Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Discuss The Nameless Mod in all its glory, unrestricted by the spoiler prohibition in the forum above.

Moderator: TNM Team

User avatar
Dark Reality
UNATCO
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by Dark Reality »

Holey(TM) crap, this topic got away from me quick. I'm about to go to bed, so forgive me if I don't tackle each individual point.

First: Jonas. You and the entire TNM have succeeded in making a successful game. I don't know who said it, but I read once that if a book, movie, or game provokes philosophical discussion, it's a success. Because otherwise, people don't care enough to project their world views to one another in the context of the medium in question. TNM has accomplished that.

Second: Cynic. At first I thought you were reading far too much into it and accusing me of being a bad person in real life. A later post of yours clarified that you were talking about the player character. Or at least I hope so. You don't throw around accusations of torturing small animals or children lightly. You just don't. But in the context of fiction, I will accept that the Trestkon I'm playing as is evil. Just yesterday, as I crossed through Downtown towards Goat City, I pulled out the double .45s and shot an NPC as I walked by. It was fun. I regularly play kill-everybody games in DX; I've been holding back more than I should in TNM, especially for doing the WC path. I'm going to have to be more conservative when I play the PDX path.

Third: DX vs. TNM: Wrong, to say that DX and TNM are the same level of fantasy. DX is a fictional story in the form of a game. TNM is a fictional story about real people who are fans of DX and have built an online world around it. It's one step removed, one way or the other; it really could go either way. On one hand, we can suspend disbelief and fully immerse ourselves in the world. DX becomes real and we, the player, become JC Denton. Accepting that, TNM is more unrealistic because it's people who are fans of what we've just accepted as the real world. But that's backwards; DX is clearly fantasy, and TNM represents us - well, not every one of us, but a few of us (the rest of us are there in spirit, I guess) as fans of DX who have our own story, making it closer to reality. Now technically they're both just games, but one's got to be more fantasy than the other; one's got to be a step closer to reality than the other.

Fourth: Reincarnation, forums, real life. Where I'm at, TNM's story is full of holes. It doesn't all add up. I don't really expect it to; it's already accomplished what it's promised. Something need not wrap itself up nicely to work. Look at the movie Donnie Darko. Most people don't get it and hate it. (This was before it was "cool" to hate it.) It leaves a few unanswered questions. That's fine. I mean, first they say it's like a forum but virtual, but if that's true, why are people always online? And the point about SymGeosis or whatever being driven mad by Scara. Would that really happen, in the context TNM presents Forum City? Then again, I met my wife online. (On a music forum actually, not a dating site, FYI.) I've been involved in altercations online that have affected me IRL, but I had to open myself to that to maintain a LDR online and make it work. Now that it's worked and we're coming up on 3 years, I've kind of closed myself off a bit: online drama doesn't bother me as much as it did 2-4 years ago, but I can see how online actions can affect the real world.

(The above paragraph is in no way a solicitation for info, please don't tell me the ending of the game or try to explain said plot holes to me if they're revealed later; I'd like to come to that on my own with no context to view it through.)

Fifth: A last note on good vs. evil in TNM. Nothing I've done has really bothered me on a moral level. Again, I consider myself a good person IRL, but that doesn't mean I shed a tear when I shoot an innocent person in the head in DX, TNM, or GTA games. There's only one game I've played where an evil action really bothered me. The first Fable, on the Xbox, if you take the evil path in the first village, you come to a kid being bullied. To take the good response, you chase off the bullies. To take the evil response, you join the bullies. I can't remember what all's said, but it's kind of cruel, and I remember thinking that was a little too evil. That scene made me really think twice about being a bad guy in the game. Not only has TNM not approached that level, the way they explain Forum City pretty much prevents them from invoking that kind of reaction.

Wow. Longer reply than I hoped for. I think I covered everything, though.
Do you love Off-Topic Productions and The Nameless Mod?
Join TNMST - The Nameless Mod Street Team - today.
WendyO
Mole Person
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:12 am
Location: Hell of Hungry Ghosts

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by WendyO »

I wouldn't say you're a bad person, just a pretty disturbed one. Mostly based on...
DXNathan wrote: However, I kill Louis Pan in DX more often than let him live. Same goes for the boy asking for food on the docks. Because, you gotta figure, when he grows up, the only mates available will be much older. They don't come right out and say it in the story, but I assume that the reason the only children are male has something to do with the Grey Death virus. Despite Jurassic Park saying that everyone's female to start with and we need an extra line of code to become male, in the womb, I think that's pretty much what happens.
Which just gets worse whenever I reread it. What sort of fucked up justification is that for killing kids, that they'll have to grow up in the homopocalypse or deal with older women?

Fourth: Reincarnation, forums, real life. [...] why are people always online? And the point about SymGeosis or whatever being driven mad by Scara. Would that really happen, in the context TNM presents Forum City?
This is mostly just a matter of perception. Everyone logs off whenever I'm not in the area or currently interacting with them. That's pretty much how I go through most games; I don't necessarily think that every NPC is just sitting around, bored, waiting for my glorious attention whenever I'm off somewhere else. :D
please don't tell me the ending of the game or try to explain said plot holes to me if they're revealed later
It turns out that Trestkon was the zombies after all.
DDL
Traditional Evil Scientist
Traditional Evil Scientist
Posts: 3791
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:03 am

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by DDL »

I have to say that basing the premise "all children in 2052 are male because of the grey death" on the fact that you only see male children, when you only see...well, maybe four children in the entire game...is a tad extreme.

Assuming male/female births are roughly 50:50 (which most evidence suggests they largely are), then the chance of all four children encountered being male (even if we discount all the various extra contributing factors like "louis pan is a wannabe triad ganster in a still largely male-dominated society, so it really wouldn't make any fucking sense if he was a girl" and stuff), is only 1 in 16.

That's pretty good odds.
User avatar
Dark Reality
UNATCO
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by Dark Reality »

WendyO wrote:I wouldn't say you're a bad person, just a pretty disturbed one. Mostly based on...
Well, I never said I was sane, did I? Ironically, that's the name of the band whose forum my wife and I met on. Disturbed, that is. :lol:
WendyO wrote:Which just gets worse whenever I reread it. What sort of fucked up justification is that for killing kids, that they'll have to grow up in the homopocalypse or deal with older women?
Ooh, no bad-word filter. I've been on GameFAQs for far too long. Anyway, I need no justification. It's just a game. I'm sorry that you can't make that distinction and hope that you're in a minority with that notion.
DDL wrote:I have to say that basing the premise "all children in 2052 are male because of the grey death" on the fact that you only see male children, when you only see...well, maybe four children in the entire game...is a tad extreme.

Assuming male/female births are roughly 50:50 (which most evidence suggests they largely are), then the chance of all four children encountered being male (even if we discount all the various extra contributing factors like "louis pan is a wannabe triad ganster in a still largely male-dominated society, so it really wouldn't make any fucking sense if he was a girl" and stuff), is only 1 in 16.

That's pretty good odds.
Actually it's 0 in 16. We're kind of like gods, in that we've seen the data files (DeusEx.u unpacked). We know that the youngest female in the DX universe is one of either Tiffany Savage, Sandra Renton, or Nicolette DuClare.

Even if that weren't true, it's still kind of silly to assume that we'd never see a girl under the age of 16. If DX took place in the 1950s, we could assume that all of them would be sheltered, hidden away. But even now, girls are becoming as aggressive as boys, girls' sports are getting more popular in even grade school, even in smaller towns. By 2052 or whenever exactly DX takes place, I can think of no reason we wouldn't see girls as well as boys simply because they're female. However, when you throw in the plague, it makes more sense to assume that either females can't be born, or the ratio has dropped way below 50:50. If only one in ten, or one in twenty live births was female, girls would become more protected, wouldn't be allowed to play with the boys and become tough little tomboys. That makes more sense than "oh we just didn't see any". Especially since, looking in the data files, there are none to see.

But in any case, the reason is known and I'm pretty sure was said (by Ion Storm and/or Warren Spector). It was a corner they cut. Completely understandable. I just like to explain it more creatively. Your explanation is similar to saying that we just never happen to see the World Trade Center in the skyline as opposed to assuming it was just destroyed by terrorists, as Spector said, until it was actually destroyed by terrorists in real life.

Do I read more into the game than others? I sure do. I started working on a novelization last year, but I stopped, kinda fell into a writers' block. Anyway, that required me to take the game's shortcomings and explain them in a real-life context. Because I had to. That, or change the story. And I want to do that as little as possible.
Do you love Off-Topic Productions and The Nameless Mod?
Join TNMST - The Nameless Mod Street Team - today.
DDL
Traditional Evil Scientist
Traditional Evil Scientist
Posts: 3791
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:03 am

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by DDL »

That's....possibly the most ludicrous justification for a theory that I've ever heard.

"It's not in the core game files thus it doesn't exist in the game universe".

By that logic, germany doesn't exist. Neither does taiwan, or scotland.

Also, the only foodstuffs that anyone has access to in the future are soyfood and candybars (and they think the grey death is the problem? O HAI chronic malnutrition).

It's just....not a good argument. Especially since they frequently went out of their way to add in backstory that was irrelevant for anything except adding flavour to the world...do you really think they would omit to mention something as fucking SPECIES RUINING as a severe alteration in the male:female birth ratio?

That's an entire potential game fiction premise in and of itself, not something you just assume based on the absence of female child meshes.
chris the cynic
Human Encyclopaedia
Posts: 2207
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:50 pm

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by chris the cynic »

DXNathan wrote:Second: Cynic. At first I thought you were reading far too much into it and accusing me of being a bad person in real life. A later post of yours clarified that you were talking about the player character. Or at least I hope so. You don't throw around accusations of torturing small animals or children lightly. You just don't.
You said that your character was intentionally causing suffering to real (offline) people for your character's own gratification. That is the motivation that drives certain people to torture small animals and children, not to mention large animals and adults.

Deriving joy from causing pain is ... how should I put this? Right, you said it yourself:
But in the context of fiction, I will accept that the Trestkon I'm playing as is evil.
Which was my point.
Fourth: Reincarnation, forums, real life. Where I'm at, TNM's story is full of holes. It doesn't all add up.
Anything that added up completely would be supremely unrealistic as real life is full of apparent inconsistencies and actual loose ends. Indeed it can be proven that anything that isn't incomplete is, in fact, a contradiction.

That said, it helps to consider what you have to go on. You know that Forum City is like The Matrix, not just a person sitting in front of a computer screen. You know specifically that when people are logged in they can experience smell and pain, presumably other senses as well. If a user can feel pain, that means that torture is entirely possible provided that logging out can be prevented. (Without a detailed dissertation on the technology behind logging on, and the processes of logging in and out, we've got no way to be sure whether or not logging off can be prevented but evidence such as SymGeosis suggests that a user cannot simply log out whenever they please.)

Fortunately for users being killed in Forum City does not kill the user, unlike in The Matrix. (Just like death does not kill the soul in a world view with reincarnation.) But it does have an effect because creation of a new account is like reincarnation, not resurrection. That means that identity is lost. The personality of the avatar rests with the avatar, not the user. Absolutely no explanation is given on why this should be true. (Actually, it could be handwaved as a safety feature, if your avatar is tortured you don't want to be traumatized yourself, but the interface lets you actually feel the pain so ... yeah. Probably best to ignore this parenthetical.)

You're already accepting a world where instead of internet forums they have online cities where people can see, hear, feel and smell the simulation around them (are there any explicit references to taste?) Whether you can go further than that I don't know.
I mean, first they say it's like a forum but virtual, but if that's true, why are people always online?
There are people in this word today who spend significant amounts of time on the internet as is.

Also, we have no reason to believe that a Forum City resident spends as much time awake as a real world person. If a user spent eight hours sleeping and eight hours working that would leave eight hours to spend in Forum City. Forum City being a place where you can do anything you could in the real world (we see relationships, people go dancing, there are movies, so on, so forth) but things would logically cost less or, if there is no actual conversion between Forum Planet money and real money, cost nothing beyond the cost of logging on. (You have to get the Forum Planet money mind you, but that is part of the fun.)

(Totally unnecessary part:)
In the presence of something "like The Matrix" the economy changes. If in real life you have a room barely big enough to fit yourself, the equipment to log on, and a connection, then you could spend most of your time living the life in your online thirty room mansion needing to log out only to feed yourself, use the toilet, and make enough money to but sustenance, keep the small room and your connection.

Simulating a stake or a lobster doesn't cost the simulator anymore than simulating stale bread. An online world never need get crowded because, unlike earth, we can add to its size by simply simulating more. A post-scarcity economy is possible for everyone who can afford to both log on and keep themselves alive.

Of course PDX Forum City isn't going to show that. What would Deus Ex be without slums?
(/totally unnecessary part.)

But that doesn't change the fact that everyone could be spending all of their free time online. They wouldn't need to earn as much as people do today because they only need small room, connection, and sustenance. Every other need can be taken care of online.

It is also worth remembering that online money is in fact exchanged for real money right here right now. If someone can earn enough real money from inside of Forum City to pay for small room, food, and connection then they don't need an offline job. That means that someone could stay online all the time except for eating and using the toilet. (Potential methods exist to do those things without discontenting as well.)

It has often been remarked that in the presence of sufficient virtual reality the entire way the world works would change. One you can not just see and hear but feel and smell (and taste, I'm guessing) that is actually like The Matrix is sufficient.

-

Or, ignore all of the above discussion of how the world changes in the presence of The Matrix for all, and instead think about Tron. That works too.
but I can see how online actions can affect the real world.
Of this I am aware. You pointed out that you'd be harming, non-physically, real world users (within the context of TNM) before, as far as I am aware, thinking about the implications of Forum City being like the Matrix, users being able to feel what happens to the avatars, or the fact that creating a new account is like reincarnation. So I never had any doubt that you were aware that online actions directly effect the real world.
I can't remember what all's said, but it's kind of cruel, and I remember thinking that was a little too evil.
You'd rather shoot someone in the head than humiliate them. Makes sense I suppose. Sticks and stones can break my bone but words can strike much deeper, and all that.

[Added:] Fuck I'm slow.
User avatar
JC_Helios
X-51
Posts: 766
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:34 am
Location: USA, CA
Contact:

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by JC_Helios »

Tasting: On one datacube someone complains about only having soyfod, and Dave complains about how hard it is to find a good Irn-bru. Also DDL, and Beeblequix :P

Children: Going by Nathan's logic I'd love to be the sole male child in IW. Not only would I be the only boy amongst an entire school of girls, but I'd also look like them... great for sneaking into locker rooms, and stuff.. Now the only problem is, how do I get to Cario from Trier? I suppose I always could hitch a ride on the jet/heli(?) :lol:

As for Deus Ex; given the situation and the times/places that JC is mucking about in... I'd think most girls would be locked up in their homes, as for parentless bum girls, It'd seem likely that they'd get kidnapped and forced in to prostitution, or slave labor.
chris the cynic
Human Encyclopaedia
Posts: 2207
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:50 pm

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by chris the cynic »

Do I read more into the game than others? I sure do.
Actually I'd say you read less into the game than other people. Other people are looking at the information we have on the Gray Death and its effects and extrapolating from that to reach conclusions about its effects. You are instead saying that if we didn't see something it did not happen. We didn't see more than one gender of children (something we expect to happen fairly often; one out of every 8 times) thus they don't exist. That is reading very little into the game, instead taking it at face value alone.

Also, as far as I know the youngest female in the game is either Madison High School junior Betty Souza, or one of the people dressed like a schoolgirl (the president's daughter for example.)

-

If during the course of a day you saw only four children, all female, would you say that a logical conclusion was that the number of male children in the world had been drastically reduced?
User avatar
Jonas
Off Topic Productions
Off Topic Productions
Posts: 14222
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Hafnia
Contact:

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by Jonas »

I don't feel that I technically have any right to decide how Forum City works given how poorly I thought that whole mechanic through when designing the setting, so please don't take this as a "THIS IS HOW IT IS" - by all means, as long as your own theories don't contradict anything in the actual game, they are as good as mine at this point. Also my theories may contradict what I've previously put in the game and subsequently forgot, and if so, feel free to point it out and tell me I suck.

Phasmatis's Matrix analogy should not be taken too literally.

From the evidence we have to go by, Forum City seems to be a lot closer to Tron or Reboot than The Matrix in that everybody knows they're in a simulated world - The Matrix is described in the first film as "a concensual hallucination of the many", IIRC, but I don't think that's actually accurate: For most people, it's not very consensual at all, they were forced to participate without being asked. Forum City actually is consensual.

Now... I don't think it's actually explicitly stated at any time in the game that the user can feel anything his or her avatar is subjected to, is it? In fact if that were true, the entire concept of the setting begins to make a lot less sense. At some point, Kashue and Evil are keen to warn Trestkon that he could suffer permanent brain damage from keeping ShadowCode in his brain for too long - what human being would accept the risk of permanent brain damage to salvage an Internet community? I think it makes more sense to assume this would happen to the avatar, meaning you'd be saddled with a brain damaged avatar for the remainder of your stay on ForumPlanet - until your avatar dies and you have to start over.

That interpretation does take some of the emotional edge off of the story, I suppose, but as I mentioned previously, the whole point of the Narcissus subplot is to make Trestkon the Avatar understand that he's in a computer game and break out of it. If we accept that on the meta-layer within the fiction of TNM, your avatar has a layer of autonomous sentience, it's not a far leap to accept that on the non-meta layer of the fiction, all of the forum users' avatars also have a measure of self-awareness.

Or if not, think of it as griefing. Think of it as spending years levelling up your character in an MMOG with permadeath, only for an asshole griefer to cast a permanent debilitation spell on you that disables everything cool that you can do and forces you to roleplay a retarded lunatic until your avatar dies and you can kiss 250 levels of experience and hard grinding goodbye.

Clearly that's not comparable to torturing an actual human being in real life, but it's a fair amount of unnecessary grief to inflict upon a fellow player / board member.

I apologize for mixing up so many metaphors, it's quarter to 3 am. Hopefully my point is understandable :)

And again, that's just my interpretation. I don't have a patent on this setting, and my word isn't canon until I put it in the game with a patch ;)
Jonas Wæver
Chief Poking Manager of TNM

You can buy my games on Steam if you like 'em.
Expeditions: Viking
Expeditions: Conquistador
Clandestine
User avatar
Dark Reality
UNATCO
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by Dark Reality »

You know, I've played through the game probably a hundred times or more and I don't recall the President's daughter. The names "Madison High School" and "Betty Souza" aren't ringing a bell, either. Are we still talking about the same game?

Your analogies about not seeing something is flawed. I see where y'all are going, though. Countries we can assume are there unless stated otherwise. I would say we can assume that places are still there, albeit unseen, unless we're expressly told they aren't (such as the coast of California). Animals - we don't see horses or pigs, but since we haven't been told that livestock have died off en masse, we can assume that in their usual places, they still live. We just don't see those places, and therein lies the fault in your analogies (this is to Cynic and DDL both, as you're both on board with this). We visit cities in DX: New York City, Hong Kong, Paris... and there are kids. Now if there were no kids, there would be no argument. But since there are, and they're only male, it invites speculation. Now you could assume it's just by chance you only see boys, that there are girls but they stay out of Denton's way and are never seen. It's not an unsafe assumption. But it's neither unsafe to assume there's a reason, such as the plague that's killed millions. The beauty of it is neither of us are right. You want to assume the best and I want to assume the worst. The truth is, it's a simple omission with no reason based in the game's plot. My reason is based on creativity (blame the virus) and yours is based on statistics (there's a chance you just don't see them).

As for violence in video games, do you really think you're fooling anybody? 10 years ago tomorrow a couple kids shot up their school and the media tried to blame Doom. But the thousands, or millions who played Doom but never hurt anybody kind of proved that wrong. And your boy Jack Thompson has been making the same arguments, primarily against the Grand Theft Auto games, for years, and what's it got him? He's been disbarred and he's a joke. So who do you think you're fooling saying that people who don't take the nonlethal approach in DX (and TNM) torture small animals in real life? Even Jack Thompson didn't go that far.

Amusing speculations, though, the notions of being plugged in all of the time. If you want to have fun on that train of thought, throw it all out the window and replace it all with one Star Trek holodeck. As long as the thing's powered, you could live in it indefinitely. For the non-Trekkies, this thing uses holograms and force fields to create realistic virtual worlds. Also the replicator technology is tied in, and pretty much anything that isn't alive can be replicated, so any food you want, really. And Counselor Troi (Next Generation) said at one point the flavor and texture is artificial, I think it was a chocolate sundae or cake she ate that she said was 100% healthy, not bad for you at all. So in a holodeck fantasy of DX, you could eat nothing but candy bars and soy food, and drink nothing but water, soda, beer (forties), wine, and liquor, and get all your nutrition.

But let's not forget: DX (and TNM) are not real life. What we do in a game doesn't define us in real life, and who we are in real life doesn't have to limit what we do in a video game. You can post all kinds of statistics and logic connecting people who do bad things in real life to music, movies, or games, but the millions of people who enjoy those things and generally do no harm will disprove you every time. Though I suppose you're welcome to try, I don't care to continue that debate. Maybe someone else will.

//appendix: (Normally I'd say //edit, but since this board lets you know when someone posts since you hit Reply - brilliant feature, by the way - I gotta call it something else in light of Jonas' post.) Nobody in Forum City has gained 250 levels or done any hard grinding, at least not the generic NPCs you see on the street. Who would want to be them, anyway? Maybe they are really as good as Trestkon and the others and are just casually talking or taking in the sights, but then why don't they fight back; why do they run and cower when you pull your guns out? With that in mind, in my defense, I didn't kill any experienced character who didn't have it coming. OK, besides Silver Dragon, but even then, I'm siding with WC and he's working against WC. The guy (or gal) playing Silver Dragon had to accept the possibility of defeat when they went in. And what happened was they got trapped in the parking lot and all of a sudden a LAM comes around the corner. That player took a risk and it didn't pay off that time. That's just how it works. I don't think that even makes my Trestkon character bad, and that brings me back to what I've been saying all along. Sure, you could argue that my character has chosen a dishonorable path, but it's within a game where it's a real possibility. On top of that, what kind of game would it be if everyone were as honorable as you like? Without Scara, everybody just gets along. And that's not like DX at all.
Do you love Off-Topic Productions and The Nameless Mod?
Join TNMST - The Nameless Mod Street Team - today.
PRËTËNTIÖüS
Mole Person
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:24 am

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by PRËTËNTIÖüS »

DXNathan wrote:But let's not forget: DX (and TNM) are not real life. What we do in a game doesn't define us in real life, and who we are in real life doesn't have to limit what we do in a video game. You can post all kinds of statistics and logic connecting people who do bad things in real life to music, movies, or games, but the millions of people who enjoy those things and generally do no harm will disprove you every time. Though I suppose you're welcome to try, I don't care to continue that debate. Maybe someone else will.
To say that someone is evil based on their actions in a video game is silly.
But if you side with Worldcorp, the character you are playing is definitely 'evil'. You betray your former friends and colleagues, kill tons of people (although you could do the same in the PDX storyline) and you aid a madman just for some cash (which is virtual). Even if you say that none of this matters because no one dies, WC Trestkon is still a huge asshole, griefing and ruining other people's enjoyment of PDX. And I'd describe that as 'evil'.
chris the cynic
Human Encyclopaedia
Posts: 2207
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:50 pm

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by chris the cynic »

Jonas wrote:Phasmatis's Matrix analogy should not be taken too literally.

From the evidence we have to go by, Forum City seems to be a lot closer to Tron or Reboot than The Matrix in that everybody knows they're in a simulated world - The Matrix is described in the first film as "a concensual hallucination of the many", IIRC, but I don't think that's actually accurate: For most people, it's not very consensual at all, they were forced to participate without being asked. Forum City actually is consensual.
Is that where I got that line from? I seriously had no idea.

(I personally don't mind coexisting contradictory interpretations, I support Tron, .hack//Sign and The Matrix all as interpretations. I chose to expand on only one.)

By, The Matrix I meant immersive five sense simulation, not people stuck in a simulated world they think is real against their will. People (avatars controlled by users as opposed to constructs) discuss taste, smell, and pain. For me the path of least resistance to get to this point is to say that the users are smelling, tasting and feeling pain (otherwise the bombing-DD argument makes no sense.) That doesn't rule out paths of greater resistance.
In fact if that were true, the entire concept of the setting begins to make a lot less sense. At some point, Kashue and Evil are keen to warn Trestkon that he could suffer permanent brain damage from keeping ShadowCode in his brain for too long - what human being would accept the risk of permanent brain damage to salvage an Internet community?
You know the part of the conversation where I tell you you totally missed my point? This is that part. Given how often I have such conversations (and not just with you) I think this is a result of a failure to communicate on my part.

Feel pain does not equal experience harm. There are games in existence today that cause users pain (less pain than their characters for obvious reasons) it is considered a feature. In a simulation where avatar death != user death, there is no reason to think avatar brain damage = user brain damage. (Also, did you not see me give the futurist woww speech? [not a typo, by the way] It can spin things in many and cool ways. They may not be relevant, but they are cool.)

Or in other words:
I think it makes more sense to assume this would happen to the avatar, meaning you'd be saddled with a brain damaged avatar for the remainder of your stay on ForumPlanet - until your avatar dies and you have to start over.
When someone thinks they are disagreeing with me but they actually propose what I thought I just said, I know I have failed. Sorry to confuse you Jonas.

I think a big problem is that I removed something I was going to say about Sym which would probably have made things more clear.
User avatar
Arnaud G. Vasquez
Thug
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:02 pm
Location: Filgaia

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by Arnaud G. Vasquez »

DXNathan wrote:You know, I've played through the game probably a hundred times or more and I don't recall the President's daughter. The names "Madison High School" and "Betty Souza" aren't ringing a bell, either. Are we still talking about the same game?
The high school and the girl attending it is mentioned in the newspaper article in Manderley's office the first time J.C. visits UNATCO H.Q.

Interpreting the events of the entirety of TNM as 100% virtual and detached from tangible significance still irks me, rationally. There are too many events that appear to affect the world "outside" Forum City. I've already brought up a few of those and wish not to revisit them, though. Rather, I *do* want to scorch another trail to point out how I believe TNM's mirroring of Deus Ex itself has a much more profound impact upon it than is seen at first glance.

Head to the Downtown district. People are chatting about the bureaucracy of the government, the architecture of the city, illicit deals gone bad, places to take up residence, and drinking a teensy bit too much. Over in the Corporate sector is discussion of the administration fighting the DXO terrorists, the assimilation gorging that WorldCorp is exhibiting, and the ramifications of living on the street in such a well-maintained portion of Forum City. Down in the Slums is talk of brainwashed children joining freak cults, kitties that take precedence over potential wives, and drug gangs hassling bums in the old medical clinic. Yardbomb practices voodoo. Mercedes oversees a night club. NVShacker seeks employment while maintaining his "pet" spiderbot. Glottis markets questionably legal products. Chris the Cynic engages in lengthy discourses about electronic sentience and the hierarchy of angels. Whoever sells snacks.

What's the common thread, all together? Everyone in TNM is living a lifestyle and creating a world around them. Is this not what occurs in Deus Ex? Is this not what we accomplish in reality? Forum City, apart from the technical and direct references to its online structure, is essentially a standard city. It is a place where people live, work, socialize, exchange information and ideas, and progress toward a future. That is assuredly the influence of the stunningly meaningful Deus Ex. The more I explore and ponder the world of TNM, the more I view it as any other video game world: within context, 100% real. To that extent, I partially wish that the game abandoned its deep Internet roots in favor of an authentic world - a la DX. The forum setting provides a substantial amount of contemplation, setting establishment and motivation within its framework to establish the game's atmosphere...but then must it be detached from purpose and disregarded as a visceral reality? I submit no absolute answer to this. My conclusion, for the record, is to take Forum City as the highest order of reality known to it. It must be real enough to apply my mind and undertake the vast world-saving / world-destroying experience of one Trestkon.
I'm pretty confident in everything from the neck up.
chris the cynic
Human Encyclopaedia
Posts: 2207
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:50 pm

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by chris the cynic »

DXNathan wrote:You know, I've played through the game probably a hundred times or more and I don't recall the President's daughter. The names "Madison High School" and "Betty Souza" aren't ringing a bell, either. Are we still talking about the same game?
The president's daughter is in the intro, her model and skin are also used elsewhere though they do not represent her. As for Betty, you could always try reading. She wears black, has an occipital jack, got a tatoo at the age of 16, and was sent to an FBI run good behavior camp for saying she knew how to make a bomb while discussing a book taught at her school. The year before the game took place 15,234 young people were intered in such camps in her state.

Anyway, i think that junior in high school is probably younger than the women you listed.
We visit cities in DX: New York City, Hong Kong, Paris... and there are kids.
There are four. Think about that for a moment. You are judging the population of the entire planet using three cities in which you have seen an average of 1 and 1/3 children each.
But it's neither unsafe to assume there's a reason, such as the plague that's killed millions.
Where it becomes unsafe is that we know about the plauge. We know its history, we know how it works, we even know what it looks like. We've got info on it left and right.

So here is the problem. If the Gray Death caused a shift in the male:female birth ratio that would be its single most sigificant effect. Everything else it did would be secondary. Also, much of what we know about it would need to be false. (Some more on that below.)

Is it possible that what the game tells us about the Gray Death is false, that the most important feature of it is never mentioned, and that your theory is true? Yes.

It is also possible that Bob Page is a Unicorn in disgusise and there is a teapot orbiting mars.
You want to assume the best and I want to assume the worst.
That is simulantiously both quite true and the most blantant lie I have seen in five months. I am impressed that the two can coincide. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the first is what you meant. In that case, yes I assume that the developers were not trying to trick us, which is indeed for the best.
My reason is based on creativity (blame the virus) and yours is based on statistics (there's a chance you just don't see them).
My reason is not based on statistics, please do not lie about me to me. I have not told you my reason, because I saw no point. If you would like to know what it is read beyond this sentence on, if not skip to the next quote and please never claim to know it again.

My reason is that given the information we have on the distribution of and effects of the gray death would make your thesis impossible. I will, to some degree, back up this statement with numbers.

To have an effect of that magnitude a significant portion of the child bearing population of the entire world would need to be infected already.

If the infection is so large that only one in ten children is born female that means that at least four out of every nine woman are infected already (Probably much higher. Twice as high would be a more likely estimate) If only women were infected (which we know isn't true) that would mean that more than 22% of the global population was infected. (More than 44% of the world's women.) But that wouldn't be when the game took place, it would instead be years ago, when the boys we see were being born. Even if MJ12 was so incompetent as to not improve since then (and we are told the opposite, that Gray Death is on the rise) That is more than a fifth of the population already infected.

That is all well and good, except the infection in the US is so small that the superfrieghter is just, and I quote, "initial virus shipment." Further the only reports about the Gray Death come from isolated cities in America and Europe. We know that China is covering up their cases, but if the world is at least 22% infected, and more likely 88 percent infected, is such a cover up really likely?

But of course there isn't a global 88% infection rate, or even a 22% infection rate. In Atlanta it has yet to even reach 10% but they say in game that they think it will soon.

So let us say that it was 10%, and that female children could not be born to those who had the Gray Death. That would mean that for every 20 children that would have been born 10 would be boys, 9 would be girls, and one would be dead. There would be a 10:9 male female ratio. Not perfect, but hardly catastrophic.

Also, there is a chance that the infected would die before giving birth in which case the ratio would be 9:9 which is the same as 50:50, or 1 to 1, or whatever you choose to call it.

So we have a ratio somewhere between 10:9 and 50-50, surely we've got to get all the girls off the streets now.
As for violence in video games, do you really think you're fooling anybody?
Are you still talking to me?
10 years ago tomorrow a couple kids shot up their school and the media tried to blame Doom.
That is because the media is at times moronic. Much nicer to blame a video game than tell people to take responsibility for their own actions and consider what would have happened if even one person had bothered to pay attention to warning signs that were so clear in retrospect.
But the thousands, or millions who played Doom but never hurt anybody kind of proved that wrong.
Proof is such a strong word. Too strong for this instance. If things could be proven so easily there would be no Jack Thompson's in the world. Unfortunately even a mountain of evidence does not make a proof, it just makes a mountain of evidence. It would be nice if we lived in a world where proof was as easy as you make it out to be because then we would be able to end, in an instant, some debates that rage on as we speak.
And your boy Jack Thompson has been making the same arguments,
He's no son of mine.
So who do you think you're fooling saying that people who don't take the nonlethal approach in DX (and TNM) torture small animals in real life?
I didn't, please stop lying about me to me. I would appreciate it if you do not lie about me at all, but at least have the respect to not do it like this. I know what I said, you know what I said, and anyone who wants to can read what I said. I spoke of your character as described by you. Your character is not you any more than I am Trestkon. A fact you seem more than willing to point out, yet you now ignore.
User avatar
Dark Reality
UNATCO
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Opinions WC Trestkon's convo with Phas?

Post by Dark Reality »

"Please stop lying about me to me." I like that.

I'd like to honor the time you put into that last post by matching it with another long post, but we're really not getting anywhere, are we?

The first time I misspoke and stated your intention (the correct angle would have been to say "it seems like your reason is" as opposed to just the last three words) I said that your reason was based on statistics. You denied it... and then you go and drop a bunch more numbers. See, you're like the Carl Sagan or Michael Crichton, you want... ah... you seem to want to quantify everything. I'm more like the Michael Bay or the Frank Miller here. I want to show the effects, the style. Of course I respect the substance (as well as canon) but my focus is on the image. Now which sci-fi film was more successful, Contact or Armageddon (Sagan's most recognized film and a Michael Bay film from around the same time)? Both were good, but only one was really fun. And if your entertainment's not fun, what's the point?
Do you love Off-Topic Productions and The Nameless Mod?
Join TNMST - The Nameless Mod Street Team - today.
Post Reply