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About SRich867

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  1. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    Sorry. I meant, you're not (yet) using the topic in any way that is likely cause concern beyond the fact that you are using the topic. When/if one of your characters says something about the topic, or the specific nature of the situation arises, then it might be worth considering a stance - because at that point you may well be taking one. But, as it stands, the fact that your characters are child soldiers does not, in itself, offer any statement or stance that the reader is not providing. There are other themes (some potentially controversial) that could be picked out of it, but it would primarily just be to make that point. In the same way that your characters being child soldiers would (at this point) hardly be worth noting if it wasn't the subject of this thread. If you want practical advice regarding the development of your characters, then you should take some time to write those characters in other scenes (not just those related to the game script). It will give you an opportunity to see how your characters respond in different situations, and flesh them out more fully, which will feed back in to the scenes you are going to be using. When you're thinking of the background of your characters, try to avoid reducing that history to a collection of summarising points. Whilst people are often described in terms of the events that have happened to them, it is the details of the event, and not the event itself that, makes them who they are.
  2. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    Changed my mind about reengagement with the discussion...
  3. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    The original poster is 16, and there is a very real possibility that he thinks that mentioning a topic can only cause other's to fixate on them. I'm sure that isn't at all reinforced by that being the only confirmation that he has so far received in this discussion. I'm sure also that his draft including no mention of child-soldiers in any connected context is entirely irrelevant to this detail. You understand hypocrisy, right? Forget it, I'm done with the discussion. OP. Your script is fine, and the subject matter of child-soldiers doesn't feature in the way that you think that it might.
  4. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    That isn't what we are talking about it, but also isn't entirely correct. If you associate cows with the devil, and I make a game about cows, it is a huge stretch for you to conclude that I made a game about the devil. But it isn't the concluding. I'm taking about subjectivity, interpretation and inference. I joined the debate to highlight the point that interpretation is subjective. The point is that interpretation is distinct from intent or implication, and earlier posts seemed not to understand that. You are suggesting that my interpretation is his fault. You've also given your interpretation of my interpretation. I interpreted his post to mean that he hates fish. If I made that interpretation, it must be because he put something in that post that made it possible for me to get that interpretation - even if he didn't. So, again, my interpretation is his fault. Unless you don't consider that aspect, or you didn't consider that aspect... Then what? There is a strong theme running through here that to be 'an artist' means complete and total awareness of every facet of your work, and to include every possible detail as a result of measured deliberation. "I hate my yellow t-shirt". This means three things. I have a t-shirt, I hate my t-shirt, my t-shirt is yellow. IF my hating my t-shirt, and its being yellow are unrelated, then I am making a statement that, and my t-shirt being yellow is an incidental detail. IF my hating my t-shirt, and its being yellow are related, then I am making a statement about, and my t-shirt being yellow is a subject I am engaging in. Similarly, "I hate my gay friend". This means three things. I have a friend. I hate my friend. My friend is gay. IF my hating my friend, and his being gay are unrelated, then I am making a statement that, and my friend being gay is an incidental detail. IF my hating my friend, and his being gay are related, then I am making a statement about, and my friend being gay is a subject I am engaging in. Finally, the original poster is writing a story that features two themes, the love between two children, and the love between two soldiers. The lovers being soldiers is relevant. The lovers being children is relevant. The children being soldiers is incidental - you cannot write a story about two lovers who are children, and two lovers who are soldiers, and have them be the same lovers without featuring child-soldiers. The fact that the story contains child-soldiers is a statement that, it is incidental, they are children who happen to be soldiers in one context, and soldiers who happen to be children in another. If you play the game and interpret the inclusion of child-soldiers as a statement about child soldiers, you will have interpreted incorrectly. Of course, you have to think something after playing the game (and no one has suggested that you shouldn't), and, of course, you are free to interpret whatever you like - in fact, you are potentially one of 7.8 billion players, with one of 7.8 billion individual or unique interpretations. HOWEVER, your interpretation does not put words in the writers mouth, or thoughts in his or her head. It is at the writer's discretion whether he takes steps to minimise (or maximise) the potential for incorrect interpretation, but since there are 7.8 billion possibilities, he cannot sensibly be held to be responsible for any one of them. There may be consequences based on these interpretations, some of which he could have foreseen and stopped, many of which he could not - again, you cannot transfer responsibility to him. Your arguments that an interpretation may be possible, and thereby confers responsibility to the artist, is equally matched by the argument that an intention may be possible, and thereby confers responsibility to the audience. It is no more the artists responsibility to consider his audience's potential interpretation, than it is the audience's responsibility to consider the artist's potential intentions. Ultimately, the problem is not having interpretations or intentions, the problem is in insistence that one trumps the other, when it does not. The artist is responsible for himself (and no one else), the audience is responsible for himself (and no one else). The artist can freely feature whatever aspects or details of reality he wants. The artist can engage or not engage in whatever debates he wants. It is the artist's choice, and no one else's.
  5. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    That isn't what is being claimed here. It isn't even what is being responded to.. This is what is being responded to... The transference of any responsibility for an interpretation from the audience to the artist, and the denial of any responsibility (or blame) on the part of the audience. And the claim that to make a statement THAT something, is the same as to make a statement ABOUT something, which allows an interpreter to define the intention of the artist. These are not disagreements about whether an artist can, or should, attempt to predict and/or curtail an audiences inferences - no one has denied this. The original debate is about whether one can use a topic from real life without thereby making a statement about that topic. The later debate is about whether someone's inference or interpretation trumps someone else's intention or meaning - specifically when assigning blame or responsibility.
  6. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    I'm just quoting this again because I am struggling to engage with it, and I really don't think you mean what it seems to be meaning...
  7. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    The writer did not say that he wanted to drive the audience away from engagement with a particular topic. He/she said that he/she did not want to engage in the discussion his/her self. You inferred the rest, and now are assuming that that makes it so. I don't see how I am suggesting this... I am saying that someone intends to mean what they intend to mean. If someone else infers something else, that does not change what the first someone intended to mean. You seem to be saying that your interpretation trumps reality. People do not put inferences in their language. They put implications... I think this is a distinction that you should Google, it is a very, very widely discussed aspect of language. Blame is the wrong word, but I can shrug responsibility for an audience reaching a conclusion that I did not intend for them to reach. I may find this more difficult if it is a conclusion that I knew was obviously there, but your alternative is impossible. In your definition, to be an artist, I must be aware of every inference that any audience can get form any piece of work I create. If an audience gets an inference, it is because I put there. If that inference leads to controversy, then I must have an opinion regarding that controversy, and I must be making a statement about it. I'm sorry, but how does that not conclusion not seem ridiculous to you? Basic social interaction happens thusly: I mould my thoughts with words or objects, so as to manifest a specific thought(s) in another person(s). That person attempts to interpret those words or objects, so as to meet or understand my thought(s). If they infer a different group of thoughts, mine are not changed to match them. That does not happen. If they infer a different set of thoughts, it does not follow that I intended that different set of thoughts. I am not that clever. It may, however, be the case, that I am trying to manifest multiple sets of thoughts, or that I am trying to look like I am manifesting one sets of thoughts, but am really aiming for another (this would be me IMPLYING something else). The other person can get the first set of thoughts (my statement), the second set of thoughts (my implication), or some other, unintended set of thoughts (their inference).
  8. SRich867

    Action points or not?

    I was suggesting the one-two system as an alternative to points buy, but I may have misunderstood the premise. Also, it was only a suggestion Another suggestion would be to be very, very sure that you want players to be able to increase or change action points. This will be incredibly difficult to balance as, without a doubt, the ability to do more (specifically take another shot), gives an incredible advantage. If it were me, I'd go with the one-two system, and instead of adding additional action points, I'd look at something easier to control or calculate, by changing the actions themselves. As an example, if a player has a particularly high agility, he or she moves a square (or two) further during a movement action, or a player with a high accuracy can take an aimed shot as though it were a normal shot (as a large action, instead of a full turn action). These things are much easier to balance ahead of time, and they avoid undermining the main benefit of using a one-two system - quick calculation and early planning.
  9. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    And how does that change what was actually said??? Again, people can hear, infer, interpret whatever they want... The issue, with that not changing what the person has said/stated/thought. Yes, we do, and yes they are. But, again, made WITHIN that context. Being in that context does not change what we decide. You can insist that I am saying/stating/thinking/doing whatever you like. You can bring all of your buddies to join you. It may or may not have bad consequences for me, but it does not, at any point, change what I said/stated/thought/did. I can say "my story features child soldiers". No matter how much you insist, I have said nothing more than that. The entire human race can insist that saying that must mean that I think child soldiers are OK - that still does not mean that I said that, or thought that, or thought anything about it. It means that "my story features child soldiers". It means nothing else. The rest of the debate the world was having without me. Sorry to pick on you Eimantas*, but this post has concluded that the poster "wants to get attention and interest [by deliberately stirring controversy]". The poster did not say this. The poster did not mention this as a motivation in any way, nor has he or she seemed to imply it... Yet this is the interpretation that at least one person has regarding the posters words, intentions, thoughts, aims, and so on. This is the danger with insisting that interpretation guides meaning or intent. It does not. *You may not have actually intended this meaning yourself, and I am only specifying this post as the clearest example of this at work.
  10. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    Really? So if an artist doesn't understand how an audience may interpret his or her work, they are no longer an artist? And how many musicians, authors and screenwriters have you just robbed of their artist title by claiming that an audience reading a different meaning of their work to them marks their work a failure? I'm sorry, but it works exactly like that. People decide what they mean, and what they intend (directly or indirectly). You get to decide what you hear, but not what was said. That is exactly how it works.
  11. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    Yes. It is a statement that the artist does not want to engage with the discussion. The artist is stating directly that he or she does not wish to engage with the discussion. The artist not stating anything, directly or otherwise, about the discussion. There is no further statement made. You can INFER that the artist does not believe the discussion to be worth having, but that is your INFERENCE. The artist does not need to IMPLY anything. MARRY in this context just means to bring together or combine.
  12. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    Ignorance is a risky choice of term here because it has negative connotations (IE, it suggests undesirability) without needing to. And there are more than two available avenues here... If we adopt a model where a controversial theme is either used deliberately to incite controversy, or else it was done so accidentally (and is only acceptable once) we are creating two HUGE problems. Firstly, we are artificially restricting or pigeonholing certain topics (and related themes), and giving them additional power of automate over the user. Secondly, we are giving the 'other party' the ability to decide the first party's intentionality and use of speech - which makes our language a potential booby trap in all social encounters. To continue with the example, by your explanation, we cannot ever use the subject of a homophobic slur without it being a deliberate attempt at controversy, or an accidental cause (which I can only use one). So no homophobic jokes (that might be OK), no homophobic characters in books (books no longer representative of certain aspects of reality), I can't mention my homophobic uncle (I'll just repress that then), and if I ever encounter encounter the mere mention of homophobic slurs, I should inform the speaker that they are either ignorant or a deliberate trouble-maker... A third, alternative, route is that of neutrality, and we see this commonly. We can, as I have said, feature a subject that causes controversy, without deliberately inciting controversy, or accidentally doing so. To deny what? The initial poster has every right to say "I was worried about the potential controversy* of the subject, so I looked for a few opinions, but, ultimately, I decided that I didn't need to engage with those aspects of the topic. Child soldiers is a possible theme in fiction, so I used it." *And by 'potential controversy', he means the potential for the SUBJECT to cause controversy amongst some audiences, and NOT the potential for him to be eliciting controversy by USING THE SUBJECT".
  13. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    Of course. But there are different types of controversial actions. Some can be done unintended, others cannot. There is a subtle distinction, and I will try to indicate it here: A person does something, and IT is controversial. This IT can refer to 1) the thing that the person is doing, 2) the act of the person doing the thing. It's very subtle, and easy to miss, but it is important. It can be summarised as the distinction between 'doing something' and 'doing something about'. Specifically, in the context of our conversations, it is the distinction between making a statement, and making a statement about. To make a statement can mean either 1) to say something, 2) to say something about something. To make a controversial statement can mean 1) To say something that is a controversial theme <- the outcome, or subject, of the 'saying' is controversial 2) To say something about the controversial theme <- the use of the outcome, or subject, of the 'saying' is controversial. It is analogous to the distinction between doing something controversial (I didn't know a certain custom, the performing of that custom caused a controversy), and doing something about that controversy (I know that such and such was controversial, and I did it to prove a point). So, in response to your comment (and adapting it to our conversation): "People will make controversial STATEMENTS unintended". 1) A person will say A THING, and by mentioning that THING the person has unintentionally mentioned a CONTROVERSIAL THING. <- Yes, this happens unintentionally, all the time. 2) A person will SAY A THING, and by SAYING THAT THING the person is unintentionally SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT THE THING. <- No, this does not happen unintentionally. "John said that the soldiers in his game were children. THAT was controversial" 1) The soldiers being children was controversial. 2) John using child soldiers in his story was controversial. 1) John is saying that some soldiers are children. <- Controversy is potentially unintentional 2) John is saying something about children being soldiers. <-This cannot be done unintentionally To put it in other words, the speaker is uncharge of what they are saying. No ifs, or buts. They decide where intentionality and action begins and ends, and they decide on what they SAY or IMPLY. They are not in charge of the general meaning of words (they can be wrong about this), nor are they in charge of what people can INFER (people can infer whatever they like) from what they SAY.
  14. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    It doesn't look we disagree at all... "giving rise" through deliberation, "likely to give rise" through potentiality... When something has the "potential" to do something, we use the word "can". The same word I used in capital letters... Subjectivity is necessarily directional... "It only exists when multiple people disagree about an issue", which is a multitude of people that does not need to include you. Ergo, you can say something that ""gives rise to public disagreement" (ie, you can say something that becomes/or will become controversial) without you disagreeing (or agreeing with it) yourself (without you considering it to be so). Your intent "or lack thereof" may be relevant to those present in "the court of public opinion", but that does not make it necessarily relevant to yourself. It still is not up to me what "the court of public opinion" finds controversial, who sits in "the court", when "the court" sits, and so on. I can intentionally spark a controversial debate (by spouting deliberately homophobic comments, for instance), I can unintentionally spark a controversial debate (by being English and wearing white after labour day, for instance), I can participate in that controversial debate (by defending my actions, for instance), or I can not participate in that controversial debate. And we weren't discussing the meaning of controversy. We were discussing whether "Choosing to engage with a controversial topic is itself a statement thereon", which, does not follow from your definition of controversial. To quote the dictionary for "to state": to declare definitely or specifically to set forth formally in speech or writing to set forth in proper or definite form You can feature a theme that can "giv[e] rise or [be] likely to give rise to public disagreement" without doing any of the above. Yes, and many, many, many artists choose to not participate in this debate because those many, many, many artists do not believe that to be the case. That's why we have separate modes of referral to controversial art (pieces that give rise to public debate), and controversial artists (those who use their work to give rise to public debate). The two can, and often are, used distinctively. To make a statement is a deliberate and considered activity. To claim that you know when another person has acted/is acting deliberately, when they suggest that they aren't, is a very, very dangerous precedent to set. You are confusing the deliberate specificity of making statements with implication, and then you are confusing implication with inference.
  15. SRich867

    Making Certain themes accepectable

    No it isn't. Choosing to feature a topic, and choosing to make a statement are two separate things. To make a statement is a deliberate active process. Watch: Sometimes children are used in warfare. I just said it. I didn't say I was for it. I didn't say I was against it. I didn't say I was neutral in regards to it. I didn't say I wanted to discuss it. I didn't say I didn't want to discuss it. I didn't say anything about it, other than that it is. Choosing to feature a topic that CAN BE considered controversial CAN BE considered as a statement thereon. It's not up to me what another person takes to be a statement or not. And just because another person can consider something I have said to be a statement about something doesn't make it the case. Reality doesn't work like that. One can use such a feature while remaining completely passive towards any wider ideals or concepts about the feature. And doing so is not a statement about that passiveness. Of course, I'm aware of many of the ways* that the things that I say and do CAN BE interpreted, and, generally, I feel that I should do so responsible. But I don't always things this of the things I do, and I don't think that because this is something I (generally) try to do that it is an absolute maxim for mankind. I can write a story. That story can feature soldiers. Those soldiers can be children. The fact that that aspect can have specific connotations or interpretations by some people doesn't make those connotations or interpretations of that aspect. Not any more than my featuring soldiers is a statement about war, or my writing a story is a statement about stories/prose/sentences/words/fiction/the English language, or the fact that my characters all eat meat is a statement about vegetarianism, etc. *This list seems to be inexhaustible.
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