The fact that the Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero is being developed as a television show could be considered ancient but oh so very happy news.  This has already been reported at CHUD so I’m guessing everyone reading this already knows about it.  Actually, the very first time I read about it was from CHUD.


From the very first moment I listened to Closer, I became a Nine Inch Nails fan.  I did NOT become the type of fan that screams like a hormonal teenager every time the band is on tele and would easily give away her knickers for a stupid autograph. 


Instead, I became the type of fan who simply loves the band’s work and wouldn’t mind paying some money for CDs, concert tickets, and the occasional t-shirt.


So here’s the thing: I’ve owned Year Zero for over a year and I love it, especially Survivalism.  So how is it possible that I became aware of the Year Zero alternate reality game 4 days ago?  And considering that in the last few months I’ve visited Open Source Resistance, I’ve downloaded and watched the video for Survivalism numerous times, and even had a desktop wallpaper with the Open Source Resistance flag for quite some time (all part of the alternate reality game), It seems I simply live in a freaking impenetrable bubble.
The Flag that mocked me for months.


It took me 3 days to go through the whole game.  A part of it I did on my own.  Another part had to be done with the help of NINwiki. 


When I finally went through the whole thing I was surprised, impressed, and terrified.  Trent Reznor created a story about a future that could easily become a reality.


I wish I could have played the game along with everyone else, because there a few occasions when the creator(s) of art work, music, film and tv consciously decide to let their audience actually become part of the work itself (as illustrated in this case by Open Source Resistance) without exclusively considering the potential marketing benefits.   


In more technical terms, all the components of this game (web pages, videos, recordings, art) where clearly focused on the quality of the content, a very well structured story, and the very efficient delivery of the game’s message:  Wake up, step up, take ownership of you’re actions, their consequences, and how they affect the world in general (at least that’s what I got from it).


Pay particular attention to Exterminal.  It contains one of the scariest entries of the game (that would make a great tv pilot opener).  While reading this particular entry I was drinking from a huge water bottle.  As soon as I finished reading I couldn’t drink anymore.  You’ll know what I mean when you read it.   


By the way, if you watch the Survivalism video, play the game, then rewatch the video after you’re done with the game, the video takes a completely different meaning.


Nine Inch Nail’s latest album, The Slip, has been available as a free download for a while.  Give it a chance, it’s excellent.


Official NIN site

Year Zero case study


Survivalism Video / Year Zero wallpapers