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TrashMan

Internet vs. debates

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My thoughts?

Internet versus debates are like train wrecks. Nothing (good or otherwise) never comes out of them except that they can be entertainign to watch. That said, when it comes to „who would win“ debates, there are multiple arguments that keep popping up, that frankly go on my nerves:

INCOMPATIBLE MATCHUPS
Some matchups just don't make sense, and aren't really compatible. And I'm talking in broad terms. Who the target audience is, the media, the setting, the genre – all of these form a specific atmosphere which may be totally unmashable with another. It's difficult to explain it, so examples:
Griffith from Berserk (a dark fantasy where evil wins and the power of love and freindship is impotent) vs. MLP poni (a world where freindship is power). Superman vs. Bugs Bunny?
Or a character from a comedic show that doesn't care about realism or physics vs. a character from a serious, relistic show?
How about kid-frineldy shows with almost no blood, and where all wounds are merely „bruises“ and a sword trough a gut or a bomb is something you walk off, vs. a gritty show with gallons of blood and wounds that leave a character scarred for life?
This little details are part of a character and how the character functions. The greater atmosphere and „essence“ of a show goes beyond just the specific of the setting. It influences everything about the story and characters.
How do you reconcile these differences? Where is the neutral ground when there can't be neutral ground? The answer? You can't.



DERIVED NUMBERS
Derived numbers – or numbers someone calculated from a show sequence or an image – are useless. They really have little validity, as the basic assumptions they are based off are almost always false.
First, the idea that real physics can be applied to a work of fiction. In theory it should work – especially if the work claims or suggests that indeed it does follow some specific laws of physics. However, since most shows are terribly inconsistent and give conflicting info, the accuracy of any calculation is in question. Real world inforces physics constantly. In a fictional universe, each specific law has to be inforced by the creater/animator in every scene/pannel. And it never is.
Second, the idea that in-universe established ideas can be used as a base to calculate something. Would again be usefull if there was consistency. It's not uncommon for superheroes shows to specificly claim something, and then introduce a totally conflicting element. For example, a mutation-based hero defeats a bio-engineered villan by using konwledge of how DNA/cells and human body work. Sounds good except if the same knowledge is applied to the hero in question, it makes his existance impossible.
Lastly, the idea that scenes/shots from a movie/comic are actually representative of the reality of the setting. After all,does anyone really belive that a director or whatever guy is in charge comes to the artist/animator and tells him „I want superman to fly in the next scene. Here's a book on physics, make sure he flies at *exactly* 5000kmh and pay attention at how his cape flatters and his descent angle“? Something like that practicly never happens. The directive usually amounts to „make him fly fast“.
When asked at what speed a ship moves, one SF-author replied „at the speed of plot“. Many comic book authors made similar replies to questions on characters strength/speed and other attributes – as strong/fast as the current story requires.
If you tried to calc someones speed/strength or some other attribute that way, using various scenes, you would be getting different values for each scene. Because there is no consistency, there is no grand plan or anyone who presides over it to make sure everything fits. It doesn't.
In other words, if you are cherry-picking which laws of physics and what formulas to use on what sceens, then you have no leg to stand on. And you my friend are doing just that. Because, as perviously established, there is no true consistency nor an effort to enforce it.

For an example, we know that Superman gets his powers from the sun, right? That is a canonical fact. Therefore, Superman cannot have more power than the Sun can produce. And we know the suns output. And given the size of the sun and inverse square law, the power of the radiation falls off with distance. And only a tiny, tiny power of that radiation will at any point be hitting Superman, since it's spread in all directions. Compounded by the fact that superman absorbs it trough his skin, his surface area is truly miniscule. Combine all that together and Superman would barely get enough power to lift a car. Even if he were able to absorb all of the suns power, that still cannot compare even to the smallest supernova – and allegeldy supes taken attacks as strong as 15. Hence we have physical formulas applied to known, long-estalished facts that give us invalid numbers.
Superheroes defy multiple physical laws every second.  From closing black holes with just his strength or static electricity to punching reality  - the most basic laws like thermodynamics or perservation of energy are constnatly ignored and broken. So how then, does it make sense to use physical laws to calculate things?  I doesn't. But people jump onto it when their caclulation bring up numbers that reainforces their already established beliefs.

ORIGINAL SOURCE

Such derived numbers get even worse when game characters are involved, as direct gameplay is used as „evidence“. Hero can survive 4 rockets or 6 critical hammerblows to the head – therefore he's that strong or resilient. The fact that games are constricted  an thus twist the presentation of the setting to fit the genre and/or balance escapes them. Which is even more redicolus when one takes into account that the cutscenes and the gameplay are often compeltely different.
And when there are a game and  movie and book based on it, the „original source“ argument creeps in. What is sez is that only the first or original source maters and is truly cannon. So game trumps everything else in this case. Which is of course, also wrong since it fails to take into account 2 important things:
1)    Before any setting is made into a game, movie or a book , it is first thought of. The original concept is in the creators head is the original source.
2)    Media formats come with different limitations when going from idea in your head to actual product. Of the 3, the books have the least limitations and can be the closest to the original concepts. Movies come second. Games are last, as they have the most limitations and restrictions – from balance to pacing, to content to difficulty to budget – and all of those force the makers to re-shape the original idea to fit in. Often times, entire parts or levels are cut. Gameplay mechanics dropped.
For a good example, Dragon Age origins books  provide a compeltely different balance and feel of power compared to games..and both are written by the same people. And the books are the „real deal“. Or take Warhammer 40K. In most games Space Marines aren't nearly as powerfull as they are in the fluff, simply because balance.


POSITIVE PIS ONLY
PIS or Plot Induced Stupidity (also known as Writer Induced Stupdity) is when a character is weakened or rendered ineffective for the purposes of plot. Also refers to characters holding back or not using a sensible approach to fighting.  Debaters are quick to brush off their characters worst performances as these, while constantly using the best performances as proof of their favored characters awesomness.  It usually boils down to „Well, if character X did Y or used power Z he would have won handly!“
What they forget that PIS goes both ways. Not only making a character weaker or less inteligent, but also making him stronger or more intelligent. All for the sake of plot. So for fairness sake, if one end of the spectrum is to be taken out of consideration, then so should the other.


CONCLUSION

At the end of the day, people always want their favorite to win and often will bend logic to get that victory. But being strong doesn't make a character great.
I personally prefer weaker cahracters (or weaker editions/version of a strong character), because they are simply more interesting.

Or ....

I could go "LOL God-Man pwns all!"

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I thought this was going to be a "who'd win, Internet or Debates" topic.  I was disapoint.

 

I think who'd win stuff is fun if its not taken seriously.  Sadly too many people take it seriously.  I remember the lengthy Superman vs Goku from DBZ debate in the old usenet rec.arts.comics.* hierarchy (which also included pretty much Goku vs everyone, but usually Superman).  Too many people were invested in proving that Goku or Superman would win.

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Maybe Superman's biology multiplies his power absorption of the sun to 15.5 supernovas?

 

At one point, the more time spent under the sun, his power accumulates.  Ergo he's stronger at 30 years under a yellow sun than at 20 years.  So its not a one-to-one relation in that sense anymore (although probably not a geometric increase either).

 

(Mind you he's ****ing Superman - he actually traveled forward in time past the death of the universe via collapse into the next universe created by the new big bang and then kept travelling until he got back to 20th Century earth where he picked back up as if he never left because the next universe ended up being exactly the same as the last one).

Edited by Amentep

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I like the fictional equipment battles. So Baneblade vs AT-AT or something.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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It's odd that we never really have versus debates on these forums.

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It's odd that we never really have versus debates on these forums.

 

Console plebians vs PC Master Race?

 

Fallout 1 vs Fallout 2 vs Fallout 3?

 

Eastern European Communism vs The World?

 

Romance Fans vs Non-Romance Fans?

 

Turn Based vs Real Time?

 

EA or Microsoft vs Gamers?

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"It all comes down to the belief that to win an argument on the internet entitles you to take your enemies catgirl."

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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It's odd that we never really have versus debates on these forums.

 

Console plebians vs PC Master Race?

 

Fallout 1 vs Fallout 2 vs Fallout 3?

 

Eastern European Communism vs The World?

 

Romance Fans vs Non-Romance Fans?

 

Turn Based vs Real Time?

 

EA or Microsoft vs Gamers?

 

 

But aren't almost debates going to have 2 opposing topics?

 

How do you have a debate with someone without some kind of dichotomy?

Edited by BruceVC

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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It's odd that we never really have versus debates on these forums.

 

Console plebians vs PC Master Race?

 

Fallout 1 vs Fallout 2 vs Fallout 3?

 

Eastern European Communism vs The World?

 

Romance Fans vs Non-Romance Fans?

 

Turn Based vs Real Time?

 

EA or Microsoft vs Gamers?

 

 

But aren't almost debates going to have 2 opposing topics?

 

How do you have a debate with someone without some kind of dichotomy?

 

 

Because in most of these, the dichotomy is false.  There's no reason to, for example, to actually be for/against consoles or PC.  They both have their strength or weaknesses.

 

Most "VS battles" are less about the topic and more about someone trying to validate their "fandom" in some way (either by backing the thing they like or being against the thing that they feel tarnishes what they like).  And that's why they differ from debates.

 

IMO.

Edited by Amentep

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It's odd that we never really have versus debates on these forums.

 

Console plebians vs PC Master Race?

 

Fallout 1 vs Fallout 2 vs Fallout 3?

 

Eastern European Communism vs The World?

 

Romance Fans vs Non-Romance Fans?

 

Turn Based vs Real Time?

 

EA or Microsoft vs Gamers?

 

 

But aren't almost debates going to have 2 opposing topics?

 

How do you have a debate with someone without some kind of dichotomy?

 

 

Because in most of these, the dichotomy is false.  There's no reason to, for example, to actually be for/against consoles or PC.  They both have their strength or weaknesses.

 

Most "VS battles" are less about the topic and more about someone trying to validate their "fandom" in some way (either by backing the thing they like or being against the thing that they feel tarnishes what they like).  And that's why they differ from debates.

 

IMO.

 

 

You make some good points. I suppose I initially disagreed with you as you mentioned some topics that are worthy of debates and debates I've participated in, like the Romance\Sex debate. But I see what you mean in the difference between debate and VS


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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You make some good points. I suppose I initially disagreed with you as you mentioned some topics that are worthy of debates and debates I've participated in, like the Romance\Sex debate. But I see what you mean in the difference between debate and VS

 

 

There's been some good points raised in the various romance threads; I enjoyed discussing the pros and cons of relationships and what made sense and what didn't with a number of the more pro- and more anti- romance crowds.

 

But some of it was really "ooo, look at those icky Bioware fans - they make me feel dirty" to "how dare you take away my sex fantasies!"; its not debate - its taking things personally without looking at the actual point of discussion IMO.

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Keep that romance stuff quarantined to the PE subforum thread!


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Keep that romance stuff quarantined to the PE subforum thread!

 

You make it sound like we're making out in this thread... :*

 

 

 

A Baneblade would totally own an AT-AT.

 

I can't disagree; I think the spindly walking leg design of the AT-AT makes them a poor design choice.

Edited by Amentep

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You make some good points. I suppose I initially disagreed with you as you mentioned some topics that are worthy of debates and debates I've participated in, like the Romance\Sex debate. But I see what you mean in the difference between debate and VS

 

 

There's been some good points raised in the various romance threads; I enjoyed discussing the pros and cons of relationships and what made sense and what didn't with a number of the more pro- and more anti- romance crowds.

 

But some of it was really "ooo, look at those icky Bioware fans - they make me feel dirty" to "how dare you take away my sex fantasies!"; its not debate - its taking things personally without looking at the actual point of discussion IMO.

 

 

Also I am happy to agree to disagree when it comes to Romance\Sex. But I will generally object to any blanket generalization about BSN and its members. Its not just that I visit those forums but I will never say that tens of thousands of fans of Bioware are all these " lecherous and juvenile reprobates". And that's the view you sometimes hear

 

Keep that romance stuff quarantined to the PE subforum thread!

 

Malc its good to know that you are support of Romance\Sex in RPG and PE. This debate will become very spirited the closer we get to the ETA of PE.

Edited by BruceVC

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Keep that romance stuff quarantined to the PE subforum thread!

 

You make it sound like we're making out in this thread... :*

 

 

 

 

 

"You make it sound like we're making out in this thread"

 

:biggrin: funny


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Also I am happy to agree to disagree when it comes to Romance\Sex. But I will generally object to any blanket generalization about BSN and its members. Its not just that I visit those forums but I will never say that tens of thousands of fans of Bioware are all these " lecherous and juvenile reprobates". And that's the view you sometimes hear

 

I don't think the posters on BSN are representative of everyone who enjoys playing Bioware games (they don't even always represent a large segment of the people who post there!).  There was a nice group of people who talked about what they wanted to see in a Jade Empire sequel, for example.  It was a fun discussion and for the most part didn't talk about Romance at all.

 

There are some very... seemingly obsessed posters over there though. Sometimes what they post I find disturbing*.  In that sense though, relative to me, they're not all that different from some regulars at the RPG Codex.... :biggrin:

 

All kidding aside, I don't think any forum should be judged by its most radical members.  I'd hate to think of what these forums look like to the BSN or Codex or other big gaming forums if judged only on the posts of a random and limited population of posters.

 

*The "make Bethany romaceable crowd" for example

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Malc its good to know that you are support of Romance\Sex in RPG and PE. This debate will become very spirited the closer we get to the ETA of PE.

Where did I say I am ? As for 'spirited' I'm assuming you mean the endless back and forth will pick up the pace ? Maybe that clown Merin will show up again. :lol:

 

A Baneblade would totally own an AT-AT.

Yeah, is a poor example. Not many fictional super tanks I'm aware of, most settings always have the infantry man morph into a tank.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Malc its good to know that you are support of Romance\Sex in RPG and PE. This debate will become very spirited the closer we get to the ETA of PE.

Where did I say I am ? As for 'spirited' I'm assuming you mean the endless back and forth will pick up the pace ? Maybe that clown Merin will show up again. :lol:

 

 

I know Malc, I realize that you aren't a big supporter of Romance\Sex in RPG. I'm just teasing :biggrin:

 

Funny thing is I'm sure that thread was where you and I first started chatting when I joined the Obsidian forums. So the Romance thread has a certain nostalgic appeal to me. Like that first restaurant that you take your g-friend to. You never forget it. :banana:


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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"Random superhero #1 vs random superhero #2" threads are the lifeblood of comicbook forums.


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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"Random superhero #1 vs random superhero #2" threads are the lifeblood of comicbook forums.

 

Right now its mostly "What else will DC break with their New 52"...

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I've never before heard of versus threads referred to as "debates." I've also never seen anyone attempt to come up with such a needlessly verbose way to state the common-sense conclusion: "versus threads are stupid."

Edited by AGX-17
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Hm. I think I might have been slightly interested in those kinds of discussions when I was around six years old. Are you seriously telling me adult men are sitting on comic book forums and debating about this?


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Doesn't seem that much different than "DA3 vs TW3, which is better and why? Discuss!", currently to be found in forums Obsidz, to be honest.

 

In any objective sense it's all a bit silly and trivial, but then it's not like much if any serious business internet discussion is going to alter the world either. 

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