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Journal Sentry21's Journal: Fictional Journals for Fictional Times? 3

So I was at The Bakery today, and I came up with a neat idea based on something someone else said, so I thought I'd mention it here and see what people think.

We've seen all kinds of blogs and crap from high and low, people who feel it important to prattle on about their day, knowing that somewhere, there's some loser whose life is so much worse that they think this is the highest possible form of entertainment. How do we know that these things are true thoguh? Well, it's hard to say. But I have an idea that might be more interesting.

Fake people. Or rather, real people writing fake weblogs about fake personas of themselves. If I sat down and logged (well, blogged) the day to day events of my life, it'd be pretty boring. Here's a typical Saturday during the school year, to give you an example.

'Woke up at about 5 AM; decided to stay in bed. Got up around noon and played Unreal II while I ate breakfast. Read slashdot, checked email. No email. Went up to the mall, got a coffee at starbucks, read books at chapters for two hours. Went to EB. Games still all suck. Note all the cute girls in the city, but know that I couldn't get a girlfriend to save my life. Got depressed, went home, and played Unreal II until roommate comes home. Played American Conquest LAN game until I realized the game sucks. Went to bed.'

Exciting, eh? I can just see the hits I'd get on my site if I was posting juicy tales like that every day. But how about this:

'Woke up at about 5 AM again. Was going to go back to sleep, but I had too much to do. Checked stock quotes and mutual funds. Together with GICs, am up $1500 since Thursday. Excellent. Mike and I were invited to a private party in Ibiza on Sunday, so I checked the reservations. Talked to the woman at the airline, found out she's from Vancouver as well. Managed to talk her into upgrades to first-class. How cool is that?. Went up to Starbucks to grab a coffee, invited Kelly to the party, she accepted with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I don't think my charm could get me an upgrade for another woman, so I'll have to pay for this one in full. Oh well, it'll be fun.'

Now sure, that seems a little far-fetched, but it's a rough example. Who wants to read a blog, you say, about someone who's everything they're not? Well, people watch it on TV all the time.

Check out the latest Degrassi thingie - you get a locker, get to write articles in the student paper, and so on. It's like a community, only it's a role-playing community.

Well, what if we had a role-playing community of our own? We'd each pick a persona, and then we'd integrate ourselves into the community of role-players, and we'd interact with them as they'd interact with us. I'd mention the Ibiza party that Mike and I are going to, Mike would mention this cute girl he met at the party when I was chatting up the hostess, and so on. Theoretically, you could even create 'real-world rules' - rules on how to create a character in this fictional world (no oen can be rich, good-looking, smart, successful, and charming all at once - that's just unrealistic. Who would choose to be a jackass?)

Theoretically, you could use some other RPG's rulesets - Shadowrun, for example, or the Star Wars adaptation of 3ed rules - but that might be a bit overdone. It would depend on what people wanted to do, I guess. That aspect would be best served by blogging an actual character's actual RP sessions, so that could be a secondary idea.

So back to the first idea - what if we all created characters, and characters had to be approved by everyone else (or a proportion of everyone else) before they were allowed to join this community. Everything that happened would be fictional, and would be predetermined, just like real life events are. People would be required to stay within the confines of their character (someone with average financial success couldn't up and buy a skyscraper), but large-scale events could be cleared by everyone (average financial success wins powerball lottery). Basically, a fake real community, with real fake people.

It's a rough idea now, and I'm pretty muhc just ranting, but I think it would be a neat idea. The most interesting part, however, would be keeping it real enough that no one would know it's all fake. Could it be done? Could we maintain the fourth wall? Would someone figure it out? It's hard to say.


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Fictional Journals for Fictional Times?

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  • You know, about 100 years ago, there was an author who did exactly what you're talking about. He assumed (I can't remember how many, but quite a few) personas and wrote stories and poems from within their characters. His name was Machado de Assis, and he was a mixed-raced Brazilian and figures very strongly in the literary history of that country (can't remember too many more details -- it's been about 10 years since I took that class).

    Your idea sounds like fun -- a little like The Sims, except without al
  • I already do this. I signed up an account at that funny site, called myself Dr. O and fool people into thinking I know anything about computers. How was that site's name, wait...

    Okay, fun aside, I guess lots of people did this before, it's like trolling, only as a blog and less offending to people (depends on the blog though, I suppose). But I have been thinking about this for a while, too, and I think it might be great fun. I don't have much time, but that usually helps my writing a lot. When do we start?
    • BTW, nice journal.

      Thanks, I try.

      When do we start?

      Well, I'm probably going to start when I get a good backend to my journal done, so that it's not a pain in the ass to make postings and so on. In other words, it'll be a while, since my only internet access is at a friend's place and at university at the moment.

      I'll be posting in my journal when I'm ready to start, probably, but there's a lot of things I need to figure out first. Until then, you could develop a persona, or something, I dunno.


I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken