Author Topic: Characters, Complicity and Caring: Jo Walton's speech at Wiscon  (Read 2545 times)

Chris

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I ran into this article the other day on Metafilter. It's from a sci-fi author about linear fiction, but I think a lot of it has weight in games and gamebooks too.

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Indeed, the main failure mode of fiction for me is if I don't care about the characters. If you ever see me nitpicking worldbuilding and pointing out plot holes they're either really egregious or else the real problem is that I didn't care about the characters and I was poking at other things. Go to somebody else to hear about what's wrong with the windmills in _Red Mars_ or the carnivorous aliens in _The Sparrow_, my problem with both books is with characters not acting like people. If I care about the characters I'll overlook or forgive almost anything else.

http://papersky.livejournal.com/589474.html

What do you think?

dacharya64

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Re: Characters, Complicity and Caring: Jo Walton's speech at Wiscon
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 05:43:49 PM »
I've definitely found this to be true--not just about interactive fiction, but stories in general. This is difficult, because it's quite difficult to balance character complexity and making characters exaggerated versions of human traits. It's even more difficult in IF because making a fully-functioning character who will react to you is often not the key goal behind a creator's mind, and more often than not NPCs are left out altogether--if not just providing one or two lines.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 04:01:21 PM by dacharya64 »

Chris

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Re: Characters, Complicity and Caring: Jo Walton's speech at Wiscon
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 03:17:56 PM »
Have any of you played Save the Date? It could probably get its own thread but I'm primarily interested in the responsiveness of the main non-you character to dialogue. In many RPGs minor characters give you the same monologue even when it no longer makes sense (after you've beaten a certain monster, say).