Saturday, June 21, 2014

In which I critique the Goon perspective on TV Tropes Content policies

This post sums up the Goon position on TV Tropes content policy, and below I've decided to comment on it.

Post text in italics, mine comments in bold.


Administrivia: There Is no Such Thing as Notability

All works are notable. posted:

    Wikipedia tries in many regards to be the opposite of what we are. We want to be fun, interesting and a cool place to sink hours of time. Wikipedia wants to be a compilation of previously published facts from respected sources. Serious business. Presented with a choice between serious and fun, we went with fun.

I always felt this was a sensible enough guideline.

Citations from respected sources = Serious business

Cataloging every instance of surprise sex in recorded media = Just for fun

This is disingenuous BS that ignores the whole point to listing trope examples in the name of moralistic whining based on a partisan and biased anti-troper Goon talking point. For instance, the trope "Rape As Comedy" is a trope about the concept of rape used for humor within a story, and the examples should explain how (insert work here) uses this trope as a story element. Being perverse and going into voyeuristic detail should obviously be avoided, but in the interests of literary analysis, how this trope is used within the story should be explained for context.

However, if the Goons had their way, all of this would be avoided in the name of not offending anyone and because they think anyone talking about rape for any reason (except what they have defined as "okay") is a filthy pervert (i.e. - what they consider tropers), which makes me facepalm pretty hard.

By, For, and About Fans posted:

    TV Tropes Wiki was started by fans. People, that is, who like stuff. You will see that articles work better here when they are about something you like. This is a little bit of a shock to folks that are used to cynicism about the media. It takes a minute or two to get used to.

    People who come looking for a place to bash stuff and rant about how dumb this or that is are in for some disappointment. Here, anyway. There are plenty of places on the 'Net to bash stuff. Shouldn't be too hard to find one.

In this case, I partially disagree. Unlike TV Tropes, which strives to avoid negativity, that just leads to a hugbox mentality. You can criticize something without being an ass about it, and this should be done where warranted in the interests of honest criticism. However, the overly discouraging attitude to anything that might seem negative has strangled and mocked the concept of being able to do this on TV Tropes.

"You jerks can go on all those other sites to make fun of how dumb my favorite cartoon series
ostensibly aimed at children is. I'll be here on TV Tropes, a hugbox full of people who actually like stuff. "

YAY, more partisan BS. Alright, I agree with the hugbox part, but I'm an admitted enemy of most of the creepier aspects of the My Little Pony: FIM fandom, but even I don't think it's impossible for a grown adult to give literary criticism of it in a mature manner, especially if they enjoy it. Also, the not so subtle indication that an adult should not be fan of a work made for kids in any circumstances because their age forbids it is just idiotic. After all, a lot of children's stuff is produced by adults, many of which enjoy creating the material, so I have a counter question for the Goons here:

Are those people creepy, pathetic manchildren if they enjoy similar material themselves?

Just Because It's Notable Doesn't Mean It's Safe To Host posted:

    We consider every work notable. But works that are nothing but porn aren't appropriate to host on this site. We don't need porn in order to understand storytelling.

 This is a semantic question that is defined in three seperate ways depending on who you ask:

1. TV Tropes: By a censorship panel that arbitrarily decides what is and isn't porn or pandering to pedophiles and by advertisers even Fast Eddie and the TV Tropes staff have admitted are terrible at figuring out the difference themselves, not that the former are much better.

Administrivia: The Content Policy and the 5P Circuit is just full of an insane/inane number of that could easily be summed up in one sentence: STOP POSTING PORN AND PEDOSHIT YOU ASSHOLES!

2. Goon mockers of TV Tropes: *insert moralistic posturing even though this is the same forum whose front page has a series of articles on hentai games where Zack Parsons admitted despite his disgust that certain aspects of some of them turned him on, which is something Goons condemn tropers for doing, apparently blind to their own hypocrisy*

It shows just how immature and ill-equipped tropers are at being able to discuss anything even remotely sexual without needing several huge loving articles walking them step by step through the reasons why porn and pedophilia is no longer allowed on the site. And there are still many, many discussion threads dedicated to what should be a simple concept for them.

3. All The Tropes: We use the legal definition of pornography and pedophilia as defined by the United States as the stopping point for what is legal, if not moral, to discuss (i.e. - the same standards used by Wikipedia, more or less). These limits are not exactly pleasing to those who are easily offended, but have stood the test of time far easier, are more clearly defined, and less arbitrary when it comes to discerning what counts as a story and what counts as something without serious literary merit. 


    Q: Is the content policy going to change?
    A: Certain aspects of the policy might be relaxed in the future (e.g so that works that are porn get locked instead of cut) if the circumstances that lead to the implementation of the policy disappear (i.e if we get better page curation and more reliable sources of income), but for now, there won't be any changes to the policy.

In the case of All The Tropes, we decided freeing ourselves of the shackles of advertisers and not letting them or a bunch of moral hypocrites (hello Goons) dictate what we can talk about would obviate this issue.

In other words, they would totally still have porn on the site if Fast Eddie had a different source of funding than Google AdSense. Makes me wish he would win the lottery or something so TV Tropes could be 100% independent and self-sustaining.

In this case, the Goon position should be amended to "they would totally have pages on works with strong sexual content that would ordinarily be considered porn on a case by case basis on TV Tropes or whatever Goons feel you should feel dirty for enjoying regardless of its legality or level of story quality if Fast Eddie had a different source of funding than Google AdSense."

Also, the second sentence is hilarious. All The Tropes is ad free and will remain so for the foreseeable future, and according to the guys at Orain, this doesn't cost them tons of money to pull off in this era of cheap bandwidth/hosting space.


    Also, in the case of H Games, there is this questioning to fill up:

    When are the sex scenes located?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

    Are they spread out over the game?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

    How much gameplay is there between sex scenes?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

    Are they only at the endings?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

    How hard do you have to work to get an ending?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

    Are they in every ending? Every good ending?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

    Are the sex scenes optional via a choice in the menu?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?  (though in this case, whether this is the case could make the plot harder to follow, so this is a legit point to trope)

    Would the story make sense without them with minimal or no rewriting?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?  (though in this case, whether this is the case could make the plot harder to follow, so this is a legit point to trope)

    Are the scenes made up of stills, or are they animated?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant? 

    How explicit are the sex scenes?

If it's part of the story, why is this relevant?

So, wait: porn is still allowed, but only if it fits our arbitrary criteria?

Finally! Something I can agree with the Goons on wholeheartedly!  

To finish this post off, I'm going to make a confession: I have sampled many of the works banned by TV Tropes, including "Kodomo No Jikan" (what those spineless cowards on SA called "The Anime That Must Not Be Named"), just to see what was so bad about them. In that anime/manga's case, hell yes, I can see why it would made people offended, but as long as it doesn't violate the law to discuss it's existence or its story elements, I see no reason to bar people from doing so as long as they don't violate our site policy or any legal limits, and to be blunt, I could care less if anyone, the Goons especially, have a meltdown over it.

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