Over four of you have already seen our stance on upcoming train film Source Code. In the spirit, however, of reliving the same eight minutes of your life, I’m not yet ready to relinquish the topic.
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I, too, was super psyched to see the trailer, and look forward to seeing the film. But imagine what swept through our shriveled little hearts when the trailer ended, and the following floated to the surface:
Was this a mirage? No; art had begun to warp to our whim.
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The notion that advertising doesn’t quite know what to do with Internet technologies is almost as tired as the business itself. The base form of online advertising is the banner, which has come to depend, en masse, on an effectively total saturation of the Internet experience. Online advertising is like being swarmed with mites — none of which are stylistically co-ordinated.
But this website — this one is really interesting. Both Jake Gylenhaal and Duncan Jones have expressed their excitement over linking movies with interactive content through their mutual storytelling capacities — including one interview in which the visionary director bizarrely dates narration back to Plato’s Analogy of the Cave — but it’s interesting to see how that really manifests.
It’s important to note that the movie website seems to have changed since I started this post — which would make it the second such site since I began writing here — and I don’t really know what to make of that. I’m going to proceed with the original version, however, since there’s very little of the second to work with.
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After a rousing rendition of the trailer, the first thing with which the surfer is confronted is a choice.
Is this the fabled liberty we heard speak of? Well, let’s see. What were those options again?
1. ENTER THE WEBSITE
The implication is that we haven’t already entered the website. Which I thought we had. If we haven’t, then where are we? And where were we?
Maybe I typed waitoutsidethesourcecode.com
But let’s be giving. The implication is that there’s something — something substantial even — beyond this button.
2. ENTER THE SOURCE CODE
I*just* typed that.
Aside from being meaningless, this button confounds by simply restating the name of the website.
The website we’re already on.
Not in, as button #1 makes clear.
3. ENTER ENTER THE SOURCE CODE
Finally, a but on I can deal with. Except it’s hidden — and I can’t tell if it’s tucked away within the website or the source code…
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Most fabulously of all, however, is the fact that both buttons lead to the same screen.
In a nutshell, you do these things for Jake and get the opportunity to kneel before Zod on the website’s homepage (as in, outside home). Your name also gets put in a tombola for an xbox. But what are those five tasks? Well, as I’ve mentioned, they’ve since disappeared — but let’s look back at those faded Hovis days.
As I’ve said, the dream here is to glimmer, rhombus-form, on the Source Code homepage. Thank Zuck no-one ever had any problems with providing information to faceless promotional campaigns online… Well, even if that was a valid concern, at least the steel cold sci-fi thriller semantics soften the threat. This is a game, after all, and what’s more fun that ‘completing 5 tasks online’…
See, it’s fun!
What is this film ABOUT?
In my line of sight? How about
man in black suit w/hearing aid lol
Not to mention that ‘seeing something in your line of sight’ is clearly playing on BEGINNER difficulty.
At least it didn’t involve Google Maps…
What a great game! It’s so enjoyable, and such a great idea I hear they’re actually going back and remaking old, classic titles as barely-disguised methods of gathering personal information. Look out for Super Mario Kard Details this summer — followed hotly by Fingerprints of Persia…
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What’s interesting isn’t the fact that all this has been orchestrated on behalf of the marketing campaign, nor really how foreboding and misjudged it all is — indeed, this thin a veil comes as a welcome reprieve from the typical smiling idiot-face through which advertising is usually inflicted.
Alas — things like this ‘playable’ advert are billed as the Digital Problem being handled in an inspired way, emanating naturally from the form of the medium. Rather than providing independent (if related) substance, it becomes sufficient to provide content — a term and a target generic enough to commend through neglect this kind of parasitic paraphernalia. The implication isn’t just that the consumer (or user) has no real say in the matter — their options leading ultimately to the same screen — but that the Internet is meant to be like this; it is a technology that exists, at heart, for the sake of advertising, and is determined entirely by the flow of money.
But that’s not to say there’s nothing in it for us.