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Hello fellow members and visitors of the wiki. There's been something that's been weighing on my mind as of late and that is this whole Slender man vs. Slender issue. I'm sure many of you are aware of it, but I'm sure many of you are not. For those of you unaware of the debate it can be simplified as the following:
The various Slender Man games brought a large mainstream interest into the Slender Man community. This was mostly do to an assortment of reaction videos, in particular Pewdiepie and Tobuscus. The issue with this is that it has detracted many things from the fan base itself. Some of you may ask yourselves how can this be possible. Well it's quite simple and can be attributed to one of the following:
- Many individuals who claim fandom never go beyond the game slender or one of the other variations, and therefore are unaware of anything else associated with the Slender Man mythos.
- Some individuals will claim that the game inspired the rest of the mythos. This is a problematic issue as not only is it incorrect, but it detracts from all the hard work put into the large ARG slenderseries' that exist.
This generally results in misinformation regarding the mythos itself such as people referring to our tall faceless menace as "Slender" instead of Slender Man, but may also result in larger cases of spreading misinformation.
There is debate on whether or not the latest Teens React to Slender video by the popular youtube channel TheFineBros is guilty of this. They state in an info box during the video that, "Slender has influenced the content of a lot of YouTube channels. The most known is the Marble Hornets channel, which is heavily based on the story of Slender Man." Some jump to defend this statement saying that "They're referring to Slender the urban legend/myth, not Slender the game." I however must refute that with the following. Firstly, Slender Man was never called Slender prior to the release of the game, so it is likely that these individuals fall under the category of people that never go beyond the games and secondly if they were referring to the mythos itself they would definitely not state that MH was influenced by slender if they refer to slendy as the slender man in the same sentence.
I believe Adam (The creator of TT) said it best when he said, "No one seems to do their research anymore, not even well known YouTubers like the Fine Brothers. MarbleHornets as well as the rest of the Slenderverse mythos influenced Slender, not the other way around. The Fine Brothers have nearly 2 million subscribers. This is the internet equivalent of CNN saying that Party Rock Anthem was inspired by Oppan Gangnam Style. The spread of misinformation continues."
As a community what does this mean for us?
Essentially it means a few things:
- First is be prepared for people who claim to be die hard fans, but have never heard of MH, TT, or any other slenderseries and instead base their knowledge on the games or whatever ever else they can make up.
- Second is to be prepared for the huge influx of parodies and humor that always follow mainstream fandom.
- Third is to be aware that the mythos will be targeted by trolls, flamers, and generally unsavory people who prefer to target fans and fanbases of the current meme.
As a community what can we do?
The honest answer is not a whole lot, but that does not mean that we can't do anything. As the knowledgeable ones it is our job to inform the uninformed and reintroduce our pal Slendy as the terrifying malevolent evil that he is. Tell people about different slenderseries, heck make it a Halloween where you spend it all going through an entire slender series. Don't let parodies be all that people know about. A laugh can be great once in awhile, but when that's all that Slender Man is, what was the point of everything we created? Ignore the trolls and flamers, their job is to make you lose your cool, which in the end only hurts yourself and wastes your time.
Remember everyone, as a community we helped elevate The Slender Man to the heights of fear, it's our job to ensure that he doesn't become just another joke that fades away.
P.S. I personally have no issue with the Slender Man games or with the mainstream following. My concerns rest solely with the misinformation or lack thereof that has resulted in a fanbase that is being filled with people who are too obtuse to try to expand their knowledge or too immature to believe that something existed before their precious video game.
P.P.S. It should also be obvious that I'm not stating that all people who learn about the mythos through the games stop at the games. I am aware that there are others that delve deeper as a consequence and it's these kinds of people that we want in the fanbase.
P.P.P.S. If any of you would like to have a discussion about this with me, please feel free to leave me a message on my talk page. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this topic which is something that as a community we should be aware of.