Over the past fortnight, mysterious metal pillars (if they're not stones, they're not monoliths okay) have been found across the world. Who erected them? What are they for? We do not know. Are they art? Possibly! Are they moonman threats? We should be so lucky! Are they 'viral' marketing for a yet-unknown product? Yeah, maybe. Upon hearing folks found another column on Sunday, I realised: oh no, The Game Awards are this week, what if these are teasers for a game announcement? God, they could be. Oh, I would be so unhappy.
Recap: in recent weeks, mysterious gleaming monuments have been discovered in Utah (which vanished), Romania, California, and now the Isle of Wight. They're mostly triangular prisms, though not all of the same shape, material, or construction. (And honestly, they'd be cooler as solid lumps of metal, not fabricated with riveted panels.)
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the “monolith” has been removed by an unknown party. The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property..." More: https://t.co/ZXJDGzxDaD pic.twitter.com/xXHdijk496— Bureau of Land Management Utah (@BLMUtah) November 29, 2020
Here's what I hope is going on: one person (or persons) did the first in Utah as a surprise sculpture. I'm not mad keen on people illegally erecting stuff in public parkland, but this was a fun bit of news in a grim year. Then some other folks around the globe thought "This is a fun mystery, I shall join in and erect one where I live too."
Here's what I fear is going on: it's some stupid marketing campaign for something (with perhaps one or two of the later ones being from earnest pillar enthusiasts). As soon as the second one emerged, all the magic was lost because I started to suspect marketing was afoot. Everything is worse as marketing. It'd probably be an app, as I understand everything is these days, but I daren't rule out games.
I have a terrible image in my head. It's midnight, and Geoff Keighley's advert-o-rama has just started. We open on a dark stage, clouds of fake smoke rolling around. Suddenly, the fog is pierced by a spotlight bouncing off a fifth gleaming shard. A Twitch streamer emerges from the fog, rapping, badly. After we endure several verses about levelling up, the smoke clears to reveal a software CEO in a polo shirt leaning against the metal lump, looking far too smug. He's joined by Geoff Keighley, who shakes his hand then delivers a pre-written quip about the truth being out there. God, can't you see it?
I live in fear of The Game Awards, which start Thursday at 4pm Pacific (that's midnight Friday for us). I've heard that the stream of adverts might hand out some awards, too.
Here's an even worse thought: what if these tall, sharp-edged metallic prongs are actually standing on their ends? Are they the five blades of a giant Schick Hydrobot?