Content and Context

Explore world building, character design, dialog, and plot devices.
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Content and Context

Postby OathAlliance » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:30 pm

I was recently reading some "Christian" reviews of games, and I continuously saw a glaring issue within the reviews. This is an issue I've seen elsewhere, which is why I'd like to start a conversation about it. Especially, since it could possibly affect everyone of us who are Christians and creators.

What I'm talking about is Fictional World Rejection Syndrome (FWRS). While I understand there might already be another term for what I'm about to describe, I couldn't be bothered with trying to track it down and confirm it meant what I mean.

FWRS is where a consumer (reader, viewer, player, etc) is presented a fictional world wherein things work differently then our own, and they reject the world as its own thing. This would be like saying the The Lord of the Rings is bad because it contains magic and in our world magic is evil (even if in Middle Earth, it isn't evil). Or, when there are the three goddesses in The Legend of Zelda, that's bad because the is only one God. FWRS is where consumer attempts to force reality onto a fictional world (see people who complain about Star Wars ships not working in real life). FWRS is frustrating because a creator can work his or her butt off to make sure the world makes sense, and put things in there that may be fantastical or unrealistic, just to be lambasted by someone because the creator didn't adhere to reality. This essentially pigeonholes creators into either making their worlds exactly to the specifications of those suffering from FWRS (which depending on their views could be all manner of opposing things), or the creator has to be willing to possibly be attacked over it. FWRS ignores context, and instead, attacks inconsistencies between the fiction world and reality.

Normally, consumers accept the world as it is presented to them. In LotR, there are hobbits, wizards, dwarves, orcs, etc. No problem. In Star Wars there are weird aliens, ships, and space wizards. Totally fine. This is because the consumer is looking for internal consistency. If you say that the sky is purple, not blue in that world, then you need to ensure that the sky is always purple (unless you provide a good reason why its not). Tolkien believed that by creating an internally consistent secondary world, readers could come to believe in that world as something completely separate to our own.

So, I'd like to expand this discussion to a wider discourse on not only FWRS, but also on what content, and in what context, might be acceptable. I hope that we all can have a mature and calm discussion about these things. I look forward to your responses.

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