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deathz0r

MyHouse split - debate about what's respectful in art about death, etc

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I've been avoiding this as I've been focusing on doing project lead and mapping for a large project and was planning to get around to this at some point after said project is out of the door, but I've come across a discussion in a discord server about how the OP is a fake tribute to someone's death. Is this true?

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53 minutes ago, deathz0r said:

I've been avoiding this as I've been focusing on doing project lead and mapping for a large project and was planning to get around to this at some point after said project is out of the door, but I've come across a discussion in a discord server about how the OP is a fake tribute to someone's death. Is this true?

It's been fairly persuasively shown that the supposed irl details of this project are made up. Many users in this thread have tried to look up the names (of people, of organizations) invovled and came up empty. As for any further claims, who knows. It could be a real tribute, but with names swapped out for privacy reasons.


Edit: Although the only detail that I remember for certain that is fake is the funeral homes mentioned, but I can't find the post that states that.
Edit 2: The best I've got.

Edited by Catpho

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20 minutes ago, deathz0r said:

Cool. It's absolutely disgusting to spit on people who have made tribute maps for the deceased (especially those who have had a meaningful impact on their lives) by falsely presenting this as a heart-felt tribute to a friend. I don't give a fuck about how "deep" this map supposedly is, it's a dishonest act and if my conclusion from brief skimming of this thread is that it's some creepypasta shit, it just undermines the sincerity of those who have used making maps as an outlet to express their grief over unexpected losses.

 

I hope this is true.

 

 

If it is true, it wouldn't matter however this wad was like- everyone has their own way of grieving and expressing how someone or something may have meant to them. 

 

If it isn't.......so what? Creating narratives/characters for fictional stories (esp. based on irl situations) is nothing new, especially when it comes to the horror/mystery genres. If you're calling this 'dishonest', might as well call out the entirety of popular media for creating characters/stories that get us emotionally invested in the imaginary.  

 

Sorry but I think you're getting worked up over nothing, dude. 

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The named characters are fictional but I'm 90% sure it's a sincere tribute. I mean fuck, I even have a suspicion on who Tom/Anna is. But even if it wasn't, who cares? It absolutely does not "undermine the sincerity" of other tribute maps at all, why would it?

 

If I found out this was all an act, I'm not then going to go back to Eviternity MAP26 and be like "I dunno Xaser, I don't think this is very sincere any more?" Or like, "all of THT: Threnody is now meaningless." wtf?

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1 hour ago, deathz0r said:

Cool. It's absolutely disgusting to spit on people who have made tribute maps for the deceased (especially those who have had a meaningful impact on their lives) by falsely presenting this as a heart-felt tribute to a friend. I don't give a fuck about how "deep" this map supposedly is, it's a dishonest act and if my conclusion from brief skimming of this thread is that it's some creepypasta shit, it just undermines the sincerity of those who have used making maps as an outlet to express their grief over unexpected losses.

I don't get how this is an insult to people who make tribute maps... There is a clear difference between this and other tribute maps over the years on DoomWorld (not to say it isn't one of course, I wouldn't know).

 

I don't think people will be like, "OMG this is just like MyHouse! Can someone tell me the lore?"

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I think deathz0r's point is that while if the myhouse story is all made up and there is no actually deceased friend and this isn't really a tribute map, then it really sort of disrespects the idea of making an actual heartfelt tribute map for someone. This map goes to great effort to sell the idea that it's a real story and that it's not made up, but it looks like it pretty much is (although we don't truly know), and even if it's not I think a sizeable effort doesn't necessarily go towards honoring the friend. What I mean is that having Shrek attack you and popular horror shit like the backrooms or a spooky figure slide away from you when you spot it, I mean stuff likes that seems sort of irrelevant to honoring the friend and more like stuffing memes and creepypasta stuff into the wad to boost the horror aspect of the map (maybe the friend would've loved Shrek and all that but I think I doubt it). That last bit is mostly besides the point though.

 

A lot of people have a right I think to be bothered by a lack of sincerity in making a tribute to a friend. "I want to make a horror experience for doom, and I'm going to frame it all by putting a ton of effort into creating this frame and idea that it's a tribute for a friend, but also add a bunch of popular modern internet horror references in the map". The seriousness of a tribute for a friend, doesn't really match with creating an elaborate horror experience, even if it does aim to evoke real emotions from players, but to frame it all as if it is a real tribute and all that...

it's using the idea of it being a tribute to a friend to enhance your own story and mystique of the wad, it's for you or random players, not for a specific person or group or event. A real tribute is for someone you cared about, the map or wad is about them and/or how much they meant to you, not about the map itself or to create this super deep experience for players even, a real tribute is purely in service towards the person it's dedicated to.

 

So if this was all made up, I completely understand why some who have made tribute maps before are upset, it crosses a line, pretending to be a genuine tribute when it's really not. From their perspective, they've poured genuine emotions and dedication to someone in their tribute maps, whereas myhouse fakes it and uses it for the horror experience.

 

So that's why it can be really upsetting if it turns out it's all made up.

 

1 hour ago, i suck at nicknames said:

Sorry but I think you're getting worked up over nothing, dude. 

 

Telling people to just feel differently? It's completely valid to feel the way he does. He has a completely legitimate criticism honestly of myhouse, it is contingent on the idea that it's all made up and not a real tribute (which is why deathz0r was asking about if it was made up or not in the first place), but if it's true that it's made up, then the author did not at all need to add the tribute part of the story to create as memorable and impactful of an experience, even aside from the fact that it is inflammatory for some people, himself included.

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4 hours ago, deathz0r said:

Cool. It's absolutely disgusting to spit on people who have made tribute maps for the deceased (especially those who have had a meaningful impact on their lives) by falsely presenting this as a heart-felt tribute to a friend. I don't give a fuck about how "deep" this map supposedly is, it's a dishonest act and if my conclusion from brief skimming of this thread is that it's some creepypasta shit, it just undermines the sincerity of those who have used making maps as an outlet to express their grief over unexpected losses.

 

I hope this is true.

That's subjective in all honesty. Firstly, I understand that it's viewed as inappropriate to be creating a tribute for someone that possibly never existed. While I agree that it should've been mentioned that the OP's post is fictional. Because I certainly don't appreciate being lied to, either. While I do believe that the fact it mentioned a tribute in the OP's main post; resulting in possibly more attention than other Mappers. This is something that sits very uneasy with me. While I still can't confirm or deny that there is some legitmatcy in the possibly that the OP did suffer the loss of someone close to them. It still doesn't make it right to be used as a way to boost attention to their post. Do I think this WAD would be as popular as it is now without the mention of a death? No. I'm sorry, I think one of the main reasons why people played this to begin with to the level that it gained attention is due to the fact that a death was mentioned.

It's a very manipulative way to bring people who have Empathy to try the WAD since they will feel sorry for the OP. Now, I don't want to turn this into a debate. It's still subjective on whether or not everything mentioned is true or false. Until the OP reveals the truth, I will hold back my judgement. However, I'll still remain bitter towards the fact that I was lied to. Falsely presenting this as a heart-felt tribute to a friend unsettles me. The dishonesty is what really takes away my respect for this WAD. Now, you are all entitled to your own opinion. I'm not changing my opinion, I've had much thought about this to a point that I'm now happy to admit that this WAD has lost respect from me. I completely agree with deathz0r!

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Now that Kinetic has explained their point, I can somewhat see what they were getting at, about respect and integrity. Still, I don't see myhouse changing my attitude towards the sacred nature of the dead and associated tribute works? The explanation gives the impression that myhouse is sensational, but I think you would have to point out what specifically is gross or exploitative about the way the map handles grieving. Does using memes and creepypastas automatically consign you to being unserious about what you are doing? They are ideas, legends, and they can be reinterpreted in a way that can be completely respectful, which I believe is the case with this level. We can argue about whether it is ethical to pass a work of art as something that happened in real life, but I feel like if it isn't swindling people of their money or inciting them to harm themselves or someone else, then it is fine. The cost here is time and attention, and maybe you think that it is inherently wrong to lie and ask for that, but I feel that's the cornerstone of every probing, challenging work of art; in this case, the substance must be dealt on a case-by-case basis, and as I've mentioned, I don't see anything disrespectful in how myhouse handled its lie. Even the memes. Examples of other popular games that lie about what they are: MGS2, Doki Doki Literature Club, The Beginner's Guide. The last one in particular has a sort of minor version of myhouse's deception. Are we saying, in this case, that Veddge is committing fraud? Is it bad for a work of art to not give you what you want?

 

Speaking personally, I didn't play this and loved this just because someone supposedly died. It's the emotion that mattered.

Edited by Catpho

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40 minutes ago, SakuraFalls said:

The wall of bs they typed on the keyboard

Aight good then just don’t play it then lol. You’re not being forced to actually play the wad, nobody is getting hurt (at the very least physically) if it turns out to be a lie. Who cares if it even is or is not a lie, the content itself in the wad is still good n mysterious to play. I bet there’s even a good handful of people who didn’t even read OP and just downloaded the wad b/c they heard of how much of a mindfuck it is to play and wanted to experience it w/o caring so much as what OP wanted to say.

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Here's the theory: If I suffer through a loss of loved one and decided to make a tribute to them, such tribute doesn't necessary need to be connected in any way to them. But, to not disclose details of my intense and personal grief, I may choose to name a made-up character and make tribute to them in the eyes of others, to avoid disclosing too much about my real situation.

 

Does this make my tribute any less valid? I don't think so, but people will never know for who this tribute is for really. But does it make any difference to them? They didn't knew that person, who this tribute for, regardless of who they really were. So only thing what I'll be doing "wrong" is saying small lie, which is... not that big of a deal, honestly.

Edited by DanmakuPunch : grammar, damn it. And some time verbs

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I think all opinions are valid and if someone is saying it is manipulative. It's valid too, just agree to disagree...

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Hi, I think I was slightly too aggressive with my comment. It's too late to change what I've said now.
While I agree that some people may think my comment was disrespectful. There are others that will think I was being respectful.
In my honest opinion, I think I've just been realistic. I won't say I'm right or wrong, I won't say I had any right to say what I said.
I'm sticking to the fact that my comment was posted. I accept full responsibility, I don't mind if others disagree.

I'm still not content with the situation while also feeling that I'm allowed to have my own opinion.
I never said that this WAD was terrible. I can respect it for what it tried to be.
I can't respect it for how it has now made me feel.

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14 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

 

they said they wanted their own identity to be anonymous so that it could be about anyone's grieving process, not theirs specifically. I assume the same is true for whoever or whatever Tom represents, 

  I make no judgements but that generally works alot better when presented as a work of fiction rather than presented as being by and about real people

Quote

 

(In reference to the attempts to pry into their identity and other thread derails, they also said they were frustrated to "watch the focus be on anything other than a journey of grief," 

  And this would again have worked better if it was not being presented as just more puzzles in a giant mess of different puzzles to figure out.

  I cast no aspersions though. My own thoughs are that this is a work of art well deserving of the award its sure to win but is it perfect... no, nothing is.

 

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15 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

they also said they were frustrated to "watch the focus be on anything other than a journey of grief,"

heavy, thank you for sharing. a bit of a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of wrapping a vague narrative into something that plays with the line between fact and fiction. without a clear delineation of where the story starts and reality begins again - and hell, even with it - it is a very tall order to keep the audience in check. doubly so when utilizing so much of internet culture as a jumping-off point for your work. it's very clear that the project is about loss - of self, of childhood, of friends, of love, of home, etc - but the open-ended theorycrafting and metagame puzzle-solving it invites makes it hard to get people to use this to reflect on their own loss rather than try to figure out what the project says about its author and its "true meaning".

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This thread is getting astounding honestly. Deat expresses his resentment for the made up story about deceased friend because he was unfortunate enough to have to make real tribute work like that and the replies are like "you don't get it", "you get worked up for nothing", "your accusations are disrespectful", holy shit, are you ok?

 

The wad is about grief and yet you smirk over other person's grief in order to defend it. I cannot claim that I have understood or felt what the wad was trying to convey exactly as author intended, but I feel like the message went completely over the heads of some of the people here.

 

1 hour ago, VoanHead said:

Aight good then just don’t play it then lol.

And what kind of argument is that even? Sakura said they are upset over being lied to like that after they already played the wad, how is "just don't play it" is an argument, they already did that.

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2 hours ago, VoanHead said:

Aight good then just don’t play it then lol. You’re not being forced to actually play the wad, nobody is getting hurt (at the very least physically) if it turns out to be a lie. Who cares if it even is or is not a lie, the content itself in the wad is still good n mysterious to play. I bet there’s even a good handful of people who didn’t even read OP and just downloaded the wad b/c they heard of how much of a mindfuck it is to play and wanted to experience it w/o caring so much as what OP wanted to say.

I think the fact that you didn't even quote that user's comment and edited it into "wall of bs" is highly disrespectful. I won't defend you in this because you have shown a clear example of how not to show respect to others. That user has every right to express how they feel and for you to brand their comment as a "wall of bs" has angered me so much. I hope I'm not alone in thinking this way because I wouldn't react the way you did to someone's comment. Especially when it's clear that they had spent time on their comment. Every comment that is made requires a level of effort. Yours didn't even read their comment or address it in any way. -_-

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I think there is a difference to be established between reading a novel or going to see a horror movie that predicates itself on the idea of presenting itself as fact as clearly part of the narrative, and the metafiction of myhouse being presented in such a diegetic fashion that you don't even realize it's actually part of a broader fiction.

 

But, like, in response to that, you can just say you're a little hurt that part of this is a lot more fictionalized than you thought it would be, without making it out to be an outright attack on people's grief.

 

That said, Veddge having more or less told Not Jabba that he's kinda hurt that people are trying to dig deeper into his own story rather than meditating on how you yourself might come away from the experience strikes me as far more earnest than you're giving him credit for.

 

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Is it inherently disrespectful to essentially lie about experiencing the loss of a loved one in order to tell a story about grief? I would say it depends on the story being told. If the story comes from a place of empathy, solidarity and authenticity towards the feelings of grief and loss that it's playing with, then I think that matters more than the truthfulness of it. However, I also don't think its unreasonable for someone who has experienced that loss to feel, essentially, betrayed by this thread which purports to be hosted by someone in their shoes, but in reality is hosted more or less by a fictional character.

 

I don't think you have to look hard to see that this mod clearly comes from a place of real emotional clarity. I cannot speak to whether Veddge lost anyone close to them in real life, but the themes and impressions presented here certainly don't feel speculative or naval gazing to me.

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2 hours ago, Not Jabba said:

 

This. When I talked to the author of the map, they said they wanted their own identity to be anonymous so that it could be about anyone's grieving process, not theirs specifically. I assume the same is true for whoever or whatever Tom represents, but I didn't press for specific details on what that was about, for obvious reasons.

 

I mentioned this album in my video but La Dispute does something similar in Rooms of the House. Takes family stories but weaves completely fictional characters into it so anyone can relate- but the way the music comes out so raw it feels entirely true. Highly recommend reading this interview: https://www.vice.com/en/article/6a87br/la-dispute-give-a-guided-tour-through-rooms-of-the-house

 

Addendum: people can feel any way they want to about this WAD as far as being a "tribute". Everyone expresses grief differently. Personally I'd rather give the author grace that they didn't want to go into explicit details. I won't throw stones because I've also made projects focused on death and grief. I personally found the wad quite touching. It doesn't matter someone was potentially using a pseudonym or false details. The message got across and that's what matters to me.

Edited by Major Arlene : Addendum

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22 minutes ago, LukeJR said:

I think the fact that you didn't even quote that user's comment and edited it into "wall of bs" is highly disrespectful. I won't defend you in this because you have shown a clear example of how not to show respect to others. That user has every right to express how they feel and for you to brand their comment as a "wall of bs" has angered me so much. I hope I'm not alone in thinking this way because I wouldn't react the way you did to someone's comment. Especially when it's clear that they had spent time on their comment. Every comment that is made requires a level of effort. Yours didn't even read their comment or address it in any way. -_-

Fine, I admit I was being disrespectful there. I found it a little baffling that Sakura would care so much on wether or not the background of myhouse.wad would be a lie and how it would impact her judgement on the wad. I’m more in the camp of “who gives a fuck?” because why should a lie like that have to take away the effort put into the .pk3 itself to deliver a pretty unnerving experience.

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At the end of day we don’t have possession of the full facts, and it is quite possible we never will. As such to suggest the author is acting in bad faith in regards to the issue of loss and grief seems to be an overstep from my point of view. Nothing about this work suggest this. I don’t think you could achieve some of the emotions you get playing this by faking it. 
So much of the experience is subjective, yet our minds far too often try to literalise something that cannot be literalised. I get the feeling that the discussions have reached this point. This includes all the written lore as well as the map itself.

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Just to add to this discussion since no-one has mentioned it yet: the author gains nothing either financially or even in terms of notoriety from the popularity of MyHouse (in fact they have explicitly stated their desire to stay anonymous). I feel like this combined with the clearly incredible amount of work that went into it's creation has more than earned them the benefit of the doubt that the grief expressed both within the map and the metanarrative is authentic, even if the details have been fictionalised. Some might argue otherwise, fine, agree to disagree. But to call their actions "disgusting"? I have no words.

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As someone familiar with the internet horror space, I don't really think that the wad exploits or discredits real tributes to the departed. I don't believe the wad is intended to be specifically about any real passing (especially given the author's evasiveness), but instead uses its metanarrative/unfiction elements as a frame story to give context to this narrative about grief. There have been many works that engaged in tasteless usage of real deaths or phenomena, such as the recent Conjuring film that depicts a sensationalized fictional version of a real court case, the online trend from 2020 when the surge of popularity of the work of the Caretaker was exploited for reductive creepypasta about it inducing dementia to listeners, or Petscop's usage of allusions to the death of Candace Newmaker, which was further taken advantage of by MattPatt's Game Theory video on it (allusions that the creator stepped back from and openly acknowledged regret and fault for). But Myhouse.wad simply sets up a fictional series of events treated metanarratively as real, something that has already become common as "ARGs" or "unfiction", not to mention Found Footage like the Blair Witch project. The title alludes only to the general trend of doom modders making maps of their own homes, while the usage of creepypasta tropes I believe is largely intended to directly hint towards the fictional nature of the wad, given how prominently they appear in the info file. The work is otherwise very serious in its themes of grief and longing, and never directly uses these in an exploitative manner. It's main contents, and the reason for its popularity, revolve around its creative use of doom modding techniques to weave a nontraditional narrative, not because of direct attempts to elicit empathy, and most of the popularity in fact revolves around the understanding that the persons  depicted are entirely fictional. I can understand that there may be still concerns regarding unfiction in the general sense of being misleading regarding what is and is not real, as even when normal fiction covers the same topics it does not do so with the metanarrative of the events depicted being "real", but I think it is unwarranted to regard it entirely as dishonest and exploitative, and to do so a discredit to the capacity of art to explore serious topics as such.

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Let's just agree to disagree on anything. Why should we throw more fuel into the fire? What we can all say from the experience of rather watching videos based on myhouse.wad or experiencing it through actual gameplay. We all got something out of myhouse.wad and that is the real reward for experiencing it. My main concern is if myhouse.wad begins to get coverage on theories on YouTube or any media platform... because then I fear that the author will be attacked by those who fail to understand certain topics that are expressed in the story. I guess time will tell but I really hope we can all just get along going forwards on this topic.

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