What is the worst thing that could happen to an introvert?
For Chad McKenna, it’s discovering that his bully of brother, Sam, has uploaded a video of him jerking off to the internet. Thankfully, Chad knows what to do, so he reports the video and it is quickly removed before anybody has chance to see it.
Or at least, that’s what he thinks. Sam, a successful computer programmer, included a line of code within the video that creates two duplicate every time the video is removed. Before long the video infects the entire internet, until more than half the planet's population has seen the footage of Chad having some alone time.
Chad quickly becomes a celebrity, a status he can’t stand, so he convinces Sam to delete the code and stop the video from spreading further. The problem is, Sam’s laptop has gone missing – but who took it?
Sensing the threat to its own existence, the virus evolves. It seeps into TV and radio. It enters the private servers of nuclear powers and infects a car manufacturing plant which it uses to create a robotic army in the image of its perceived creator – Chad.
Perhaps there is something worse than a video of yourself masturbating going viral – it’s a rogue robotic army which all look like a naked version of yourself and is willing to go to war with the entire world.
And Chad is the only one with the power to stop it.
Viral is a satire of the digital video world, with a twisted sense of humour and an injection of science fiction. It makes fun of online video culture and internet celebrities whilst continually raising the stakes.
Fifty million people have seen my penis. That must be some kind of world record, surely? I bet even the biggest porn stars haven’t had numbers like that staring at their junk. Sure, almost one hundred percent of those people didn’t want to see my penis to begin with and, according to some news reports, a lot of them vomited afterwards, but that’s beside the point.
I’m not taking to my new found fame particularly well. As I’m walking to the shops a man runs up to me and screams in my face because whilst his daughter was watching nursery rhymes on YouTube a pop up loaded featuring my video and now she has a crippling fear of snakes and milk. It takes me five minutes to convince him that I wasn’t the one who infected the entire internet with a video of me masturbating. I can tell he is desperate to smack me in the mouth as I explain to him that my brother is the one responsible for his daughter seeing me blow my load into a tissue, and that I would give anything to take that memory away from her. Thankfully he’s distracted as a group of lads shout ‘wanker’ at me from across the street and he moves on.
This must be what it feels like to be a celebrity. Not a decent celebrity, obviously, but a shitty one, like a man who’s filmed being racist at a supermarket checkout or a lady caught on CCTV putting a cat into a bin. Once this is all over I wonder if I’ll be offered a place in Celebrity Big Brother? Even a director of Netflix calls and threatens me with a lawsuit as every title in their library beginning with B has been switched with my video. Now, every time somebody wants to watch Breaking Bad or Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse they are greeted with grainy footage of me with my dick in my hand.
These people are helping to fund Viral.