Tension Lore – Q&A

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This topic contains 43 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  Nicole Mae 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

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    Added link to gatekeepers explanation


    @daela This is wonderful! Thank you! I was only occasionally lurking during Tension’s Indoctrination phase so this is very helpful.

     Taylor Winters 

    This is incredible, @daela. Thank you so much for compiling this in one place. This information will definitely be useful moving forward.


    @daela Thanks very much for this!

     Lauren Bello 

    What’s IG and what’s OOG?

    With the influx of new users, I thought I’d make a post about this. It’s fun to be mysterious and say “Where’s the line? Nobody knowwwwwws!” but I don’t want that to be a barrier to entry for anyone who genuinely is struggling to understand. I also think getting on the same page could be useful for some of our pro-/anti-OSDM discussions, because without an agreement on the different levels of the game, we’re all just talking in circles.


    Newbies, IG means in-game, OOG means out of game. Imagine the layers of The Experiences as a target. In the very center is where it all began – In Game-In Game.

    • LEVEL 1 – IG-IG
    • In the beginning, during the Tension Experience, we followed the story of Addison Barrow. A naive young actress who moved to LA with big dreams, then ended up being sheltered and taken in by a cult: the OOA Institute. Her father, Tom Barrow, was desperate to rescue her. We followed along as she showed signs of brainwashing, gave up on escaping, had apparent memories triggered, and eventually rose up to become the Overseer, an intimidating woman leading the OOA Institute in acts of human sacrifice.

    • LEVEL 2 – IG
    • But as we all learned at the finale of Tension, “The End,” the OOA Institute was never real. It was a theater production, put on by the OSDM. Addison’s name wasn’t Addison at all – it was Sabrina Kern, an actress, who had been brainwashed and tortured into believing that she had an entirely different backstory. Tom Barrow wasn’t her father, but an OSDM employee. The OSDM had used the story of the OOA Institute to collect our data. We had willingly shared secrets, fears, beliefs. And now that the OSDM had collected enough data, it was time for the experiment to end. Michelle ordered the slaughter of everyone in the OOA compound except Sabrina, who she released back into the world, lost and alone.

    • LEVEL 3 – Behind The Curtain-IG
    • The thing is, we knew logically that nobody had actually died. The handlers who had killed themselves still kept posting Instagrams. Sabrina was still being seen about town. At the premiere of ABATTOIR we encountered a number of very clearly alive cast. And at this point, we’d also read a bunch of articles about the making of Tension. Interviews with Darren Lynn Bousman, Clint Sears, and Gordon Bjelonic. We’d met them and shaken their hands. This, we thought, was out of game.

      But The Lust Experience ended up encompassing more than we thought. At Lust Registration, we met the Investors, who had put money into the event called The Tension Experience. We also saw Stephanie Hyden, one of the handlers who had “died” – she had posted on her personal Facebook that she was annoyed about having to come in to work that day. A realtor or location scout was talking about how difficult it was to find a location for the big Lust Experience event. And Darren and Gordon were spotted, acting odd.

      So actual Lust events were acknowledging that these actors were actors, that Tension had all been an expensive immersive theater project, and that there were people who had created it.

      Basically, A LOT that has been happening in The Lust Experience has been happening in this tier. But not everything. Bear with me.

      Out in the real world, we had learned that Darren Lynn Bousman and Clint Sears were the creators of Tension, and that Gordon Bjelonic was an investor and producer. But we began hearing rumors – not on any official channels, but IRL – that Darren and Clint were no longer involved, that they had been pushed off the project. An audio file was leaked in which Darren received a threatening call at 3am, presumably from an Investor, indicating that Darren was on call at all times and that his job – even after being fired – was to make Lust look good. There was a sideways threat against Darren’s wife Laura in the call.

      Later, emails from another Investor (Remy) to Gordon were leaked. In those emails, they talked about how difficult it was to find a location for the Lust event, how important it was to keep Sabrina happy by supporting her non-Lust-related endeavors, membership issues, social media numbers, etc. These emails, and a rant on the forums from The Red Room Girl, portrayed Sabrina as a bit of a demanding brat or diva, who might spill the beans on secret Tension/Lust info if she wasn’t kept happy.

      These emails also didn’t look too good for the Investors. Gordon seemed to genuinely be afraid of Marcus, an Investor. He was haunted by things that the Investors had made him say and do. And Remy threatened, at one point, to “gut” Gordon.

      Basically in Behind-The-Curtain-IG, it’s not pretty. Everyone is under some secret external pressure, everyone is on edge. TENSION.

    • Participants who turn out to be actors. Actors you thought were off the clock who turn out to be on the clock. Experiences like The Midnight Commission that you thought were completely unrelated to Lust, but turned out to be part of Lust’s storyline all along. Everything said on Slack. Some participant meetups. Actual police appearing to pull over and arrest a character. This is the most controversial level, partially because it’s not really its own level…it’s a sort of Venn diagram bubble that exists half-in, half-out of the other levels.

    • LEVEL 4 – True OOG
    • You know what? The moment I tell you what’s truly out of game, the game will fold those elements into the game. There’s no point in elaborating on this. If you want to know what I believe is truly OOG, PM me. Then prove you’re not Darren or Clint or another plant. Then I’ll tell you. Maybe. (You can see why this game makes us paranoid.) But in the meantime, if you need an example, let’s just point out that nobody believes Sabrina Kern is ACTUALLY a demanding brat who’s threatening to release Tension intel. She’s lovely. And obviously nobody is calling real-life police to stop Darren from being blackmailed. Please don’t do that.

    • LEVEL ?
    • You can bet that as these Experiences continue, there will be even more levels. The camera will always be pulling back, allowing us to see a bigger picture.


    The two main layers we’re dealing with in Lust are IG and Behind-The-Curtain-IG.

    I thought about making a chart for this, but there are just too many unanswerable questions at this point. A Q&A format makes more sense.

    • Where do the Sinclairs fall?
    • They seem to mostly fall in Behind The Curtain-IG. Sarah Sinclair was the one who leaked the recording of the Investor threatening Darren. Noah Sinclair was the one who leaked information about iConfidant and about the Investors firing the creators. Noah’s father Horace appears to be above even the Investors – at least, “all known entities seem to report to him”. And The System – at least the rebooted version – is confirmed to be invoicing the Investors, and therefore a part of OSDM. (As a part of the Experience paid for by the Investors, does this make The System IG or Behind The Curtain-IG? Still unclear.)

    • Where does Sabrina fall?
    • She seems to live in at least TWO spaces, IG and Behind The Curtain-IG. At the iConfidant Meet and Greet, it was revealed that Sabrina ultimately returned to the OOA/OSDM, missing the attention and power. She then took over the iConfidant emails and toyed with us to collect emotional data for OSDM. Ultimately, she wanted to bring back Anoch. All of that behavior seems to belong to the IG space – the space that contained Michelle, the death of the handlers, Anoch. BUT that version of Sabrina is being played by the actress Sabrina, who, according to Behind The Curtain-IG emails, is busily doing other projects, like music videos. She doesn’t actually think she’s bringing Anoch back in the flesh. She just wants some money to keep making art.

    • Where does Jenna fall?
    • Freaking everywhere. IG-IG, she begged Kasch to help her escape the OOA Institute. IG or Behind The Curtain IG – still unclear which – she came back this year to help form the Resistance. Then, Jenna was tracked down by Joyce, a liaison between the Investors, OSDM, and the Participants who most definitely exists Behind The Curtain-IG.

    • Where does iConfidant fall?
    • Like Sabrina, they seem to live in IG-IG, IG, and Behind The Curtain-IG. IG-IG, they were a friendly company offering a service, with one particularly beautiful employee (Kristen) who got coffee with Morgan and warned him and other participants of sinister happenings. IG, Kristen was actually just putting on a show to draw interest and emotional data, and was a firm believer in Anoch. And the iConfidant structure was taken over and used to gather intel for the OSDM, similar to Tension’s IG level. But people like Stacey (the former head of iConfidant) also seem to know plenty about happenings in the Behind The Curtain-IG level; and Stacey has used her code to fuck with the Investors.

    • Where does the Resistance fall?
    • This might be one of the most controversial questions of all. During Tension, BOS (Brotherhood of Seraph) was IG-IG. A made-up entity by the OSDM, designed to supposedly oppose the OOA Institute. It was part of the theater: Sentinel, for example, who led BOS, was seen appearing to be killed over and over during various theatrical performances of Ascension. But since then, Michelle has admitted IG that the participants have turned the BOS into a real resistance. Now, the Resistance is being headed by characters who exist in Behind The Curtain-IG space. They’ve released info about Horace, they seem to have some knowledge of Sarah Sinclair’s plans, and they’re the ones responsible for the leak of emails referencing the Investors, actors, and creators. So is the Resistance part of the IG Experience that’s being paid for and designed by the Investors/OSDM? Or are they part of the same layer as the Investors, but something entirely their own? Right now, there are arguments for both. In the emails leaked by the Resistance Behind The Scenes-IG, Gordon seems embarrassed at being hacked by the Resistance: “it’s embarrassing at this point. We are building a brand.” And there’s no reason the Resistance would leak those embarrassing emails, if they’re real, if they were actually being funded by the Investors. But…what is real? Are any of these leaked emails real? When Morgan, the leader of the Resistance, threatens to burn the OSDM to the ground, is he talking about IG OSDM (Michelle, the IG Sabrina who wants to bring Anoch back, etc.) or BTCIG OSDM (the Investors, Joyce)? How can we know that the Resistance isn’t just part of the Experience that the OSDM is putting on?

    • Where do the forums fall?
    • Conversation in the forums is generally Behind The Curtain-IG. But, as you can tell, we often don’t realize that something’s IG-IG or IG or BTCIG or OOG until later. Some of the most heated discussions we’ve had ultimately boil down to arguing about what level a game entity belongs in.

    Dive in. Have fun. Don’t let what happens IG destroy True OOG friendships. Check out the Sushi Dan emails! What do you think, IG or Behind The Curtain-IG?

    (Tension and Lust vets, feel free to argue with my definitions.)

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  Lauren Bello. Reason: formatting
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  Lauren Bello. Reason: image correction
     Buz Wallick 

    Incredible work @daela. If it’s alright with you I’d like to link or quote this in the New Users Thread.

     Lauren Bello 

    @thebuz Go for it!


    @daela Yes! This! So great!! Thank you for taking time to break this all down. Such a useful resource. 🙌


    @daela this is very helpful, thank you!

     Bryan Bishop 

    Just joining the choir here, but: this is AWESOME @daela. Thank you for putting the work into creating this resource!


    @daela IS MVP!! This is so good!!!

     Lawrence Meyers 

    @daela Fantastic! Thank you for this.


    I feel like my head is about to explode, but God, that was enlightening. @daela, your explanation is a beacon of light in all this. Thank you!

     Nicole Mae 

    This is fantastic @daela!! Thank you so much for putting together such a digestible version of the experiences so far.

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