Some hoaxes are funny. Some deftly satirize some aspect of our culture. Some, like the computer-generated gibberish papers that made it into scientific journals, cleverly expose dangerously low institutional standards.
But other hoaxes—and these disproportionately tend to fall into the “viral marketing stunt” category—amount to nothing but cynical exploitation of humans’ tendency to believe other humans when they say something is true.
It’s a hostile, self-promoting act—a covert ad for Jimmy Kimmel Live—rendered as ironic acid that corrodes our sense of wonder. If the Web provides a cabinet of curiosities, full of freakish baubles of humanity, the hoaxer smashes it to bits, then counts his money while he preens atop the rubble.
That goes double for this one. Whatever the video’s intent, its primary achievement is to leave young people feeling a little more jaded than they were before. Is that really what you want, Christopher Lloyd?
A clever hoax invites you to believe; a bad one has to beg.
Will Oremus on the viral HUVr video.
This is some of the worst cases of hoaxes I have seen since the #STOPKONY2012 incident.
Oh, fucking…please. Okay, this is going to be one of these Tumblr reblogs that spirals into long peices of text that most people are gonna tune out of after a few paragraphs and that’s fine, but I really felt like speaking my mind over this.
Did you watch the follow-up video that FoD made regarding this? I mean yes, sure it sucks that a video like the HUVr vid that’s been making the rounds turned out to be false and that it was all a hoax, and the mere fact it came from Will Ferrell and Judd Apatow’s celebrity circle-jerk paradise of a site makes the flavour of the hoax a little more suspect, BUT the ending of the follow-up video seems to justify the nature of the hoax at all.
What was mentioned was the fact that even though the video was a hoax, it brought an idea like this back to the forefront of people’s minds more than just people who talk about “Back to the Future: Part II” whenever they decide to bring it back up. It was a simple, albeit expensive and lavishly-produced “what-if” video that was mean’t to spread this idea around so it would inspire people after the video was revealed to be a hoax to go out there, study the right classes that would enable them to do good research on what they can do to forward the possibility of hover boards OR things related to this at all, existing in the way people would like. Or at least spread the idea around enough that those in the know can think “the demand is sufficient enough for us to want to do this” or inspire THEM to go for it as well.
We are actually getting closer and closer than ever to cracking how we can make hoverboards like this real because people were inspired enough to legitimately want to make this a reality. Not as some ironic joke neither, but because they wanted to explore the untapped possibilities. And I truly think we should spent less time pissing and moaning like little children over still knowing that some things an increasingly-dated, slightly overrated sequel to a good 80’s movie had in their “future” scenes as novelty set-pieces still don’t exist in the way that we hoped it would by now and actually make an effort in our own ways to make the impossible POSSIBLE.
Not all media that deals in “the future” predicts everything, but it does inspire people to make what they “predict” a reality down the line anyway. Communicators in Star Trek (the original series) inspired the creation of mobile phones. And heck, “Back to the Future II” already managed to predict SEVERAL things that have indeed happened already in the world of technology, such as flat-screen wall-mounted TVs, omnipresent cameras (CCTV systems, pretty much every modern smartphone) and commonplace video calling (Skype!). If people are inspired enough to want to make something real, it’ll be real. But its only a matter of time. But it NEEDS people to get off their butts and actually do real, solid work before it does exist.
So if you feel passionately about this, then turn your words to actions! Make the impossible - possible! With enough passion and intelligence, who knows what can happen. And if those actions are done as a result of the whole HUVr thing being a hoax, then its served its purpose. To make people want something so much that they take it on themselves to make it real. But even if not, hover boards would VERY much be a luxury item anyway, so there’s faaaar greater things about the future to be concerned over or to want…but there we go. ;)
Also, at least the KONY2012 project actually had a real, genuine reason to be hated and derailed because it exploited people’s charitable, selfless intentions AND a subsection of Uganda that were still falling on hard times. All the HUVr stuff did was make a large subsection of 20-30-year-old people disappointed that their favourite pop-culture-y 80’s movie reference still didn’t exist in the form they wanted. One of these things is not like the other!