Your Children Are Not Yours

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valderman
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by valderman » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:04 pm

ElisaMasah wrote:
valderman wrote:How does fan fiction work in any way affect the original?.
You will be surprised ... but they do.
There seems to have been a misunderstanding; I'm referring to fan fiction published on the Internet or elsewhere, not scrawled all over a library's copy of the original work. That's destruction of property!
valderman wrote:If you don't like it, don't read it.
I not so easy they are like cockroach ... you try to ignore them and one day you found your kitchen floor is just start moving and crawling.
If someone is printing out fan fiction and dumping it on your floor during the night, I really think you should contact your local police department, not complain about it on the Internet.
Aura wrote: Fan works certainly can affect the original work. First example that comes to mind is the Touhou series because of its immensely huge fan scene. I think in many cases touhou fanon surpasses canon, and many fans even totally disregard the "plots" of the original games, or other descriptions ZUN's made of the setting.
So some fans decide they like the fan fiction better. I don't see how that affects the original work other than for those fans.
Also, Valve (and other game studios) likes to assimilate some fan works or fan cretors to their games and teams. That's fan creations directly affecting original work.
That is Valve developing their work using ideas borrowed from the community, not fan material independently affecting the original.
A fandom might be more known for their insanity/infighting/drama/terrible fan creations, which really could affect the original negatively in the minds of people not part of the fandom. Example: Twilight series. There are many more examples, but generally suggesting that the influence between original and fan works goes only in one direction is patently false.
Yes, some people know that Twilight fans can be annoying and might also write horrible gay porn fan fiction. That still does not affect the original work at all. It might affect what people think about it, as you correctly point out, but if we're to use this metric to judge what infringes copyright, then we'd all best be wary of how we speak of anything copyrighted, lest we tarnish its fine reputation and get dragged off to prison for speaking an unauthorized derivative work.

My point is that any work is still itself, no matter what people use it for. Fan works might influence what someone thinks of your work, but so might just about anything else, including sounds, temperatures and other sensations experienced in some vague connection to it, including someone suddenly being exposed to an unpleasant odor while thinking about your work.
Considering the difference of magnitude, more accurate would be to say that KS is a work influenced by that image. However, anyone's free to define "fan work" as they will, but by the definition you imply everything that's ever drawn, composed or written is a "fan work" of something or multiple somethings that precede them.
That's quite the point. Every thought you've ever had was little but a product of your experiences up until that point, so why should your thought (as opposed to your expression of that thought) be protected when those that made it possible weren't?

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Aura » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:33 pm

Nothing exists in a vacuum. Even if the original work is not physically changed (and in the valve example it in fact is), if people experience it differently as a result of fan works, they have been affected. Generally speaking your counterarguments don't really counter the examples I gave.
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:52 pm

Aura wrote:
Darlat wrote:You know, if we should be technical about it, then isn't Katawa Shoujo a fan work on the image by Raita?
Considering the difference of magnitude, more accurate would be to say that KS is a work influenced by that image. However, anyone's free to define "fan work" as they will, but by the definition you imply everything that's ever drawn, composed or written is a "fan work" of something or multiple somethings that precede them.
KS is a bit closer-tied to the Raita page than to random anime drawings; it's a rather extreme example of a fan work, but I'd say it qualifies. Sort of like Kilgore Trout's "Venus on the Half-Shell" (but that was done with permission, so doesn't count as a fan work).

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Aura » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:09 pm

As I said, define "fan work" for yourself. For me, a "fan work" is something that is result of admiration of the original, the fan phenomenon. For me, KS is not a fan work. Permissions also have nothing to do with it. We've given permission to some fans to use some parts of the KS IP in fan works, when they've asked. They still are fan works.
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:01 pm

Aura wrote:For me, a "fan work" is something that is result of admiration of the original, the fan phenomenon. For me, KS is not a fan work.
Um, wouldn't it be fairly accurate to say that KS was started because a bunch of people thought that actually making a game as outlined by Raita would be a neat idea?

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Aura » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:13 pm

Sure it is. But the "fan phenomenon" is the key word there. KS is not aimed for fans of raita's original picture, and we don't share fanbase with that picture. In fact, the fanbase of that picture is probably close to zero. For me this is what makes the difference, for you it might be something else.

Also Ellume: your personal immunity to the effects which I talk about doesn't really invalidate them.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
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gainare_tottori
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by gainare_tottori » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:24 pm

But ideas take on a life of their own once they're released into the wild, and works of art are no exception. The written word is probably the most affected by this because language is arguably the most direct encoding for communicating abstract ideas we have, but it's not the only medium. Does Jodie Foster take acting jobs because she wants some fan to see her movie and decide it means he should shoot President Reagan? Obviously not, but the only real thing she can do to definitely prevent this is to not take acting jobs, and artists not making art is not the solution to any problem.

Let me flip this the other way: what if you the author take the inverted-Hobb point of view and expressly create your works with the intention of them becoming a source material for spawning fan works derived from it? And then what if for whatever reason nobody makes any?

Is the source of the problem more that you can't inspire people exactly the way you wanted or that you can't pick your own fans? Both of them are also intractable.

I like the Touhou example, but bear in mind that it is a shooting game and the things you need to make a shooting game (sprites, music, programming logic) are not the same things that are needed for most of the fan works (narratives, plot). The genius of Touhou is exactly BECAUSE there is not a high narrative load necessary for bullet hell shooters (let's be honest, Touhou games ship with exactly the same amount of 'story' content as Zero Wing) there is nothing lost by assigning a couple broad moe personality traits to the game sprites and essentially letting the fandom run wild with it.
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Muffkin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:45 pm

If I remember correctly, someone on the KS team once posted something about how they disliked the raw volume of fan art and fan fiction because of the way it changes fan perception of the characters. The gist was when fans start to consume a much larger quantity of fanwork than the actual source material, it becomes difficult to separate how fans view the characters from how the characters are actually portrayed. The staff member was wary that expectations would be set up and subsequently let down if the future canon works had the authors' view of the character instead of the flanderized fan-version of the character, say if Rin was actually made to have coherent thoughts and emotions instead of just rambling about clouds, various furniture, and the difficulty of being on her period with no arms.

I think an example of this fan-created expectation apocalypse exists in the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom. The huge group of Zutara shippers were fueled by fanart and fan fiction to such a degree that they believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zuko/Katara would be the canon pairing. Their reaction to the end of the series is absolutely hilarious to anyone not part of their group. I recall some of them claiming it was a blow to feminism fueled by the creators' repressed desire to have sex with their babysitters.

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by G3n0c1de » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:57 pm

Aura wrote:Besides, what do you care what I think?
Actually, since you are one of the writers for KS, I think that most of the fanfic authors would be deeply affected by anything you had to say about their works. Think about it, they're writing about their own take on a world that you have, in large part, created. You are also an author, just as they are aspiring to be (maybe). Any feedback you or the other devs might give will be given extra weight because of your positions. It's actually a good thing you don't read the fanfics, as I'm pretty sure you'd crush the dreams of many an aspiring author.
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Wan-wanniche » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:06 pm

Muffkin wrote:I think an example of this fan-created expectation apocalypse exists in the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom. The huge group of Zutara shippers were fueled by fanart and fan fiction to such a degree that they believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zuko/Katara would be the canon pairing. Their reaction to the end of the series is absolutely hilarious to anyone not part of their group. I recall some of them claiming it was a blow to feminism fueled by the creators' repressed desire to have sex with their babysitters.
:lol:
Yes, I remember that. Anyways...

Fanfiction can be awesome, or a total monstrosity. Ultimately, fanfiction is a fan taking characters and settings they know and love (though they can never know or love it as well or as much as the original author) and writing out their personal fantasies.

On one hand, this leads to a large amount of really, really bad and cliche daydreams being put into words.

On the other had, every once in a while, someone comes up with a genuinely good original idea that just happens to fit within the parameters set by that fandoms original creator. The fan, who loves the characters and settings as they are, writes it out and posts it. This is the fanfiction I try to read.

The unfortunate thing is that the good stuff is hard to find because it actually requires work. Bad fanfiction is easier because it is basically daydream diahrrea. Somewhat random pre-formed words and images spill out onto the page, leaving a mess for everyone else to ignore, because they sure as hell aren't going to clean up that mess.

To me, it seems that Robin Hobbs was really against fanfiction because he disliked others, people with no talent or no determination to practice their own creative talents, taking his characters and settings and screwing with them in ways he would never even think of as good ideas. He got pissed about it, and now there is no such thing as 'good' fanfiction, especially if it is about one of his stories or book series.
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:56 pm

Wan-wanniche wrote:To me, it seems that Robin Hobbs was really against fanfiction because he disliked others,...
I think Robin Hobb is a "she" - not that I ever heard of her before today...

Regarding the topic, I agree that fan fiction is (usually) not the right way to learn to be a professional writer, but I - and I guess most fan fiction writers - don't aspire to go professional.
Also, creating an original setting and original characters is a lot of work and takes a lot of time - I don't think anyone in the dev team will disagree on this - and it is even harder to to pull something like that through to the end, if you're not working in a team where you can motivate each other. So if you've got some pent up creativity, writing fan fiction is an uncomplicated way to release it.

However there are cases where writing fan fiction can be the way to get published. One of those is the 1632 series originally by Eric Flint, now collaboraively written by Flint and literal hordes of fan fiction writers.
Actually, since you are one of the writers for KS, I think that most of the fanfic authors would be deeply affected by anything you had to say about their works. Think about it, they're writing about their own take on a world that you have, in large part, created. You are also an author, just as they are aspiring to be (maybe). Any feedback you or the other devs might give will be given extra weight because of your positions. It's actually a good thing you don't read the fanfics, as I'm pretty sure you'd crush the dreams of many an aspiring author.
Actually, I would be interested in feedback from the KS writers, but not because they are high and mighty devs, but because it is their characters I use in my stories, so they are best qualified to tell me whether I did a decent job portraying them.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by griffon8 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:00 pm

Muffkin wrote:I think an example of this fan-created expectation apocalypse exists in the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom. The huge group of Zutara shippers were fueled by fanart and fan fiction to such a degree that they believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zuko/Katara would be the canon pairing. Their reaction to the end of the series is absolutely hilarious to anyone not part of their group. I recall some of them claiming it was a blow to feminism fueled by the creators' repressed desire to have sex with their babysitters.
I've never seen any A:TLA anime or anything else, but I've seen hints of such a thing in the fanfic that I edit. Occasionally, someone will post on the Misfile boards about something I'll recognize as mistaking something from the fanfic as being from the comic. I always call them on it when I see it; being the editor, I have to be especially aware of the differences between the characters in the fanfic and in the comic.

And your summation of the Zutara shippers wrath is hilarious.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Pimmy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:27 pm

Aura wrote:I'm gonna use a bit inappropriate analogue here, but bear with me:

While you and fan fiction writers see fan creations as a form of love, so do stalkers see stalking as a form of love. And Robin Hobb and her ilk think they are a similar affront to personal space. And "but it's not true" is not an argument here, that is her personal opinion and the way she experiences her works.

I don't get why anyone would get bothered by out of character writing in fan fiction or fanon though? If you think fan creations are all right, but only if they do not pervert the original content, you are closer to Hobb than I am, for instance.

I wish you had been on IRC for the conversation I started to get this blog post done, I think you would've had good input.
I'm not gonna lie or sugarcoat here. If someone feels someone making fanworks is a stalking-comparable uncomfortable invasion of personal space, I don't think "but that's wrong", I think "Wow, you are all sorts of crazy, dude". So I'll just leave my opinion at that.

Not so much if it's out of character, because that will inevitably happen no matter what, as fics can be all sorts of bad. I mean that if a false characterization becomes memetic or widespread fanon. For example (and probably a stupid one) a wide fanon thing with My Little Pony is that Princess Celestia is a Totalitarian Tyrant who does all sorts of terrible things. This is highly persistent in fanworks, and is even inserted into works that are otherwise not about her at all. It's practically canon to a lot of people. Now, if it was my creation, and I had planned out a kind and benevolent ruler, I would definitely be a little miffed (not uncomfortable, just annoyed) that people were warping my character so heavily into something she is not. As it'd be more a case of the message not being understood at all. In small cases though, I could not care less.

Also I tend to do a poor job of composing myself properly in real-time chat, so this is probably for the best!
Aura wrote:Nothing exists in a vacuum. Even if the original work is not physically changed (and in the valve example it in fact is), if people experience it differently as a result of fan works, they have been affected. Generally speaking your counterarguments don't really counter the examples I gave.
You know, reading this, I think it makes a good relation to the last point I made. I can definitely see why a creator would not want their creation experienced differently because of fanworks. I think it's a bit silly to get huffy about a minor amount of fan material, but the fan community can have a big effect on people's interpretations.

..then again, the fan community can have a huge effect even when they're NOT creating fan works! Opinions perpetuate, interpretations get passed around, and criticisms change people's perspectives. Really, if someone wanted their work viewed with no spoilage from the outside, they'd have to ask that no one talk about it ever.

On the flipside, it's also the magic of fan communities. they can do wonderful and unexpected things. Even if it's not what you planned.

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:49 pm

G3n0c1de wrote:It's actually a good thing you [Aura] don't read the fanfics, as I'm pretty sure you'd crush the dreams of many an aspiring author.
Which, of course, is A22's job.



:mrgreen:

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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by AapoAlas » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:59 pm

Pimmy wrote:I can definitely see why a creator would not want their creation experienced differently because of fanworks. I think it's a bit silly to get huffy about a minor amount of fan material, but the fan community can have a big effect on people's interpretations.

..then again, the fan community can have a huge effect even when they're NOT creating fan works! Opinions perpetuate, interpretations get passed around, and criticisms change people's perspectives. Really, if someone wanted their work viewed with no spoilage from the outside, they'd have to ask that no one talk about it ever..
This sort of made a thought spin into my mind, although this is terrible rethorics (setting up straw dolls and such): if a creator wants people to view his works in the way he meant... doesn't that sort of mean he's only creating something to be enjoyed by himself.
As Aura said, nothing is experienced, nothing exists in a vacuum. Every experience one has influences their interpretations, thus trying to keep "wrong" interpretations (although some fanfics really do cross the line between right and wrong *grin*) out of the fray smells like opinion totalitarims. "No, you can't interpret it like that, I meant it like this!"
This is, of course, a horrid straw doll of a point, but it does sort of bring to light some asininity in the case Hobb is trying to make.
Merlyn_LeRoy wrote:Which, of course, is A22's job.
And mine! (Every now and then.)
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