If you haven’t been under a rock and you spend at least part of your time on Twitter, then you’ve probably heard of Outcast. Articles have already been written about it and it trended worldwide on Twitter. I wouldn’t even be surprised if BTS themselves have at least glanced it. Outcast is the brainchild of Twitter user flirtaus, who rocketed from a few thousand Twitter followers to nearly 100K in just a few days thanks to it.
Outcast is a horror!AU that flirtaus created wherein some of the boys (read the thread to find out which) are kidnapped and two others are playing a strange game where they are asked to make difficult choices to save their players.
The whole thing exists as a series of fake texts on a Twitter thread which is sort of the brilliance of it. And it’s riveting. Ask anyone who’s read it–once you start, you can’t stop. Even me, who’s skeptical with horror!AUs, couldn’t stop myself from screaming in anxiety as I scrolled down the thread.
It was so incredible that I couldn’t help but start thinking about what innovative ways ARMYs have started using social media. Storytelling has transformed thanks to social media and part of what drives it is the desire to make content based off our idols. I’ll be talking about BTS in this post, but you can see the results across fandoms.
Tumblr is the home and birthplace of ask blogs. I’ve talked about an ask blog on here once in the past–ask-kimdaily–but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Ask blogs are a part of a movement that combines art and storytelling in a way that is also interactive. The story, and the development of the characters, doesn’t happen unless people send in questions. Yes, the authors have control over which questions they answer and how they answer them, but it’s an opportunity for the creator and viewer to interact in different way.
And just like Outcast, ask blogs are a product of social media. They were birthed as a result of people’s fascination with their fandom and their desire to create content for it outside what exists in reality.
I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of this one. But you gotta give credit where credit is due. This is pretty revolutionary. It utilizes a variety of visual sources to create a story, making something almost like a moving storybook. When it’s done right and done with care, it can actually be pretty compelling. You may have to dig a while, but when you do find a winner, it can be genuinely impressive to see how much work goes into them.
It is such an exciting time to be a fan. The amount of content and the quality of that content is constantly increasing and we feed off each other’s content in unique ways. Think of the ways that ask-blogs interact with each other and respond to each other’s posts with their own art, creating a world within a world. Or think of the ways that fanartists create art based off fanfictions (that’s happening with Outcast right now, just look at my featured image by shaerahaek on Twitter!). The collaboration of creation makes a broader world of things to explore and pushes us forward in innovation and that’s such a beautiful thing. I can only hope that we as ARMYs continue to do this and support each other.
HUGE shoutout to flirtaus for inspiring this whole post. If you haven’t taken a moment to read Outcast, get on it! You won’t regret it (you may not sleep tonight, but you really won’t regret it).