The Darkrooms are a Solo Confic Story
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
Culture & Community, News & Opinion
by Harmony B
The Backrooms represent a strain of confic thought that is rife with mutations both glorious and grotesque. The Backrooms wikis on WikiDot and Fandom, the Liminal Archives, and the subject of study that describes itself as the Darkrooms Wiki.
The contact page for the Darkrooms Wiki is blank apart from a single period. There is no mark of authorship or credits to be found anywhere on the site. It is not clear whether the contents were written by a single person or a collective but based on the stylistic choice taken in the writing it appears to be the work of a single individual. The Darkrooms describes itself as such on its main page:
The Darkrooms are a multiverse of extra/inter-dimensional realities layered on top of one another, outside and between our own universe. Most commonly people end up in The Darkrooms by accident, clipping out of reality under very particular coincidental conditions. This is a very shocking and disturbing experience---to go from the life, the people, and world you are familiar with---to a completely foreign place where logic, time, sanity, and the laws of physics are much more variable. The purpose of this guide is to assist new explorers of The Darkrooms, to hopefully give them some semblance of guidance and knowledge of how to progress and survive through these indescribably mysterious liminal spaces. The current year is 50 A.D. (After Discovery)
Much can be gleaned by the implications put forth in the Darkrooms’s self-introduction. The calendar implies the existence of some kind of revolutionary-type calendar system that dates time based on some event that changes everything, in this case it seems to be since an event equivalent to a lifting of the veil in the SCP or RPC universes.
There are no authors notes or comments we can use to say for certain what inspired any of this. Anything said about the possible inspiration is only supposition, however looking at the contents of the Darkrooms Wiki with an eye trained by confic thought reveals many similarities with other communities that are too close for coincidence.
Speaking of other confic communities much of the contents of the Darkrooms appears to be derivative of SCP-style groups of interest and Backrooms-style individuals of interest, although of course all the Confic writing sites possess all of these elements in varying degrees the creative elements are most similar to the major writing sites. But that is not to say they are rip-offs, only to show that some awareness of other writers in the same movement exists by implication of inspiration.
It is hewing closer to an originalist interpretation of the Backrooms where it is a mysterious extra-dimensional space. The references to the clipping out of reality conform to the gamer-Channer mindset that created the Backrooms in the first place, obliquely applying rules of a simulated reality to our own through epistolary storytelling. The individualist nature of the writing enhances that vibe.
The Darkrooms is a post-WikiDot confic community based in the Weebly platform. It uses the Backrooms leveling system and has a few groups of interest. Each one of its four writing sections (Zones, Entities, Groups, Objects) have forty-eight total entries with an average of twelve entries per section. All of these were written by the anonymous author or authors who created this website.
The Object Class system uses emojis, framing the documents as an inherently digital creation and not a report typed up later as other more dossier-style confic formats might imply. Each one of the documents on the Levels in the Darkrooms has a short summary of the area, followed by the entities that can be found and how entering and exiting works. It is a loose format that follows the intellectual underpinnings that the formats of similar confic communities use. (Such as the Backrooms Wikis and the Liminal Archives).
Like those other wikis, the areas and environs described in the Levels are interconnected in ways that encourage readers to go from article to article, an act known as wiki-walking. It encourages reading more of a wiki and therefore being more invested in the contents because more time has been dedicated.
The Entities are much more simplistic, photos paired with brief biographies. It should be mentioned that most of the images are used with no regard of their intellectual property rights holders, a time-tested confic tradition. Some of the art is seemingly original, but no credits are present anywhere on the Darkrooms Wiki. The Groups section has a mix of images which appear at least semi-original and obviously decontextualized stock photos. The Objects have mostly seemingly original art, and the artwork becomes more tailored to the writing near the end of the line when looking through all the pages in the sequence they’re presented in.
Can a website stand for a confic community if it stands alone? The Darkrooms Wiki proves it to be so. Like the photographer developing in the dark, the creator(s) have made something new by way of a reflection on what already existed. Making something undeniably confic without direct collaboration, however the ideas it is built on were wrought by their forebears.
While the contents are uneven and sometimes excessive in their brevity there is more to be enjoyed than scorned on the Darkrooms Wiki. There are probably not going to be any further branches from the outgrowth. The lack of any collaborative elements make any potential for future inspiration indirect. We can only look through the store-front windows at the toys arranged in display then come home to dream up our own ideas to recreate them.
© Harmony B
© Confic Magazine
All images sources from The Darkrooms Wiki. Please contact admin@conficmagazine with any issues or concerns regarding these.