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Old 11-20-2004, 10:41 AM   #1
Elspode
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What is "This Is Not Porn", and why do so many come here to do things with it?

Title is self-explanatory. How did the Cellar end up as an interface for people playing this online game, and what the hell is it, anyway?
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Old 11-20-2004, 12:33 PM   #2
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It's this online "mystery." Basically you start at www.thisisnotporn.com and try to figure out the (extremely oblique) clues to get to the next page. Some are just finding the right spot to click on, some are entering in the right username and password at a page login prompt.

A vast number of the clues are based on this one book, and I personally suspect it's all a marketing ploy to sell more copies. I had some fun with it, right up until the point I had to buy something. Then I lost interest real quick.

Last edited by Clodfobble; 11-20-2004 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-20-2004, 01:29 PM   #3
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It is indeed very gripping, if you can get past how eerie the sound clips and general presentation is. A twist on those puzzle adventures like Myst and whatever else (I can't think of any titles - am braindead this morning).

I forget who first posted that link to the forums - but it's what occupied most of my time this summer.

A marketing ploy? I doubt it. Way too complicated to garner interest from an innocent bysurfer.
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:44 PM   #4
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If they wanted innocent bysurfers, they'd buy an ad on Amazon.

How many people posting in that thread have said they purchased the book? Enough to make it worthwhile for a small-time unknown author and her boyfriend who knows some HTML.

At the very least, I'd bet money that the site's creator specifically intends to expose people to this (supposedly quite good) book. Maybe the author herself has nothing to do with it, and the site's creator is just a big fan. But the fact remains that it and one other book by the same author are drawn from liberally, and not one single additional book is referenced by the site (unless you count "The Wizard of Oz.")
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:09 PM   #5
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Hey maybe it's a terrorist message clearinghouse.....and Osama wrote the book......and Homeland Security will drag UT & Co., naked into the news crew's spotlights. Film at 11.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:46 PM   #6
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It's an interesting little game, I'm betting it's someone's little ego trip as much as anything else, it's far, far easier to make something like this than solve it. I've been keeping a casual eye on it, if it is an astroturfing thing it certainly is a complex way to go about it. I've seen similar astroturfing efforts in the past but nothing this layered.
Viral marketing is the spawn of the devil. I remember meeting someone in a bar here and noticed they kept bringing up a particular drink in conversation - turns out they're paid a comission for every one they sell as part of some marketing push, makes me sick.
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Old 12-10-2004, 07:10 PM   #7
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So I was about to sign lumberjim up with a This is Not Porn account when I decided to maintain my cyber realness. Anyway, while I was fooling with it, a security code number came up. What would the purpose of that be?
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Old 12-10-2004, 07:59 PM   #8
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ahem...

I spent/wasted/lost considerable time on this puzzle. I would like to offer a minor correction to CF's nearly perfect description above. The clues are tough, but to qualify as "oblique" they must at least touch, intersect somewhere. I think the correct geometric term here is "skew" intersecting at no point and not in the same plane. The LEAPS required to proceed in the puzzle soon exceeded my reserves of enthusiasm.

A cool puzzle, but way, waaaaay too little reward for the effort.

Most times this is more my speed.
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Last edited by BigV; 12-10-2004 at 07:59 PM. Reason: forgot to credit wolf with link
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
So I was about to sign lumberjim up with a This is Not Porn account when I decided to maintain my cyber realness. Anyway, while I was fooling with it, a security code number came up. What would the purpose of that be?
It's a routine built into phpBB that's meant to prevent spambots from signing up and posting crap to your board. All crap must be hand-generated. You have to enter the security code which is a graphic image, rather than the text it appears to be.
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Old 12-11-2004, 07:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf
All crap must be hand-generated.
Looks like a new cellar tag.
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:34 PM   #11
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In response to Clodfobble

Your argument is quite heavily flawed. The author of the book referenced throughout the puzzle is a male, has absolutely no relation to the creator of the puzzle, is not a small-time unknown author, and isn't even American/English/etc but rather Japanese. So that discounts every single bit of your argument.

In addition, only one book by Murakami is ever referenced. The other books referenced are Frankenstein, Paradise Lost, Wizard of Oz, etc. Let's not forget that barely anyone bought the book because of TINP. Hell, the TINP forums even offer a link to the text of that book.

Last edited by Zaffod; 12-28-2004 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:45 PM   #12
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I read Murakami's "Wind up bird chronicle" and liked it very much. He reminds me of a Japanese Gabriel Garcia Marquz.

TINP couldn't hold my patience for even ten minutes, but from some of the posts I've read it sounds like someone (the site's creator) is having a story/reality interface problem, not unlike characters in Murakami's book.

Take it out of the library.
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:44 AM   #13
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The author of the book referenced throughout the puzzle is a male, has absolutely no relation to the creator of the puzzle, is not a small-time unknown author, and isn't even American/English/etc but rather Japanese.

Perhaps the site's creator is a female. Or perhaps he is gay. Or perhaps he is just a good friend of the author. You have no idea who has relation to whom outside of the internet. The fact that Murakami is (as you imply) popular in Japan doesn't change the fact that I've yet to meet a single person playing TINP who had heard of him before.

And of course the man is Japanese--that ain't exactly a Jewish name he's got there. Why are you convinced that the site isn't also created by someone Japanese, or that a Westerner couldn't be friends with someone in Japan? I personally know four people living in Japan right now, and all of them are good enough friends that I would pimp their book in an untapped market if I could come up with a way to do it.

The fact remains that it's the internet, and you can never really have solid proof of who the site's creator is or what his motives are, short of meeting him in person.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:18 AM   #14
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And even then, you never know for sure.
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Old 01-08-2005, 11:39 AM   #15
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i say its not a marketing ploy because most players (like myself) get the book from a library or read an online copy
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