She Is Here

She Is Here

She Is Here is a website dedicated to the "Ringu" / "The Ring" franchise of films and novels, concentrating on the American remakes. The site presents the franchise's universe as real, making the site the central point of a limited Alternate Reality Game. This site is generally considered to be the most popular of all of DreamWorks' viral marketing sites dedicated to the franchise.

After the original viral marketing site went down, it was quickly revived by a fan. The message boards are now an area for roleplay based on the popular books and movies related to The Ring.

History

DreamWorks viral marketing

On November 28 2004, DreamWorks registered the domain "she-is-here.com" in anticipation of their then-upcoming film "The Ring Two".

DreamWorks advertised the site using blank-labeled videotapes which contained a trailer of the film presented as another cursed video created by Samara Morgan. The images on the video were scenes from the second film altered to retain the look and feel of the original Samara video, with the website address shown at the end of the images, then a snowy footer with unintelligible snippets of audio from the film.

When the tape-watcher got to the website advertised in the video, he or she would see a multitude of information about the video presented from the point of view of webmistress "Erika" (her last name was never revealed), out to reassure the tape-watching public that they were not alone. It contained shared experiences sent by email on each of the successive days, with the link to "Day 7" saying simply "Are you dead yet?"

What truly propelled the website's popularity were the site's forums, in which anyone could register and post comments about their own experiences day by day. Initially the forums were moderated lightly by day (in which everyone's post would appear and the bad ones would be deleted later) and heavily by night (in which all posts would be screened first with the bad posts deleted before anyone else saw them).

Although the majority of people posting to the forum simply grabbed a homemade character and played along, the lack of any kind of disclaimer on the site meant that many people registered in an effort to convince the characters (who they thought were real people) that the movie was just a movie. The characters playing along would invent reasons as to why the movie exists and why there is a Japanese book series and franchise chronicling the "real" events. This led to several shouting wars which in turn led to the forums shifting to full-time heavy moderation.

The site also had accounts from "Jake", the central character of the "Rings" short film originally released with a re-release of the "The Ring" on home video. Initially there were only accounts from Jake listed on the site, as if he had e-mailed his experiences to Erika, but on February 3 2005, Erika had supposedly received an email confirming Jake's tape death, and the site was changed to reflect Jake's obituary, and a warning on the "Day 7" page that not all people find a tail in time.

As the date drew closer to the release of "The Ring Two", some characters were posting that they were doing strange things to the tape, like creating "supertapes" via deep rapport with Samara that can kill instantly, or maliciously showing the tape to groups of people for the thrill of the kill. On March 25, 2005, a week after the film's release, Erika announced she would no longer maintain the site, and allowed no one else to post to the forums, citing fear of what would happen if she got much deeper into events.

The site itself was removed in May 2005, the domain name pointing only to a generic start page for the service provider.

The roleplay continues

A few days before "Erika" shut down the DreamWorks site, a website, Nensha.net, appeared as a continuation of the she is here roleplay. After nensha's eventual shut-down another site sprung up calling itself "RINGS Communities", and presented to be run by one of the characters, forum user "MNEmichan", from the original "She Is Here" roleplay, moved by the death of a relative-in-law. The new site was similar in tone to the original, though with the sections presented in a different manner, and contained a disclaimer regarding the fact that the site is just a roleplay. After Erika's forums became postblocked, the most hardcore of the original roleplayers flocked to the new forums on the new site. The presence of the disclaimer stopped most of the traffic from people who would otherwise not know that the site was just a game.

"MNEmichan" herself eventually cited fear in late 2005, but she kept the site and forums up, and the roleplay eventually involved plots featuring hidden agencies called "Mooks", wanting the tape for their own means. She has since returned to the roleplay. (See: "MNEmichan becomes inactive")

In the fall of 2005, another site with forums sprung up calling itself "RINGUSU Communities" concentrating mostly on the Japanese series, presented as being run by one of the European roleplay characters ("OBrasilero") who claimed to know Ryuji Takayama before that character's supposed death in 1989. This site also introduced the existence of a fan-created European spirit with a cursed video. The HTML code from the site was borrowed from "MNEmichan"'s site with permission.

The original site returns

On November 28 2005, DreamWorks' registry for she-is-here.com lapsed, and VeriSign put the domain up for auction, where it was then bought by another fan of the franchise with the intent on putting up a new fansite for "The Ring". The player for "MNEmichan", who had archived the entire DreamWorks site before it left the web, contacted the new domain owner with an offer to hand him the archive and resurrect the site. The new owner took the offer, and on May 23 2006, "She Is Here" returned with only a few minor changes from the original DreamWorks site.

MNEmichan becomes inactive

After a time of activity, MNEmichan left the roleplay and left the site in the hands of community member "BaZoo". BaZoo continues the forum to this day despite the actual "BaZoo" character having been killed off. Since then, MNEmichan has returned as well as several of the last generation of roleplayers.

The Forum Wipe

Recently, moderator BaZoo wiped the forum for various reasons, including the roleplay's ever-present problem of newcomers not realizing it is a roleplay and so posting abusive comments towards the roleplayers they perceive as "crazy". All "wiped" posts, however, can still be accessed through a read-only archive section.

Growing Fandom and Plot

New players are joining every week (though few stay long-term) and new concepts are constantly being introduced. The roleplay now includes ideas such as "Tape cultists" who worship the evil spirits and spread the tapes around, and Samara Morgan "clones". This idea is presumably derived from a similar idea touched on in the original books by Koji Suzuki. There also have been plots that attract short bursts of high-activity from members, such as the "Ripple phenomenon" plot where over twenty pages of roleplay were added in a matter of a few hours.

External links

* [http://www.she-is-here.com/ She Is Here] , the original DreamWorks site by "Erika", now fan-run.

pinoffs

* [http://www.djparticle.com/ringscommunities/ RINGS Communities] , the site run by "MNEmichan" with forums run by "Bazoo".
* [http://www.obrasilero.com/rings/ RINGUSU Communities] , the site run by "OBrasilero".


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