The Art Of Fake Media

August 21st 2023

Hi, this post is another little ramble, and this time it comes from a whole discussion I had with my friend Awful.

Have you ever created a fake piece of media that resides within another piece of media you're creating? For example, I have my story Project Biolight, and within the world of Biolight there are several pieces of media created by the characters in it, such as Cooking with Jeremy and Catz Life.

The idea behind this blog post is just to talk about the different types of fake media you can have in a story and how fun it is to use said fake media to explore your characters.

So, what kind of stuff can I make?

Just about anything, really! I have characters who are musicians, animators, Youtubers, game developers, all sorts of stuff! And it's extremely fun to just kind of analyze your characters and see if they're the artistic kind, or if they have a hobby they don't actually explore much, or if they have an affinity for music etc etc.

When you have that kind of information on hand, you can begin to think of how their personality and life experiences would affect the type of things they are creating.

An example: Originally there was a character in Project Biolight who created an old-newgrounds-looking flash animation series called Mr. Toppy, which was a parody of Salad Fingers, it followed the life of a brain-eating zombie who wore a trench coat and top hat that loved to cause death and mayhem across the city he lived in.


In-universe, the character Mr. Toppy was based off his creator's abusive ex, and she created the series as a way to vent out her feelings on the treatment from her ex, but as she created more and more episodes of it, it exploded in popularity and startled the creator, who was now afraid of the attention she was gaining from a very personal piece of art, which lead to her wiping the series out of existence and running away from the internet.

See how the kind of media she created, the public perception of it, and her reaction to the attention are all indicative of the character's personality and worldview? Something as simple as "My character is an animator and she created a webseries." can be explored very deeply, and that's the charm of creating fake media within your original stories.

Even outside of character analysis and exploration, it's also just fun worldbuilding. Making up a fake fandom for a fake piece of media, thinking of episodes for fake webseries, thinking of whole discographies for fake music artists, it's all just fun!

It's all in all extremely fun to create fake media for your worldbuilding projects. I recommend it, and I think everyone should give it a shot if it fits within your story.


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