The other day, I decided to take part in a social media game. It seemed harmless, there were no links or sharebaits or agendas, just (I suppose) the fun of it. The originator could presumably watch to see his or her little idea spread and split across the Facebooks.
Anyway, the gist was quite simple, if relatively unique to social media and thus a little difficult to explain. You basically cast your friends in a make-believe show and assign them roles based on their position on the auto-generated grid, and the result can be amusing. They’re popular games, and clever, because the grid shows your most frequent commenters and status-likers, thus ensuring that you engage the people most likely to respond in kind and reward them for their tireless bantering on your wall.
This one worked particularly well. I call it Astro Tramp 400.
Astro Tramp 400 is the hilarious and heart-warming tale of ten mismatched and unlikely allies, drawn together in common cause when a social media experiment or possible massive psychotic episode turns them into a starship crew in the distant future.
Obviously, “Astro Tramp” follows the fine tradition of using synonyms for Star Trek that Galaxy Quest made famous (indeed, it shares something of a premise with Galaxy Quest too), as well as having a delightful double meaning on “tramp”.
The “400” not only sounds sci-fi-ey, but celebrates my 400th blog post.
I don’t know if I’m going to go anywhere with this, but it’s been a long time since I made a fan fiction using my real-life friends (or their online personas) as characters, and this is a new crop (well, with some old classics like Lucas “Mister C”, Robert “Beer Rot” and Robin “Contro” thrown into the mix). So it might be fun, one day.
If nothing else, it’s an amusing copyright-issue-skirting alternative to using Star Trek in my Creepy and Hatboy novel. I might have to adapt it into a small story-in-story idea, with a few shows touching the major technology and character points, so everyone knows what is happening but allowing me to avoid the awkwardness of copying too directly.
Yes … this could really work out nicely.