Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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collaborative web fiction

  [vote for,

A creative writing game. Here are the rules:

The purpose of the game is to create a collection of Web sites set in some fictional universe (the A.I. "Evan Chan" publicity game is a good example).

1. No Web site in the game may link to any Web site which is not in the game. However, they may link to other Web sites in the game, and to URLs in domains which do not yet exist. For example, someone might create a news site which reports on events in the fictional world. The articles might report on fictional companies, political parties, organizations, and so on. It would include links to them, even though many of the linked sites might not exist; attempts to follow the links result in "Host not found" errors (but that's OK).

2. To join the game, you read through the existing sites to get a feel for the world. Then, register one of the nonexistent domains, flesh out the site and populate the URLs people have linked to. Your own site can then link to other Web sites in the game, or other nonexistent URLs at domains you make up, or to nonexistent URLs and domains other people have already made up (but which nobody has yet "taken").

3. To protect the illusion, you must strive to maintain consistency with the "facts of the world" established by other sites, and with any links people have already created to your site. However, as with real Web sites, the fictional Web sites represent different viewpoints, styles, and interests, so you don't have to match anyone's writing style, Web design techniques or opinions.

4. As in the real world, some of these sites will be interactive discussion forums. Whenever you participate in these forums -- or even whenever you send mail to an e-mail address posted on any site in the game -- you must remain "in character" (whatever you decide your "character" is). If at all possible, you should send mail from a game domain.

5. Ideally, your participation should be completely anonymous. It should be difficult to contact you except via your fictional persona. Likewise, you should not attempt to discover who is really behind any other fictional site.

6. Above all, none of these sites must ever mention the existence of the game; the "fourth wall" must remain firmly in place. If any site breaks the rules in a major way (or someone unrelated to the game happens to register one of the untaken names...), other game sites should remove all links to the offending site posthaste.

egnor, Jun 01 2001

Suck.com: Hit & Run 05.24.01 http://www.suck.com/daily/2001/05/24/
Comparing the Kaycee hoax with the A.I. publicity campaign, "reality TV" and so on. [egnor, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

zombo.com http://www.zombo.com
This is zombo.com. [bookworm, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Fuzzy's Exquisite Corpse Server http://bluestem.hor...edu/ecs/default.htm
... with information on the "exquisite corpse" genre in general. [egnor, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Tiles.ice.org http://tiles.ice.org/
More collaborative artwork. [egnor, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

icontown http://www.icontown.net/
Collaborative icons. [PotatoStew, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Peter Greenaway: The Falls (1980) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0080715
As mentioned by Dog Ed. [jutta, Jun 01 2001]

31337.com http://www.31337.com/
The original inspiration for this idea. Unfortunately, humanskullwarehouse.com has been taken (it wasn't originally). [egnor, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) For [DrBob] http://www.latviancoffee.com
[angel, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Google: "Jeanine Salla" http://www.google.c...ent&q=jeanine+salla
The starting point. [bookworm]

For [RobertKidney] http://angel.nomuta...nercosm/vacuum.html
Vacuum cleaners? [bookworm, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) For [RobertKidney] http://www.prologue...nercosm/vacuum.html
Vacuum cleaners? [angel, Jun 01 2001]

balloons http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/history.html
history and stuff [thumbwax, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) A start... http://www.geocitie.../sutra_cd/home.html
In the spirit of anomymity I'm not telling who spent a short amount of time last night creating this little geocities site... [RobertKidney, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Xenoliths? http://www.geocitie...unes/6872/xeno.html
Is this one of ours? Probably not (too old), but it's great! [Dog Ed, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Aluminium Foil Deflector Beanie http://zapatopi.net/afdb.html
since we are adding other peoples sites then this is good [RobertKidney, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Ununpentium http://www.beyondwe...com/element115.html
another misinformative site... [RobertKidney, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Introduction to WorldForge http://www.worldforge.org/project/intro/
Their vision is to foster an independent community in which many free games develop and evolve, with unique roleplaying-oriented game worlds and rules, a wide selection of server and client implementations, and a standard networking protocol to tie everything together. [LoriZ, Dec 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Protect yourself with TraceNoizer http://www.tracenoizer.org/
Generates clones from your "Databody" to spread disinformation. [till, Feb 11 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) AaronAgassi's link as a link. http://www.usabr.co...aq/fooltrek_faq.htm
[StarChaser, Feb 24 2002]

The collaborative fiction FAQ have migrated http://www.foolques...aq/fooltrek_faq.htm
AaronAgassi's link, URL updated [AaronAgassi, Mar 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) The 'SLIDERS' Brainstom the 'SLIDERS' Brain...om/faarontologyfrm6
The vortex has deposited us onto a world of shared imagination! [AaronAgassi, Apr 06 2002]

(?) For [RobertKidney] http://angel.nomuta...nercosm/vacuum.html
Vacuum cleaners? [angel, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) AaronAgassi's link as a link. http://www.usabr.co...aq/fooltrek_faq.htm
[StarChaser, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) The 'SLIDERS' Brainstom the 'SLIDERS' Brain...om/faarontologyfrm6
The vortex has deposited us onto a world of shared imagination! [AaronAgassi, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       This is a really intriguing idea. It sounds like a lot of work, and it would totally boggle the mind of anyone who stumbled across it and took some time to look at the various sites.
PotatoStew, Jun 01 2001

       Part of the idea is that, once "seeded", it could do without a central coordinator. It's not like the sites have to "match" all that closely; real-world sites often disagree, even on factual matters.   

       But maybe there would need to be a behind-the-scenes forum where players could discuss and debate the rules of the world based on the "canon" so far, the way geeks discuss and debate the physics of Star Trek or whatever. And a place where they can point out each others' "anachronisms" and inconsistencies.   

       Maybe the best way to seed it would be to take an existing well-developed fictional universe and use that as the backdrop.
egnor, Jun 01 2001

       It would be easier to start that way, but less fun, and less intriguing for the casual surfer who stumbled upon it. They may recognize the world. I like the whole "what the heck is this all about?!" factor...
PotatoStew, Jun 01 2001

       The universe depicted ought to be in many ways radically different. Extremely surreal and outlandish things ought to be taken for granted. Mundane things in reality, like say traffic signals, should be spoken of with incredulity.   

       Some examples:   

       The existance of God is confirmed, but he's a cantankerous wretch.   

       There is no such thing as soap, and the best ways to get clean, or even whether cleanliness is all that important, are hotly debated   

       Odd words, like bloob or jaaster, are used a lot for a lot of different things, such that an outsider could never guess what it refers to, until they figure out that it is meaningless, and they're in on the joke too   

       People have to defrost their noses every now and then, and products to do so in better ways are always being introduced (like razors IRL)   

       This would be incredibly fun. Croissant for you.
globaltourniquet, Jun 01 2001

       The undefined nonsense word has been done before, but I forget the particular word and so can't find a link.   

       If you want a seed, may I suggest zombo.com.
bookworm, Jun 01 2001

       The nonexistant link model really "works" for me in environments that automatically throw you into an editor if something doesn't exist. (E.g., everything, Wiki). For websites, when surfing, it is pretty frustrating. Maybe the linker to the name must reserve it for the game, and the initial website is a web-based publishing tool for itself?   

       We're a manic bunch and tend to overextend ourselves. There needs to be some time limit or other way of cutting sites from the net that were promised, but never quite delivered.   

       This could be the web design equivalent of Exquisite Corpse in that the builder of a new website has only the expressed expectations of those that link to it to go on; the results may be radically different from the true expectations. Interesting.
jutta, Jun 02 2001

       I like this idea and would even (attempt to) participate. Perhaps there could be a master site, to which admission is gained by password, accessing a user-maintained database detailing all significant special aspects of the fictional universe. A new page or set of pages linking into the project would have to be consistent with the database but could introduce new material as long as the builder provided an update to the database.
Dog Ed, Jun 02 2001

       I had thought that the part about the universe being radically different was a given... talking animals, races of giants, interplanetary travel. Of course, the first few sites would have to be pretty serious in tone so that people wouldn't dismiss it outright as a simple joke.
PotatoStew, Jun 02 2001

       [PotatoStew]: I agree.   

       [globaltourniquet]: Naturally.   

       [jutta]: I imagined that requiring actual registration of a domain and creation of a Web site from scratch would filter content. You can't just scribble whatever you want into a text box somewhere; you have to actually think about it a little more. (And it's not all that difficult or expensive to grab a domain and throw some HTML at it, these days.)   

       This isn't to say that people couldn't create Wiki sites (or whatever) in the game, of course. The idea is that the variety of styles and the signal/noise ratio should approximate the real Web today.   

       You can cut off a site by just deleting links to it. Site maintainers can do this on an individual basis when they get annoyed -- "voting with their links".   

       I do think that the biggest problem might be that each and every contributor would strive to invent wild new things rather than just being tastefully fictional. In written collaborative fiction exercises, each author wants the climax of the action to occur in their segment of the story.
egnor, Jun 02 2001

       WikiIsm: My concern was more with the browsing experience, less with the ease of construction. I just really dislike dangling links.   

       Innovation Overload: Go even beyond Dog Ed, have rules discussed and agreed on before they are used. Of course, that runs completely against the "hey, let's make up something wild and crazy" spirit of the game.
jutta, Jun 02 2001

       Just for the sake of discussion, I like the idea of a universe not *too* different from our own--like the movie "The Falls" by Peter Greenaway. It's kind of obscure, so I'll allow myself a brief summary: A Violent Unknown Event has given rise to several new languages and subcultures; many people have developed oddly cohesive obsessions, often centered around birds or bird behavior. The movie simply documents some of the VUE languages and cultures in a semi-random sample of the population.   

       I'm fascinated by the idea of slightly tweaked language and culture, more so than by talking trees or space travel. The effect could be fairly subtle. But that's just my trivial opinion.
Dog Ed, Jun 02 2001

       [Dog Ed]: My tastes are similar (especially as it would enhance the "what the hell is that?" response from hapless visitors), but obviously other people would want something different. I could imagine forking universes as groups of people diverged from each other and stopped linking to each other's sites.   

       [jutta]: Oh, I see now. Yes, the dangling links would be annoying. Maybe there should be a standard placeholder; but that ruins some of the beauty of it by requiring some centralized thing. I like the idea that it's just a bunch of weirdos playing this weird game with collectively understood rules, rather than some activity being coordinated. Like rainbow cars.   

       I dunno.
egnor, Jun 02 2001

       [Mephista]: There are no links *to* the outside, but there can be plenty of links *from* the outside.   

       [djanaba]: Collaborative fiction in general is ancient, and collaborative fiction on the Web is nothing new, either. You're missing some important aspects of this idea. For example, these Web sites wouldn't be *stories*, they would be faux Web sites for an imaginary world.   

       It's such a pity that Borges died before the Web.
egnor, Jun 03 2001

       egnor: Borges! I never thought of good Jorge and the Web. Thanks for that connection.   

       You can delineate two extremes for management of this project, I think. At one extreme a laissez-faire sort of agreement to use at least some of the conventions of the fiction would be enough to qualify for inclusion in the page set. At the other extreme a core group of designers would keep the growing set of web pages consistent by tracking all significant aspects of the fiction and then approving new pages or changes to existing pages. (Actually I suppose an even more controlled version would be one created wholly by one author--like Borges.)   

       Where do you--or we, if this is already a collaboration--want to be on this continuum?   

       I think a lot of the tedious parts can be eased with a bit of programming and database work; for instance, I can imagine a program which would take English documents and build a reasonably credible faux language. Whenever a document contains a word not already in the programs database it looks first for roots and then generates a random (but pronouncable) word for the rest. A large number of people could share the faux language and "translate" into it from English with relative ease.   

       Geez, this idea really caught me. I better quit now and get back to work...
Dog Ed, Jun 03 2001

       Very cool. Reminds me of the game in The Big U by Neal Stephenson. Not in any way WIBNI'd, just made me think of it. I'd get involved, if I had the time and money to register and create Web sites.
jetgrrl, Jun 03 2001

       A few conventions or symbolisms across the sites to tie them together would help strengthen the feel of a distinct culture or set of cultures. For instance, many many web sites have a left nav bar or some similar variation of it. Perhaps come up with a twist on that idea to unify the whole (maybe center navigation is popular in this world)... something that has some basis in the history or origins of the world. Likewise, a few ubiquitous symbols would be interesting... I'm thinking of something like the circle of monkeys that was spraypainted everywhere in the movie 12 Monkeys.   

       I like Dog Ed's faux language idea, if used carefully. You wouldn't want the whole thing to be inaccessible. If the only outsiders who can read the content are linguistics professors or codebreakers, that wouldn't be much fun. Maybe a more anglicized version of Esperanto?
PotatoStew, Jun 03 2001

       I think that it should be very close to reality, with only subtle differences that aren't extremely obvious. The idea should be that only after careful examination will the person who has unwittingly stumbled into this pocket Internet realize that something is amis...
mwburden, Jun 04 2001

       I don't want to give the impression that I was advocating that all the pages be written in anything other than (perhaps slightly tweaked) English. However, it might be fun to have links to pages written in a wholely unknown but consistent language--these pages could even have links on *them* to an English version, just as many Italian and Japanese pages do in the real world.
Dog Ed, Jun 04 2001

       That makes sense, Dog Ed. I also keep picturing what they do in a lot of Star Wars visuals... sporadically placed runelike characters, not necessary to figure out what's going on, but you know they have some sort of meaning. this could be made to fit in with what I was saying about some sort of symbolism carried through as well. I'm also starting to see the merits or what you all are saying about things only being slightly askew. There's a fine line there somewhere; it just needs to be found.
PotatoStew, Jun 04 2001

       It's simple to write an HTML page that re-directs to another page/site selected at random from a list. The surreal possibilities may be amusing.
Regarding dangling links, how about a customized 404 page which also re-directs. I understand that such things are fairly trivial for server-techie people.
angel, Jun 04 2001

       Couldn't the administrative discussions all be done on a usenet newsgroup like alt.alternativeworlds.nameofworld? This would allow for open discussion without affecting the created world's webistes at all, and for someone who stumbled onto the websites and began to figure out what was going on, it would be a fairly obvious first place to look for the "rules" without having to be posted on the websites.   

       Very cool idea, btw.
beauxeault, Jun 04 2001

       Now what this is really like is a game played on UK Radio.
The program, called 'Sorry I haven't a clue' has been going for years, fronted by a comic wordsmith (and some time jazz trombonist) Humphrey Littleton. The game is called 'Mornington Crescent'.
Essentially, it works like this. Each of the panel members says the name of a London Underground station, adn this must be followed by the next player. Each one will take on board the previous utterance, saying things like "ooh, Googe Street, difficult one,. Are we playing Northampton Rules, or are does the Buntingthorpe paradox apply?" After much musing, they will say, for instance, "Cockfosters" to much ooing, and complimentary remarks or sharp intakes of breath from the players. The game ends when one person says 'Mornington Crescent' (a station on the Northern Line). The point is, of course, that the game is entirely fictional, and all the rules fabricatd on the spot. The players simply say stations at random, but cooperate to give the illusion that a real game is being played.
The point of the game is, of course, that some people actually believe that it is a real game. They write in saying that one week under Clerkenwell Rules, the players did done thing, but failed to follow the same pattern the next etc. This is of course batted back by an equal number of 'insiders' who write in with fantastically creative explanations as to why the game was different in that case.
A perfect case of 'community collusion' for entertainment purposes.
Suggest you listen out for it on BBC world service. The rest of the program is equally funny.
goff, Jun 05 2001

       [goff]: Thank you. I have often wondered how that game worked. It seems that my search for logic was forever doomed to failure.
angel, Jun 05 2001

       Oh my, I was just reading through this and thinking of Mornington Crescent. The concept is similar, and it is a wonderful one.   

       Oh, and a tut-tut for goff - you have betrayed Mornington Crescent. The whole point of the game is that people such as angel don't get it ... until they've worked it out themselves. (N.B. In this 'collaborative web fiction' game, I would have just removed my links to your site ;) )
Rodomontade, Jun 05 2001

       This is a top idea. And emminently bakeable. I agree that you shouldn't go overboard on the language differences otherwise nobody will understand what the joke is. I also like ravenswood's suggestion about Latvia. I think that the threat of Latvian world domination would work very well.

Mornington Crescent is exactly the right comparison - this week they were playing the old board game version; lots of noises as they moved the fictional pieces round the imaginary board.

The concept also puts me in mind, somewhat, of the Tales from the 1001 Nights. Virtual worlds embedded within virtual worlds and all that.

If it takes off then it would be almost impossible for an individual to supervise. Probably the line of least resistance would just be for individual members to keep an eye out for inconsistencies and notify everyone when they notice something.

You could also have links to a master reference manual, perhaps hidden behind a ubiquitous fake advert (How about Latvian Coffee? "It's time to wake up! Buy Latvian Coffee!").
DrBob, Jun 05 2001

       This idea rembered me of the Plato-philosophy... We are gonna make the fire and create shadows on the cave wall, in every way WE like. The people take the shadows for the real thing... So who's got a light?
BartJan, Jun 05 2001

       Mephista: since the whole creation would be spread out across many separate websites (each controlled only by the individual who created that website), no one person would be able to censor anyone else. The most you could do (without any kind of agreed upon central authority) would be to delete any links to the site you want to censor, but they would only be deleted from *your own* site. There is no actual "system" under the control of a single creator.
PotatoStew, Jun 05 2001

       Mephista: no, unless this whole thing is done by some other method than the one being proposed, you can't change another person's site in any way, including removing links to your own site. Think of it like this: can you, Mephista, remove the "report a bug" link from the leftnav bar of the halfbakery? No, only jutta can, because it's her site. So it is "out of control" in the sense that no one person has direct control, however, if there were some guidelines agreed upon by the majority of the participants, and/or if there was some sort of private, central forum for discussing things behind-the-scenes, things could be policed to some extent. For instance, all or most players could agree to remove links to an offending site from their own sites. The group thereby does what no one person can do. This would prevent anyone from linking to an outside site because they would be worried that the group (as individuals) would stop linking to their site.
PotatoStew, Jun 06 2001

       [Mephista]: There's nothing to stop me from adding to my site the tag <a href="http://www.halfbakery.com/user/Mephista">Find out about Mephista here</a>. The only ways (as far as I know) to disable unwanted links to your site are 1) to password-protect it and 2) to deny entry from any page other than one which you specify.
I think that the goldfish-bowl-ness is the whole point; a surreal 'innercosm', wholly self-referential and internally consistent.
angel, Jun 06 2001

       I must admit I was intrigued by the AI sites. Very well done. I love this idea. Couldn't really be done from free sites though, surely, as they would be anachronistic (or whatever the equaivalent word is: "averisimilar" or something). Sites offering scuba diving holidays on Switzerland's vast reefs would look a bit odd on a homepages.go.com site. But if it could be sorted out it'd be fantastic. Although it would probably have very minor appeal to the outside world, the fun would be wholly for the contributors (Mornington Crescent again). Beautiful.
Nadir, Jun 06 2001

       two things: 1. Someone needs to start this off. You would need a behind the scenes site to list the sites that it is acceptable to link to.   

       2. Someone ought to do a fake halfbakery where we post ideas that are already baked. For example: I post a wacky idea for a device that cleans by sucking up dirt (ie. the vacuum cleaner) then everyone else shoots it down by saying it violates the laws of physics then link to a physics site (also fake) that explains this.   

       P.S. Maybe all the sites could have the croissant logo?
RobertKidney, Jun 06 2001

       Thanks for the link angel, but it doesn't work (or is that the point?).
DrBob, Jun 07 2001

       [DrBob]: Currently vacant. Yours for £34.03 + VAT.
angel, Jun 07 2001

       [RobertKidney]: And conversely, banner ads that promote Ginsue(tm) temperature sensing cutlery, Orken(r) housekeeping cockroach services, and the most recent Hedonist Party candidates...
phoenix, Jun 07 2001

       I'll do mine in Flash with low overhead weight in mind for viewing pleasure. This will be Bakanalia! woohoo!
thumbwax, Jun 07 2001

       I recently came across a website devoted to wind-turbine driven boats and because I had never heard of such a thing--I had been intending to Halfbake it--I couldn't help wondering, What if this boat site is a fake? Some of the images look retouched....What if it's part of a project exactly like the Collaborative Web Fiction proposed by egnor? Supposing this project gets underway, might we find links appearing on the Halfbakery (for instance) referencing non-existent inventions as evidence that an idea has been Baked? Ha! We will create a dox, as in half a paradox!
Dog Ed, Jun 10 2001

       Please note that I refer to the A.I. publicity campaign in the second sentence of this idea. (I would have elaborated further, except that I thought everyone had seen it by now; it's discussed in depth elsewhere.) Follow [bookworm]'s link if you want to know more.   

       The important difference is that the A.I. campaign is entirely created by a central authority.
egnor, Jun 10 2001

       Is anyone doing anything about this? We're all enthusiastic, it's +22, what's happening?
[Robertkidney]: See link.
angel, Jun 20 2001

       angel: I dunno what others are doing, but I have been pecking away at a couple of pages. I'm including a slight Latvian connection, and using one of my less idiotic ideas in order to tie in with the halbaked world angle. (I used my own because I just felt funny about messing about with someone else's, especially at the beginning.)   

       It strikes me, though, that eventually I would like to include fictitious aspects which are not appropriate to the Halfbakery--a medical syndrome, in particular. How will we collect, collate, and coordinate things that are not part of the Halfbakery? Should we propose them here under egnor's topic?   

       But I agree, I would be saddened to see this drop--in juttas words, "promised, but never quite delivered." Thanks for bringing it up again.
Dog Ed, Jun 20 2001

       are people going to link to thier sites from here or is that against the rules?   

       P.S. [angel] thanks for bringing it to my atention. You do realise that now I would have to delete it as a WIBNI and post a new idea.
RobertKidney, Jun 20 2001

       What Is The Common Thread? I've always fancied a serious critique of Balloon Animals as Art. Making comparisons of fictional early pioneering Balloon Artists work and having serious discussions seemingly nearly come to blows over opinions and status, etc.
thumbwax, Jun 20 2001

       That's a good one, [thumbwax]. It's totally spongebowl, but at the same time totally believable because of the Tracey Emin, 'everything can be art', thing.
angel, Jun 20 2001

       The Common Thread so far seems to consist only of suggestions: that Halfbaked ideas be used sometimes, and that there is some sort of Latvian push for world dominance, and that often things left half-done or half-finished are valued.   

       Tell you what, I will make an effort to post some examples of my personal take on the idea in the next few days. I expect the resulting pages will not be viable and will end up in the recycle bin but perhaps we can use them to firm up the Common Thread.   

       Oh, thumbwax, the balloon animals sounds great. I am envious.
Dog Ed, Jun 20 2001

       In re collation and coordination, I don't mean to hijack [egnor]'s brilliant idea, but if anyone would care to e-mail their contributing URL (and brief description) to me, I'll put them on a page where we can all see them.
I've been thinking about the balloon thing. I think the animals might be a bit much, but I had the notion of an 'artist' creating this new balloon sculpture in front of an audience, the creation itself being 'performance art', and the end result being exhibited in galleries. You go to the Royal Albert Hall, (or Madison Square Garden, or Sydney Opera House,) to see the artist (who is a cross between Kirk Douglas in 'Lust for Life' and Alexander Gudunov in 'The Money Pit', ie arrogant, angst-ridden and more than slightly barking) building some pretentious monstrosity out of balloons handed to him by a minion (like a stage-magician's assistant). The whole thing takes about four hours and there's background music and dancers, only it's very high-brow and not vaudeville or show-biz. The music is not regarded as particularly important until this one avant-garde guy makes a big thing of it.
I'm going to get my brother to write a review of such a performance (he's a wizz at this sort of thing) and I'll post it on my site.
angel, Jun 21 2001

       Do what thou wilt - Only downside to that is verification ... to me, the idea as originally posted is one that won't be easily revealed to be a hoax, so to speak. In terms of balloon animals as art during its infancy - which is my core thought - I also picture excerpts from diaries, experiments, backstabbing, Disciples, Groupies, Fainting women, Riots, Sermons on heresy and all that. My intention is also to find pix in the public domain which would convey such a storyline.
The earliest famous balloon animal maker-(fact BTW): Senor Carlos, who was the first to go to Europe to perform his balloon sculpting act at the famous Lido de Paris.
Lots of room for BS, in my book. See link.
Somebody comes up with a better thread, given what is out there already, I'll jump on that bandwagon instead. It's just a little something I fancied doing - but wasn't quite sure how, I'd always figured it would be a mockumentary.
thumbwax, Jun 21 2001

       You're right - ignore me.
angel, Jun 21 2001

       (Feel free to "hijack" my "brilliant" idea all you want, by the way.)
egnor, Jun 21 2001

       <shameless self-promo>Finished with a Flash homepage - addy is at my 1/2 Profile - so now I can work on Balloon Animal propaganda</shameless self-promo>
I'm really looking forward to seeing exactly how the fictional Murder by Balloon I've thought of ends up. Here's the intro...
On March 27, 1928 Fausto Guillermo Sanchez was found dead. There was a plump eagle made of balloons next to the body. Around the tiny apartment were numerous popped balloons - some were knotted, some had what appeared to be twists. The Coroner; Herman Waters later found a small - still inflated balloon shaped somewhat like an egg in the throat of Mr. Sanchez. This was to become known as: 'The Case Of The Overinflated Eagle'.
thumbwax, Jul 19 2001

       wow. How did I miss this the first time around?
absterge, Aug 17 2001

       jutta - do you think you could create a new hb catagory that is linked to from here or the main page but doesn't link back? I'm sure we could all have hours of fun creating "ideas" to put in it...
RobertKidney, Oct 03 2001

       a site has been created... tell me if it's the sort of thing we were thinking of...
RobertKidney, Oct 05 2001

       [Dog Ed] Re. your link: Yeah, it's one of ours ... I think Vernon wrote it.   

cp, Nov 08 2001

       When it comes to themes for the proposed linked creative hoax websites game, I must confess surprise that no one has immediately suggested Alternate History or World Building.   

       Indeed, the Sci-Fi Channel has included "Online Slides", to accompany 'SLIDERS' TV episodes, consisting of various documents, broadcast media and webcontent from Alternate Histories and Parallel Worlds!   

       And in a similar vein, we could all work contribute extra dimensional websites from seeds sown at the 'SLIDERS' Brainstorm at http://pub45.ezboard.com/faarontologyfrm6 , my own follow up to the SCI-FI Channel Dominion 'SLIDE-IT-YOURSELF' promotion.   

       Yes, I am posting to shameless plug my own extensive website and forums, no hoax, dedicated to writing collaboration, at http://www.foolquest.com/fooltrek_faq/fooltrek_faq.htm   

       I need beta-testers!
AaronAgassi, Jan 10 2002

       Welcome to the halfterlife.
thumbwax, Mar 25 2002

       This reminds me a little bit of LiveJournal roleplaying.
Tabbyclaw, Apr 02 2003

       Wow, what a wonderful way to confuse the heck out of gullible surfers.
beland, May 26 2003

       This is a really cool idea! I've just got one question about it (and please forgive me if it's mentioned somewhere in the annotations). With all the rules you've set forth, how would the first person get others to contribute?
Jezzie, May 27 2003

       autosurgeon: Collaborative fiction is a different kettle of fish from pen and paper role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons. The collaborative Cthulhu Mythos stories, for example, pre-date commercial role-playing games.   

       However as your analysis of role-playing game is "they suck" I guess you were never very knowlegdable about them, or anything literary, in the first place. The closest role-playing game to this idea is Hogshead's "Baron Munchausen" but that is a world away from D&D.
Aristotle, May 27 2003

       Well you failed to demonstrate any knowledge about role-playing games, internet use or collaborative fiction other than comments about something "sucking". What kind of a response do you expect?
Aristotle, May 28 2003

       If you had known about collaborative fiction then I wouldn't had felt compelled to explain it in respect to role-playing. The discussion of this idea even explained the concept of collaborative fiction through annotations and links.   

       If you're upset that I explained that collaborative fiction predates commercial role-playing games then I would recommend you prepare youself for a lot more upsets in later life ...
Aristotle, May 28 2003

       No worries. I recommend comparing some of Lovecraft's original Cthulhu Mythos stories with Ramsey Campbell's later work in the same setting BTW.
Aristotle, May 28 2003


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