Audience Effects

Misaimed Fandom is when the audience takes irony as endorsement or likes a character the author meant to be problematic. The classic example is Milton: Satan is the bad guy of Paradise Lost. If you enjoyed Achievement Unlocked with no sense of irony, you were engaging in misaimed fandom.

The tropers note the characters of Rei and Kaworu Neon Genesis: Evangelion. They are pale, creepy, and emotionally stunted, and therefore not intended to be sympathetic, sexualized (Rules 34 and 36 aside), or fan favorites. The creators missed two things: (1) they are the nicest people in the series; (2) many otaku are pale, creepy, and emotionally stunted.

What examples would you cite as misaimed fandom in gaming? PETA’s Thanksgiving Cooking Mama parody was meant to make you sick, but children enjoyed its gooey, over-the-top violence. Other games have meant to sicken you with violence but instead provided hours of gore-soaked enjoyment for the masses. Hard moral choices lead to “hey, watch what I can do to this old lady” moments. Was You Have to Burn the Rope really meant as a Portal parody?

: Zubon

3 thoughts on “Audience Effects”

  1. Not gaming related, but WWE wrestling has this ‘problem’ all the time. They try to set guys up as good or bad, but ultimately the fans always decide who is who, which must really screw with the writers planning.

    Gaming is tough because as a player, you usually don’t have a choice of who to fight and who to ally with, or when you do it’s very black/white like in Fable. The Witcher comes to mind as one of the few games to really get the whole ‘shades of gray’ concept down.

  2. Much of the revision/peer-review phase in writing is for figuring out how audiences are getting to strange conclusions and shutting down those avenues. The better the writer, the more precise and controlled his or her language. There will always be plenty of willful fools who only see what they want to see, but for the most part a writer is responsible for the interpretation of his or her own works.

  3. Blast you, Zubon. Now I’ve got that cursed “burn the rope” victory song stuck in my head.

    Nice article. Articlella? (Like “novella”?)

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