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ARG / Pronunciation Book

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Please help me escape from this place

Pronunciation Book is an alternate reality game that, although starting in 2010, was not known to the public until July 9, 2013. The original videos simply involved a strange male voice teaching people how to pronounce words in the English language. However, the video "How to ask for help in English" simply consisted of the above mentioned quote. After this, the following videos all contained no information on pronunciation, instead containing cryptic messages leading to a 77 Day countdown ending on September 24, 2013. Afterwards, the creators revealed that it was part of a project (which also included the infamous Twitter account Horse_ebooks) leading up to the FMV adventure game Bear Stearns Bravo, a satire on the parties responsible for the 2007-08 financial crisis.

Pronunciation Book contains examples of:

  • Arc Number: 77 is the number of days that the countdown took to reach its end, with one video every day.
  • Arc Words: Something is about to happen in 77 days. Since the beginning of the countdown, this message has appeared at the end of every video since.
  • Dramatic Ellipsis: One followed by ten minutes of silence.
    A: "Did you hear what happened to Nicole?"
    B: "..."
  • Entry Point: Most players are viewers of the eponymous Youtube channel, seeking to learn how to pronounce certain English words. Then, one of the videos suddenly asks them for help to escape from an unknown place.
  • Gainax Ending: After 76 days of buildup, the big reveal of the ARG was the end of Horse_ebooks, an infamous twitter account that posted random nonsense about horses. Pretty much no-one expected this, since no-one knew they were connected.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "How to ask for help in English" is the video where the channel took the turn from being another pronunciation channel to an Alternate Reality Game. The voice says "please help me escape from this place", and the videos from then on became more cryptic and hinted at an overarching plot line.
    • "How to Pronounce 71" marks the start of the dramatic countdown that would last for the rest of the series. From then on, the format went from slowly pronouncing the word and phrase of the day to a short and cryptic phrase followed by "Something is going to happen in x days".
    • "How to pronounce 36." After the entire countdown had consisted of videos of only one or two phrases, 36 unleashed an entire speech, which the videos from then on did.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: It's implied that the narrator is being drugged and forced to read the various words while in captivity- in "How to Ask for Help", he says, "Please help me escape from this place," and in 75 he says, "I'm awake now. Things are clearing up. I'm not saying the words anymore."

Alternative Title(s): Horse Ebooks