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Has the world of "I dare you" moved online?
I Dare You To Find My Pages
What is a Let's Play?
I covered what I love about Let's Plays and why I watch them in another hub. If you aren't familiar with this term it might be good for you to take a quick look over there to see a bit what I am talking about. A short description basically is that a Let's Play is video posted online of a gamer playing a video game, generally with commentary of some sort or other, but not always.
Horror Video Games and Their Players
Perhaps the single most famous Let's Player in YouTube history, at least so far, is PewDiePie.
According to some things I've read online, PewDiePie got started making videos basically because he wanted to play a horror game, but he was too chicken to play it on his own. So he came up with the brilliant idea to record his gameplay, figuring that then he would not feel alone, and would also feel a bit of pressure to continue playing.
At least once you have gotten a few followers, this seems to be true. Having people cheering you on, being excited for the next chapter, seems to be very motivating to people who play games online. With the addition of Twitch, now the motivation and encouragement can be instantaneous. You no longer need to wait to see if people will watch the video, now they can watch and comment while you play!
Have these changes created an environment of "I dare you" online?
Dares at Work
Dare, Double Dare, Double Dog Dare You To Read This!
Everyone unfamiliar with this playground game is likely both under 30, and has not seen "A Christmas Story." Being female I'm vaguely familiar with how it works, but never actually participated myself. You see, most female dares are set up a bit differently from the beginning, so the games we play look different. The basic idea is you want to set up your buddy to look more like an idiot, so you dare him to do something you know is cuckoo. Now of course he could be smart and say no, and if he does then you have no choice but to try to shame him into doing it by daring him. This is where it starts to become a bit more complicated, while still being so simple children who have never heard of the game before pick it up the instant they hear that word, "dare!" I think its the tone or something.
So what happens in a serious game of "I dare you" is that the other child, being savvy to playground games and understanding the level of stunt he is being required to undertake, will say no to whatever shenanigans he was told to do, well within his rights of course. In that situation the challenger can either say, "heck yeah, I admire your stance!" Or he can take the challenge up a notch by raising the stakes. "I DOUBLE dare you!" If this is said instead, every one there know it is now ON!
Once it has become "Double Dare" status, the original recipient has three available responses, but generally the first two are used the most. Ether he can refuse again, give in and do the deed, or the savviest recipients will throw the challenge back to the challenger. "I double dog dare you to do it!" Phrasing will change from place to place, but generally this is fairly close to most. It is generally agreed that once the dare hits either "triple dare" or "double dog dare" status there is no backing down without loosing all future credibility for all time, or at least until everyone has forgotten the incident.
Now all of us adults can look at this game and chuckle at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, from the status of our lofty adultness. However you cannot deny the pull of the demands of status in childhood. Your whole future at that school, and potentially every school afterwards, could be severely harmed or even potentially boosted by any event, but none so much as a dare from a peer.
Slender: The Eight Pages
What The Heck Does That Have to do With Video Games?
It seems to me that watching people play Horror Games online and suggesting what they should play next is very similar to playground games of "Dare You." No one really gets hurt, generally due to watchful playground adults who are aware of how much problems children can cause for themselves. (Adult players can occasionally allow themselves to get carried too far and can, upon occasion, actually hurt someone. Thankfully this is rare.) If you are lucky you sometimes will get to see someone scared out of their mind with no real harm, which is always fun. I mean, look at roller coasters, we voluntarily go on those regularly just for the experience of being scared out of our wits, all while knowing that, in general, we are perfectly safe. After all, none of those theme parks really want to write up incident reports, or potentially be sued, or worse.
So the next time you watch someone play a horror video game online feel free to sit back in the comfort of your home, turn out the lights, and enjoy the dare the way it is meant to be enjoyed, with full anticipation of a scream or two, if you are lucky!