#1 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

Guys, can we all agree to be judicious when it comes to assigning concepts to political figures? I understand people feel that politicians like Mitt Romney are assholes (and I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of his, either), but that does not mean that concepts like "one-dimensionally evil" need be assigned to their character pages. Remember, just because you feel a certain way about a politician does not mean that everyone will or should agree with you. Otherwise, the same logic could be applied to assigning Islam to Barack Obama's character page. (i.e.: Just because you think it's true doesn't mean that it is.)

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Playing devil's advocate, here, but could these concepts still be attached to the pages as long as a game exists where Mitt Romney/Barack Obama/Islam is treated as one dimensionally evil? (I imagine you'd have to explain somewhere that this is in the actual game.) Or would that just go on the game page, instead?

#3 Posted by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

I agree, Hailinel; though, VGK brings up an interesting point. In 2004, the John Kerry campaign released a game where President Bush was a one-dimensionally evil cyborg out to destroy the world. Would it make sense to then list it as such, but with an explanation that the game presents them in that fashion? Though, I do agree that there is questionable value in placing that on a character page.

Another example might be the indie FPS where you go on a shooting rampage at FOX News and kill Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and other personalities.

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#4 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Playing devil's advocate, here, but could these concepts still be attached to the pages as long as a game exists where Mitt Romney/Barack Obama/Islam is treated as one dimensionally evil? (I imagine you'd have to explain somewhere that this is in the actual game.) Or would that just go on the game page, instead?

No such game exists. (Not to mention how insanely offensive it is to label Islam in such way.)

#5 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

I agree, Hailinel; though, VGK brings up an interesting point. In 2004, the John Kerry campaign released a game where President Bush was a one-dimensionally evil cyborg out to destroy the world. Would it make sense to then list it as such, but with an explanation that the game presents them in that fashion? Though, I do agree that there is questionable value in placing that on a character page.

Another example might be the indie FPS where you go on a shooting rampage at FOX News and kill Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and other personalities.

That's not one-dimensional evil. That's a poor attempt at satire.

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

(Not to mention how insanely offensive it is to label Islam in such way.)

For some reason, I thought of those crappy Left Behind games as soon as I read that sentence. I'd ask somebody to verify this, but that would require playing those games. Blech.

#7 Posted by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

@Hailinel: How about games like Special Force, the game produced by Hezbollah where Judaism itself is presented as one-dimensionally evil, as a driving force of a Zionist conspiracy to rule the world?

And in one of those political games I mentioned, you have President Bush bent on killing babies and destroying cities. Would that not be one-dimensionally evil?

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#8 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@TruthTellah: I can't in good conscience consider any "enemy" force in an obvious propaganda game one-dimensionally evil.

#9 Posted by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel said:

(Not to mention how insanely offensive it is to label Islam in such way.)

For some reason, I thought of those crappy Left Behind games as soon as I read that sentence. I'd ask somebody to verify this, but that would require playing those games. Blech.

The game doesn't directly say Muslims are one-dimensionally evil, but some of the enemies in the game do have Arab-sounding names. Some have names like Europeans or Americans, as well. Muslims aren't the central evil of that game. It's more of a general force against God.

Though, if having Arab-sounding names or Arab-looking enemies means your game is saying all Muslims are evil, I think a decent number of games have a serious problem.

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#10 Posted by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

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#11 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

I think it might be worth noting such in the article text for the game or the character page, but I don't believe it's appropriate to assign such a concept association to the character page. Doing so could be deemed as more of a blanket statement that such-and-such is one-dimensionally evil.

#12 Edited by Xymox (2083 posts) -

Why does that page exist and the concept of Chaotic Evil doesn't? That makes no sense. At least Chaotic Evil is a thing and an alignment you can choose.

I think that concept would suit better to flesh out the Villain page by adding different flavors (mm, tasty?) of villains and how they're portrayed in video games.

Someone go add the "Reluctant villain" & "misunderstood villain" pages. Unnecessary and should be deleted.

#13 Posted by Bocam (3719 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@TruthTellah said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

I think it might be worth noting such in the article text for the game or the character page, but I don't believe it's appropriate to assign such a concept association to the character page. Doing so could be deemed as more of a blanket statement that such-and-such is one-dimensionally evil.

What about Hitler? In most games he is in he's one-dimensionally evil.

#14 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@Xymox said:

Why does that page exist and the concept of Chaotic Evil doesn't? That makes no sense. At least Chaotic Evil is a thing and an alignment you can choose.

I think that concept would suit better to flesh out the Villain page by adding different flavors (mm, tasty?) of villains and how they're portrayed in video games.

That's actually not a bad idea.

@Bocam said:

@Hailinel said:

@TruthTellah said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

I think it might be worth noting such in the article text for the game or the character page, but I don't believe it's appropriate to assign such a concept association to the character page. Doing so could be deemed as more of a blanket statement that such-and-such is one-dimensionally evil.

What about Hitler? In most games he is in he's one-dimensionally evil.

Hitler is unquestionably evil, but historically, he was more than just a villainous cartoon character.

I guess my point is, for character pages related to actual people, not just those that are alive but past figures, where does one draw the line in assigning concepts?

#15 Posted by Bocam (3719 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Xymox said:

Why does that page exist and the concept of Chaotic Evil doesn't? That makes no sense. At least Chaotic Evil is a thing and an alignment you can choose.

I think that concept would suit better to flesh out the Villain page by adding different flavors (mm, tasty?) of villains and how they're portrayed in video games.

That's actually not a bad idea.

@Bocam said:

@Hailinel said:

@TruthTellah said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

I think it might be worth noting such in the article text for the game or the character page, but I don't believe it's appropriate to assign such a concept association to the character page. Doing so could be deemed as more of a blanket statement that such-and-such is one-dimensionally evil.

What about Hitler? In most games he is in he's one-dimensionally evil.

Hitler is unquestionably evil, but historically, he was more than just a villainous cartoon character.

I guess my point is, for character pages related to actual people, not just those that are alive but past figures, where does one draw the line in assigning concepts?

If they have a character page, the concepts should be related to how they are portrayed in video games.

#16 Edited by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@TruthTellah said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

I think it might be worth noting such in the article text for the game or the character page, but I don't believe it's appropriate to assign such a concept association to the character page. Doing so could be deemed as more of a blanket statement that such-and-such is one-dimensionally evil.

I agree that people can get the wrong impression. I do think there should be a way to note on a person's page that a concept is tied to them thanks to their portrayal though. It just needs more explanation text attached. So, someone can look at a politician's page and see that he has often been portrayed as one-dimensionally evil in multiple games. It informs their understanding of their relationship to games. It does need to be clearer that they are different from a made-up character designed to be tied to the concept of one-dimensionally evil and a real person simply presented as one-dimensionally evil.

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#17 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@Bocam said:

@Hailinel said:

@Xymox said:

Why does that page exist and the concept of Chaotic Evil doesn't? That makes no sense. At least Chaotic Evil is a thing and an alignment you can choose.

I think that concept would suit better to flesh out the Villain page by adding different flavors (mm, tasty?) of villains and how they're portrayed in video games.

That's actually not a bad idea.

@Bocam said:

@Hailinel said:

@TruthTellah said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, I agree that people shouldn't take them seriously and think they're one-dimensionally evil, but the game itself is presenting them as one-dimensionally evil. Shouldn't we reflect how the game is presenting a character and not just our personal interpretation of the person?

aka. "Mitt Romney is presented as One-Dimensionally Evil in such and such game." or "Barack Obama is presented as a Communist monster in such and such game."

I do agree that it probably has limited value in the concepts section of the character though, especially if there is no explanation tied to a known game. As far as describing his link to a game, though, I think it can make sense.

I think it might be worth noting such in the article text for the game or the character page, but I don't believe it's appropriate to assign such a concept association to the character page. Doing so could be deemed as more of a blanket statement that such-and-such is one-dimensionally evil.

What about Hitler? In most games he is in he's one-dimensionally evil.

Hitler is unquestionably evil, but historically, he was more than just a villainous cartoon character.

I guess my point is, for character pages related to actual people, not just those that are alive but past figures, where does one draw the line in assigning concepts?

If they have a character page, the concepts should be related to how they are portrayed in video games.

Even if different games portray them in different ways?

And how does one even define the dimensionality of evil to begin with? What separates one-dimensional from two-dimensional, or two from three-dimensional?

#18 Edited by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

@Hailinel: I think this could all be helped if concepts on a character page could be tied to specific games, with an explanation. That way, you can still show that they have been portrayed this way and people will understand that it's just in a specific game portrayal.

As far as dimensionality goes, three-dimensional is a fully fleshed out character, two-dimensional is a very basic character very clearly one way, and one-dimensional indicates that the character is nothing but the concept.

So, a three-dimensional character would be realistic, showing that they are human(or alien, or whatever) with flaws and some positives as an individual. Character has motivations, not just actions.

A two-dimensional character would be unrealistic, but it can have complexity to it, not necessarily pure evil or pure good in its actions.

A one-dimensional character would be unrealistic, but with nothing to them but being pure evil or pure good. There is nothing to them but the evil or good.

Thus, a one-dimensional evil character is a character portrayed as only being evil. There is no reason for it. They're just evil with no good whatsoever. Hitler would commonly be considered "one-dimensional evil" in games, as he is presented with no motivation or traits but being evil.

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#19 Posted by Hailinel (24409 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

Thus, a one-dimensional evil character is a character portrayed as only being evil. There is no reason for it. They're just evil with no good whatsoever. Hitler would commonly be considered "one-dimensional evil" in games, as he is presented with no motivation or traits but being evil.

I think the problem with this in particular is that it's well-known what Hitler's motivations were, historically. It's just that those motivations, and the results of the actions he authorized based on those motivations, are far too horrible for most games to allude to, much less portray.

#20 Posted by TruthTellah (8800 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@TruthTellah said:

Thus, a one-dimensional evil character is a character portrayed as only being evil. There is no reason for it. They're just evil with no good whatsoever. Hitler would commonly be considered "one-dimensional evil" in games, as he is presented with no motivation or traits but being evil.

I think the problem with this in particular is that it's well-known what Hitler's motivations were, historically. It's just that those motivations, and the results of the actions he authorized based on those motivations, are far too horrible for most games to allude to, much less portray.

Well, they don't necessarily need to portray all of his motivations. They could simply show he was a human being. Maybe show insecurity or him liking -something-. While I think a three-dimensional portrayal of him is unlikely in a game, a two-dimensional portrayal is possible and has happened.

Anyway, enough Hitler. ha. Hitler ruins everything.

The point here is that concepts, divorced from the explanation of why they are tied to a character or real person, aren't as effective as concepts tied to specific games a character appears in and explanations for those concepts being there. This is especially true of real life individuals in games.

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#21 Posted by sodacat (214 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: All I can remember from Left Behind was that your forces were literally a cult (you recruited people and then forced them to all wear the same clothes. I think they had to give up their last names too), and then enemy forces could convert your guys with literal rock music.

My understanding has always been:

  • one-dimensional is evil for the sake of being evil (Witch Bandora/Rita Repulsa)
  • two-dimensional is evil for the sake of doing something (Xanatos from Gargoyles)
  • three-dimensional is evil from the protagonist's perspective, and contrary to the protagonist's goals, but they're not evil from their own perspective (Solidus Snake)