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Slender Man (Slenderman, or Slendy) is a meme - that is, internet phenomenon - which was popularized following discovery on the satire/comedy forum Something Awful. Slender Man is most often depicted as a tall, faceless, pale figure dressed in a black suit and tie, usually with awkward, disturbed, or inhumane body features (e.g., arm/leg length or having multiple arms or protruding tentacles).

Slendyman

Although tales of the character's background and appearances in media are disparate, Slender Man is characterized by tendencies to abduct, stalk, and generally terrorize his subjects, with particular interest in young children.

Etymology Edit

Slender Man's name has direct relation to his physical appearance. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'slender' as, "spare in frame or flesh; especially: gracefully slight," [1] - a definition which uncannily harken's to the frame of Slender Man's; he is unnaturally tall and thin, with no identifying features besides an ambiguously male outline.

However, "Slender Man," may have originated from 16th Century German tales of "Der Großmann," frequently translated as The Great Man and The Tall Man [2].

Folk History Edit

Origin Edit

On June 8th, 2009, the Something Awful (SA) internet forum hosted a "paranormal pictures" graphic editing contest, spurred by SA frequent Gerogerigegege [3]. Participating users where challenged to photoshop blasé photos into more macabre, anxiety-inducing images. SA users quickly took to the competition, sharing numerous "faux-paranormal" images and creatures, some even accompanied by eye-witness accounts and similar stories [4].

Two days later, SA user Victor Surge posted two photographs, each featuring the creature now known as Slender Man, with their own narrations underneath, as follow: [5]

Slenderman-1-708110

“We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time…” – 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.

Slenderman-2-784777

One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. 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. – 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.

Internet Fame & Popularization Edit

Slendy quickly gained following throughout the Something Awful forum and became a well-acknowledged creature on the paranormal board of the internet-culture cesspool 4chan, inspiring numerous artist depictions and cosplay. Above all, Slender Man's virality was supported by the development and spread of 'creepypastas', works of horror fan-fiction [6].

Pewds

Slender Man's propulsion beyond internet stardom and into true common culture occurred after July 2nd, 2012, with the release of the video game Slender: The Eight Pages. Within a month of its release, the game had over 2 million downloads and fell into the social media spotlight, becoming a huge trend on video-sharing sites like YouTube [7]. The game was hailed by top-tier game-review sites including Kotaku and PC Gamer, comparing it to the wildly popular horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Usage in Media Edit

Film Edit

Independent filmmaker AJ Meadows launched a Kickstarter campaign on July 10th, 2012 to fund a full-length movie based on the narrative of Slender Man [8]. The project succeeded, and the film The Slender Man was released on February 19th, 2013. Released online and streaming on YouTube, the film gained over half a million views in only three weeks.

Text Edit

Numerous texts and works of fiction have been generated by fans. The most notable is the "Slenderman" creepypasta, on Creepypasta.com [6]. Posted onto the site on January 14th, 2010, the work spread like wildfire through the internet cracks. In it, a young girl by the name of Nicole is stalked by a tall, thin, man with "inhumanely awkward limbs... like the branches of a tree," dressed in a suit. The story ends with Nicole seeing the creature again in the window of her younger sister Lindsay's hospital bed, which Nicole declares impossible, seeing as Lindsay's room was on the third floor.

Video Games Edit

The first video game featuring Slenderman was released in October of 2011 by the Green Meteor Team, a group of indie developers. The game, titled Slenderman, was created as a 3D-puzzle-adventure genre game, where

8pages

Slendy was the main antagonist who would chase and attack the player [9].

On July 2nd, 2012, a second game titled Slender: The Eight Pages was released and quickly went viral. This was another 3D-puzzle-adventure game which featured the main player walking through a dark forest with only a flashlight, seeking journal pages which warn of the creature that is Slenderman. The player is stalked, with increasing intensity, by Slenderman, who will cause the player's vision to blur and hearing to become static as he encroaches. A sequel, Slender: The Arrival, was released in 2013 [10].

Slender man video games can be played on your phone, tablet, computer, or gaming system. The tablet is more of a realistic experience in the sense that it is so close to you and you are holding as well as fixated on one large screen. Touch screen devices give a more lifelike feel due to the ability to touch the screen and be more interconnected with the game mentally. The video games and apps were extremely popular and provided kids with a game they could play as a group, one person being in charge of the device and the others there for moral support. The games are indeed a phenomenon.

References Edit

  1. "Slender." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slender>.
  2. "Der Grossman." The Slender Man Wiki. Creepypasta, 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  3. Gerogerigegege "Create Paranormal Images - The Something Awful Forums." Create Paranormal Images - The Something Awful Forums. N.p., 30 Apr. 2009. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  4. Tomberry. "Slender Man." Know Your Meme News. Cheezburger, 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  5. Victor Surge. "Create Paranormal Images - The Something Awful Forums." Create Paranormal Images - The Something Awful Forums. Cheezburger, 10 June 2009. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Slenderman." Creepypasta.com. N.p., 14 Jan. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. <http://www.creepypasta.com/slenderman/>.
  7. Marston, Gary (2012). "Slender review". explosion.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  8. Meadows, AJ. "The Slender Man Movie." Kickstarter. Kickstarter, 10 July 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  9. "Slenderman - the Game." Green Meteor Team. Green Meteor Team, Oct. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  10. Matulef, Jeffrey (February 11, 2013). "Pre-orders for Slender: The Arrival are half-off, come with instant beta access". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-04-03.

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