News culture The SCP Foundation: do you know this work of collaborative fiction that marked the internet?
Published on 10/31/2022 at 19:43
Imagine that many paranormal entities and phenomena exist, but a secret organization prevents us from seeing them. The SCP Foundation is a colossal collaborative fiction where each Internet user can propose a story in the form of a report or a tale. A look back at this work of fiction which remains a great source of inspiration for many creative people.
What is the SCP Foundation?
According to legend, the SCP Foundation is a secret organization that is responsible for hiding supernatural phenomena that may occur in the world and in our daily lives. The term SCP means in French “Secure, Contain, Protect”. The Foundation secures the population by capturing potentially dangerous phenomena that act “contrary to natural laws”. Hiding their existence avoids a collective panic effect, leaving citizens to lead their lives peacefully. For this, the agents of this organization are responsible for recovering these anomalies, then transporting them to a safe and confidential place. Many researchers study what they call “SCP objects” in order to understand their enigmatic functioning in order to possibly use them for the scientific progress of humanity. If the anomaly is too dangerous, it will be neutralized after finding the necessary means to carry out this execution.
SCP objects (sometimes simply called SCPs) are living beings, objects, or places. In the latter case, it is quite understandable that transport is not possible. Thus, the secret agents work to protect the area from passers-by by administering, if necessary, a drug that erases their memory.. SCP objects are classified according to their dangerousness. The category “sure” contains anomalies of which all properties are known and under control. The objects said “Euclid” are not well enough known to the organization and therefore represent a risk of breaking the confinement to which they are subject. A newly discovered anomaly automatically finds its place in this category before being subjected to further analysis. The last named category “Keter” is the most dangerous because the knowledge of the organization is not sufficient to contain the anomaly. The Foundation’s intensive research helps invent the procedures necessary to maintain control over Keter-class objects. There are other classifications such as secondary and esoteric but those mentioned above are the main ones.
A massive collaborative fiction
It was in 2007 that the first SCP (SCP-173) was posted on the anonymous 4chan forum, in the paranormal “/x/” board. The user describes the procedure to follow to contain a frightening statue which moves and can attack an individual who does not look at it. This anomaly functions similarly to the Weeping Angels in the sci-fi series Doctor Who. The 4chan post was partly criticized by netizens, but others contributed to the writing and development of the universe using the same style of description as for SCP-173. A community was formed very quickly, which gave rise to a Wiki and then an official site thereafter. Each person can contribute to the writing of an anomaly or note the new proposals of Internet users.
The SCP Foundation is a real catalyst for the creativity of Internet users. They can be expressed in different forms such as SCP reports or tales that describe the history of the secret organization. They can therefore imagine how the phenomenon works by describing the observations of scientists and their difficulties in controlling it, as well as the way in which it was found and its number of victims. The reports are not only descriptive, they can contain a transcript, for example, of an exchange between the anomaly and the scientists. Images can embellish reports and other documents to add credibility to that story. In addition to being able to choose the form of the writings, Internet users are not confined to a specific genre either. Although originally the first publication, SCP-173 was a creepypasta, the SCP Foundation is not limited to horror. It brings together a good number of stories that simply lean towards science fiction in a tone that can sometimes be very humorous.
Image du SCP-173
The SCP Foundation has existed for more than ten years and it is possible to see that certain works have been inspired by it. There are short films and also a video game named Control whose developers did not hide the influence of the secret organization. Many titles take place in the SCP universe and are created by fans like SCP: Pandemic or SCP: Secret Laboratory.
Selection of various SCPs
Euclid-like, SCP 087 is simply a stairwell that is unlit and seems to descend infinitely. When exploring SCP-087, you will almost always see SCP-087-1, a face without a pupil, mouth, and nostrils. People who have seen SCP-087-1 have experienced great anxiety and a sense of intense paranoia. Upon approaching the face, many subjects fled screaming. Many fainted while fleeing, due to the excessive adrenaline rush.
SCP-354 is a red lake in Canada where many creatures emerge. They are particularly fierce which classifies SCP-354 in the Keter category. The appearances are particularly diverse, the first “SCP-354-1” looked like a kind of giant bat, SCP-354-3 was a sphere that emitted radiation and others are for example humanoids or feline forms. . A zone has been deployed around SCP-354 to neutralize hostile creatures and conduct research.
SCP-294 is a coffee machine like no other. Equipped with a keypad, you can request any drink after inserting the necessary change. It is possible to obtain classic beverages, but also unobtainable liquids such as liquid glass and molten metals which, by some miracle, do not dissolve the paper cup.
Rated “Safe”, SCP-504 is a type of tomato that appears completely normal with one exception. When they “hear” a bad joke close to them, within a radius of a few meters, they project themselves onto the transmitter of this joke. The worse the joke, the faster the tomato hits the target. This can go as far as knocking people out and seriously injuring them. Tomatoes seem to prefer certain types of jokes over others, which shows a noticeable form of intelligence.
Here, it is a humanoid who is dressed as a medieval plague doctor and defines himself as such. He seeks to kill all individuals affected by what he calls “The Pestilence”. He is able to eliminate anyone by coming into physical contact with that person. The corpses of the innocent people he murdered can be reanimated by him. They are then named SCP-049-2 and are just a kind of soulless zombies that he considers finally cured.
Of course, we can spend a considerable amount of time listing all the most notable SCP reports. There are thousands of writings related to this fictitious secret organization, some of them are unknown, but are nevertheless real treasures of creativity. Even if it is a collaborative fiction that is getting old, getting lost in the different relationships is still just as pleasant. You can go to the official wiki which has had a French version since 2012. Currently, there is officially a community in 16 different languages. This collaborative fiction has far exceeded language barriers, allowing many Internet users to participate.
Do you have any favorite SCPs?