My Life

Slender Man

The other day my eldest came home and went on and on about a new game of tag they were playing at school. They called it “Slender Man Tag” and as he detailed all the weird rules they had created for it, I have to admit to no small amount of confusion. I had no idea what a Slender Man was or why kids would play a tag variant based on it.

So, after assuring him that the game sounded absolutely fun, I scurried to the Internet. ( Wikipedia is my friend.)

I learned that Slender Man is an Internet meme about a tall, spooky looking dude who has cropped up all over the place, a creature in Minecraft is even named in honor of it. While that’s interesting, I am a bit more intrigued by the “real world” implications. This meme has moved from the Internet to the playground and judging by my son’s (and his friends) interest in it, is rather important to them.

Of course my son does not believe this is how Slender Man originated… he believes the “myth” behind Slender Man, it is what they talk about on the playground and ranks up there for him with Bloody Mary and other “classics”. Many of his friends have supposedly seen the Slender Man on the playground, which is not creepy at all.

(And something somewhat random: Has anyone else noticed their kids using “software speak” when describing playground games? My son and his friends routinely “roll out” an improvement to a game and occasionally have to “roll it back” if it turns out to not be fun.)

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.