@TheSunVanished Critical Review

On April 30, 2018 a Twitter account by @TheSunVanished tweeted out a series of tweets that would start an incredibly compelling and interesting online ARG and social media story that would last for years to come. It all started with one simple tweet “Help.” Followed by “It’s late in the morning and still dark outside.” Then finally the setup to this whole narrative is dropped in a tweet simply asking, “Where is the sun.” @TheSunVanished eventually leads to its audience of people from Twitter to follow an unnamed protagonist through an alternate earth where the sun has literally disappeared from the sky and an apocalyptic scenario follows. Because of the darkness of the story (pun intended) I believe the audience of the @TheSunVanished are Twitter users who are fans of a suspenseful and scary story with mystery. The whole ARG of @TheSunVanished is definitely a success not only in the fact that the account itself has gained more than 560 thousand followers, but due to its compelling story and the affordances of Twitter allowing for interaction between the creator and those not involved in the narrative itself.

Through the platform of Twitter the creator of @TheSunVanished is able to do many things that other platforms may not allow. For example, the narrator was able to use the idea of social framework by posting different polls throughout the story, on what choices they should make at different points in the story, which I assume would have different outcomes depending on what the audience chose. So although this story is told from a first person point of view the audience is able to interact with the protagonist of the story leading to a greater sense of personal presence overall. The creator is also able to include different pictures and videos throughout the story in order to further engage the audience and make the story even more compelling and scary. Because of the serial structure of the narrative it has been able to evolve and develop over a couple of years now and continues to this day. Also, with this being an elaborate social media story constructed over many years the idea of multiple proscenia is heavily in play. For example in doing research on this narrative I was able to find with a quick Google search multiple Youtube videos, wikis, subreddits, and blog posts discussing this story. I believe the compelling nature of the story, coupled with the ability to engage the audience in multiple different ways, as well as the organic reach of audience members being able to retweet the various posts is what ultimately led to the success of @TheSunVanished.

One thought on “@TheSunVanished Critical Review

  1. Count it, but would you do me a favor? Where you’re talking about polls and the audience, go back and just add the phrase “social framework” from Alexander somewhere? (You might want to do this with “personal presence” when you mention first-person pov.)


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