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  • This Is Not a Game with Marc Fennell

  • By: Marc Fennell
  • Narrated by: Marc Fennell
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)
This Is Not a Game with Marc Fennell cover art

This Is Not a Game with Marc Fennell

By: Marc Fennell
Narrated by: Marc Fennell

This is like nothing you've ever heard before...

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Publisher's Summary

This Is Not a Game is the extraordinary untold story of the internet’s first conspiracy theory, the legend of Ong’s Hat.

Marc Fennell will dive deep into a previously unexplored world of tech hippies, eccentric web subcultures and simmering paranoia, uncovering how this tongue-in-cheek artistic experiment backfired on its creator and went on to influence much of what’s wrong with the internet today.

Hosted and co-produced by Marc Fennell

A BBC Studios production for Audible

©2024 Marc Fennell (P)2024 BBC Studios Productions Ltd.

About the Creator and Performer

Marc Fennell is a Walkley Award-winning journalist, presenter, and documentary maker. A seven-time medalist at the New York Festivals TV and Radio Awards, Marc has been nominated twice for Europe’s prestigious Rose d’Or. He is a recipient of America’s coveted James Beard Foundation Award, an Asian Creative Academy National Award, and Webby Award Honors. The Times (UK) has called Marc the "cheerful Aussie version of Louis Theroux."
Marc is the creator of the popular, award-winning television series and podcast  Stuff the British Stole  for ABC Australia and CBC Canada. He is also seen each weeknight as the quizmaster of SBS TV’s (Australia) iconic game show Mastermind.
Marc has fronted groundbreaking docs like the Logie & AACTA nominated School That Tried to End Racism (ABC 2021), The Kingdom (SBS 2023), The Mission (SBS 2023), Rose d’Or shortlisted art-heist docuseries Framed (SBS 2021), as well as the hit Audible Original Podcasts It Burns (2019), Nut Jobs (2020), and House of Skulls (2023).
Marc is the dad of two kids and lives in Sydney, Australia.

What listeners say about This Is Not a Game with Marc Fennell

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gave me the creeps!

I don’t know why but this one made me scared to go to the toilet in the night. Something spooky and eerie about it, even though I know none of the Ong’s Hat stuff was even true!

A fascinating story, very atmospheric and really had me feeling creeped out, a bit sad, curious, optimistic…so many emotions!

The first episode was a bit of a drag, and took me a while to get into it. But after that it picked up rapidly.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A cautionary tale - well told

Loved this podcast about the original internet conspiracy. A great dive down a rabbit hole and so well told.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very interesting

A look at how making art can take over a life. I really liked this and I thought the utopian idea of everyone playing nicely on the internet was lovely. It’s a shame it went the way it went. This is why we can’t have nice things!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting story

Liked the ideas and topic it was an interesting listen that I wasn’t prepared for. Intriguing and makes me want to look into it more

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

what a production

Mark Fernel and team take a bow. what a unique piece of investigation and journalism. great job! even better listen!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KJ
  • 11-05-2024

This was artfully pieced together

The series of interviews and historic facts were cleverly pieced/stitched together to create a very interesting and engaging story. I really enjoyed learning about our internets history.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The internet mystery you didn’t know you needed

Marc Fennell never disappoints when he goes digging into a mystery. This story I had never heard of but I was hooked immediately and still desperate for more when it ended.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting doco but overproduced

An interesting story about human nature and internet culture. Glad I listened it

On the negative side it was overproduced with tinny music and effects which detracted from the human narrative.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating series with a dose of 90s nostalgia

Highly recommended, particuarly if you were around for the dial-up era. You are in for a wild ride

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Marc is a phenomenal storyteller

As always, Marc’s reporting is compelling, well researched, entertaining, and beautifully produced. Can’t wait for whatever is next.

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