AMA Thank you, my research is complete.

 
Paul Andersen
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After about eight years, my research is finally complete—but before I go, I think I owe you all an explanation.

For the past eight or so years, you've no doubt come to know me as "Verbatim" (aka "Jacob Potila") on either of the websites bungie.net, bnet-elitists.boards.net, sep7agon.net, or bungle.cafe. At this point in time, however, it is within my good conscience that I must reveal something to you all.

Hello, my name is Paul Jacob Andersen. I'm a 27 year old law student from Chicago. I've been heavily studying psychology on the side, however, and you were all part of a long-standing social experiment (call it an ARG), conducted by myself, wherein I examined the semiotic behavioral traits of persons within small Internet communities. This is not a joke, but worry not, for the information and data gathered over the course of this experiment will strictly be used for academic purposes only.

Nonetheless, I'm sure a lot of you have many questions. I will preemptively answer a few, and then I'll open discussion on any further questions later.


Q: Is this a joke?

No.


Q: So "Verbatim" was just a character this whole time?

Yes, "Verbatim" (or "V1," as we refer to him during lab reports) was a character/personality/avatar I assumed the role of for eight years to gather information and examine how people behave on the Internet. His "real name" was "Jacob," which was derived from my middle name, and "Potila," which is a name of Finnish etymology to give his character a foreign air.


Q: Does this mean you're not actually an anti-natalist/feminist/vegan/etc.?

The beliefs that Verbatim expressed were that of his own, constructed meticulously by myself, but I do not necessarily share those beliefs. His personality traits were entirely constructed as well, with the explicit purpose of eliciting a desired response out of his subject(s).


Q: But why would you keep this up for eight years? Why make it so complex?

This is an experiment that's been planned and put together for the better part of my life—it is, indeed, my life's work up
to this point—and if there's one personality trait that I share with Verbatim, it's that we're both highly stubborn and determined individuals. At the end of this experiment, I wanted nothing but the most conclusive results. This required me to fully immersed in this Verbatim persona, to a point where bits of his personality started to leak out into my true self, especially towards the latter half.

In short, I needed an extreme personality, so I developed one. But he's only imaginary now.


Q: Does this mean you're not actually an asshole?

I like to think of myself as a relatively calm and level-headed person, which may not be your perception of Verbatim. When conducting this experiment, I tried to formulate a personality that was near-antithetical to that of my own, and I think I succeeded in that regard.

However, I'm starkly aware of the fact that a number of things I've said, as Verbatim, have caused some of you a great deal of emotional harm. For this, I deeply apologize, but I assure you that it was for a good and scientific cause—though, if you cannot find it within your heart to forgive me, that's completely understandable. I don't have a lot of time on my hands to give you anything more. There's nothing I can really say or do to make things better for you, and I plan to leave this site within a few days of this thread, so you'll have to make due with my terse apology.


Q: So what was your experiment for? What was the point? What were your results?

Sorry, I'm afraid I cannot discuss, divulge, or go into further details about the experiment, its purpose, or my results at this point in time. I would love to discuss these things, in detail, but they'll have to come at a later point, and I might be gone by then.


Q: But I saw your picture/heard your voice, so who was that?

Merely an actor I paid a hefty sum to play the part. His name was Matthew.

That person died in what was reported as a "fatal car accident" about three days ago, which influenced the cessation of this long experiment.

I may have revealed a bit too much there, but I thought you all deserved to know.


Q: But what about Dark Souls?

I don't know what that is. Is it a movie?

Whatever it is, I haven't seen any movies since 2013, and I don't play video games. Sorry to disappoint, I guess.


Q: This breaks my heart. I loved you!

No you didn't.




Anyway, I think that's all the big ones.

One last thing before I take more questions: I'd like to personally and deeply thank you all for being part of this experiment, despite none of you ever having known about it (except for one person, who may identify himself if he wishes). It has been an incredible and exhilarating journey for me, and the results I've gathered are pretty staggering.

So, as long as the questions do not pertain too heavily to my personal life or the experiment, I'm willing to take anything you'll throw at me before I shove off.

Once again, I can't thank you all enough for being part of this. To those of you who considered me a bothersome burden, I ask your forgiveness, but feel free to rejoice, for "Verbatim" (in his current form, as you've known him) is officially dead.

If you had me added on Steam, PSN, or other gaming/social networking services, expect to be removed—it's nothing personal; I just don't think I've ever actually gotten to know you (nor you me).

AMA.
Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 12:06:12 AM by Verbatim


 
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What's your damage, Heather?
ha


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Just some bloke who wanted to be anyone but himself.


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Get the fuck outta here...


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?


 
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So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?
With enough money, nothing is out of the question. He was also intimately involved with the experiment in other facets, and was a good colleague of mine.

Keep in mind, too, that lots of other ARGs have used social networking to immerse their audiences. The Marble Hornets series comes to mind.
Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 12:11:03 AM by Verbatim


 
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What's your damage, Heather?
when does the joke character end tho

oh wait i should play along funnier that way


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His eyebrows sparkling, his white beard hangs down to his chest. The thatched mats, spread outside his chise, spread softly, his splendid attos. He polishes, cross-legged, his makiri, with his eyes completely absorbed.

He is Ainu.

The god of Ainu Mosir, Ae-Oine Kamuy, descendant of Okiku-Rumi, He perishes, a living corpse. The summers day, the white sunlight, unabrushed, ends simply through his breath alone.
So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?
Not just the actor, he was only there for photographs. The page itself was maintained by a number of staff members related to the project.


 
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when does the joke character end tho
I'm officially ceasing the project tonight; that is the purpose of this thread.


 
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What's your damage, Heather?
when does the joke character end tho
I'm officially ceasing the project tonight; that is the purpose of this thread.
I don't believe you lol


 
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So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?
Not just the actor, he was only there for photographs. The page itself was maintained by a number of staff members related to the project.
While true, I'm not sure how you became privy to such information.


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
he was only there for photographs.
One of which is openly credited to a woman from, oh, Ishpeming.

Quote
The page itself was maintained by a number of staff members related to the project.
Bullshit, have you seen Verb's facebook? It doesn't look like he maintains it, let alone "a number of staff members".


 
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funny joke tho


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

Was Matthew older, or younger?

Where else in Illinois other than Chicago have you lived?

Also, if you really were performing a psychological experiment this deep, I'd imagine this is precisely the kind of thing you'd want to study. If everything else you say is true, it is unlikely the experiment has actually ended.


 
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One of which is openly credited to a woman from, oh, Ishpeming.

Bullshit, have you seen Verb's facebook? It doesn't look like he maintains it, let alone "a number of staff members".
The impression we intended to create was a boy who had social media, tried getting into it a bit late to the party, but ultimately wasn't heavily into it.

I won't bore you with all the intricacies, but there's layers to it all, you see—your incredulity is expected and not unwarranted.


 
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The Rage....
thanks you too


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His eyebrows sparkling, his white beard hangs down to his chest. The thatched mats, spread outside his chise, spread softly, his splendid attos. He polishes, cross-legged, his makiri, with his eyes completely absorbed.

He is Ainu.

The god of Ainu Mosir, Ae-Oine Kamuy, descendant of Okiku-Rumi, He perishes, a living corpse. The summers day, the white sunlight, unabrushed, ends simply through his breath alone.
he was only there for photographs.
One of which is openly credited to a woman from, oh, Ishpeming.
Yes? Staff members related to the project.

Quote
Bullshit, have you seen Verb's facebook? It doesn't look like he maintains it, let alone "a number of staff members".
Creating a believable social media page is more than just posting, it's all about balance. Post too much, and it looks like an advertising plant; post too little and it loses credibility as documentation of his existence. Those involved decided that V1 needed to give "complete opinions" (meaning to give proper voice, tone, and character to the message) better among semi-anonymous persons (meaning those who could become friends with or grow to know the character well, but without being close enough to unravel the web). If he were to post certain things from here on his facebook-- where "grandma potila" could see them-- then it would create the persona of a man who cannot be reasoned with. The hope-- however slight-- that a point could be made to V1 was essential to the project.


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His eyebrows sparkling, his white beard hangs down to his chest. The thatched mats, spread outside his chise, spread softly, his splendid attos. He polishes, cross-legged, his makiri, with his eyes completely absorbed.

He is Ainu.

The god of Ainu Mosir, Ae-Oine Kamuy, descendant of Okiku-Rumi, He perishes, a living corpse. The summers day, the white sunlight, unabrushed, ends simply through his breath alone.
So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?
Not just the actor, he was only there for photographs. The page itself was maintained by a number of staff members related to the project.
While true, I'm not sure how you became privy to such information.
If you pay close attention, you might be able to figure out who I actually am. To be frank, I'm surprised you didn't already know; I assumed you were just playing it off so as not to compromise the integrity of the project.


 
Paul Andersen
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Was Matthew older, or younger?

Where else in Illinois other than Chicago have you lived?

Also, if you really were performing a psychological experiment this deep, I'd imagine this is precisely the kind of thing you'd want to study. If everything else you say is true, it is unlikely the experiment has actually ended.
Matthew was younger than I, and a great deal of Verbatim's biographical information was borrowed from his. 21, 5'11'', ~200lbs (like Verbatim, he never really knew his exact weight).

I've lived in Chicago all my life. I can't really see myself going anywhere else. Moving from my parents' home seven years ago was hard enough.

Interesting hypothesis, but I have no other comment.


 
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This is not the greatest sig in the world, no. This is just a tribute.
But Verb I loved you


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
The impression we intended to create was a boy who had social media, tried getting into it a bit late to the party, but ultimately wasn't heavily into it.

I won't bore you with all the intricacies, but there's layers to it all, you see—your incredulity is expected and not unwarranted.
"Jacob Potilla" AKA Matthew-Just-There-For-The-Photographs has an individual from Ishpeming (who is clearly not a stooge) tagged in his profile picture, and on that individual's wall is given editing credit on some post about Ishpeming city council debates on a smoking ban.



 
Paul Andersen
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So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?
Not just the actor, he was only there for photographs. The page itself was maintained by a number of staff members related to the project.
While true, I'm not sure how you became privy to such information.
If you pay close attention, you might be able to figure out who I actually am. To be frank, I'm surprised you didn't already know; I assumed you were just playing it off so as not to compromise the integrity of the project.
Ah.

Yes.

Sorry, I've been so distraught lately ever since Matt's death. Haven't been able to think straight.


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
Also you betray yourself by pretending to not know what Dark Souls is.

Even if Matthew had access to this Verbatim account and was free to post (in itself dubious) without your permission, you would still be monitoring it closely enough to know exactly what Dark Souls is.
Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 12:39:41 AM by More Than Mortal


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
If you pay close attention, you might be able to figure out who I actually am. To be frank, I'm surprised you didn't already know; I assumed you were just playing it off so as not to compromise the integrity of the project.
Ah.

Yes.

Sorry, I've been so distraught lately ever since Matt's death. Haven't been able to think straight.



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His eyebrows sparkling, his white beard hangs down to his chest. The thatched mats, spread outside his chise, spread softly, his splendid attos. He polishes, cross-legged, his makiri, with his eyes completely absorbed.

He is Ainu.

The god of Ainu Mosir, Ae-Oine Kamuy, descendant of Okiku-Rumi, He perishes, a living corpse. The summers day, the white sunlight, unabrushed, ends simply through his breath alone.
So this actor maintained a dedicated facebook page with ~200 friends and posts as far back as 2013?
Not just the actor, he was only there for photographs. The page itself was maintained by a number of staff members related to the project.
While true, I'm not sure how you became privy to such information.
If you pay close attention, you might be able to figure out who I actually am. To be frank, I'm surprised you didn't already know; I assumed you were just playing it off so as not to compromise the integrity of the project.
Ah.

Yes.

Sorry, I've been so distraught lately ever since Matt's death. Haven't been able to think straight.
It's alright. We have all grown to know each other so well over the past eight years, and it is hard to come to terms with the sudden death of a friend and coworker. I am not sure if you have heard, but the team is planning to visit his favorite pub tomorrow night. I assume you will want to come and have a pint as well, but I understand if you would rather have a quiet night at home with the missus.


 
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What's your damage, Heather?
I know this is fake but I'm high af and this is kinda interesting


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Da Husk.


 
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The impression we intended to create was a boy who had social media, tried getting into it a bit late to the party, but ultimately wasn't heavily into it.

I won't bore you with all the intricacies, but there's layers to it all, you see—your incredulity is expected and not unwarranted.
"Jacob Potilla" AKA Matthew-Just-There-For-The-Photographs has an individual from Ishpeming (who is clearly not a stooge) tagged in his profile picture, and on that individual's wall is given editing credit on some post about Ishpeming city council debates on a smoking ban.
Matthew was given instruction to fraternize with several non-participants to help create a more immersive atmosphere. Hiring several other actors would be too much of a cost, and I cannot trust anyone else to do the job as well as Matt.

Have you ever seen the film Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johanssen? It's kind of like that.

Coincidentally, that was the last film I remember sitting down to watch the entirety of.
Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 12:45:11 AM by Verbatim


 
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
It's alright. We have all grown to know each other so well over the past eight years, and it is hard to come to terms with the sudden death of a friend and coworker. I am not sure if you have heard, but the team is planning to visit his favorite pub tomorrow night. I assume you will want to come and have a pint as well, but I understand if you would rather have a quiet night at home with the missus.
See, now you're just trying too hard.

This conversation would not be held on this forum, of all potential places.


 
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I know this is fake but I'm high af and this is kinda interesting
Read the OP with the Saw theme playing in the background.