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Curious about The Sun Vanished? Prepare to be majorly afraid of the dark again as we dive into this complex and terrifying ARG.

The Sun Vanished: How the complicated ARG ruled Twitter

Let’s talk about ARGs, people. Otherwise known as Alternate Reality Games, this form of transmedia storytelling relies heavily on intense player interaction on the platform that it appears. Twitter, YouTube, and, more recently, TikTok are the most common places you can find ARGs. Honestly, the first on social media could probably be traced back to Ong’s Hat or lonelygirl15.

ARGs, or the ones that get attention, tend to skew toward the horror genre. In fact, if a scary video or post goes viral, people tend to believe that it could be an ARG. In 2018, an account was created on Twitter called @TheSunVanished, which kickstarted an incredibly complex ARG that ran for two years and may be expanding into its own media franchise.

Here’s what you need to know about The Sun Vanished.

The premise

On an ordinary day in 2018, the sun, well, vanished. Not only the sun, but every single star in the sky seems to have gone out, plunging the world into eternal night. Our nameless protagonist (called “tsv” by fans) begins sitting tight in his house, waiting for things to blow over, and keeping the world updated via his Twitter account. He shares clips of news coverages and pictures as well as tweets.

Things start to get even stranger, however, when he notices weird lights in the sky. As the “tsv” delves further into the world of The Sun Vanished, audiences are taken on a cosmic horror ride the likes of which feel even more terrifying because, well, we know this person. As we learn more about the world and whatever beings have blocked out the sun, the more we wonder if “tsv” can continue on.

That’s it?

The Sun Vanished is an INCREDIBLY complicated ARG. There are a lot of characters, a lot of moving parts, and a lot of thrills around every corner. Honestly? We don’t want to spoil anything because it’s that good. We recommend going to the start of the Twitter timeline and just diving in to learn about what’s going on in this game. It’s a genuinely scary story

If that sounds like a lot of work, The Sun Vanished has been covered by YouTubers that like to focus on horror-based content/ARGs such as LoeyLane or ReignBot. They both have videos on The Sun Vanished if you want to start there. In addition, there’s a Reddit community that you can dive into to learn more about the rules of the world. There’s a lot of lore, but you learn at the same pace a “tsv” so that’s good at least.

Though, if you get freaked out easily, we recommend doing this deep dive with some light on. Because looking through it or watching videos about The Sun Vanished in the dark will definitely get you a little more freaked out than usual.

Media franchise?

So . . . we don’t want to say that The Sun Vanished ARG is over because it looks like creator Aidan Elliott is hoping to expand things. Currently, there’s an Indiegogo campaign focused on making a The Sun Vanished short film. On Feb. 4, there were 17 days left, so it looks like it will end on Sunday, Feb. 21. If you want to donate, follow Elliott’s link at the top of The Sun Vanished Twitter and dive in.

Anyway, on October 24, 2020, “tsv” posted a photo of his broken phone and said that he lost everything on there, including contact information. Since then, the Twitter account has been silent for The Sun Vanished. Whether this part of the ARG is over or will continue after the short film is made? We cannot say or speculate, but what is there is an incredibly compelling and creative story.

Better than making another Paranormal Activity movie anyway. 

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