Celebrities in Prison

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Frequently Anticipated Questions

Q.What is Celebrities in Prison?
A.It is a user-written work of interactive fiction, of the pick-a-path variety. Imagine reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book, except the author never bothered writing any endings, and left a bunch of blank pages for you to write bits, and the book is lying on the couch in your dorm so anyone can add to it. It's sort of like that, except on the Internet. So you don't have to go back to college to participate.
Q.Who is responsible for Celebrities in Prison?
A.I, Jim Crawford, conceived of and developed the site. I've also written a bunch of story nodes for it and will likely continue to do so. Aside from all the other people who've written story nodes, some credit should probably go to Gav and Peloso, creators of the now-partially-defunct Gav and Peloso's Interactive Story.
Q.How are you going to deal with spammers?
A.I don't know. Spamming would be ineffective because I escape HTML metacharacters, but signs point to spammers not caring too much about effectiveness. Implementing a CAPTCHA system of some kind would probably be the best option. Any pointers? Ideally something that can run under ASP without installing COM components or anything. I'm on a pretty basic hosting plan.

It's possible that a dumb CAPTCHA system would be sufficient. Maybe one that asks simple questions in plain text, like "What's 2 plus 5?" Because computers totally can't do math!

Q.How do I contact you? E.g., if I wanted to send you some pointers like you asked for in the last question.
A.Oh, right. You can find my contact info here. You can also see what I look like on that same page, if you really want.
Q.Do you censor or edit content? How are you going to deal with griefers?
A.If a node is "obviously" junk I will delete it; I haven't run across any such yet. I added options to a node that attempted to end the story by not including any, then I felt guilty and put it back the way it was. I edit my own entries without qualms, and I am not averse to editing others' entries for formatting, spelling and grammar.
Q.How much are you making from those Google ads?
A.Nothing so far, and I don't expect to make much. I put the ads up purely for the entertainment value they provide in the context of the nodes they're associated with. Also, before Google could give me any money my ads made, I'd have to give them my tax information, and I'm not going to do that until they owe me enough to make complicating my taxes worthwhile.
Q.Do you have big plans for Celebrities in Prison? Book? Movie spinoff?
A.Nope. Aside from the content, right now the site is pretty much exactly what I want it to be. I'm sure I'll think of something to add or fix by tomorrow, though.
Q.But what if I want to start a new story, like Celebrities in Clingfilm or Celebrities in Celebrities?
A.It would be nice to create a general user-driven pick-a-path web site, but I don't have the motivation to figure out the best way to generalize it. You know, I bet there's already one out there anyways. You should google for one. Let me know what you find.

That said, one nice thing about the exponential nature of binary trees is that any given story node is essentially as good a starting point as the true root node. So if you want, you can write a node like "It was all a dream! George W. Bush is your cell mate!" and register unitedstatespresidentsinprison.com and have it point to that particular node. I won't mind.

Q.How do you think the site would currently hold up under stress?
A.Probably not too badly. All the story nodes are stored in static pages. Much of the rest of the site isn't, but I expect the bulk of traffic to come from people reading the story itself, and I have appropriate indices set up for all the database queries. The only component that really worries me, now that I think about it, is the "story so far" page. See, I told you I'd think of something.
Q.What the heck is a tripcode?
A.It's an authentication method that doesn't require me to implement a user system. You enter your tripcode, and I run it through SHA-1 along with some salt and get out a string of gobbledygook that appears next to your name. It's computationally infeasible to replicate this string unless you know the original code. So if you see Lemonhead posting under two different tripcodes, you know either Lemonhead forgot his code, or Lemonhead is actually two different people.
Q.What the heck is salt? In this context, I mean.
A.Salt is... hell. See what Wikipedia has to say about it. Also, the purpose of salt as I'm using it is described pretty well on the Secure tripcodes section of Wikipedia's tripcodes entry. I didn't want to link to that entry for the previous question because it doesn't delineate clearly between when it's talking about the concept of a tripcode and when it's talking about the commonly-used 2ch/4chan implementation of tripcodes. And because I'm too lazy to go fix it myself.
Q.Shouldn't you add tripcodes to the nodes themselves now?
A.Er, yeah, maybe. I'm actually inclined to keep the nodes themselves more anonymous. For the comments, I'm not so worried, because there are lots of forums on the web talking about offensive stuff and not many of them are getting sued. On the other hand, user-written CYOA is a much less established medium, and given the nature of the story, I want to make sure people can write a story node that could be read as libel—assuming the reader is an idiot—without worrying about accountability.
Q.What's up with editing? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
A.Your browser is caching the old version of the node. Refreshing should fix it, for you. Other users who have seen the old page will continue to see the old version until they refresh or until it expires from their cache, which should be a half an hour after they last requested it, if their browser supports setting the max cache age in a meta tag. Who knows how widely-supported that feature is, though?
Q.I really liked the old logo better! Can I please see it, just one more time?
A.Oh, all right...

... er, actually, no.  Sorry.
Celebritiesinprison.com is a work of collaborative interactive fiction. Any similarity to actual celebrities, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Game experience may change during online play. All entries are copyright their original authors. We din' shoot nobody, we just made the gun!