Confic Magazine is One Year Old Today
Updated: Sep 4, 2022
Culture & Community
by Lack of Lepers
Confic Magazine turns 1 year old today! We started as a simple Medium blog. After we were flagged there for posting leaked site67 chat logs, we moved to our own webpage and incorporated as an LLC on October 4, 2021.
I am happy to say, at this mark we have accomplished everything set out in our stated goals:
1) Be a publisher for indie containment fiction.
In addition to platforming would-be articles that their respective community does not find sufficient value in — sometimes merely due to differences in taste, and not quality — we have featured numerous examples of indie containment fiction. Hopefully, we have set a model for others who would like to develop their own format, brand, and have more intellectual property rights and distributive control over their works.
2) More firmly establish the term "containment fiction" as the designation for the genre.
"Containment fiction" was termed by pixelatedHarmony, who arguably is the most qualified of anyone in the space to nominate a term by which to describe the art movement that the SCP Wiki flagships.
Containment itself — including all its varieties and modes — is the most important part of the document from the in-character perspective of the genre's premise. It is the only portion of a typical article that has received a new, proper name (including unique abbreviations, e.g. "conprocs"). It's the hardest portion of the genre to master, and the easiest to overlook. On a broader scale, the adjective "containment" is the most culturally identifiable descriptor attaching the wider genre to the rest of the internet; in no small part thanks to the success and mainstream popularity of indie video game "Containment Breach".
The term has gotten a diarrheal ton of backlash — and personally I'd wager by individuals who dislike those of us behind the term equally as much as any strict rationale over the term itself. But, "confic" has perpetuated into places you might be surprised to see it in; places like the SCP Wiki's article comment sections, casually dropped in a Dr Cimmerian video, community subreddits, on Twitter, and even all over the nearly-unanimous hostility of SCP-sanctioned Discord servers.
Probably the most successful deployment of "terminology as technology" that we have is the term "neololFoundation". You can read all about that here, and notice how much it has perpetuated itself, thanks to some influential people at the SCP Wiki claiming it as their own, in places like here ("Random Musings"), here, and here (that's to say nothing of the commentary about it on Twitter and other social media).
3) Provide counter-cultural opinions to the dominant voices in the space, and be the voice that would otherwise be silenced.
Confic Magazine is most notorious for this goal, as it ruffles the most feathers. Articles like Not Proud Enough!, We Are Not SCP, In Defense of the Backrooms, A Case of Ze Said, She Said, SCP Staff vs DISC-J, and On Agent Jackrabbit have been some of our most read for good reason; drama "sells" and is naturally exciting. Such coverage is doubtless not going to be flattering for some, and therein lies a lot of our haters (as well as the misnomer of "doxxers").
But while this sort of coverage is far from the only thing we do, it is the only thing that matters to many. Anyone who has taken the time to understand or listen to us knows that in addition to platforming counter-cultural opinions, we are interested in more: bringing high-quality, academic, and investigative research into the space; celebrating the positives of each community, and covering their contests, as well all the goals stated here. We can shout until we are blue in the face that we are not solely "shit-stirrers", although we can be talented at that, or that we are not guilty of the things that some of us are widely accused of, but in the court of unquestioning public opinion, this shouting — like the facts — will not matter to many.
But it will matter to some, and that is enough for us.
The SCP Wiki is and likely always will be the dominant voice in the space. While this is mostly a good thing, it at times means that smaller voices are stampeded in the rush of like-minded opinions emanating from that community; right or wrong. Whether it be that all people at RPC are bigots, or that people from SCP-ES are necessarily homophobic for not featuring LGBTQ logos, there are people and sections of this much larger community whose voices, no matter how factual or reasonable, can be and often are drowned by an unsurmountable chorus of virtually unanimous thought.
We are, in part, discouraged and demoralized as a group because at times we are intent on providing a counterbalance to that virtually unanimous thought. Because we challenge stances, opinions, status quo beliefs, and are unafraid to speak our minds when others are terrified to do so for fear of their reputation.
While it is mostly futile, we have always taken pride in our willingness to platform alternative and controversial opinions. As it has been said, "No one is below having their opinions expressed, and no one is above having those opinions criticized." This, sadly, is not the attitude or reality at many locations in this space, and is not likely to ever be.
Our projects, in their diversity and inclusion, preserve good and important stances, views, and positions that the present-day culture has lost.
4) Serve as a hub for enthusiasts.
Confic Magazine spans both containment fiction and liminal fiction, serving as a hub that both styles — while very different — can collect around in honor and in appropriateness, given their heredity and community overlap.
The WikiDot Blackout of 2022 powerfully demonstrated the need for something like a hub for the space outside of WikiDot. While the community stayed in touch through Twitter and Discord just fine, there is something to be said for a centralizing force in such an environment; particularly if WikiDot goes down permanently, and if containment fiction works are dispersed into the relatively quieter corners of the internet, such as authors' personal blogs or splinter projects.
5) Set an example for transparency and accountability in financial dealings.
Financial obscurity and unaccountability is currently the greatest vulnerability in the space.
Recently, a two-faced individual — likely one of the most untrustworthy individuals the space has ever encountered — bamboozled nearly everyone under a gimmick of false charm and devotion. A multi-thousand-dollar fundraising project this person organized has since been confirmed as clean in their dealings. But this could have been a much different scenario, and we may, still in the spirit of the SCP-7000 contest, attribute the fact that hundreds of people weren't fleeced of their good-faith donations to nothing but sheer luck.
Confic Magazine has a robust system of financial transparency. We have demonstrated how simple and beneficial it can be. The great irony is that we here at the LLC are close to the last individuals in the space who are likely to need this. But nonetheless, our system operates as a model for more lucrative fundraising and financially-operative projects in the space to mimic.
We are hopefully raising awareness of the severe and potentially catastrophic lack of financial transparency and accountability in this space. It has been an ongoing issue from the early days of the SCP Wiki, and it still isn't being recognized, even in the moments that it should be.
6) Publish once per week.
As of this post, on the anniversary of the magazine, we have successfully published an article every week for a whole year (this post marks post #52). I am grateful to everyone who has helped contribute to the magazine; it is because of your efforts that the publication has been a success. The variety of voices and views is what this is all about.
Confic Magazine is a passion project. It does not make any money, and has from day 1 eschewed things like patron tier incentives, advertisements, or paywalls in order to remain ideologically pure. Many contributors have declined the payment offer, and will continue to, which is always an option that we respect (but don't want to assume).
It began in the spirit of collaboration. I was, at the time, keeping a close eye on the SCP Wiki's events and as more members from different communities participated in the Society for Containment Fiction Discord, there quickly became more things to comment on than one person could cover. Thankfully, those around me offered to help. The initial thought was for my personal blog to have guest writers, but I felt as though this should be about other people. This is also why I have been happy, and will remain happy, to pay individuals for their time and work.
And there's one last goal that we didn't initially state, but that — in retrospect — we absolutely should have listed as an ambition:
7) We have grown.
This is particularly important; we have had to struggle 10x harder than anyone else in the space to get to where we are.
For example, you are not allowed to even casually link to our sites or projects on the SCP Wiki proper — in the past, they have been deleted outright by staff. You stand to be ridiculed relentlessly for tolerating the name we've given to the art movement, and even endorsing the idea of giving that art movement a name in the first place. Some of our members who have done nothing wrong are banned and denied entry into certain spaces or Discords, simply by virtue of associating with us. Our members have been extorted to leave our spaces in order to participate in other sites and Discords. Our material, even when relevant or informative, has been actively suppressed. Our norm is a level of sociological isolation and that others, also wrongfully accused, have been deeply troubled by for the time they experienced it. And yet, we still grew, and with people who we know like us for who we are and what we were doing; not to be a part of an in-crowd.
Witness the amount of automatic resistance we have operated against. Most of this is spectacularly misinformed; for example, we are not a community or project filled with doxxers. We are unfairly given that moniker because prior to establishing platforms like this, we had to resort to unsavory places to get information out; for example, information which ultimately and finally got AdminBright banned for very egregious but very ignored wrongs.
No one has produced any evidence whatsoever that myself or Harmony, for instance, have doxxed anyone — because we haven't. People who dislike us have been happy to mislabel whistleblowing as harassment.
We have a glass ceiling that the most influential people in the space are sitting on in order to keep us contained. But if you look closely and in the right places, you get indications that this glass ceiling is cracking.
Each view, each comment, each like, each follower is the equivalent of tens elsewhere. It is not easy to get as far as we have, in the conditions we operate in. Given how crippled we have been made in our ability to culturally disseminate information, we do appreciate everyone commenting on our homemade terms, even when in mockery or criticism, as it has served to better perpetuate them, and has achieved more than we ever could have on our own. They will continue to perpetuate, whether this magazine is active or dead and buried.
That leads us to this post, which is to, in ways, announce a change of operation here at Confic Magazine.
We will be relaxing our posting schedule from weekly to "pro re nata", or without a set schedule. Perhaps this will be monthly, perhaps less frequent; I can't say. I know that personally, I will have less and less time to contribute here. With this reduction in availability, we have also concluded most cultural products I have produced, such as Confic Call-In, the Lack of Lepers blog, and our Twitch streams. These can always be enjoyed by visiting their respective homes (see links below), and may even be subject to further episodes, if we have contributors who pick them up.
If the magazine is to continue, it will be due to others submitting works. Harmony is of course our most faithful work horse, but even she will need help in keeping this publication populated. This was never meant to be a solo project. As long as there are people willing to write, I will be willing to post and pay for it.
So please, whether you want some extra funds, whether you want something to put on a resume for a journalism/writing job, whether you feel your work just isn't very appreciated in your preferred confic community, whether you have an opinion that is likely to be controversial or unpopular, or whether you just want to see this publication continue, I encourage you to submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that we have brought some expansion to how you view, appreciate, and enjoy our genre and its communities.
Viva la confic!
Lack of Lepers, Co-Founder
Confic Magazine LLC
To hear past Confic Call-In episodes:
To view past Confic Call-In episodes:
To view past SCP META streams, including Weekend Collapsibles:
To view Weekend Collapsible Speedruns:
© Lack of Lepers
© Confic Magazine