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Old 04-14-2007, 11:13 PM   #1
SilentScope001
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Oppression! Stop the Oppression and Slavery by the Writers!

Alright. Let see if Kavar's Corner can deal with an actual problem, instead of worrying about things that they don't have any control over, like gay marriage, muesums about intelligent design, the religion versus atheist debate, 2+2=4, etc.

I'll draw your attention to "1/0". It is a webcomic with 1,000 panels that is complete and old. But it is a very interesting and funny webcomic that deals with philosphical issues, such as love, homosexuality, atheism, and the problem of evil, amongst other stuff. The main "character" in this webcomic is in fact the author, Tailsteak, who creates the webcomic with the main goal of "attracting girls". Tailsteak admits that the goal of the comic is to explore the idea of the 'self-referential', where what would happen if the characters knew that they were indeed in a webcomic, and that there is someone drawing that character. Overall, I'd suggest it to be a pretty good reading.

Now that this praise is over...

Near the end of the series, one of the characters, Zadok, actually explores implications of this webcomic and other forms of fiction (strip 898-899),Here, and here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strip 858
Zadok: It's scary how easy it is to create a fictional world. I mean, we're real to an extent. I feel and I laugh and I love. I can talk to my creator.

Zadok: We're relatively lucky, I guess. Think of how many works of fiction involves wars or apocalyses. I mean, heck, think of all the people at the mercy of a six year old with a pencil.

Zadok: And, only in a few cases of explict rape and tortue is anyone ever prosecuted, and then-not for rape or tortue, but for warping the minds of "real" people.

Petitus: So you think H.G. Wells be executed for writing War of the Worlds?
Zadok: Or at least be forced to write an alternative ending.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strip 859
Tailsteak: If any civilization ever tried to enforce control over fiction as Zadok describes, every man, woman, and childern would be a felon.
Zadok: No, just the authors.

Tailsteak: But authors of what? Comic strips? Books? Dirty jokes? Garden variety hypothethical situations? To be sapient is to tell stories.

Petitus: He got a point. We're a unique case-most fictional characters never question their creator, and few creators question themselves.
Zadok: It's the same thing, I guess.

Zadok: Still, just because something can't be regulated doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
Tailsteak: You'll forgive me if I don't start the picket lines immediately.
This is a real-world situation, where the problem is real, and it should be dealt with. Why? Because I have written a story where an entire planet was blown up, and I'm about to write another story that takes place in an semi-dystopia. I think it is sort of obivous that I am/will be responsible for all the crimes that happens within the two stories, but...well...I won't get punished for it. Is that a good thing? Are fictional characters not important and easily thrown away due to their status as fictional characters? If so, then, well, it bodes bad implications: God could easily throw us away, since we could just be "ideas of God"...and that certain people are expendble due to the fact that they are fictional, a somewhat okay form of racism that I do not like to condone.

And, the characters may not like you for the crimes you have done in their 'world': Kreia, in TSL, waged a war against the Will of the Force, which could be seen as an dig against the Story Writers who write Star Wars and by which all characters are forced to follow its script.

Could there be penance involved however? In "1/0" they talked about a possible idea that could solve the crisis (Strip 811, 813), here, and here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strip 811
Zadok: I'm serious. Continuty is overrated! I could stand for a disjointed life. Implied past...implied future, it's not like I know the difference!

...

Zadok: The more explict story we have, the more our lives are left to some fallible human!
Ghanny: Well, what's the alternative? By those terms, the ultimate existence is non-existence.

Zadok: Or maybe: "Once upon a time, there was an infinite amount of people who lived perfect, blissful, eternal lives." The End.
Ghanny: Ooh! Do that again!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strip 813
Zadok: So what, you think we make a perfect universe every time we say that?
Ghanny: Possibly. Certaintly worth a shot, anyway.

Zadok: I don't know. If it's true, do we have a responsiblity to sit around making worlds all day?
Ghanny: One might assume so. Impratical, though.

Zadok: Quite. And pointless. If our world is given validity through outside interest, these worlds would be poor and fake for being so intenesly bland.
Ghanny: I think we'd exist if nobody watched us.

Zadok: Do all philosphical discussions end in "If a tree falls in the forest and no one's is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Ghanny: Actually, most end with "Let's agree to disagree. What's on television?"
Here lies a way to possibly ease or erase the pain of the fictional characters which I make, but as Zadok says, the world would be bland and disliked. How could one make the "Once upon a time, there was an infinite amount of people who lived perfect, blissful, eternal lives." storyline have meaning and validity to the outside world, being a succesful story, while at the same time avoid compromising this utopian life, since conflict would seem to make the infinte amount of people not live perfect, blissful, or quite possibly eternal life. Prehaps a person might hate this world, but even then, that would be an internal conflict.

I have two contrasting desires: Caring about your characters (blame Kreia and TSL for making me worry about how NPCs felt), and Caring about your own financial success and getting people to read your stories. I don't want to abandon either one of those two desires.

If anyone can help deal with this serious issue, thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:52 AM   #2
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I believe this mirrors Pratchett's argument that we are not, in fact, homo sapiens, but rather, pan narrans.



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Old 04-15-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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You're saying that by carrying out the crimes on paper we're carrying them out in real life? I have a couple of thoughts on this. One comes from Basic Instinct, where Johnny Boz was murdered exactly like Catherine Turmell described in her book. The psychologist they bring in on the case as well as Beth Garner talk about how if the writer did commit the crime then they would have to be very disturbed, as by writing it out on paper they in essence had committed the crime, and that is more than enough for most people. You can't charge someone for writing about a murder however. Should you? Could what you write lead to form? I think it might be already, but I stand by that it would be silly to take things to such extremes. The thought police would have an absolute field day with this, it'd be Christmas time for them.

The second line of thought stems not from writing but from video games. A friend of mine said about how he was at church and how what we watch, the games we play and the like lead to sin. When pressed basically we commit sin when we commit acts of murder, killing, in video games. How many deaths would each of us have racked up? Hundreds? Thousands? Though these same people anoint houses (fair enough) and look for things that they see as evil. Not just wind chimes that look like they belonged to a witch, it went further than that. Crazy huh?

Now for writing about things or getting very much involved in storylines, I've taken part in RPGs and had invested a great deal of time and thought into the characters. I have this one, Alixe Medcraft, and have thought out all her history from being a soldier for the Trade Federation to her death (of old age) during the Yuuzhan Vong War, and everything in between from her defection to Naboo, falling to the Dark Side in her mad quest for revenge against Palpatine for throwing the galaxy into hell, her leg being sliced off by Vader on Hoth and Alixe taking him to task for killing Padme, everything. A friend of mine invests even more time in the characters he uses for his stories and RPs, and I'm sure a lot of us invest a lot of time in the characters that appeal to us. That's one of the reasons why things like Star Wars games are so popular, because we get to interact with the characters we love and kill off the ones we don't. Sniping at Tarkin in Empire at War never gets old. Anyway, I heard that successful characters come from throwing everything at a wall and seeing what sticks, and what does usually isn't that diffirent from whoever is doing the throwing. I'd agree with that, I think there's a lot of us in the characters we create in stories, in the stories we write, I'd go as far as to say that the main character in some stories are ourselves. We are basically playing ourselves in the Star Wars RPGs and the like. So to go back to the issue of what we write and whether or not it's right to commit these acts to paper, I have several thoughts on this. One, we are fulfilling our fantasies on paper rather than take them out in the real world, unquestionably a good thing especially if we have a thirst for blood for someone in real life and choose to take it out on someone fictional, in a video game or something, maybe someone who this real life person has been compared to. Secondly, and this is very important, a lot of what we write allow us to examine the consequences of our actions. There's a film called Bully, which could have been a straight revenge film, but no. We see all the nasty fallout from the action of killing the tormentor. Same for KOTOR, a lot of the actions we do in the game arn't just glossed over, and the dark or grey acts you can do are examined more. Though I do quite like the one with the woman missing her droid. What do you do in that situation? It's a hard choice to make regardless of whether you play light or dark side, as either of the outcomes you can do leads to suffering. By writing like this we can instruct on what becomes of, say, selling your soul for the chance to stop what you see as the greatest evil. And parting shots, accountability. Let's see, we could go after all those who commited the crime on paper, and then what. How about the loggers who cut down the tree to make the paper the crime was written on? Do we prosecute the sport of golf for the death of Payne Stewert, who if he hadn't be on the plane that crashed to one of his tournaments he would still be alive? Or here's one, book depositories have to go. What I'm saying here is where does accountability end?
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:54 AM   #4
SilentScope001
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Quote:
I believe this mirrors Pratchett's argument that we are not, in fact, homo sapiens, but rather, pan narrans.
Huh. I just checked some wikipedia articles and read short stories by Pratchett. Thanks, this person really knows his stuff and helped me out.

Quote:
You're saying that by carrying out the crimes on paper we're carrying them out in real life?
Much more than that, actually.

You see, when you write a story, you are actually creating a new universe. You become a "God" of said universe, responsible for everything, every good and every bad that happened to it.

So, if you written a good story where there was an evil man who genocided a village, it leads to question: Who created this evil man? Who caused the evil man to destroy the village? Who harmed the hero of the story, forcing him to give up his previous life to become a hero and go on an epic quest to stop the villian? The answer is obivous: You.

You are not committing the crimes in real life. But you are commiting the crimes regardless, and you are harming people. Does it matter if the people are "real" or "fiction"? They still feel, think, and love the same way that you do. Worse, you are actually creating those people, you gave them life, by imagining them out of thin air, only to destroy it.

Sounds like an Evil God to me.

Quote:
When pressed basically we commit sin when we commit acts of murder, killing, in video games. How many deaths would each of us have racked up? Hundreds? Thousands
Always bothered me too somewhat. At least games should take a note that when you as a character in a game, that you are indeed a mass murderer.

Quote:
So to go back to the issue of what we write and whether or not it's right to commit these acts to paper, I have several thoughts on this. One, we are fulfilling our fantasies on paper rather than take them out in the real world, unquestionably a good thing especially if we have a thirst for blood for someone in real life and choose to take it out on someone fictional, in a video game or something, maybe someone who this real life person has been compared to.
Having an avatar that would represent you within the story? Never thought that could exist, though, now that I think about it, happened much more than I might think.

In this case, harming fictional people is an outlet that will stop you from harming 'real' people. In a strictly utilitrainist concept, since real people are worth more than fictional people, much more, then this would be good. But what if all life is precious, both real and fictional?

Quote:
Secondly, and this is very important, a lot of what we write allow us to examine the consequences of our actions. There's a film called Bully, which could have been a straight revenge film, but no. We see all the nasty fallout from the action of killing the tormentor
It educates the real people, which is good, at the cost of harming the fictional person, which may be bad or not that important...

It's not that I worry too much about the fictional persons, it's more of the possiblity of the Problem of Evil reasserting itself. Creating a story is like creating your own fictional universe, in which case you are God. You create a great storyline where there is some evil, and then the good side comes along. The battle starts, lots of people die, and in the end, either good wins, or evil wins. Then the universe ends. But there has to be a conflict, there has to be another side, and there has to be a struggle, otherwise, no one would read the story.

The Problem of Evil states that if God is omiprescent and if he is good, then how come there is evil in the world? Either God is good but is not all-powerful to stop evil...or God is able to stop evil, but chooses not to, and is therefore, evil himself.

Since the existence of God is in question, and we can't ask God in any case, this possiblity of us creating fictional universes is the only window we have into seeing how God would behave in a situation. You are given control over a universe. What do you do? If you do evil within that world, will the people within the story like you doing the evil? Would they call you an evil god? Would you be considered evil? Is this the reason why there is evil in the world, becasue while God is good, this world is indeed his playground and he is putting down ideas that he would like, irregardless of wheter we would like them? Is there evil because God wants a struggle, so that the world becomes more entertaining for him...while we humans dislike the struggle intensly and wished for God to get rid of it?

In essence, in creating these stories, in creating these universes where we educate 'real' people, who could in fact be fictions of God, we are harming the people within the universes, the 'fictional' people as well. Are we therefore responsible for that? Are we Evil Gods, for creating and then tortruing fictional people, for our own means?

Just some thoughts about an issue that has always bothered me.

Quote:
And parting shots, accountability. Let's see, we could go after all those who commited the crime on paper, and then what. How about the loggers who cut down the tree to make the paper the crime was written on? Do we prosecute the sport of golf for the death of Payne Stewert, who if he hadn't be on the plane that crashed to one of his tournaments he would still be alive? Or here's one, book depositories have to go. What I'm saying here is where does accountability end?
You could also try something different: Instead of punishing people for the crime, just 're-write' the ending, or even re-write the whole story so that everyone lived happily every after...or that the conflict that is the main focus of the story never even happened in the first place. The perfect universe of: "Once upon a time, there was an infinite amount of people who lived perfect, blissful, eternal lives" could easily work as penance. Especially the term "infinite"...really, can't we send all fictional characters, once their stories end, into this universe, where everyone is happy?

Of course, that perfect universe is also perfectly boring, and the world gains meaning only through outside validation, so the universe would be bland, boring, and overall stupid. So, I doubt that it would really work, but it is an interesting idea...


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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So the issue is that we are playing God? On the one hand there are those who create things such as Sociolotron where teenage perverts can take part in a grotty little world where rape is encouraged (I swear I'm not making this up), something where the people cared too much about their freedom of expression in their filth and not enough about personal responsibility of what the consequences of their actions are or what might happen if people start getting it into their heads that this type of behavior is okay. This goes far beyond Doom or Grand Theft Auto, the idea of legitimising rape astounds me. On the other hand, and going into your last point a little, I've heard criticism of things like Hans Christian Anderson, who wrote those fairy tales where they lived happily ever after. The criticism comes from people will grow up with these stories and expect life to be like that. Life's not like that. So to solve the problem should we not be allowed to create these fictional worlds? Seems a bit extreme.

Of course when we play games the majority of them we are justified in our actions. You're a Jedi, you kill Sith because they will kill as many people in the galaxy as they can. You go to Korriban to maim rape pillage slaughter and burn, good on you, if you ask me you should be allowed to do a lot more. Of course no one asked me.

Having an avater not just in games but the writer putting himself in the story, definetly. Alixe is me and the stuff I wrote in one of the RPs I was in, such as grabbing Mara Jade's arm and trying to twist her lightsaber into her back, are things I would do. Maybe I'm not good enough to do that sort of thing but it's what I'd do. So what about something that's completely off the wall? Is Rupert from Island really Richard Laymon and this is how he would be in that situation? Gee I hope not, given what happens, maybe some of it is. But certainly in a lot of works you'll see the author, the creator, things like Spielberg and the Indiana Jones films (his love for the radio serials), Saving Private Ryan and Schindlers List being his war and anti war stance, many of his films taking place in the 1930s and 40s, that sort of thing.

Well let me ask you something on the question of life being precious? How did you feel when Bastila appeared to sacrifice herself, or when she was being tortured? How about, say, when Aayla was killed? Padme? I doubt many people would get the same reaction as if it were a real person, but you'd most likely feel something. It's a kick in the teeth, no question that's how it's meant to play out. But on the other hand creating these fictional worlds, having the power of life and death in your hands, as I said you can put across an important message through the life and death of your characters. And sure, the death of some scumbag who deserves it, who cares? But what about killing off someone you cared about, either as a fan or as a creator? Maybe it sounds like it's being taken too far, but there's no denying the emotional impact something like RotS, Star Wars and others have had, and whether it's a good or bad thing it's because of the life and death played out.

I think the problem with God not stopping evil is the fact that he has given us freedom of choice, if you believe in that sort of thing. A cop out? Maybe, but according to the scripture God did intervene, he may still continue to do so, I don't know. Going back to playing God in the fictional universes we create, there are many ways for such a universe to play out. Some may play the religious card and have a God involved in their storyline, or religion in their storyline. Some might be complete fantasy worlds where religion is irrelevent, some may portray either a fantasy or real world from an Atheist point of view, but regardless they are in control. And things can change in storylines depending on a number of factors: diffirent writers, diffirent tones and ratings (the Born comics I mentioned when discussing the idea of an uncut, no holds barred Star Wars story are...well not that diffirent, but more graphic than the normal Punisher stories, and they've changed since Garth Ennis took over) and diffirent ideas. So how does God fit into all of it, the concept of playing God? I think people are thinking more about the universe they create or the story they want to tell.

Hey, how about stories that are based on real events or depict real events? Quiz Show, Insider and the like? How much do people play God when they change what really happened or stylise or dramatise what really happened? I know the scientist who was going to appear on 60 Minutes was criticised on things like how in the film a bullet was left in his mail box, saying it didn't really happen. It did happen, but the other threats didn't and things that really did happen didn't make the film.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:56 PM   #6
SilentScope001
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Quote:
So the issue is that we are playing God? On the one hand there are those who create things such as Sociolotron where teenage perverts can take part in a grotty little world where rape is encouraged (I swear I'm not making this up), something where the people cared too much about their freedom of expression in their filth and not enough about personal responsibility of what the consequences of their actions are or what might happen if people start getting it into their heads that this type of behavior is okay. This goes far beyond Doom or Grand Theft Auto, the idea of legitimising rape astounds me.
...Wow. The premise sounds quite similar to the semi-dystopia that I want to write up (not the legaliziation of rape, but more about people wanting to get pleasure, no matter what the consquences of that pleasure is to other people). Guess I found a good name for it. I just hope the wikipedia article on it won't be...graphic.

Quote:
On the other hand, and going into your last point a little, I've heard criticism of things like Hans Christian Anderson, who wrote those fairy tales where they lived happily ever after. The criticism comes from people will grow up with these stories and expect life to be like that. Life's not like that. So to solve the problem should we not be allowed to create these fictional worlds? Seems a bit extreme.
True. Another strike against the 'perfect world' is that it would, in the long run, harm the 'real' people.

I guess, in this case, we have to adopt a belief that 'real' people are more superior to 'fictional' people, only due to pratical purposes, and that it gives us great support. But is this justified?

Quote:
Of course when we play games the majority of them we are justified in our actions. You're a Jedi, you kill Sith because they will kill as many people in the galaxy as they can. You go to Korriban to maim rape pillage slaughter and burn, good on you, if you ask me you should be allowed to do a lot more. Of course no one asked me.
But, who made the Sith? Who caused the Sith to embrace the Sith belief?

The creator of the universe, of course. Or, in your case, the GameMaster.

Since I adopt the belief that the NPCs in your game have no free will, as they follow whatever the GameMaster say, then wouldn't the GameMaster be responsible for creating the scumbugs, for blowing up planets? The NPCs did the crimes, but who made the NPCs, who gave the NPCs motives and the weapons to commit their crimes?

Quote:
Having an avater not just in games but the writer putting himself in the story, definetly. Alixe is me and the stuff I wrote in one of the RPs I was in, such as grabbing Mara Jade's arm and trying to twist her lightsaber into her back, are things I would do. Maybe I'm not good enough to do that sort of thing but it's what I'd do. So what about something that's completely off the wall? Is Rupert from Island really Richard Laymon and this is how he would be in that situation? Gee I hope not, given what happens, maybe some of it is. But certainly in a lot of works you'll see the author, the creator, things like Spielberg and the Indiana Jones films (his love for the radio serials), Saving Private Ryan and Schindlers List being his war and anti war stance, many of his films taking place in the 1930s and 40s, that sort of thing.
Somehow, this Player as Avatar thing reminds me somewhat of the many religious stories where a God or The God descends down to the level of Man, and live life. Prehaps they are here to save the humans, or, in the Greek traidtions, these Gods would just become humans to have "fun".

Quote:
Well let me ask you something on the question of life being precious? How did you feel when Bastila appeared to sacrifice herself, or when she was being tortured? How about, say, when Aayla was killed? Padme? I doubt many people would get the same reaction as if it were a real person, but you'd most likely feel something. It's a kick in the teeth, no question that's how it's meant to play out. But on the other hand creating these fictional worlds, having the power of life and death in your hands, as I said you can put across an important message through the life and death of your characters. And sure, the death of some scumbag who deserves it, who cares? But what about killing off someone you cared about, either as a fan or as a creator? Maybe it sounds like it's being taken too far, but there's no denying the emotional impact something like RotS, Star Wars and others have had, and whether it's a good or bad thing it's because of the life and death played out.
How did I feel when Bastila got tortued? Shrugged, and tried to skip the cutscene.

How did I feel when the scumbag Malak got stabbed in the back? I was shocked. Sure, he was a scumbag, and really stupid, but, unlike Bastila, he knew it, and he was sorry for it. He said, "I am nothing", which is a brave thing to say in Star Wars, equal in value to Krutz's statement of "The Horror!" in the story 'Heart of Darkness'. It didn't pull on my strings as if a real homicidal and genocidical idiot takes responsiblity of his crimes when he finally reaches his deathbed, but...I guess it turned K1 into somewhat of a Greek tragerdy.

(Please forgive me. I'm a big fan of the bad guys and the villians. )

I suppose that somehow, this feeling has to be conveyed. And in your case, saying, "If a female person gets tortured, it causes a bad feeling for the female person in question. Tortruing female persons in order to 'break' them is very, very wrong as well. Therefore, do not tortue female people...EVER!" is not as effective as actually seeing a female person gets tortued and seeing her pain and misery. Since we can't show that feeling by tortuing actual female people, fictional people will have to do.

Is it an admirable thing however? Or the lesser of two evils?

Quote:
think the problem with God not stopping evil is the fact that he has given us freedom of choice, if you believe in that sort of thing.
Nah. Freedom of choice seems quite absurd, IMHO, and does not make much sense according to Science, another thing I believe in. Most people do however, and I respect their choice. It really goes down to belief.

...Do the characters have freedom of choice however? According to the writer of "1/0", Tailsteak, the characters have "personalities" assigned to each character. Whatever that character would do is based on that "personality". So, let us assume that we have General Takrin, who has the personality of being an Evil and Stupid Military Genernal who supports the Empire. So, let us assume General Takrin is on the Death Star, aiming his Death Star at Alderran. His personality would dictate that he would blow up Alderran, and therefore, he would willingly choose to blow up Alderran, due to the fact that it is his personality that he would blow up Alderran, in the service of the Empire and becuase he is sadistic.

So, if the characters have free will, then the Characters are responsible for the crimes they did. But the characters are not in control of what personality the Writer gives to each character, so really, the characters are not in control. If, say, the Writer gave Takrin the personality of Hippie, then Takrin wouldn't have blown up the Death Star, he would...well...do something else.

Quote:
I don't know. Going back to playing God in the fictional universes we create, there are many ways for such a universe to play out. Some may play the religious card and have a God involved in their storyline, or religion in their storyline. Some might be complete fantasy worlds where religion is irrelevent, some may portray either a fantasy or real world from an Atheist point of view, but regardless they are in control. And things can change in storylines depending on a number of factors: diffirent writers, diffirent tones and ratings (the Born comics I mentioned when discussing the idea of an uncut, no holds barred Star Wars story are...well not that diffirent, but more graphic than the normal Punisher stories, and they've changed since Garth Ennis took over) and diffirent ideas. So how does God fit into all of it, the concept of playing God? I think people are thinking more about the universe they create or the story they want to tell.
Well, let us assume that God is the ultimate diety that controls everything.

In his universe, the Writer is the ultimate diety that controls everything. It does not matter if there is a temple devoted to the Writer, it is the Writer who knows he runs everything, and it is his word that dictates everything. Hence, he would be God, within that universe. He is responsible for all the good that happens in this world...and all the wrong and evil that happens in the world, since he could easily prevent it. He is responsible for whatever all the characters does, either because he assigned the personality of the character, or more directly, he tells the Character to do something, and they do it.

GM: Takrin, blow up Alderran.
Takrin: Yes, sir. *blows up Alderran*

In case there are many different authors, all of whom is creating one universe, then prehaps there are many different supreme Gods, all feuding with each other, getting his or her view of the universe 'offically' accepted? These Gods, of course, do not need the worship of the puny characters which are their puppets, they care only for how other 'real' people view their work. I wonder however if the rights of all characters should be cared for.

After all, you have a character who is a scumbag. Why is that character a scumbag? The Writer says so. So is the Writer responsible for the scumbag's behavior, since the scumbag did not choose to become a scumbag, the Writer choosen it for him.

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Hey, how about stories that are based on real events or depict real events? Quiz Show, Insider and the like? How much do people play God when they change what really happened or stylise or dramatise what really happened? I know the scientist who was going to appear on 60 Minutes was criticised on things like how in the film a bullet was left in his mail box, saying it didn't really happen. It did happen, but the other threats didn't and things that really did happen didn't make the film.
/shrugs. Prehaps it depends on how much they vary from actual events. Historical fiction would be indeed an alternate universe, but prehaps having a couple of details changing or leaving out might not be that terrible. Or it could be 'implied'. A scientist in the historical reenactments may have received more death threats, but he is embrassed to tell anyone about it on screen, and we don't see the death threats on screen, but they did occur regardless.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:20 PM   #7
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...I don't suppose the fact that the writer's characters are totally dreamt-up unreal bits of fiction that exist only in our heads is of any relevance to this debate?

This whole issue is just silly IMO. Fictional characters don't even exist for Pete's sake.


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Old 04-17-2007, 01:33 AM   #8
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...I don't suppose the fact that the writer's characters are totally dreamt-up unreal bits of fiction that exist only in our heads is of any relevance to this debate?

This whole issue is just silly IMO. Fictional characters don't even exist for Pete's sake.
It does exist within the writer's head, within that false universe he has created. So, whatever happened to those characters happened within the false universe.

In some case, the least this debate can do is change prespectives. Instead of seeing the world through the eyes of a person reading the story, you are seeing the world in the eyes of the story's universe, within the imagination of the Writers, with all the greatness, the suffering, and the mayhem. Is it okay for the characters to suffer at the hands of the Writer?

It may not be okay for God/Mother Nature/Secret Owner of the Human Race/etc. (assuming that the world is a fiction story, which is possible) to say to Humans, "You know, it's rating season, and I need to make some extra cash, so I'll start up Natural Disaster Work. I'll send some hurricanes and murder off 100,000 fictional characters. It would be fun." After all, we're the ones getting ourselves hurt, and we do not like feeling pain.

But would it be okay for an Author to start up hurricanes and murder off 100,000 fictional characters?


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:47 AM   #9
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It does exist within the writer's head, within that false universe he has created. So, whatever happened to those characters happened within the false universe.
Emphasis on the 'false.'

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But would it be okay for an Author to start up hurricanes and murder off 100,000 fictional characters?
For all your talk of pain you're forgetting that these characters aren't capable of feeling any.

Torture 'em, drown 'em, boil 'em alive, skin 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew - they won't feel it or even care. For crying out loud, they're not even real.

They don't even exist. This is like claiming rocks have feelings and must be treated as equals to humans. Even more silly, actually. At least the rocks are real.


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Old 04-17-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
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You know what? I'm not buying that we do the wrong thing by writing these worlds either but I think it's fascinating stuff to look at.

You shouldn't put anything on that Sociolotron here, let's put it that way.

Tom Clancy was writing a novel where planes were hijacked and flown into buildings. His editor rejected it on the basis that it was too farfetched. Now if this book had been written would September 11 have been possible to prevent? Well Clancy was talking about it on the evening of the attacks and he said how he was talking to a friend of his in the military, some Joint Chief of Staff or something along those lines. He asked if there was any safeguards against such an attack and it was thought of and the answer was no there wasn't but the next week it would be raised at a meeting. So, would warning off this sort of thing be worth it? Yes, I'd say definetly.

Well GL is responsible for the greatest evil ever. Really have you seen anyone worse than Palpatine? Do I hold him responsible? That's a hard one. I'm looking at the side of things where, okay, you ask who created the Sith. Well in the story the Jedi do in a sense, they were outcast and they formed the Sith. But it was all the people who wrote Star Wars that created this. Shouldn't they have? Star Wars is words and drawings on paper. Games, films ect bring it to life. I'd wonder more about the actors who do some of the emotionally draining scenes (such as RotS), I remember hearing about a film where the actors felt like slitting their wrists it was so depressing.

You get what I'm saying though, with the emotional impact fictional character have. Should we have scenes of, say, torture in films to show that it's wrong? There's the arguement that 24 legitimises it. Leaving aside the notion of whether torture for information rather than torture for fun and whether there are times it's acceptable, I think we should demonstrate what happens and the consequences of what happens. There's a cop show where three of the most insensitive teenagers you can imagine murdered another one. The consequences of that action left the mother utterly traumatised, the police couldn't say that she didn't suffer like the mother pleaded them to say, and one of the teenagers crucifies the mother with her taunts about her head daughter. We see the consequences of the actions here. Should we see them? Yes, because otherwise not only doesn't it have the same emotional impact it doesn't deliver the message.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:09 PM   #11
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For all your talk of pain you're forgetting that these characters aren't capable of feeling any.
Interesting theory, actually.

I sort of believed differnetly. I mean, when I saw Bastila getting tortued by Malak in K1, Bastila did not shrug, yawn, and call for a brand new juice while she was tortued. She screamed like a baby. Or, more to the point, the Jedi Princess.

Alright, so it was just the soundfile of Bastila screaming that was playing, Bastila was not really screaming. But, from what we determined, Bastila thought she was being tortued, and that may be equivlant to actually being tortued.

This could be generalized to all fictional characters. They think they are real, they behave as though they are real, and often times, they think they feel pain. I think, prehaps, it could be possible to create a character that feels no pain at all, like a sterotypical Mandalorian, maybe even Canderous (altough he does feel pain when his Mandalorians clans lost to Revan, and when Revan abandoned him).

I'm not sure if that would make a good story though, then you have to have all characters feel no pain, even the civilians. I'm also quite worried that would turn everyone in the universe into bloodthirsty monsters, not feeling pain or misery or anything, just nothing more than Sith. That could also upset the moral delimmas.

For the most part though, the character concepts do feel pain within the story. Pain and conflict are usually necessary to have a story be interesting and start up. If Bastila didn't wince when she was shocked, I don't think anybody would have cared.

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They don't even exist. This is like claiming rocks have feelings and must be treated as equals to humans. Even more silly, actually. At least the rocks are real.
The thing is, unlike the rocks, we made the fictional characters and people. Does that justify doing harm to them? Maybe, prehaps even most likely. I just worry of the ethical implications though.

I'm not calling for equal rights for fictional people, they are fictional people, and since we are their creators, we have rights over them. I'm merely thinking that we should think a bit more of the fictional characters as well.

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You know what? I'm not buying that we do the wrong thing by writing these worlds either but I think it's fascinating stuff to look at.


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So, would warning off this sort of thing be worth it? Yes, I'd say definetly.
I do not deny that stories educate 'real' people. They do. If George Orwell did not create the oppressive government of Oceania, well, we would have created Oceania in real life without knowing it. I agree with you on this point.

Fictional people do get harmed in the process of educating us, though.

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We see the consequences of the actions here. Should we see them? Yes, because otherwise not only doesn't it have the same emotional impact it doesn't deliver the message.
I get it. Education of the 'real' people, especially of the consquences of one's own actions, is a good priorty. I just wonder a bit about the 'fictional' people who are being harmed.
===
Let me explain via a science-fiction metaphor another point. Suppose we got ourselves a race of uber-intelligent aliens. I'll call them Intelligent Designers. They are bored and they want to go and educate other Intelligent Designers about morals, and, say, why war and hatred is wrong.

So they create us. The Earth. And then they are responsible for creating Earth into a dystopia, where people wage countless wars. The Intelligent Designers showcase this "Bloody Earth" series on televison, the Internet, and everywhere, and they profit because other Intelligent Designers want to see us suffer in this dystopia.

Somehow, if I found out that the Earth turned into a dystopia thanks to these Intelligent Designers who made this Earth to create quick cash, I'd be quite mad...and also sad as well.

So, to get to the point? The Golden Rule states that Do Onto Others What You Want Done Onto You. If we are allowed to go and treat fictional characters like we normally treat them, which is a pretty good pratice and is totally necessary, then we are giving implict justification for other...more superior races to go and treat us with disrespect and hatred, prehaps races that could have indeed created us. These Aliens could just say, "Oh, you are not as important as us, you are not real" and do us much harm, but in the end, they would indeed be correct in their assumptions.

Somehow, I do not want to give such an implict justification for superior races to enslave humanity, or to do us harm. Hence, prehaps equality might be a way to avoid that: We treat fictional people with respect, and in return, more superior races will treat us with respect. The Golden Rule is followed.

What about you? If you were a fictional character in Star Wars and you found out that all the wars that happened there was because of GL and his comrades, who may not even care about you personally, how would you feel?


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:11 PM   #12
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This by far has to be a topic that would hit my ridiculous list. It is fiction people meaning that it is not real. Yeah you create the characters and the like and so what if they get killed or maimed or suffer a bout of depression. It happens in real life. Basic rule in writing is write what you know.
I created a an archaeological adventure story and yeah the fate of the world is at stake because the object in question is one of immense power. My heroine as it were ends up being part of a magical force that kills people unworthy to touch or open it. I know it is a fantasy thing but the interactions with the people are interactions that people go through everyday. My heroine is based off of one of my sorority sisters and my friend Kurtis is the FBI agent who rather reluctantly falls for her. Usual plot scenes.

Creating a world of characters yeah if you think about it makes you appear like a god since you have say over what happens but that doesn't make you a criminal. If that were be the case, every single one of us who has written for CEC should be placed in prison. I know I have had one of my characters commit murder and oh maybe George Lucas should too since some of his characters kill people too. To me it is ridiculous and maybe it does have a point.

I said maybe on the point because there are those who think that whatever comes out of the writer's pen is real. Reminds me of this last Tuesday's episode of NCIS where someone think Agent McGee's book is real. The bad thing was that he base dthe characters off of real people. Even though he didn't pull the trigger that killed two people, he did feel guilty about it because he wrote it. Yeah I admit that our imaginations can come a bite us in the butt but if we sit and worry about every damn little thing like playground safety, life wouldn't be worth living.

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Old 04-17-2007, 11:56 PM   #13
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What about you? If you were a fictional character in Star Wars and you found out that all the wars that happened there was because of GL and his comrades, who may not even care about you personally, how would you feel?
I wouldn't be real. I wouldn't feel anything.

This argument has done nothing but go around in circles IMO. Unless you're willing to acknowledge the differences between fanasy and reality, there's not really anything left for me to say on this topic.


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Old 04-18-2007, 01:30 PM   #14
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I wouldn't be real. I wouldn't feel anything.

This argument has done nothing but go around in circles IMO. Unless you're willing to acknowledge the differences between fanasy and reality, there's not really anything left for me to say on this topic.
I second the motion. To be honest it purely a rigamarole that seems to have no beginning and no ending.

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Old 04-19-2007, 03:39 PM   #15
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This whole issue is just silly IMO. Fictional characters don't even exist for Pete's sake.
Surely that depends on whether the multiverse theory is valid or not?



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Old 04-19-2007, 04:04 PM   #16
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Yeah, but even if there were multiple universes, fiction is still fiction. So, unless we possess godlike power to create such entities, it's all sort of irrelevant. If I imagine torturing a nemesis and write a story playing out such a fantasy on paper/screen, there is little reason to believe that such characters actually experience anything. Or to put it another way, if you dream that your best friend falls 30 stories to his death, only to wake up and find him/her parked in front of the tv playing games, did they actually experience the pain of a 30 story fall or was that just in your mind (like w/any fictional character)?
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:17 PM   #17
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How would I feel if I were a fictional character in Star Wars? That'd depend on what happened. Would I torture Clonetroopers? Get the opportunity to kill Palpatine? Be involved in some cool KOTOR storyline? I'd be there in a shot. But if the best I get was dancing for some Hutt then no, **** no, GL better write in me chucking a fit screaming '**** this ****' over it. Me aside however I do believe writers have enough respect for the characters to do them well, most of the time. The hatred of Jar Jar Binks for example might have dampened the enthusiasm writers had for him, but otherwise they would take pride in their work otherwise there'd be little reason for them to do it.
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:23 PM   #18
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Surely that depends on whether the multiverse theory is valid or not?
Why? Life forms elsewhere in a multiverse wouldn't be fictional. Are people in Asia fictional?

EDIT: Disregard. Totenkopf made this point also.
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:23 PM   #19
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Why? Life forms elsewhere in a multiverse wouldn't be fictional. Are people in Asia fictional?
Quite. But if everything happens somewhere, then the people in the above-mentioned comic strip exist in some corner of the multiverse, unless I have grossly misunderstood the concepts inherent within the theory?



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Old 04-21-2007, 04:51 PM   #20
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Quite. But if everything happens somewhere, then the people in the above-mentioned comic strip exist in some corner of the multiverse, unless I have grossly misunderstood the concepts inherent within the theory?
I don't think the multiverse hypothesis posits that everything happens somewhere (at least I haven't read that anywhere). All the multiverse hypothesis says is that our observable universe might not be the only one.

Crunching the numbers for various components of quantum mechanics and string theory only shows that other universes are possible, however neither makes a claim that they are likely nor can they make any scientific predictions about what those other universes might be like.

Therefore the argument that fictional character have a physical existence somewhere is pure speculation.
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Old 04-21-2007, 05:10 PM   #21
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I don't think the multiverse hypothesis posits that everything happens somewhere (at least I haven't read that anywhere). All the multiverse hypothesis says is that our observable universe might not be the only one.

Crunching the numbers for various components of quantum mechanics and string theory only shows that other universes are possible, however neither makes a claim that they are likely nor can they make any scientific predictions about what those other universes might be like.

Therefore the argument that fictional character have a physical existence somewhere is pure speculation.
Thank you for clearing that up.



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Old 04-21-2007, 05:11 PM   #22
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My pleasure.
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