NIN Year Zero - Websites

The new NIN album Year Zero was released last week. I want to discuss the album a little bit, but I think I want to cover a few topics related to the ARG (Alternate Reality Game) first.

The album is merely a component in a larger game that explores several paths our society is travelling down. The narrative is communicated via a series of websites that have been sent back in time from the year 2022 by quantum scientists. We are supposed to piece together the narrative told by these sites, and hopefully prevent ourselves from reaching this horrible future.

At present count, there seem to be 27 websites connected to the ARG. These sites have been revealed through several mechanisms. The first site was revealed on a European tour shirt after somebody noticed some letters were a different color. These letters formed a URL for the site www.iamtryingtobelieve.com. One of the lasts sites was revealed on the Year Zero cd itself. When the cd is heated up in a player, the black cd turns white with binary code written on it. This binary code led to www.exterminal.net. (For a list of all sites, visit this thread at ETS.)

The story begins in our present time. An artist creates a website called OpenAirResistance that encouraged people to subvert American values and document them. This was primarily accomplished via graffiti, podcasts, blogs, music, art, etc. A few years later
LA is attacked by a dirty bomb and Anaheim is hit with a biological weapon. The government introduces perapin into the water to strengthen the immune system. Perapin decreases sex and bowel activity, and it also seems to cloud the mind. Another bio attack hits the northwest, but people are able to survive thanks to perapin.

After these terror attacks, anybody associated with subverting American values is considered an enemy to the state. We have gone to war in Iran, Syria, and Africa. It seems likely we have dropped a nuke on Iran, because the desert has been turned to glass. America believes that it is fighting with God on its side. At this time (January 2022), America is Born Again (BA) and we now enter Year Zero. A drug called "Opal" has surpassed cocaine as America's favorite drug. (Coincidentally, opal is produced in America.) Opal/Opel appears to be produced by the same company that created Perapin, and is probably similar in chemical structure.

So now the stage is set for the struggle of individualism versus compliance. Soldiers of the wars are now hunting down artists, political dissenters, and other "dead-enders". In February 2022 / Year Zero, the hand of God is literally coming down. It is called "The Presence", and it is a giant four-fingered arm striking down from the sky.

In addition to all of this, there appears to be some type of Ebola-like virus called Red Horse Vector. The government used it to clear out a group of dissenters. Government employees seem to have a vaccine for this called Copper. There are also Red and Blue pills used by former soldiers to combat the effects of perapin and allows them to become efficient killing machines.

There is no single website that tells this entire story. You have to go through the websites and read email, news articles, forum postings, and other detritus to uncover this narrative. This is a story told via personal stories of lost family members, soldiers, and underground artists.

It is within the context of all of the above that the actual album takes place. I plan on discussing the music/lyrics soon, but I thought it was prudent to set up the story.

For more information, check the following websites that are compiling this information:
NIN Wiki
Echoing the Sound


Blogger Fried Catfish said...

Here is an additional link related to Trent's love of gaming:


9:58 PM  

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