Friday, January 10, 2014

Meet the secret foundation that contains the world's paranormal artifacts

SCP-173.jpg (JPEG Image, 1200 × 981 pixels) - Scaled (63%) 

Part wiki, part roleplaying game, part storytelling community, the SCP Foundation has spent the past six years lurking in one of the darkest corners of the Internet.

Caught in the sweet spot between “cool enough to keep attracting new members” and “obscure enough that no one is likely to Kickstart a documentary about it and ruin everything,” the SCP Foundation is a phenomenon that combines creepypasta—the Internet’s version of campfire horror stories—with the obsessive culture of Wikipedia editing.

SCP stands for either Secure, Contain, and Protect (the main aims of the Foundation) or Special Containment Procedure. But what is the Foundation, and what is it protecting and containing? 

To an audience that’s already familiar with Torchwood or The X-Files, the basic concept is easy enough to understand: the SCP Foundation is a secretive, quasi-governmental organization that locates, captures and contains dangerous supernatural creatures, people, or artifacts. Think Joss Whedon’s Cabin In The Woods, or Warehouse 13.

Their official mission statement is as follows: 
“SCP artifacts pose a significant threat to global security. Various agencies from around the world operate to maintain human independence from extra-terrestrial, extra-dimensional, and extra-universal threat. In the past humankind has been at the whim of these bizarre artifacts and similar phenomena, but we have now reached a point in history where we can begin to control and contain these defiances of natural law. 

You are now working for the SCP Foundation. You have no need to understand how or why we operate. What you do need to understand is how vital your mission is.” 
The main site has the bare-bones look of any wiki, probably because it doesn’t need bells and whistles to attract attention from new participants. Several people apply to be “agents” every day, and the site has inspired an active role-playing community, hundreds of short stories written about the Foundation’s fictional activities, a Soundcloud archive of audio reports from “agents,” and several free indie video games. In 2014, SCP fans even hoping to open a haunted house attraction based on the site.

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