So many movie sites offer up stale games with thinly veiled plot tie-ins that skipping them has become almost habitual. But if you can get past the photos of Chris O’Donnell looking strained, the Vertical Limit website (verticallimit.com) has a gruesomely fun ”K2 Challenge.” It’s a choose-your-own-ending-style adventure based on real scenarios encountered by the climbers who consulted on the movie. The game is so realistic, you’ll mostly choose between different ways to die — like being buried by an avalanche so that ”nobody ever finds your mutilated body.”
HEAD IN A BOX
The infernal villain from David Fincher’s Seven, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), ranks up there with Hannibal Lecter as everyone’s favorite serial killer. Now you can get to know him a little bit better: Sign up to be a profiler with Detective Somerset at the Metro PD, and Doe will start sending you e-mail (emailshows.com/shows/se7en.shtml). The setup is clichéd — Doe hacks into the mainframe and finds your address — but the mail is creepy and includes links to crime-scene files and photos copied from the special-edition DVD due out Dec. 19. ”Profile: John Doe” is being written by Sean Gullette, best known as the insane mathematician in [pi] and the lecherous shrink in Requiem for a Dream.
IN THE ZONE
Gareth Roberts’ Web devotional to Britney Spears may look like that of any 16-year-old, but Britney Zone (britneyzone.com) is not your average ”Dear Diary” site. Started last November, Britney Zone, which is part of AKA.com — The Music Network, gets so many visitors that Roberts — who lives on an 8- by 6-mile island in the U.K. — will likely earn a low-six-figure salary this year by selling ad space on the site. Since his legion of followers send in all the news updates, Roberts spends only about 30 minutes per day working on the pages. Plenty of time left for his latest ventures: sites on Christina Aguilera (christinazone.com) and ‘N Sync (nsync-zone.com).
The Am I Hot or Not? phenomenon is about to burst (amihotornot.com). The site, which appeals to snap judges everywhere by letting them instantly rate photos of men and women on a scale of 1 to 10, is getting 7 million page views daily — and they’re not all from the people who submitted photos and want to see their score. Now come the spoofs: Monkey Hot or Not? (modernhumorist.com/mh/0011/monkey/) and Am I President or Not? (brunching.com/cgi/amipresidentornot.cgi). Not to mention Am I Goth or Not? (amigothornot.com), which is by the guys who started it all, James Hong and Jim Young. ”It’s very primal,” Hong says of his addictively clickable site. ”People make the analogy of potato chips: You can’t eat just one.”
RAISING THE BAR CODE
So many people are taking music without paying for it lately, it’s refreshing to find a group that’s giving something back. Instead of filching from the record store, the Droplift Project (droplift.org), a movement by a group of ”audio-collage artists,” encourages fans to download 29 MP3 tracks from the site, burn them onto a CD, print out the cover art, and surreptitiously file it in the bins somewhere between Devo and Duran Duran. Unsuspecting store clerks might just find the disc, slap a bar code on it, introduce it into the database — and maybe even sell it. But according to Droplift member Joe Scagnetti, most stores ”try to look up the item for about 20 minutes and then grudgingly give it away for free.”