Andrew Peck (Miami University)

The Neighbor Across the Screen: The Vernacularization of Commercial Media on YouTube

 “Slender: The Arrival“ — the popular video game based on the Slender Man — received a mixed reception on its release in 2013. Despite this initially mixed reception, “Slender: The Arrival“ would go on to become a major influence on the legend cycle because of the social experiences it created. Crucial to this process was the role of popular YouTube personalities, whose videos about the game actively cultivated the appearance of backstage interaction. This paper examines how these users channeled this institutional product back into vernacular expression by creating parasocial experiences for their viewers through their ongoing use of the vernacular mode.