ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

Recently various Internet media sources caught wind of a torrent that's been going for so long now... SO LONG, that I can't explain it to you what it is. You simply have to see it for yourself.

Not really, I can explain it to you. I just really wanted to squeeze a The Matrix quote in before delving into details, because back in the December of 2003, a torrent file for an ASCII version of The Wachowski's seminal sci-fi actioner was created. And now, in 2016, the damn thing is still circulating! I don't see coincidence with that, I see providence.

Yeah, insane right?
Yeah, insane right?

The guys over at Torrent Freak first came across the file for the fan-made version in 2005 and have kept tabs on it for over a decade, citing it as "the oldest torrent that's still being actively shared". Which puts it up there with torrenting luminaries such as Game of Thrones - a.k.a. the world's most pirated TV show.

Sample of the ASCII goodness
Sample of the ASCII goodness

If you're wondering what the heck ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is, it's the most common format for text files in computers and online where each special character, letter and number is replaced by a 7-bit binary number. Simple as that... .


The file is available with a DVD cover and insert, and just in case any Hollywood execs were to get a little bit antsy about their IP being misused, the torrent includes a little disclaimer in order to soothe the beast.

This work is a parody. As such I do not believe that this DVD has any possibility of competing with the original in any market. It is not for sale.

Check it out in this tiny clip:

It seems like the most Internetty thing that a 12 year old torrent of an ASCII version of The Matrix is still in existence. Too apt for its own good.

(Source: Torrent Freak)


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