0033 - Iteration of an algorithm - 2018.05.21

Comic!

Comment:

What is the value of a story?

Is it the emotional connection to the characters - loving or hating them, identifying with their traits, empathizing with their feelings? Is it the instinctual connection to the plot - the ups and downs, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? Is it the niftiness of worldbuilding or specific character traits, the fiddly bits of trivia that are fun to learn? Is it the message and theme of the story, presented through not only the plot, but through the way the universe is shown to function?

Different people, of course, process stories differently, so the answer will vary from person to person. You get out of the story whatever you're wired to get out of it... and, I would argue, if you're wired to get a specific thing out of a story and the artist isn't wired to put that specific thing into it, then you're either going to wander away disinterested, or you're going to remix what you see in order to make it fun for you.

Which is to say, there are some situations in which a "spoiler" will ruin a story, and some situations in which it won't, and that can depend both on the audience and on the story.

Which type of audience do you think Lee is? Did Zoa's revelation make Gu Gu JaxxonFive less interesting? If so, what was Lee getting from the story that they now are not?

Announcement:

The fourth book in my Guide series, The Necromancer's Guide to Life, is now available! All my Patreon patrons can download the PDFs here, and if you want a physical copy (they make great gifts), you can order one here!

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Transcript:

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0033 - 2167/07/05/18:59 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
LC: Well, shit, now I feel even more like I've been wasting my life. This whole time, these shows, these stories, they're all just... iterations of an algorithm.
Zoa: Everything is an iteration of an algorithm, Lee. Being able to predict the ending doesn't make the process of getting there a waste of time.
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LC: You already know how the story ends. You know who lives and who dies. Why bother watching?
Zoa: It's a journey-not-the-destination thing. When I pop a client's cock in my gob, none of them ever says "well, I can see how this little endeavour is going to play out, you needn't bother continuing".
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LC: Well, that's different. You're appealing to and fulfilling a base animal instinct.
Zoa: And Gu Gu JaxxonFive isn't? Look at you, you've probably watched this episode a dozen times before, but your pupils still dilated, your breath rate increased, your heart rate nearly doubled.
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LC: You can see my heart rate?
Zoa: In your penis, yeah. Fifth sense, remember?
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