This has been a decade in which we allowed ourselves to believe the most unlikely stories. Why?by Tim Footman / December 16, 2009 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
Microsoft’s “megawoosh”: a faked waterslide jump got millions of YouTube views.
To see this and seven other top “faked” moments of the decade click here.
How to sum up the noughties? Perhaps by showing the YouTube clip of a man careering down a giant water slide, flying over the ramp lip, and travelling 200ft in a perfect arc across a deserted valley, only to land in a tiny paddling pool. It seemed a miraculous stunt, in which the slightest miscalculation would see the prankster splattered onto the hillside. The clip seized the popular imagination in August, attracting over 1.4m views across the world in its first week.
Within days, it was revealed to be a fake—spliced videos, ropes and dummies—funded by Microsoft as a viral video to promote a software package. Of course it was, we thought. Who could have thought otherwise? But, in the moment, those thousands of viewers loved rewatching and half-believing that a man could megawoosh. As Douglas Adams would have said: the stunt wasn’t entirely impossible, just highly improbable. It was a moment of fleeting plausibility.