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1-18-08

I think I’m safe, for now. Wherever I go it isn’t long before they find me.

It seems The Mezin are connected to every aspect of humanity, from culture and religion to our most advanced technology

I have to be more careful contacting all of you. When I began I thought I could safely speak about his writings and perhaps save us all…

but now it seems I will have to find a more subtle way to share his visions.

If this is the first message you have received from me do not give up hope! There are others that have gone before you, the way has been found, you only need to search and you will find the answers you seek. We will all have a role to play. We are getting stronger, our voices will be heard!

I have more of Haas’s writings, once I find a secure way to transmit them I will leave you clues to find them.

The more I read the more I realize Haas was right………

Ethan Haas Was Right.

1-18-08

OK, I’ll admit it, I LOVE this kind of thing. Essentially it’s a viral(ish) campaign for JJ Abrams new movie, due out 18th January 2008. The trailer (linked above) is rather good in a nicely intriguing and threatening kind of way, and I’ve just spent the last two hours at the Ethan Haas website trying to solve the puzzles. I got stumped at puzzle 4 so thank goodness I found the answer(s).

THIS is what the internets is about.

UPDATE: http://ethanhaaswaswrong.blogspot.com/

I’m completely sucked in, reading through the 2000 odd comments on the recent post to the above blog… losing track of who might be real, who might be a plant, who might be a character, who is deliberately posting obscure comments to try and throw people…

I’m sorry, but I find this utterly fascinating, watching this ripple out across the internets.

UPDATE 2: OK some more explanation of WHY I find this utterly fascinating.

It’s not the blog part of it as much as marvelling at the idea and execution. The movie doesn’t come out until January next year, and so I reckon that gives the studio another 3 or 4 months before they need to really start pushing things into the more traditional movie related advert streams.

But for now, this marketing campaign is smart, and shows that someone, somewhere, gets how powerful the ‘social’ side of the internet can be, with blogging being a huge part of that. Setting up a blog or two, or three?, and having people start to discuss what the movie might be, or might not be, is smart. Feeding them snippets of possibly related information (not only in the blog posts but sprinkled throughout the comments as well!) is smart, and already, in a few days, the buzz about the movie is growing.

Could they have achieved that with only the trailer? Possibly but they certainly couldn’t sustain it. And that’s the really smart bit. Similarly to the Matrix movies, there is an entire back/sub plot at work here, and just like all those people who can name the make and model of each and every light saber in Star Wars (ohh, trick question?) there will be people who enjoy exploring the imaginary society that seems to surround this movie.

Weird symbols, odd messages, and one enigmatic leader. Yup, someone has been reading up on their sci-fi and comic books.

# ~ Movies, Web 33 Comments


Comments (33)

annaJuly 11th, 2007 at 9:28 pm

The internets is about marketing?!

About viral marketing? That’s the point? Viral and other types of marketing are the point of the internets? This is what you just said?

Kill me.

Kill me now.

GordonJuly 11th, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Ohh someone pass me a gun so I can put anna out of her misery… or perhaps I’ll tease it out, start by shooting her in the foot first…

What I am TRYING to imply, and this is a nice juxtaposition from this recent rant from Jakob Neilsen, is that it’s clever use of the way people use the internet. Running this kind of campaign to create buzz is smart and shows some level of savvy… (as opposed to Neilsens misguided diatribe).

So yes, when it comes to marketing a product, creating a buzz, then THIS is the way to do it. IMHO!

annaJuly 11th, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Hm. Yes, in light of that, I KIND of see what you’re saying.

So in light of that, THIS is what marketing should be all about.

(The internets is for nicer things still, yes?)

AdrianJuly 11th, 2007 at 11:14 pm

I don’t get it. I mean I get it, but I don’t know where you all have the time to run around the internet looking at fake blogs for a movie that’s not out.

I understand it works and I understand it gives something to the fans etc etc.

I just don’t get the interest or the time. Even if I had the time, I’d just rather see the movie. All this other stuff is just faff for me. I have 200 blogs on my roll. This doesn’t do anything to for me in the same way that reading friends blogs or work blogs does.

And I really don’t have the time.

LyleJuly 12th, 2007 at 8:30 am

I must admit, I’m with Adrian on this one. I did look at the promo sites when you mentioned them yesterday in the sidebar, but at least one of them crashed my entire Firefox instance – never something that’s going to endear me, it has to be said.

Other than that, yeah, maybe it’s cool – but I’ve other things (Note: not necessarily better things, just other things…) to fill my time, rather than fake blogs that’re dealing with marketing hype.

*shrug*

</ambivalence>

robramJuly 12th, 2007 at 10:59 am

It reminds me of the hype around Lost (shucks, there’s a surprise), when it started. The C4 site in the UK was really nicely conceived and gave enough teasers, but ultimately, unless you have nothing to do with your life, you’re gonna wait till you see the film/TV show.

As clever as this sort of campaign/marketing is, it’s only as good as the end product. If, after all this effort, the film is rubbish, many people will be a teensy bit peed off!

Blue WitchJuly 12th, 2007 at 11:09 am

Isn’t it a pity that people have time to spend on things like this, but not on befriending, for example, the lonely old person who lives next door but one to them?

Just *think* what could be done with the combined amount of time that is spent every day on things like this. *sighs*

DragonJuly 12th, 2007 at 11:13 am

Well, hate to break it to you but apparently there are two different “games” going on here. Ethan Haas may (or may not) be something to do with a game that is coming out very soon (‘Alpha Omega’ by Mindstorm Labs). It has been connected with 1-18-08 but this may (or may not) be erroneous. 1-18-08 is a movie and was launched after this trailer was shown in front of screenings of Transformers.

JJ Abrams, creator of “Alias” and “Lost”, is producing it and has already said that the Ethan Haas sites are nothing to do with it but that there are other sites out there. Misdirection or truth – you decide.

http://www.slusho.jp, however, is pretty certain to be part of the 1-18-08 ‘game’.

I’ll post more about this after my mini-hiatus this week.

DragonJuly 12th, 2007 at 11:22 am

Sorry – didn’t realise you’d already posted a link to the trailer – thought you’d posted a link to the 1-18-08 site.

BW – yes, yes it is a shame. Isn’t it also a shame that people spend their time writing books, painting pictures, composing music and making films rather than befriending the lonely old person who’s just down the road from them.

On the other hand, maybe they can organise their life enough to find time do both. By day, they get paid to put together interactive marketing campaigns that will brighten up peoples lives and bring pleasure and amusement to a lot of people. By night (or at weekends) they volunteer their time to help those less well off.

Blue WitchJuly 12th, 2007 at 11:43 am

I wish I believed that what you’re saying in your last para is true Dragon.

And, “Isn’t it also a shame that people spend their time writing books, painting pictures, composing music and making films rather than befriending the lonely old person who’s just down the road from them.” I think that there is a huge difference between *creating* original creative ‘product’ and *consuming* by playing computer games, especially when they are playing along with (ie creating) the latest media hype. Yes, everyone needs R n R, but, for a significant number of people, this now revolves solely around an online existence. Which is not healthy for anyone – or the future.

GordonJuly 12th, 2007 at 11:54 am

Dragon – yeah I think you are right, the Ethan Haas thing is a coincidence… which explains why I couldn’t tie the two together properly.. and why I was so damn confused. Interesting that they both tackle, seemingly, similar ‘things’. Wonder if it’s a clever tie-in though???

BW – I think you need to be careful. YES a lot of people are spending a lot of time developing an online existence, but from what I’ve read, there are an equal number of people who realise this isn’t healthy… maybe it’s an age thing.. my attitude towards the internet has certainly altered radically over the past ten years.

I’m sure someone can draw a parallel here, something in times gone past that suggests that we are neither worse off, nor better off, than we are as a society, solely because of the internets. Or perhaps not. Suffice to say that with people who will challenge and question things, like your goodself, we shouldn’t be in too bad a state come the next millenia..

DragonJuly 12th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

At the risk of derailing this thread entirely…

I think that there is a huge difference between *creating* original creative ‘product’ and *consuming* by playing computer games

why pick on computer games here in particular? Why not say “reading a book” or “watching television”? Also “significant number” – actual figures or source?

Gordon – I get the impression that Ethan Haas is a post-apocalyptic tale, possibly to do with freemasons and/or demonic cults and End of Days while 1-18-08 is likely to be a straight forward “creature feature” (although yes, there are many people wondering if there’s a Lovecraft influence although I doubt that personally)

Blue WitchJuly 12th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

But Gordon, Suffice to say that with people who will challenge and question things, like your goodself, we shouldn’t be in too bad a state come the next millenia.. it’s people like me who are becoming increasingly turned off by the artificiality of virtual existence. The way things are going, we ain’t gonna be around to point up the foibles for others to see for much longer… I’m sure some people would think that’s a good thing ;)

Dragon – I pick on computer games because of their subject matter. As a young undergraduate I was heavily influenced by the work of a now world-famous researcher (then a young lecturer) into the effects of TV and game violence on societies. I work with many kids who can’t tell the difference between what it’s OK to do in computer games (and don’t believe that adult rating on the box stops them playing them, it doesn’t) and what it’s OK to do in real life. The result? Look at the news every day.

GordonJuly 12th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

So if they don’t understand the difference are we then saying it’s an education thing??

And please, feel free to derail anything you like..

Blue WitchJuly 12th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

No, not education. It’s about making the world a safe place. Which means getting rid of unnecessary and gratuitous violence. Of all forms.

DragonJuly 12th, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Is this despite recent studies that show a lack of correlation between violence in media such as video games and aggression in children? What about the recent findings by UNICEF that indicate that the cause of most violent crime by juveniles is related to alcohol (which also ties in with the increase of teenage admissions into hospitals with alcohol related problems).

If, however, we accept that exposure to unnecessary and gratuitous violence is the problem, then does that mean that games that don’t feature violence are acceptable and to be encouraged? What do we do with other works such as, for example, Titus Andronicus or a fair amount of Chaucer? If exposure to portrayals of violence has an adverse affect on children, what about exposure to portrayals of other habits that may be considered socially undesirable?

How also do we account for the high level of violent crime in parts of the world where video games are not as prevalent as they are in this and similar ‘first world’ countries?

DragonJuly 12th, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Is this despite recent studies that show a lack of correlation between violence in media such as video games and aggression in children? What about the recent findings by UNICEF that indicate that the cause of most violent crime by juveniles is related to alcohol (which also ties in with the increase of teenage admissions into hospitals with alcohol related problems).

If, however, we accept that exposure to unnecessary and gratuitous violence is the problem, then does that mean that games that don’t feature violence are acceptable and to be encouraged? What do we do with other works such as, for example, Titus Andronicus or a fair amount of Chaucer and, no doubt, other examples of classic literature? If exposure to portrayals of violence has an adverse affect on children, what about exposure to portrayals of other habits that may be considered socially undesirable?

How also do we account for the high level of violent crime in parts of the world where video games are not as prevalent as they are in this and similar ‘first world’ countries?

LyleJuly 12th, 2007 at 8:34 pm

Just to shove my oar in quickly, surely it’s more about:

a) encouraging/teaching people to discern between reality and fiction. Whether that is in the realms of TV, video games, books, pornography (cf. the recent case of the man obsessed with violent porn who then dragged his obsession into the real world, with murderous consequences) or any other media format.
b) In a related theme, promoting personal responsibility, which is something that currently seems to be distinctly out of fashion. Teaching people about actions and reactions, along with consequences of actions, and taking responsibility for those choices and actions.

I’ll add more when I’ve thought a bit…

Blue WitchJuly 12th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Lyle – as I see it, the media are now so in control of the world that I don’t think that a lot of people (including many young teachers and, judging by the standards of kids behaviour, many parents ie The Educators) know the difference between reality and fiction/fantasy. Or, if they do, they find it so uncomfortable that they escape the reality via drugs or alcohol.

Personal repsonsibility has been killed by government policies and the increasing intrusion of The Nanny State. I blog about it frequently.

LyleJuly 12th, 2007 at 9:09 pm

OK, so, to continue.

c) again, related to a), and probably just a personal bugbear, but I’d like to see more simplistic toys for kids as well – I believe that excessive technology in kids toys has led to a fundamental lack of imagination (which is related to all the conceptual leaps necessary to discern between reality and fiction, among other things). When I were a kid™, you could have a very simple toy (oooh, I dunno, say a toy car) and while it might’ve looked like a car, you still had to imagine the noise it made, the scenario it was in, blah blah. Even more basic, you could take a wooden block, and it could be a house, a car, a train, any number of things. You had to imagine it, regardless.

Now, a toy car has a button to make the noise, the lights work, and there’s no imagination required.

Hmmm, I see a D4D™ post on the horizon for this one…

Blue WitchJuly 12th, 2007 at 10:21 pm

Lyle – re (c) that is also fundamental to my beliefs about The Evil of Computer Games. Now then, what was it Gordon was posting about? ;)

DragonJuly 12th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

It appears that a lengthy comment I made in response to your earlier comment, BW, is either awaiting moderation (?) or has been lost to the ether. Oh well – it was a doozy! ;)

Lyle – I can tell you with 100% certainty that an 18 month old boy will pick up a simple toy car and make vroom-vroom noises while he drives it up and down walls, along tables, over daddy or whereever despite also having plenty of cars which makes noises too. I can also tell you about a boy who couldn’t play with lego 20-something years ago because he inherently had no imagination. (He’s an accountant now – I don’t know if the two facts are related.)

BW – far be it from me to pass comment on your beliefs as, after all, they are yours but from what you’ve said so far, I get the impression that they are based on a very generalised impression of what these apparently “Evil” computer games are like.

GordonJuly 12th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

Sorry about that Dragon, reinstated now.

And please, don’t mind me, this is a fascinating discussion!!

annaJuly 12th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Now Gordon, I’ve been meaning to ask for ages, and this post seems off-topic enough to mention it now:

Which feed should I delete from my googlereaderthing: the one called gordonmclean, or the one called informationallychallenged or whatevs?

DragonJuly 13th, 2007 at 7:38 am

Damn Gordon – now you’ve made a liar out of me as it wasn’t quite the doozy I pretended it was! :P

Blue WitchJuly 13th, 2007 at 8:20 am

Dragon – I’ll look at the original research if you give me the sources… I have a professional interest in this area (3 kids addicted to computer games weaned off, so far, and problems in families caused by the phenomenon in many cases I work with) and haven’t come across it in the journals or digests I read.

I will admit that my knowledge of computer games is very limited… but, as far as I’m concerned, starting right back with the alien shoot-up thing that started it, there’s generally killing, shooting, fighting, fast and dangerous driving, plundering or double-crossing going on at some level.

Violent crimes releated to alcohol – where do the ideas for the violence (or what is acceptable) come from? All ideas start somewhere.

High level of violent crime in parts of the world where video games are not as prevalent as they are in this and similar ‘first world’ countries – Maslov’s hierarchy. In societies where basic needs (food, shelter etc) aren’t met, you will get aggression.

Blue WitchJuly 13th, 2007 at 8:22 am

Also – violence in books is not visually explicit. The fact that individuals have to give written words ‘form’ through their own imagination makes the reality/fiction dimension much more obvious.

DragonJuly 13th, 2007 at 10:53 am

I will admit that my knowledge of computer games is very limited… but, as far as I’m concerned, starting right back with the alien shoot-up thing that started it, there’s generally killing, shooting, fighting, fast and dangerous driving, plundering or double-crossing going on at some level.

I don’t know where to begin with this. Judging from your comment, any game with a hint of killing, shooting, fighting and so in is bad, whether it be the simplistic and (highly unrealistic) Lego Star Wars or the graphic and gory Manhunt. Is it possible that “Computer Space” started corrupting the kids in 1971 with it’s vector graphic depiction of UFOs that you had to shoot? It can hardly be called “a graphic depiction of violence” or even be considered as real.

Couple of other little notes: the best selling PC game series all time is “The Sims”, a virtual doll house featuring little to none of the qualities that you describe. The top three selling titles of 2006 were two football simulations and a racing game (yes, fast driving on tracks, just like Forumla One!) If you look at the current UK top 40 game chart then I’m sure that most games on there will contain some sort of killing, shooting or fighting in it but if you ignore all the cartoon violence (Shrek 3, Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars) all the fast racing in controlled (as opposed to street) environments (forza motorsport) and take away those which are gratuitously violent or contain other socially undesirable traits, you lose a total of possibly 12 games.

If you look at the top 30 Nintendo DS games system (being the best selling platform in the UK and the one most kids are likely to have these days) and do the same, you will actually need to not allow cartoon violence to ban any games – so no more super mario, no more pirates of the carribean, harry potter or shrek.

I’m sure “Cooking Mama”, “Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training”, “Nintendogs” and “Pony Friends” are evil in their own way but violence and killing isn’t among them.

DragonJuly 13th, 2007 at 11:15 am

The study I was referring to (which I will also say has to be seen in the light of only studying one type of game, namely fantasy) was “Internet Fantasy Violence: A Test of Aggression in an Online Game. Dmitri Williams & Marko Skoric Communication Monographs, June 2005.” No link.

And yes, I know that there are counter studies although, to date, I don’t believe any of them have examined the long term effects of the some of the games that are most named in relation to this subject.

I’m not even going to get started on the subject of addiction to video games.

I believe that video games today are villified in exactly the same way that television, pop music and comic books were in decades past. All of them were accused of lowering moral standards and corrupting the youth.

Blue WitchJuly 13th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Dragon – thanks for the reference, I shall get my sources working on procuring a paer copy. Thanks too for taking the trouble to analyse the chart – I’d just say that 2/3 of the cured ‘addicts’ I mentioned were teenage girl Sims addicts… one of them, as a last resort, had to be referred to an inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit. I think that one is in the pipeline for one of the UK professional journals in that area as I read and commented on a first draft a few months back.

I deplore and avoid violence of any type – so my tolerance is way lower than most people’s. I think it’s a very complex area to research with any degree of reliability and validity as there are so many independent variables. But interesting discussion, thanks.

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