REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

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REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby narrativedilettante on Mon May 05, 2014 2:27 pm

THIS PIECE, WRITTEN BY QARA-XUAN ZENITH, HAS BEEN SELECTED AS THE REFICTIONALIZATION FOR TOM PIKE AND DANA SHAW.

Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:Dana sat back, pen poised above the clipboard. "If we're going to even start on Season Three, we need a way to make the show more self-sufficient. So far, Mr. Administrator hasn't paid us... anything, so we're going to need to brainstorm more options."

Tom spun his chair around to face her, sprinkling some salt on his rice. "Actually, I had an idea. We should make a game!" He waved his fork in the air for emphasis.

"A game," Dana repeated, without enthusiasm.

"Yeah, an alternate reality game, to tie in with Echo Chamber. We'd get players from all around the world to engage with our story and our characters, get yelled at by Mr. Administrator, write stories or songs and stuff. It'll be great!"

"I'm going to tell you something," Dana said, "and I want you to know that I mean it from the bottom of my heart: that is the dumbest idea I have ever heard. No one is going to want to play an ARG about Echo Chamber. Nobody, Tom, is going to want to pay money to get yelled at by Mr. Administator. We don't like getting yelled at by Mr. Administrator, and we get paid for it."

"Yeah, but--" Tom swallowed a mouthful of rice and narrowed his eyes at Dana. "Wait, you get paid?"

"No. Sorry, figure of speech." She wrinkled her nose. "You know what I mean."

***

Dana breezed into Tom's apartment, making a face at the sight of his lunch. "Tom, there is a grocery store right across the street. You can buy any other food; there is no excuse for you subsisting on rice."

He shrugged. "This is easy. Want some? I'm not totally barbaric, I have salt."

"No," Dana said, with a withering look.

"Suit yourself." Tom turned back to his meal, gesturing toward the laptop on the desk. "I wrote out some copy for the ideas we were talking about yesterday-- you can take a look."

Dana bent over in front of the computer, not sitting down on the chair. Tom could hear the mouse click a few times as she scrolled down through what he had typed.

"Tom?"

"Yeah, do you like it?"

"Tom, this is really, really, really awful. What are you even trying to do? 'We are a TRUE PEOPLES!' 'The PAN will take your children!' I can barely read this, and I know it's awful."

"Well, that would just be one of the websites," Tom explained confidently, dumping his plate in the sink and coming over to join her at the desk. "This is for the character who knows what's going on, but has a different view of it than the players, a sort of foil to our playerbase."

"No players. No website. This sucks, Tom." Dana paused, groping for words. "You know how near the end of Season Two, you started having some ideas which really didn't suck? ...This isn't one of them."

"No, but, see, that's the point," Tom argued. "It's like So Bad It's Good. This character comes off as a wingnut, and that's deliberate, but there's just enough ring of truth in there to get people interested. Then BAM, our main character comes in with some videos about the same strange things going on, and then we hit them with the twitter accounts of more characters, and the game is off."

"Tom, So Bad It's Good is for when people actually want to watch something. This is just really, really, terrible, and nobody is going to read it. Even you can do better than this, Tom." Dana straightened, abandoning the computer to settle on the couch.

"Okay, so maybe this site will use some revising," Tom conceded. "But this guy's still supposed to sound crazy. And there will be other characters, who--"

"No."

"--sound more normal but are straight out of fiction, and--"

"No."

"--Mr. Administrator can make an appearance, I'm sure we can convince him to do it, and--"

"No."

"--he can be the one who gives the players their main assignments--"

A mechanical pencil soared through the air and hit Tom on the side of the head. He fell silent.

"We are not making a game, Tom. Your idea sucks. Your website sucks. Literally anything else will be better than this."
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby Scarab on Mon May 05, 2014 2:34 pm

...We... are in so much trouble when they see this. :lol:

Although it would also sure explain a lot.
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby Krika on Mon May 05, 2014 8:12 pm

I'm just imagining the Gilligan Cut between the end of that, and them looking at the Post-Mortem. And it's hilarious.
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby Dryunya on Tue May 06, 2014 1:31 pm

By the way, why did you post each other's fics?
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby narrativedilettante on Tue May 06, 2014 2:07 pm

Dryunya wrote:By the way, why did you post each other's fics?


I'll state my reasons. Qara's may be different; we agreed to do this but we didn't go into a lot of WHY we both wanted to do this.

If we each posted our own fics, it wouldn't have seemed like as much of a collaborative project, at least not in the presentation. We gave each other the tropes to use, so there was collaboration in that sense, but the fact that we were working on this idea together may not have been as clear to observers. People may have just gone "Huh, that's a coincidence, they both posted refics at about the same time." It feels more official this way, like we each called for the other's action.

During TWWF, the selected fics weren't just posted to the forum by their writers; they were posted or linked to by Mr. Administrator. For the purposes of our project, Qara took on that role for me and I took it on for her. In both cases, the other person "elevated the story to canon." Even though, realistically speaking, neither of us is a holder of canon for Echo Chamber or TWWF, having another person involved makes it feel less like just posting fanfic and more like we're adding a meaningful, if unofficial, extension to the ARG.
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby Dryunya on Tue May 06, 2014 2:39 pm

narrativedilettante wrote:meaningful, if unofficial, extension to the ARG.

Yesterday, I tried to imagine how Adminiverse looks now, with all the recursive stories, fan fics, spin-offs and non-canon Word Of God materials. I think I'm not ready to imagine it yet. :geek:

To elaborate, this particular fic makes a fictional TWWF universe in EC universe, in which the TWWF we played is real... At least if this fic was canon. Since it's not, we have to decide where to mount this universe tree first. Unix terminology, see what I did there? =P

...If we are willing to discuss it further, this will need a new thread.
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby Rick Healey on Thu May 08, 2014 6:26 pm

Oh, that gets into the nature of fictional universes in regards to each other. We already did that.

There's two theories, really. There's the "nested layers of fictionality" theory... or, for simplicity's sake, you can call this the "fictional onion" theory, with different layers of fictionality. Tom is fond of this theory, and I believe Dryu and Sicon already did modeling based on this theory. In this theory, I believe it's another layer of onion.

Meanwhile, the other theory, which hasn't been expanded upon much, is the "modal nature of distinct realities in fictionality" theory. You can think of this as the "fictional celestial spheres" theory. I'm more fond of this one - it basically states that, much like classic concepts of the nature of the universe, each fictional universe is its own sphere, floating in the ether... except in this case, the ether is the fourth wall. The spheres can have connections between each other, and in the case of something like TWWF, it creates a pretty vast web of connectivity spanning the fourth wall in many places. In this theory, such fan works are like smaller satellites or comets.

It's worth noting that nothing in TWWF contradicts either theory; the scope of the ARG wasn't likely to prove or disprove either theory. It's possible that we could have eventually brought the story to a point where one of the two theories had to be disproven, but among other things, I'm not sure anyone would have enjoyed watching Tom and I debate the nature of the fictional universe involved and how different complications would have worked or not worked.

Unless, of course, people want to pay good money to watch that, and Tom and I could get paid for just arguing about fiction for a few hours repeatedly. Hey, if someone wants to gather six figures for each of us, I'm sure we'd figure out some way to schedule something.
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Re: REFICTIONALIZATION: Tom Pike and Dana Shaw

Postby Victin on Thu May 08, 2014 7:39 pm

Rick Healey wrote:It's worth noting that nothing in TWWF contradicts either theory; the scope of the ARG wasn't likely to prove or disprove either theory. It's possible that we could have eventually brought the story to a point where one of the two theories had to be disproven, but among other things, I'm not sure anyone would have enjoyed watching Tom and I debate the nature of the fictional universe involved and how different complications would have worked or not worked.

Unless, of course, people want to pay good money to watch that, and Tom and I could get paid for just arguing about fiction for a few hours repeatedly. Hey, if someone wants to gather six figures for each of us, I'm sure we'd figure out some way to schedule something.

Actually, if I had any money, that'd be interesting. But expensive. Very expensive.
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