While doing research for my day 11 post, “Mistaken Assumptions: Five Nights at Freddy’s,” I wandered down the rabbit hole of fan theories about the game. I was soon interested enough to spend more than one night researching them, analyzing which seemed most likely based on my crash course in the game’s lore. Why would I spend so much time on a series of games I still need to play?
My interest in fan theories started before I’d even heard the term. When I was a kid, playing my favorite games, my imagination would often fill in gaps in the story. I was a creative kid, and it was fun to piece things together and see if my guesses made sense in context of the game’s canon. (I’m positive I also did this with favorite books.)
Fan theories come about because of an investment in a story, and also encourage a deeper investment. The player isn’t just interested in the characters and story as shown, but what happened before, after, and in-between. Someone may be curious how different plot points connect to each other, what the timeline of a series really is, or how ingame mechanics are accomplished within the lore of that game.
I find fan theories interesting in that they stretch your brain and imagination, most notably the ones that seem to flow effortlessly within the game’s actual lore. The Lore forum for The Secret World is a great example of this. Because the game works both within its own lore, and within the truths of countless legends and myths, connections that might seem too crazy in other games could very well be close to the truth. It also helps that the game deliberately does not give all of the information to the players, thus encouraging us to dig deeper.
Even fan theories that are later proven false can still be an interesting exercise in thinking around corners, and finding ongoing themes in a game. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard a fan theory about one game or another that seemed more likely, or more interesting, than what was later put forth as canon.
I can’t help noticing how fixated players – including me! – can get on knowing “the truth” behind every aspect of a game. By the end of looking into Five Night’s at Freddy’s, I wasn’t just looking for information for my post. I was massively curious how the games connected and just who is in each of those animatronics.
[Short one today, folks! I need to finish some things before the Beyond the Veil podcast at 7pm EST. Feel free to join us in Agartha or on Twitch at: http://www.twitch.tv/holosuitemedia. 🙂 ]