Wednesday, August 5, 2020

SCP - The Modern Horror

In times when people are becoming so divided it's nice to see when people come together, like a drive-by birthday parade for folks who are in quarantine, or a graduation party held on Animal Crossing: New Horizons for seniors who couldn't have the traditional graduation, or a group of people making up terrifying horrors beyond the realms of sanity. Community building is really the key to getting through these difficult times, so with that in mind I'd like to discuss my latest obsession: SCP

SCP is a series of short stories and case files documenting the exploits of the fictional SCP Foundation, whose function is to Secure, Contain and Protect mankind from dangerous unexplained entities and phenomenon. Based across the globe the SCP Foundation captures and studies these bizarre happenings, from a pill bottle full of pills that can cure any known disease, to a door that leads to an ancient godlike entity that when unleashed will end the world.

The stories themselves are a collaboration of thousands of different writers from around the world who all take turns adding to the mythos of the SCP. Some add new entries in the massive catalog of documented events, others write short stories centered around the creatures, locations and objects others have created. To add to the lore one must only follow the rules of submission before submitting your work. The platform supports stories, videos and artwork of the mysterious world, so let your imagination run wild with what you want to create. The theme is urban horror but I've seen it stretched to fit any number of themes and genres depending on the author's taste. 

While certainly a rare event, collaborative writing like this is not unique. The father of mind-bending horror, H.P. Lovecraft, loved collaborating with other authors to expand his world and monsters. Most of what we know of Azathoth, the King in Yellow and Cthluhu himself are from contributions made by other writers into the mythos. This is a strong departure from the usual one author to rule them all model that prevails most entertainment we see today. 

I was only partially joking when I said in the beginning that building community based on horror was what we need right now. Horror, especially the creepy cosmic horror of Lovecraft and the SCP just isn't everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. For those who do like an escape from these fearful times into a place where fear comes not from uncertainty of the world but from a giant hulking lizard monster or a lake that constantly spews out monsters, this might be the place for you. 


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