Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Start of a Journey - Guild Wars 2


I've just purchased my very first MMO, Guild Wars 2. Installed it overnight, set up my account, made a character and played a bit of the intro.

Luckily Guild Wars 2 doesn't have any monthly fee's so I can take my time when playing, and I intend to do so!

SO! Over the next few weeks I will be keeping a log of my various GLORIOUS MOMENTS OF VICTORY and the more likely moments where I have no idea what I'm doing and fail.

It shall be a fun quest!

This is my purple Elementalist plant lady! I named her "Faithful Student", huehuehue!


Comic: Slenderman

Keeping with the Slenderman theme, this is how shit would go down if I was ever tasked with defending my woman from his creepy creepiness. (click to enlarge)

Slender Sickness: What Makes the Slender Man so Scary

I can safely assume that anyone who spends a fair amount of time on the Internet has encountered this big guy. There really is no escaping him. (Bad joke, ha.) He even has his own wiki.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Slendy. There are very few monsters that can genuinely creep me out, and this guy is one of them. I have spent more time than I'm willing to admit losing sleep because of a Marble Hornets entry or chickening around in Slender.

The fact that he is so very creepy is what fascinates me about the Slender Man. As a psychology fan and an anthropology student, I feel the need to do some digging. What exactly makes the Slender Man so terrifying? Why is it that grown ass men can't play a game of Slender without wanting to cry?
To answer that question, we have to first define the Slender Man. So, unlike the post of my dear DraconisTheory, we will be digging into the history of Slendy and the finer points of his popularity.


Although he has no exact origin, The Slender Man myth is said to date back as far as 17th century Germany. In Germanic fairy tales, he was known as Der Ritter -  an exceptionally tall man dressed as a knight or a royal figure. In those times, he was meant to be a cautionary tale for children. Leave it to the Germans to come up with something so damn creepy.

See that nasty thing on the right? 

Slendy allegedly appeared again in the 1900s. This time, he was said to be a freakishly tall man in a suit who had no face. Sometimes he had tentacles, other times he did not. Sightings came from America, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Russia. Most of the reports associated with him were of missing children. Around the mid-1900s, reports came from Germany of soldiers having run-ins with the Slender Man in the forest. Similar reports came from America and Canada, where skiers and children went missing in forested areas. Around the 1980s, a series of buildings supposedly went up in flames for unknown reasons, causing several deaths. This fire became the point of origin for our modern-day Slender Man.

So how did he make it to the vast interwebz?

In 2009, Something Awful Forums launched a paranormal picture contest in which participants were required to take ordinary photos and digitally manipulate them into something creepy and sinister. Then those photographs had to be posted on a number of paranormal forums as authentic photos. An SA user by the name of Victor Surge entered two black and white photographs with a short description naming the Slender Man - a mysterious creature that stalked children.

These two photographs appeared with the following caption:
"We didn't want to go, we didn't want to kill them, but it's persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time..." 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.
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 occured one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. -1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13, 1986.

And so the Slender Man came to the interwebz. He quickly caught the attention of several websites, the most notable being 4chan. He spread to Unfiction Forums, Fangoria, Bungie, /x/enopedia, TVTropes, DeviantArt, SlenderNation, and Mythical Creatures Guide. This sparked the first of many pseudo-documentaries concerning the Slender Man.

The most popular video accounts come from the Marble Hornets project. This project consists of a series of entries on Youtube that are supposedly tape segments recovered by someone named Jay. These uncovered tapes contain footage of a friend that had disappeared. The tapes document both the unraveling of the friend (Alex) and Jay's search for the truth about what happened to him. In the project, Slendy is known as "The Operator". There are more than 60 videos in the series right now, and the project is still going.

(Here, I will add that I am a huge Marble Hornets fan. The series gives me the creeps, and it does the whole Blair Witch thing very well. Possibly even better than the Blair Witch Project. If you've not seen the series, I highly encourage you to go check it out.)

Other video documentations of the Slender Man have since appeared. These other projects include EverymanHYBRID, DarkHarvest00, MLAndersen0, and TribeTwelve.

Slendy makes an appearance in Marble Hornets. 

Slendy didn't stop at taking over Youtube. Oh no. He even has his own game: Slender (Parsec Productions, download it. It's free!). Now, I could be eloquent and give you a proper overview of the game. But that doesn't do it justice. So instead, I am going to give you a more realistic version. Slender is a simple enough game. You're in the woods with a flashlight. You don't know why you're in the woods. But you are. And you have to wander around in these creepy, dark woods until you find landmarks. There are eight pieces of paper posted on these landmarks. And these pieces of paper have weird, creepy shit written on them. And the whole time you're in these creepy woods looking for these stupid pieces of paper, the Slender Man is behind you, stalking you like the creepy fuck that he is. But you can't run away from him because you're either fat or a child or possibly a fat child. Whatever you are, you're not built for running and you'll make it about three yards before you have to slow down. But Slendy doesn't like to play fair, so any time you find a piece of paper you better haul ass back into the woods. Because finding paper makes Slendy stalk in hyperspeed. You can tell when he's close because you'll hear creepy ass noises and your screen gets all distorted. If it goes completely static, then congratulations: you've been caught by the Slender Man and will probably die in a horrible fashion. 

All that aside, it really is an unsettling game, and has often been compared to Amnesia: The Dark Descent for it's scare factor. Although it is a much simpler game than Amnesia, the reaction videos are just as hilarious. I highly encourage you to go watch them.

Go in the bathroom, they said. It will be fine, they said.


So know that we know who the Slender Man is and where he came from, we need to explore how he operates before we can determine why he's so frightening. 

Old-school Slendy was very violent. He displayed highly agressive behaviors such as impaling his victims on trees, leaving them to bleed to death, or ripping out a victim's organs. Children were his sole target. 

However, the modern Slender Man is not quite as violent, but somehow much more sinister than his older counterpart. The modern Slender Man is passive aggressive toward his victims. He will stalk his target continuously, and torment the individual by repeatedly making his presence known in an invasive way - appearing inside or around the target's home, on a road during travel, at the workplace when the target is alone, or while the target is sleeping. This elimination of any safe zone tends to spark uneasiness and paranoia in the victim. However, Slendy will probably not attack for a long time. Instead, he will just continue to follow his victims and creep them the fuck out.

If targeted over an extended period of time, victims will usually experience a delve into madness. Paranoia takes over; the victim doesn't feel safe anywhere. Wild mood swings occur, and constant irritation is present. Victims suffer from "Slender Sickness", which is marked by coughing fits, coughing up blood, nausea, vomiting, bloody nose, and fever. The most prominent effect of Slender Sickness is amnesia. Victims will often awaken with no idea where they are, what they are doing, or how they got there. Memory loss can be a period of hours, days, weeks, or even months. It's undetermined whether this memory loss is a defense mechanism triggered by an encounter with the Slender Man, or the work of Slendy himself. Either way, the victim ends up with a life that is in ruins.

When a Slendy target does finally disappear, it is usually not by direct action of the Slender Man. Victims usually disappear on their own, leaving no trace behind. Victims are never found. It is uncertain where exactly the victims go, or what happens to them after they disappear. Any video documentation of an encounter with Slendy is highly distorted (another known effect of his presence), making it almost impossible to see exactly what occurs when he appears. 

Another shot of Slendy, courtesy of Marble Hornets.


Now I can answer the question I've wanted to answer all along. Why is the Slender Man so fucking terrifying? What is it about him that makes people want to shut their laptops and never sleep again?
I have a guess. This is my "educated opinion" if you will, and I don't claim to be any sort of expert on Slendy or the complex workings of the human psyche. 

The Slender Man is scary for two reasons: 
1. He's invasive.
2. He's a plethora of uncertainties. 

Allow me to elaborate. 

We as a species like the idea of having a safe place we can retreat to. That's why we have doors that lock. So we can keep danger out of our safe place. That is also why we like groups. We like to be with other humans, because that will prevent us from being isolated in a dangerous or otherwise fear-inducing situation.We'd rather be terrified with someone else than terrified alone. But really, we'd prefer not to be terrified at all. 

The Slender Man rips that comfort right out from underneath us. Most monsters have some weakness, or some way that you can escape from them. Some monsters can't go out in the sunlight. Some can only get to you when you're alone. Some can't leave the premises they're found on. Some can be killed. Some, like the monsters in Amnesia, can be hidden from.

Not Slender Man.

Slendy doesn't give a fuck where you are or what you're doing. He's there. Daytime, nighttime. Alone, or around other people. In the woods, in your house, in your workplace, in the shower. Slendy doesn't give a fuck. If you're sleeping, fucking, eating, whatever you're doing, he's fucking watching you. And nothing can stop him. Walls? Fuck that, Slender Man can teleport. And as far as anyone knows, there's no way to kill him. 

Not only does Slendy invade your personal space and make you feel completely unsafe wherever you are, he invades your body and your mind. Once you come into contact with him, you're done for. You lose your shit. You can't remember anything. And the whole time you're losing your shit and trying to remember what the fuck is going on, you're coughing up blood and trying not to puke all over the place. The only thing you can do is wander around while your entire psyche crumbles and wait until you lose your shit so much that you just disappear somewhere and you're never heard from again. 

If Slendy wants to find you, he will find you. You can't escape him. And even when he's gone, you haven't escaped. Once he's got you, he's got you for good and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it. Game over.

The second terrifying element of Mr. Slender is the uncertainty that surrounds him. Human beings are constantly trying to figure out the world around them. We want to pick everything apart and understand why it is the way it is. How it works. What it does. If we can't figure that out, it bothers us on every level of our existence. It makes us question the very fabric of the universe if we can't make sense of something. 

Now let's think about Slendy for a second. Where did he really come from? No one knows. Why does he do what he does? No one knows. How exactly does he do it? No one knows. No one really knows anything about him other than the fact that he's tall, faceless, and drives people to madness. 
That's exactly the same reason why Hannibal Lecter is so scary. Aside from the mention of survival in Hannibal Rising, no one knows why this vastly intelligent psychiatrist eats people. He just does it. And that is fucking unsettling.

Slender Man just torments people, and that's all we really know about him. That's all we're ever going to know about him. And as humans, that creeps us out on an instinctual level. If we can't understand something, we fear it. 

Maybe he has a reason. Or maybe Slendy is just a sick fuck. Either way, the reaction he induces is one of unadulterated fear. And rightly so - he triggers two of our psyches' most sensitive points.

Now that I have thoroughly bored and/or terrified you all, have some Slender memes.

This is also what I think when Skype gets all weird on me.

No Slendy, that's okay. You can keep the juice.

Monday, August 27, 2012


If there is one horrible, disgusting creature that wants to wrap it's tentacles around your wallet it's Hollywood. This is what happens when said creature figures it can exploit the interweb sub-culture for movie ideas:

They didn't even have the decency to make him look like something other than a homeless Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
Yes, The Tall Man. The imdb page offers the synopsis of :"When her child goes missing, a mother looks to unravel the legend of the Tall Man, an entity who allegedly abducts children." The fact they're using Jessica Biel as the hook should be evidence enough this thing is gonna blow monkey dick across the land.

I mentioned monkeys so this relevant... I think.
Why would they do this, you ask? Because Hollywood is greed in manifest and they need money, all those starving movie execs need their coffee, dammit. As for why they chose to turn a meme into a movie, your guess is as good as mine. I doubt this thing is targeted to fans of the Slenderman himself but rather the result of a prophecy that foretells of an upcoming shift of interestet towards a semi-popular idea that resulted in an accountant-bred script that was hashed out to make a quick buck. The people who made the decision to make this movie, the same breed who forced the reboot of Spiderman though for slightly different reasons, have been at this game for a long time and they can probably smell upcoming trends like my dog can smell bacon through a lead wall. I'm not saying memes are about to take a sudden leap into mainstream pop culture but... what if?

They're starving.

The Slenderman is a legendary meme and I won't go into the back story of the character here; however, if you're interested, MemeBase offers a thorough description of how the guy came to be and how the Internet blew him up into the modern mythological, web-based powerhouse he is today. If you don't feel like sifting through all that crap here's my description: He is a faceless, skinny, tall, pale dude in a suit with tentacles (sometimes), and has a thing for stealing kids and standing creepily in the background.

He was photo bombing before it was cool.

To me he can be seen as a metaphor for the average American's fear of the government, a faceless entity with many arms preying upon children and the unwary. He has no apparent rules to where he can be and he is always watching his victims day and night, even in their own homes. He is frequently portrayed in wooded areas distanced from civilization which could also be symbolic of the tendrils of man pushing out the nature-based monsters of the past and extending into the wild, leaving no place untouched. He is a modern day boogie man, a representation of our society's fears and paranoia and there is no safe place from his grasp. I find this all very ironic considering the commercialization that is actually happening to him as represented by the release of this movie, and thus proving once again how Hollywood loves to rape the good out of everything.

I couldn't resist.

If you're truly craving a Slenderman film-based narrative I suggest the pretty decent Marble Hornets series on YouTube. It's told from the first person, shaky-cam perspective of a college student who's trying to track down his friend who is apparently being stalked by the elusive Slenderman for unknown reasons, though in this series the monster is referred to as 'The Operator' but who gives a shit? It's still Slender and it's worth a watch, especially if you're into the Paranormal Activity/Blair Witch style of storytelling.

This is a screen from Marble Hornets.

But that's that. Who knows, maybe I'm just talking out of my ass (not surprising) and needed something to post this week. Regardless, here is a small Slenderman gallery I've dug up from various sources around the web. Take a gander and try to get some sleep tonight (click the picture to enlarge).

The Splendidman


Buzz Slenderman

Hint: Look left.

This is the most disturbing to me.

Ha. Nostalgia.

I don't...





Maybe he's just trying to recapture his youth... GEDDIT?!


More creepiness.

My people will call your people.

Slenderman by Tim Burton

Dr. Octoslendamang

No smiles in the slender parade.

His true motivation.

Completely irrelevant but this randomly came up during my search and I had to share.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Flame On! (yeah, I know...)

Aloha Everyone!

This is a test of the early blogging system. Had this been an actual emergency, you would not be here.

If you have several questions that need answering, I know a great number of people at my College willing to share.

Despite the odd ball sleep pattern, life is becoming increasingly more enjoyable. Interests in Anime and Games are limited to irregular patterns of interest, but I do very much enjoy the hard work that goes into each production.

Titles include: Evangelion, particularly "Endless Waltz"; Final Fantasy and very recently Darksiders 2.

 Sideline interests are Environment, Education and slew of others - including my current Major Graphic Design. Currently, I am not taking work outside of class just yet. Nightmare course load going on.

Other than all of those lovely syllables...

How are you doing?

Later cowboys.... (Cowboy Bebop)

Editor's Note: This is the first post by one of our newest contributors, the fantastic Jonathan Allen! He's one of the my good buddies from the Navy and I'd like to extend my personal welcome and you all do the same. -DraconisTheory

What? A Girl? On Raptor Inc.?

Oh yes. A female has been added to the team, and a redhead at that. I’m Auverin – the newest and palest face at Raptor Inc.

This is how I wear a Raptor Inc. t-shirt:

I don’t really like to talk about myself a lot because I am weird and awkward and I tend to leave important things out…mostly I forget to warn people that I am weird and awkward. But you have been warned, so now I can get to the important stuff.

I am indeed 100% female, and the very lucky girlfriend of DraconisTheory (as mentioned in a recent news post, I believe). I’m a starving college student. Well, not starving, but I’ve had popcorn as a meal more than once this week. I write, I paint, I play music. And I do game on occasion. I wouldn’t say I’m avid enough to beat any of these guys at anything, But I do play enough to kick some ass in RPGs and occasionally give DraconisTheory a spear to the face.

I can’t quite say what sorts of things I am going to post, because once again I am rather odd and prone to act on a whim. I can say that I am helping out with a brand new project that will be rather expansive. As it was said earlier in the month, the project is still in a conceptual stage, but I am its writer, and therefore I am held responsible if it never gets done. So that will be my job for the next few months. Getting that shit finished. Somewhere in there I might actually post something relevant. Who knows?

I don’t have anything else of merit to say, so I’m just going to end this awkwardly and abruptly.


The Evolving Art: Narration

Video games are a story, unlocked through interactivity and the users own creative thinking. But sometimes the gamer is told exactly what is happening, what will happen, what may happen: allusion, foreshadowing, build-up, suddenly there is someone there in your game world telling you something. A narrator appears to grant you wisdom or conclude a story.

Narration has always been a double-edged sword in gaming. For one thing it can draw the gamer out of the experience and put them back into the realization that they are just playing a game; thus, not traveling through a story with the rest of the characters, not visiting amazing landmarks or conquering fierce challenges, not even buying an item in a shop.

Narration has been used in many different ways and some to great effect. Adventure games in particular can benefit greatly from the added context or descriptions given the nature of the genre. Other times however, it's used as little more than a cheap way to advance the plot with little effort or give a hint as where to go next.

Today I want to talk about three very unique games; each use narration in vastly different but equally effective ways. Also, all three games are fairly new and can be found online easily. Hopefully finding out about some of the lesser known games out there will pique your curiosity to find more for yourself!


WARNING: There may be some mild plot spoilers, but I will try to avoid them as best I can.



The first and simplest form of the narration problems of the past. Also, the game is quite well known.

Bastion is a prime example of how narration can complement a game in ways that bring grace or tragedy to a moment, whether that moment is in your hands to control or not. While the story isn't the most original or even captivating in the world, it has something that not many other games like it possesses; affirmation. It knows exactly the story it wants to tell, and it holds no punches in telling it. The story shines with confidence, enough to make you believe it and it's character the whole way through.

The game is available on many different platforms, and the developers website is located here.

Bastion is probably the simplest explanation of how game designers are approaching the changing roles of narration in video games, but to see the massive developments you have to look towards the indie scene.

Yes, even more indie than Bastion.


The Stanley Parable

This is where we start going off the beaten path of well know games.

The Stanley Parable is not a stand alone title like Bastion, but a mod for the game Half-Life 2. In it you play a man called Stanley. Stanley lives a simple life, is told what to do every day and does it without complaints. He is lead through life by command and doesn't mind that at all. He is happy. Or at least he was, until suddenly he goes to work only to find that he's not been given any instructions.

The Stanley Parable is one of those rare games that tells a story that you've never heard before. I mean, when was the last time you've read a story that didn't remind you of another? This is one of those games. The name of the game is all about one thing, and makes you constantly take into account one thing; Stanley's choices. With multiple endings, this seeming simple game takes on a new light on several play throughs. A short and bitter-sweet game that is free to boot.

Well, as long as you have Half-Life 2. It can be downloaded here.



Home might be the biggest change in narration that has happened in gaming in quite some time, but it's hard to explain without giving away the games secrets.

Home is a horror game. Like many horror games it starts you off in an unknown place with a slight case of amnesia. Nothing too original or out of the ordinary there.

What sets this game apart from the many other narrated games out there is just exactly how the story progresses. You have many choices as you play and some might even seem unimportant, but the turns your story takes can vastly change it's outcome. You come to slowly realize that you are shaping the story in the most literal way possible, that your choices are the stories progression and conclusion. A true "choose your own adventure" story, but in a way you may not imagine.

Home is a standalone game, and cost's only $2. Though it is cheap, the game is quite short. It does have multiple endings and choices along the story that warrant multiple play throughs, however. It can be purchased here.


Narration. It's one of those elements that can do so much to convey emotion, story, character and environment to the player. But in the wrong hands it can take the player in the opposite direction, make them lose that connection they hold with the game world and it's inhabitants.

These three games show small steps towards bridging the gap and making narration into more that just a side-note or punctuation, but as an added layer of depth to what may very well be a work of gaming art.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Comic: My Life in IT

So let's get these weekly comics started back up, okay? They may not be grand, but they'll at least be a bit more frequent. Hopefully the other guys will follow suit, if not, FUQ 'EM.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Raptor Inc. News - 17 August, 2012

Yeah, we're terrible at keeping this thing updated. Here's what we're ACTUALLY up to:

Shadonickles has a job and is being fat.

Fat4all has two jobs and is being fat.

Ogachy-ie is about to be a senior in high school and I assume will also be being fat.

DraconisTheory has a girlfriend and a job and is being fat.

The End.

As for projects: The movie is at a standstill until I can get a better system to edit the video. I have no idea how long this will take. We're fiddling with new T-shirt designs and will keep you posted. We have a big project coming up that will involve, sound, writing, and video and it's still in the conceptual phase but I'm pretty excited about it and will involve the newest member of the team.

That is all.

Book Review: the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

It's a book!

The perks of being a wallflower is a book about being a troubled teen. His troubles are varied, social, and may surprise you with their realism. The story is told through first person letters to a mystery recipient, all you know about the man who is reading Charlie's diary is that he "could have had sex with that girl at the party but didn't" and Charlie thinks that he is worth writing to.

I love you creepy word man.

I admit I was hesitant to read this book, not because I wasn't intrigued by it's concept, but because I don't like depressing stories, especially ones that make me remember my own confusing and angst-filled teenage years. It was recommended to me by my girlfriend who has a special fondness for these sort of tales even though they have the habit of eliciting the most unpleasant of emotional responses. Don't get me wrong, this is not the saddest or wrenching story I have ever read, I'm just saying it makes you feel. When looking for an avenue of entertaining story time most people are hunting for just that, entertaining story time, not feelings; those critters can be scary.

Bitches be trippin'.

Charlie is a highly intelligent boy and a joy to live with during the course of the book. It's a shorter story, only 206 pages with standard young-adult-fiction style font and easy pacing. Charlie is an observer and a boy of great understanding of his peers. However, all of his troubles begin when he takes the advice of his teacher and begins to peel away from the wall and "participate" in the life of a social high school student. Shenanigans ensue, including dealings with the Rocky Horror Picture Show, pre-2010 hipsters, pot brownies, and prom.


There are a couple controversial tones which I will cover here and they may be spoiler-ish so please skip ahead if that isn't your thing. First: Homosexuality. Charlie's best friend is gay and having a relationship with a popular football player who wants to keep the relationship a secret. After they break up and Patrick (Charlie's friend) proceeds to have a complete fucking melt down and he uses Charlie to alleviate his loneliness and they end up having drunken make-out sessions. Now, this whole situation got to me at first but then I allowed myself to open up and really think about it. Charlie is trying to help his friend. Throughout the story you learn to what lengths he will go to and what sacrifices he will endure for the sake of his friends. It's an emotional and very real thing.


(Still in Spoiler Mode) Second: Insanity. Charlie has problems. Yes, he is intelligent and understanding and amazing but there's an underlying core to this. It all stems from his Aunt's death and Charlie struggles with this and his own fragile mind at especially angsty moments of his freshman year. It brings up the topic of how we should treat teen mental problems, medication, etc. and can inspire deeper thought. (Yeah, there's a bit of sex and suicide but they didn't hit me nearly as much as those first two topics.)


(Spoiler Mode over) In closing it's a good book and I recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind turning back the clock to those confusing and exciting years and seeing the institution of high school from a unique social perspective.
My mom put mustard on my sandwich... I may cut myself....

Best quotes:
"Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve."
"Not everyone has a sob story, Charlie, and even if they do it's no excuse."
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

Self explanatory.

Also, there is a movie coming out in 2012 that was written and directed by Chbosky himself.

Watson. Yes.