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Web Video / The Human Pet

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The Human Pet is an Alternate Reality Game webseries that began YouTube uploads in 2006 and reached its conclusion (or rather, stopped uploading) in 2008.

The videos showcased a young man named Eric Taylor being kept against his will in a room with nothing but a mattress. His captor, Sam Deercot, also known as "The Codemaster", gave the audience the ability to help Eric survive through picking which food he could eat and how to filter the pond water he was given. Later videos were uploads of Eric's own personal vlogs, detailing some of his actions that led up to his capture.

In addition to Sam Deercot's own channel (which can be found here), there was also a channel dedicated to finding Eric (here), a personal blog of Sam's, and a website for the search effort.

This series contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Eric's father was mentioned as being abusive during his childhood, to both him and his sister, and was the reason their mother supposedly fell to alcoholism. He outright refused to speak with Eric after he moved to Hollywood to pursue his acting career.
    • In "This Video Will Take You To Hell", we learn about a child whose parents kept them locked in a room with a mattress, a broken TV, a litter box, and pet bowls. This child turned out to be Sam himself.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Eric's sister described their mother as having succumbed to drinking due to their father's abusive nature.
  • Alternate Reality Game: Audience members participated by trying to help Eric, getting to ask him questions, cracking codes, and by digging up a secret tape that revealed the final video.
  • Big Bad: Sam Deercot/The Codemaster is Eric Taylor's kidnapper who forces him and the viewers into a Deadly Game for Eric's survival.
  • A Deadly Affair: Eric had an affair with his boss's wife Sue, which is told about in vlog files leaked by The Codemaster. The details aren't elaborated upon, but it's heavily implied that as a result of the affair, either he or Sue committed murder after they realized her husband had cameras all over the house. Who died isn't revealed, but it's mentioned that Eric had to deal with police interrogations and that Sue blamed him for what happened.
  • Dog Food Diet: The audience was allowed to choose what single solid food Eric could eat that would contain enough nutrients for him to survive; the answer was dry cat food.
  • Domestic Abuse:
    • Eric's father, in addition to abusing him, also abused his wife, shown by how afraid she was to go against his word.
    • Sam's victim before Eric was a prostitute named Emily, who had gotten into the job thanks to her boyfriend. When she tried to stop, he literally threw her and her things out of their house.
  • Forced from Their Home: The Codemaster's victim before Eric was a prostitute who got into the business thanks to an abusive boyfriend. When she tried to stop, her boyfriend kicked her out of their house.
  • No Ending: The last video uploaded is less of an ending and more a peek into Sam's backstory, and was the second video in what was deemed Phase Two, implying that there would be more videos. There was also some unresolved plot threads as well, like the fate of Eric. Despite this, the channel has not uploaded a video since 2008, and was likely abandoned.
  • Streetwalker: One of Sam's victims was a prostitute who had approached his car late at night.