries were encyclopaedias of the beasts of the world, all of which were put on Earth by God to educate Man about the scriptures. Every animal carried a message, which Man could read from its behaviour and appearance, while looking to the bestiaries for guidance. Since the moral teachings that were deducted from the observation of animals had to be readily available to people, the bestiaries would primarily be dealing with creatures that the readers encountered on an everyday basis. Medieval bestiaries were encyclopaedias of the beasts of the world, all of which were put on Earth by God to educate Man about the scriptures. Every animal carried a message, which Man could read from its behaviour and appearance, while looking to the bestiaries for guidance. Since the moral teachings that were deducted from the observation of animals had to be readily available to people, the bestiaries would primarily be dealing with creatures that the readers encountered on an everyday basis.... Includes and entry on Creepypasta
Creepypasta, ‘Candle Cove’, and the digital gothicAbstract
Throughout the past decade, a multimodal type of internet storytelling has developed that extends upon the early Web 2.0 viral narrative practices of chain emails as well as pre-digital folkloric storytelling traditions such as the ghost story and urban legend. This popular mode of digital storytelling, known broadly as ‘Creepypasta’, is produced and consumed according to folkloric practices that in turn shape its form and aesthetics. The author suggests that a precise genre has emerged out of the originally wide-ranging terrain of Creepypasta, a generic mode constituted of specific thematic preoccupations and aesthetics that she refers to as ‘the digital gothic’. Through analysis of the foundational story ‘Candle Cove’, the article outlines the digital gothic’s anxious preoccupation with dead and residual media, and with the interface between technological and personal change. She demonstrates how ‘Candle Cove’ deconstructs nostalgia in its tense negotiation of the relationship between analogue and digital cultures. The author’s analysis thus illuminates how vernacular online genres such as the digital gothic productively work through the aesthetic and conceptual tensions underpinning technological change in the networked digital era.
Haunted objects, networked subjects: The nightmarish nostalgia of creepypasta.In this article, we argue that the digitally networked horror genre 'creepypasta' and its networked horror collapses the comfortable dichotomy of subjects acting upon objects by creating narrative spaces in which haunted objects encroach upon the lives of their victimized subjects. Particularly, creepypasta legends such as 'Candle Cove' and 'BEN Drowned' upset the subject/object relationships of the technological nostalgia that fuels a mutating genre of Internet discourse. By alienating mythologized childhood artefacts (i.e., television shows, video games), these networked narratives depict not how properties can be made strange, but more accurately, are revealed as having always been strange. The perversion of the nostalgic text is only one part of what generates horror in these stories. It is that the texts themselves were always the perversions to begin with; always performing an eradication of object and subject, player and game, reader and text.
“Spread the Word”: Creepypasta, Hauntology, and an Ethics of the Curse.According to Internet legend, a cursed JPEG file circulates online, featuring an image of a dog with a much too human grin. If you happen to see this image, the dog will haunt your dreams, asking you to “spread the word” by showing its picture to someone else, thereby passing on the curse. The story of Smile.dog, which is the demon dog's name, is a so-called creepypasta – that is, a digital urban legend. Its curse is therefore a playful one, meant to be circulated as a hoax, but it is also a productive, yet challenging, place to ruminate upon ethics in an era of digital media. Through the lens of Jacques Derrida's concept of hauntology – a haunted ontology – this article explores what digital monsters and curses might teach us about ethics as a question of responding to that which haunts and hoaxes.
Beware the Slenderman: Intellectual Property and Internet FolkloreInternet folklore is created collaboratively within Internet communities--through memes, blogs, video games, fake news, found footage, creepypastas, art, podcasts, and other digital mediums. The Slender Man mythos is one of the most striking examples of Internet folklore. Slender Man, the tall and faceless monster who preys on children and teenagers, originated on an Internet forum in mid-2009 and quickly went viral, spreading to other forums and platforms online. His creation and development resulted from the collaborative efforts and cultural open-sourcing of many users and online communities; users reused, modified, and shared each other's Slender Man creations, contributing to his development as a crowdsourced monster. This Article uses Slender Man as a case study to examine the online creation and production of Internet folklore and cultural products and to explore how intellectual property law treats these types of collective creations. Specifically, it traces Slender Man's creation, development, and propertization to explore collaborative creation and ownership rights in Internet folklore. Collaborative creation of cultural products is a familiar story. But who owns those works? What happens when those works are propertized? This Article analyzes claims to own Slender Man's character under copyright law and Slender Man's name and image under trademark law, and ultimately argues that even though parties claim to own Slender Man, Slender Man's character, name, and image are in the commons, free for anyone to use in her own expressive works. Claims to own cultural products under intellectual property law, and the subsequent assertions of those claims, cause uncertainty and chill creativity, which ultimately harms the public by depriving it of more creative works.
Walking the Line between Reality and Fiction in Online Spaces: Understanding the Effects of Narrative Transportation.Recent contentions about "fake news" and misinformation online has shed light on the critical need for media literacy at a global scale. Indeed, digital stories are one of the main forms of communication in the 21st century through blogs, videos-sharing websites, forums, or social networks. However, the line between facts and fiction can often become blurry in these online spaces, and being able to distinguish between reality and fantasy can have important consequences in the lives of young Internet users. Using contemporary examples from news stories, fanfiction, advertising, and radicalization, this article outlines the features, affordances, and real-life implications of digital stories. As a result, we provide recommendations for educators to create awareness and empower students about digital storytelling practices.