Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pet Peeve #12307

Okay, guys, I'm a nerd. This is not something that I hide or forget to mention. It was actually one of the first things I told Three when we went on our first date, in addition to the various issues that had ended previous relationships*. When I meet Fellow Nerds, I am, more often than not, delighted, particularly if we are interested in the same things. I love hearing about other people's fandoms, even if I don't share them, but there's just something about geeking out with others with similar tastes that makes it that much more fun. Extrapolation from source material is always a blast to discuss, and it's hard to find a nerd who doesn't have at least one fan theory that changes how you may look at something.

For instance, Mass Effect. I have my own ideas as to what goes on in Shepard's head, which is kind of the point of the game. For instance, in one of my play-throughs, my FemShep (who had seen her entire squad die in a thresher maw attack at the beginning of her military career) had fallen in lust with Kaiden Alenko but was forced to leave him to set off the nuke on Virmire, and after she (spoiler alert) died and was resurrected at the beginning of the second game, she decided she wasn't going to wait to declare her love for someone and chose Garrus, her long-time comrade. She continued the relationship into Mass Effect 3 because it was obvious that his loyalty and dedication to her hadn't wavered and because it was obvious that they were perfect for each other: life-long servicemen with a penchant for bending the rules. See? Most of what actually is in that comes from inside my head; it's not explicitly stated in the game, but it was a feeling that I got when I saw her make choices and actions. And that's what made me love the game and assert that it is probably one of the best games ever created.

But it's also a lot of fun to bitch about parts of your favorite stories (games, comics, books, movies, etc.) that make no sense, were poorly executed, didn't have as much thought as was necessary. I don't consider it a betrayal; it's not about attacking or tearing them down, leaving nothing but your exceptionally sad soul to stare at the pieces that remain. It's important to approach these things objectively, and most of the time, it make me appreciate whatever I'm watching/playing/reading even more. Going back to Mass Effect, I found that the treatment of Thane, particularly if you romanced him in the second game, was kind of insensitive to the character. Like, okay, you get it on in ME2, which actually is a pretty emotional scene:

"Thane, be alive with me tonight." 

Their relationship is actually pretty solid, and I was really looking forward to the continuation of it into ME3. When they're reunited on the Citadel, FemShep and Thane (hilariously) start making out in the middle of the hospital (even after she's all, "You want to get outta here and spend some time alone?" /eyebrowwiggle), and afterward, he lets her know that he's not in the physical condition necessary to help her out on her mission to unite the galaxy against the Reapers (or to have sex again. ever). Then he helps save the salarian councilor from Kai Leng but dies in the process. Okay, this I didn't have a problem with, since, hey, it's war: shit happens. But then ... nothing**. You can even start a new romance if you'd like. Shep is all, "Oh, well, he died. Better not grieve or anything." It left me feeling a little cheated and didn't fit the character I had played with for three games***.

Finally, here's where we get to my pet peeve. I try to actively engage people on the praise and criticism of their favorite anything. If you think that I'm being a little too hard on certain aspects, I have no issue with you pointing that out to me. Having good-natured arguments about our takes on things isn't a bad thing, but when somebody starts to interject their head-canon as absolute fact, and I am stupid for not agreeing with them? Yeah, you're about to get a giant middle finger from me, and most likely, I'm not going to talk to you about anything substantial ever again. Example (and actual conversation):

Me: I noticed between the first [Mass Effect] game and the second that Tali's name was pronounced differently. It was Tah-lee first and then Ta-lee next. I mean, I guess it's kind of like how Dodonna in A New Hope pronounced Leia's name as Leah, but still.
Person: Tali just finally got enough balls to say, "Nope, you say my name Ta-lee."
Me: Maybe? (furrows brow) It's a possibility. 
Person: That has to be what happened. Otherwise, it makes no sense.
Me: (joking) You may be thinking a little too much about this.
Person: Hey, you brought it up.
Me: Wait. Are you seriously angry about this?
Person: (getting more and more irate) Look, all I'm saying is, the writers didn't mess up here. 
Me: I didn't say that. All I said was -
Person: You don't have to shit all over this great piece of work.
Me: Um ... I'm going to go ... do something ... over there.

This conversation, sadly, didn't end there. After that point, every single time I started talking about anything that was related to anything, up to and including the fact that I found the Star Wars prequels to be universally awful****, I was accosted by this guy's head-canon. And it wasn't even a conversation I was having with him; he just jumped in and started yelling at me. I'm very open-minded, almost to a fault, when it comes to the interpretation of art, no matter what the medium+, and I expect the same courtesy from everyone else. Maybe that's naivete speaking; I don't know. But from now on, I am pretty much avoiding that guy and anyone else who is just being a dick. Don't be a dick, people. It rarely gets you anywhere, at least with me.

* I'm not even joking here. I went down a list, point by point, with the idea that, if I got it all out in the open, we'd both make sure we weren't wasting our time. We'd both been in several long-term relationships (he had been married for eight years), and I was just done with casual dating. Thankfully, he found my candid reveal refreshing, and almost four years after we said "I do" in front of the county clerk, we're still going strong. 
** Unless you download the Citadel DLC. There you get to have a wake for Thane, which I guess is a kind of closure? 
*** I also get that this game is basically a more complicated choose-your-own-adventure book. You can only have so many options programmed into the game, or else you're going to have about 10982364786234 discs (and even then, you'd miss one story). Ain't nobody got that kind of money. Well, maybe somebody does, but I prefer not to think about that.
**** I didn't realize that there were people who defended these movies. I mean, I think I recognized this academically, but it was really shocking when I came across him. 
+ Hell, I don't even judge people who like what I consider to be bad:  Twilight and its fan-fiction response piece, 50 Shades of GrayJem and the Holograms, etc. I have a soft spot for Surf Ninjas, a movie that cannot be considered anything but simple martial arts fluff. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...