Undead Topics Need Loving Too (aka "Give Me Your First-Born")

Pages

AuthorTopic: Undead Topics Need Loving Too (aka "Give Me Your First-Born")
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #312
I pull out my two handed berserker flaming diamond edged vorpal waveblade of doom and start chopping peoples* (including tentacle monsters and TGMs) into tiny baco bit sized pieces to spread on my toast. I lift up the sword and start roaring like a lion. Lightning shoots from my eyes and my black razor edged field plate glows with sickly red aura. I challenge yous to a fight to the death. Rain starts pouring in sheets turning the ground into an impassable mess.

--------------------
Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #313
It ain't a masterpiece in the traditional sense of the word.

I just love it to death, though. I like NTH better, but I still love Corp.

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #314
I loathe Corp because it is all style and no substance. It is like an automobile made of chrome. It doesn't drive -- indeed, Corp. is hardly a scenario by the conventional definition -- but hey, at least it's shiny.

Honestly, TM, it's not something to be proud of.

--------------------
The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Babelicious
Member # 3149
Profile Homepage #315
Although I'm sure I'd agree, Alec, you're hardly one to talk about lack of substance in scenarios. Which of your scenarios to date haven't been intended as stylistic jaunts?

--------------------
I've got a pyg in a poke.
Posts: 999 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #316
Corp's an experiment in a way that ain't nobody gonna really support- But it's a form of substance that's totally new to Blades and makes sense within the paradigms of the assumptions I made it in. (Something could be said about Creator's entire oeuvre here.)

So okay- Corp is a car made out of chrome. Physically, it drives nowhere. Metaphysically and metaphorically, it re-imagines the nature of driving. Well okay- the innovations mean nothing beyond my own style which'll have started and ended without a hint of imitation. So what? I still love it.

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #317
quote:
Originally written by Andrea:

Although I'm sure I'd agree, Alec, you're hardly one to talk about lack of substance in scenarios. Which of your scenarios to date haven't been intended as stylistic jaunts?
The difference is that I am not continually attempting to call KOWP better than Jesus.

--------------------
The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #318
The amount of "thought" you put into KOWP was "maybe it would be cute if..."

Corp, on the other hand, is not only deserving of my own affinity by its being definitive in my oeuvre (I also accord this honor to Bandits and Two Strands), but of being a work of detail, exaction, technical expertise. Comparing it to your example of pissing all over the BoE Editor and calling it art is both childishly insulting and also the reason when done by others as to why actual post-culturalist and/or nihilistic works are considered elitist: The sort of "non-thought" works such as KOWP and the Matrix (am I the only one who's pissed that such a slew of dillitante philistines is fancying this karate film as a serious philosophical discourse?) imply that "art" is no longer the realm of genuine thought, but of nigh-on Calvinist classism.

Say you don't like it- fine. But the objective distinctions between "high" and "low" cultures have been dismissed not only since the 1910s, but also by the minimalist movement to which you fancy yourself a subscriber to.

[ Thursday, September 16, 2004 11:53: Message edited by: Corporeus the Seer ]

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Babelicious
Member # 3149
Profile Homepage #319
You're one to talk about coherent philosophy, TM.

In any case, serious intellectual study of philosophy is idiocy. The likelihood of developing an idiomatic system to explain human nature is next to nil, in any case; most of the high intellectual philosophies end up being absurdities when looked at in the broad light of day.

--------------------
I've got a pyg in a poke.
Posts: 999 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #320
Have you played Corp? (NTH is a better example, but...) Thing about my philosophy is that it DOES cover these things. But it doesn't serve a hell of a lot of purpose, seeing how nobody'd read into it anyway.

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #321
Okay, I consider myself relatively educated as far as philosophy concerned, and whenever something deep came up, the reaction was either 'We are defined by how we perceive the world? No kidding.' or 'You know, it would be nice if you created any kind of logical bridge from point A to point B'.

If I wanted obtuse, overwrought, and yet unbelievably banal philosophy, I'd be reading Hume.

Your mileage may vary, but probably won't.

PS. People who subscribe to philosophies are wankers, one and all. Many of my works are minimalist or reductionist, but I'm not by any stretch of the imagination.

PPS. You want me to like your philosophy? I'm game. You make a scenario which connects to humanity, and I'll rate it a 10. I don't want obtuse, foundation-philosophy bull; if I wanted that, I could go track down a textbook. Tell me what makes people human and what unmakes them, not the basic nature of being -- that's Mickey Mouse stuff.

[ Thursday, September 16, 2004 14:53: Message edited by: Fear Uncertainty and Custer ]

--------------------
The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #322
Corporeus preaches three things:
- Metaphysics
(This is the one that you have to be Creator to miss)

- Redefined cosmogony by way of coersion as defined by not only the scenario's intentional use of centralized subjectivity, but also as a purposeful perversion of Campbell's cycle of the same name. Although I gotta admit, this aspect is played up far more and better in NTH.

I suppose it's unfair of me to make my more profound arguments secretive- but to the extent that I have taken up the postmodern ideals of signifier and signified (or more accurately, merely the signifier), what difference would it make anyway? And of course, that leads me to the final point (though it ties in strongly with this one)...

- Anti-Modernity
Make no mistake; I'm an institutionalist too buried in metanarratives to be a tried-and-true pomo boy. (Admittedly it isn't a huge surprise for the mentally tetched, but so far, I haven't come across many.) If one of the main tenets of modernism is to seek order by the authenticity of man, then, my ideals of coersion form a paradox of sorts- Well, there isn't a signified insomuch as we don't have a single one in our minds, but we all have one. Making one the proper and validated signified involves coercing everyone else by any number of ways to accept it. This of course puts my views in conflict with both modernism and postmodernism, and it's an ideological statement that I feel is profound and highly applicable. (Hell, it's being applied as we speak! ... I like idiomatic irony as well.)

If there's one thing I regret about Corp, it's that only I really realize what it's about. But that's pretty much the point. Or its lack thereof. (And people still have the nerve to question the validity of paradox as my sigil...! ^_^)

(PS- Ain't minimalism a sister philosophy of modernism/postmodernism? I thought you avoided them two like the plague.)

EDIT: And while I'm at it, "what makes people human?" Not that questions based on existentialist assumptions more pretentious than anything I've spewed out are really worth addressing anyway, but Neu Menschlich anyway.

[ Thursday, September 16, 2004 16:48: Message edited by: Corporeus the Seer ]

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 87
Profile Homepage #323
dgjzxachk. I left out the q. oh well.
twist. twist. . . . . . . . twist. twist. . . . . . . . . . . . .twist. . . . . . . . . . . . .twist . . .twisttwist.

namechange.themy(string lord_pibble);
cout >> "Philosophy belongs to the philosophers." >> endl;

edit: The year is 787.
Voice over: What, AD?
(pc=786+1)

[ Thursday, September 16, 2004 20:19: Message edited by: Lord Pibble ]

--------------------
Tip of the Day: #15 Wash your hands!!

That's skrange.
(THNIK)(Peculiar James, FP, cleanfast productions co, inc)(Dgjzxachk)(Lord Pibble)
Posts: 816 | Registered: Friday, October 5 2001 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #324
Random crap doesn't make you funny, it makes you retarded. Pass the memo along to your fellow Hitchhiker's fanboys, please.

--------------------
The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #325
Philosophy generates angst. Incomprehensible nonsensical philosophy generates angst and confusion in equal measure which leads to anger. Anger leads to people wanting to bash each others heads in because they cannot understand the other persons incomprehensible nonsensical philosophy.

Art and music have a much more soothing effect than philosophy. Cut out the angst.

Pfft. :P

--------------------
Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #326
Hrm, this is fun. I happen to have my copy of Ender's Game handy this time. Here's the relevant section of the Intro:

"(I)n writing Ender's Game I deliberately avoided all the little literary games and gimmicks that make 'fine' writing so impenetrable to the general audience. All the layers of meaning are there to be decoded, if you like to play the game of literary criticism — but if you don't care to play that game, that's fine with me. I designed Ender's Game to be as clear an accessible as any story of mine could possibly be. My goal was that the reader wouldn't have to be trained in literature or even in science fiction to receive the tale in its simplest, purest form. And, since a great many writers and critics have based their entire careers on the premise that anything that the general public can understand without mediation is worthless drivel, it is not surprising that they found my little novel to be despicable. If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly, the professors of literature would be out of a job, and the writers of obscure, encoded fiction would be, not honored, but pitied for their impenetrability."

The point here is that literature (and art in general, thus Blades scenarios) should function at minimum on this most basic level, and that if one feels like adding additional layers of meaning, great, but it had still damn well better make sense at the literal level. That's why the philoso-babble and allegory of NTH is such a turn-off; it interferes with the most basic aspects of the story. It doesn't interfere horribly, which is why the scenario is still quite good, but it is the main beef that I have with the scen.

Personally, I almost hate to quote Orson Scott Card for this, because as a science fiction writer, he is not usually part of the accepted literary canon, but I think that he is not the only practitioner of this. I think the best examples of what he's talking about are the plays of Shakespeare. They are very intricate and complicated and probably have a great deal to say about the human experience, but Shakespeare never forgets that his characters are people, not qualities personified — he is not writing allegory.

Perhaps closer to home (at least for TM) would be an Afterword by Nabokov to Lolita: "Teachers of Literature are apt to think up such problems as 'What is the author's purpose?' or still worse 'What is the guy trying to say?' Now, I happen to be the kind of author who in starting to work on a book has no other purpose than to get rid of that book and who, when asked to explain its origin and growth, has to rely on such ancient terms as Interreaction of Inspiration and Combination — which, I admit, sounds like a conjurer explaining one trick by performing another."

Lolita isn't a statement of meaninglessness: it's a meaningless statement, at least according to Nabokov. It works because it's about a character who acts like a person and talks like a person and is recognizable as a person, and Nabokov does not push on us (Ayn Rand-style) some sort of philosophical point of view. That is, one does not have to believe a particular brand of philosophy in order to believe Lolita. However, Lolita may argue a particular brand of philosophy, but only by being convincingly realistic. The philosophy becomes believable by reflecting what the reader would recognize as reality. That's why one would argue philosophy in the form of a novel, not in the form of an essay. The medium dictates the rhetoric, to some extent.

Not having played Corporeus, I can't say anything specific to it, but this is my general feeling about art and specifically writing.

[ Friday, September 17, 2004 10:52: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

--------------------
Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #327
To put it more succinctly, make art that's about what it says it's about.

--------------------
My BoE Page
Bandwagons are fun!
Roots
Hunted!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #328
How about psychobabble is hard to live by. Coherent philosophies at least the early ones were meant to be functional teachings on how to live and do better in the world, much of Aristotle, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Siddhartha were functional writings on enlightenment, not angst ridden blither like Nietzsche-- who was a raving lunatic.

Unless a philosophy has a coherent positive message on how to live better I won't pay attention to it very much. A lot of modern philosophy is riddled with angst and nihilism which for the most part is self- destructive. If you are going to have a philosopher in the game it would be better to have someone who did a series of actions based on belief not incomprehensible statements.

--------------------
Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #329
...I just lost my entire response by pressing the escape key. Since I'm far too pissed to rewrite it in its entirety, I'll put it down to two points:

1) Part of being the protagonist in a story is only realizing what the protagonist realizes. The metaphysics of Corp, for example, are explained when Scilt reaches his Nihilistic conclusion. In NTH, Hito learns nothing until he dies.

2) Form is also part of one's philosophy. James Joyce uses the chiasma to exemplify his philosophy by use of form. In spite of my symbolism by clever use of rhetoric, I still hold true to other methods of explanation here and there.

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Guardian
Member # 2238
Profile Homepage #330
Oooo... I hate when that happens.

Uh, yea that's all I have to say.
</waste>

--------------------
The critics agree!

Demonslayer is "a five star hit!" raves TIMES Weekly!

"I've never heard such thoughtful comments. This man is a genious!" says two-time Nobel Prize winning physicist Erwin Rasputin!
Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #331
quote:
Originally written by Corporeus the Seer:

1) Part of being the protagonist in a story is only realizing what the protagonist realizes. The metaphysics of Corp, for example, are explained when Scilt reaches his Nihilistic conclusion. In NTH, Hito learns nothing until he dies.
Consider making better use of NPCs as foils -- not just to knock down the messages you want to oppose, but to explain the ones you want to support.

--------------------
My BoE Page
Bandwagons are fun!
Roots
Hunted!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #332
I'll say it bluntly: In NTH, it's impossible.

The only NPCs who can explain their system to you are the ones who have ample motivation NOT to. The best I can to is have it be told to you through the flow of the narration and mostly-obfuscated lecturing.

--------------------
人 た ち を 燃 え る た め に 俺 は か れ ら に 火 を 上 げ る か ら 死 ん だ
Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 87
Profile Homepage #333
custer: next time I will try not to post so far above your head. It was not meant to be funny. It was not meand to relate to Douglas Adams. If it was, it would have been funny. It was random, but not crap. Thank you!

I like the philosophy of the awful, if I had to pick one.

--------------------
Tip of the Day: #15 Wash your hands!!

That's skrange.
(THNIK)(Peculiar James, FP, cleanfast productions co, inc)(Dgjzxachk)(Lord Pibble)
Posts: 816 | Registered: Friday, October 5 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #334
If your plot is getting in the way of your message, and you consider your message to be paramount, then rethink your plot.

Anyway, the characters giving out messages don't have to be the same ones driving the plot. Why not have an innkeeper or priest share his opinions of recent goings-on with Hito? Townspeople don't just have to be there for atmosphere.

[ Friday, September 17, 2004 21:01: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

--------------------
My BoE Page
Bandwagons are fun!
Roots
Hunted!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #335
That is why there are objects and books throughout a game. Throwing in a few books about your philosophy with a paragraph each on the subject can make the game easier to follow, even one of the big tomes can help. Also I am guessing you can use background graphics as symbols a little hair shirt and a whip, like the Roses in Roses of Reckoning. Found items can also be symbolic of a philosophy-- The Silver Cross Bracelet in A Perfect Forest is the symbol of the purists. Wall graphics -- banners like a golden cup, etc. can help also. Also short text bubbles-- can be uttered by wandering creatures in towns-- an Anama might say Magic is Demonic.
Secondary characters can talk about the philosophy-- the librarian in A Perfect Forest is another example.

--------------------
Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 87
Profile Homepage #336
'Puff' characters w/o any personality are one of my pet peaves. It really doesn't take that much more memory to give each character something individual to say. It would take more time though. So I am going to develop a world-growing algorithm for my games. Yippee. Input towns, important NPC's, specific plot elements, a semantic engine, shake, and stand back. Debug for the next 2 years. sell it!

--------------------
Tip of the Day: #15 Wash your hands!!

That's skrange.
(THNIK)(Peculiar James, FP, cleanfast productions co, inc)(Dgjzxachk)(Lord Pibble)
Posts: 816 | Registered: Friday, October 5 2001 07:00

Pages