Determinators – Power Fantasy, Wish Fulfillment, from Fiction to League of Legends.

Determinators are something I love, and knowing that I love it had allowed me to understand why I love some of the media, some of the stories, some of the characters that I do.
Let us begin with the definition of determinator as it appears on TV Tropes:

A character — good or evil, male or female, young or old — who never gives up. Ever. No matter what.

And let me tell you, if you’ve ever played a Dungeons and Dragons game (or specifically came across D&D related fiction), read a bildungsroman novel, watched anime or read manga, or uttered the term “Mary Sue” with regards to a male character, it’s like you’ve come across determinators, and plenty of them.

The hero that gets beaten but then rises once more, or who gets beaten, trains and then comes back, the hero who will not abandon their friends, the hero is a hero. Note, should a villain display these traits, and it’s actually quite common, we’ll call him persistent or a pest, which is also often about time-frame or due to the fact that this isn’t shown on-screen. Take for instance Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of Poke’Mon. In episode 5 his electric Pikachu is beatenby Brock’s rock/ground Poke’Mon, so he trains overnight and comes back in the morning with his dynamo-trained electric rodent to beat Brock. More commonly though, we think of determinators as those who do not give up within the scene, who get beaten but rise up once more.

Continue reading

[TIL]Writing About Your Interests.

So, some of you may know, I’m a university student, I’m one (1,800+ pages of material) test away from finishing my second year, studying Philosophy and Sociology/Anthropology. And one of the bennies when you get a too-open assignment, is to write about shit you care about. I wrote an assignment on Holism in analyzing RPGs.

This is actually not the first time I’ve done something like this. The first time we were asked to write a major assignment (around 20-30 pages) was in the fifth grade, and I wrote about Dungeons and Dragons. I hunted down the articles in Hebrew written about it, publications translated on satanism, psychology, how the game was brought into Israel, etc. This was back when “Mitzuv” the company that brought D&D to Israel existed, and TSR too, so I just had my mom go to their offices and photocopy that stuff for me.
I might actually still have this assignment somewhere, perhaps even on a computer (though if I do, it’s in Hebrew).

Now, I had a course in Philosophy about Holism, we’ve discussed the topic mainly through the lens of the Philosophy of Science and the Philosophy of Language, and a broad-picture was painted. We were told (we were told on the first lesson, so it didn’t come as a surprise) to write an assignment regarding Holism, anything we wanted.
And then came the time to write the assignment, and I wasn’t sure what to write about, so I turned to my interests, things I didn’t need to do major reading about in order to crank out a roughly 7 page assignment, because being the procrastinator that I am, there was no time.

I recalled the arrow diagram of The Big Model in RPGs, and how all the levels had to be taken into account, especially in light of “The Lumpley Principle” (“System (including but not limited to ‘the rules’) is defined as the means by which the group agrees to imagined events during play.”) and I set down to right.

Note, this assignment is obviously not without flaws, but I had constraints of time and space to begin with, and the paper had to be tailored to a specific audience. Roleplaying games may have needed a better explanation and breakdown, The Big Model deserves its own section, and of course, describing the roleplaying theory scene while giving everyone it credit too. But that was unfeasible. So things were simplified, and I’m sure some things were butchered.

Maybe it all makes me a bad academic, perhaps it even makes me a bad student, but the point is another: Use what you already know and care for when you can. Beat dealing with stuff you are either not passionate about (I quite like Philosophy, thank you), or need to read up on when you can avoid it (yes, I guess I am a bad proto-academic).

Here’s a direct link to the assignment, note, it’s a .doc (Word document, office 2000, ~2,000 words).

Also, this is the last day of the month, so expect some summary posts to follow this week, including my media breakdown, my purchases, a review of the Figures of the Month (I will see about that), and break-down traffic and posts made this month.

P.S. I know this is greek to most of you, “The Big Model”, “The Lumpley Principle”, etc. I touch on it in the paper you can read, and well, this is a blog about what I care for. And this is something I care for. So there you go.

P.P.S. The “About” page had been updated. The Links page still awaits completion.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]