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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Recovered Documents Pertaining to Rumors of a Zombie Plague





6 comments:

  1. This brings up an interesting point about the nature of mysterious phenomena and the question of scientific vs. supernatural occurances.

    One of the researches claims that "these beings simply don't work according to scientific principles. They are simply unnatural." At the end, Dr. Stephens remarks: "These beings seem to undermine everything we believed about a rational universe."

    Anyone who says a thing like that is not a scientist. Well, that may be a little harsh. At the very least, they're not a GOOD scientist.

    Why? Because the FIRST RULE of scientific inquiry is this: The roots of knowledge are in observation and its fruit is prediction. Put more simply, you observe whatever you can and try to figure out the rules that make it happen, and you test your knowledge of those rules by making predictions of future events and seeing if they hold up.

    The reason I'm blathering about this: new, apparently unexplainable phenomena are NOT evidence that science is useless, or that the universe doesn't follow predictable laws. It means that our best guesses of the universe's laws are flawed, and that they need to be revised. If you observe an event, it IS natural, and if you look hard enough you can peel back the confusion and find the mechanisms underneath. Any scientist who said "This is entirely unnatural" and meant it is giving up; refusing to look for predictive tendencies in a messy, confusing universe.

    There's a difference between an event or process which can't be explained given current knowledge, and one which is unexplainable. As far as I'm aware, no one's ever come up with a convincing example of the latter.

    Whew. Well, that was a long rant. Which wasn't really about zombies or this post at all. Let me say: I really liked this. I just happened to see something which looked like one of my pet peeves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...I feel like you really, really, really missed the point.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel the need to comment, because I'm going to comment on EVERY SINGLE POST. jsyk

    And now for something completely different!

    I wish more GMs were willing to do stuff like this for their players. When my players found partially-burnt journal entries detailing the founding of the city they were in, they were ECSTATIC when I handed them actual partially burnt handwritten journal entries (I got to use fire! =D)

    But yeah, Tench, I think you pissed the point. Not gonna lie.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No! Maybe I should have made this more clear. This wasn't meant to be a critique of your post! It was more a thought-lump which had been bouncing around in my head for a while, which several lines of the email happened to set off. In hindsight, I admit, this probably wasn't the best place to release it, given that it isn't related to the tone or focus (or point, yes) of your piece. So, uh, sorry. Feel free to nuke my comment if you like.

    And let me reiterate what may have been buried in the enormous previous comment: I really liked this post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks :P

    It was just a bit disappointing to see that kind of reply, since one of the things I wanted to deliberately move away from here was the idea that zombies, in particular, can be Explained By Science. I wanted them to be just these horrific, hellish representations of humanity's worst excesses, as a tide of unreason and madness given flesh. And, to some extent, I wanted to convey the fact that the radical shift in perception needed to deal with these creatures would break even--and perhaps especially--the most rational minds.

    It's a little depressing to think that maybe the audience members that I'm trying to hit hardest with this idea that maybe the universe is just a malevolent, irrational place would just brush it off as bad science :P I'm afraid that's the most likely outcome, though, unless this sort of thing was expanded on really well.


    And yes, DMs need to do this stuff more often. It really does make such a difference, and I think it's fun to put this kind of thing together.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's just bad science.

    Sorry had to. I always wished I'd had time as a DM to do these things, but alas I choose and educational path that eats up all free time given it feels like.

    ReplyDelete

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