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"No one can be told what the Matrix is" - "complicated" media that isn't

Grumpygoat

Give a damn
Validated User
I actually have serious doubts that this is true at all. I started reading comics when I was a kid in the 90s after seeing a few episodes of the X-Men cartoon and significantly more of the Batman and Superman ones, and while the status quo in the comics at the time was significantly different from the cartoons', I never once felt lost or confused or went "but where's [character]? I was promised [character]!" That would have been like if I was reading, say, W.I.T.C.H. and went "but where's Sailor Moon? This is a magical girl comic, so why is Sailor Moon not in it?" People think that kids can't handle continuity or a change in the status quo and expect all of their media to present the same thing. Well, in my experience, kids can handle those things perfectly fine, it's longtime adult fans who have problems, and unfortunately they are the ones who are active online and thus set the terms for the discourse around continuity in comics.
At what point did I say I was confused about anything except blue Superman? I wasn't confused about the presence about Kyle or Wally or anyone else. I even said, I quote: a lot of those details don't matter in the moment. That doesn't change that comics are stupidly complicated, with a long, overwrought, convoluted, and frankly, a lot of the time, stupid history. Wally being on the team: not hard to understand. He's just there. We accept it. Everything leading up to that? A convoluted backstory that involves Wally going through the same exact accident, the merging of parallel dimensions (which, on the meta-level, is really about condensing and "simplifying" continuity), the death of his mentor, and on and on and on and on.

Comics are complex in the way that any story, machine, person, or damn near anything else that's been running for closing in on a century will be. There's a lot and parts contradict each other and others don't make sense and there's a reason that "Comics, Everybody" is a thing.
 

Bookwrack

Gazer
Validated User
These are great works of art, but they're not coherently presented stories.
No, they most certainly are, but they can be information dense, so if all you do is sneak around and shoot people but ignore what's being told onscreen, it will definitely seem confusing.

By your own admission your confusion arises from the fact you somehow missed the third game being set in the mid 60s following the near future 2000s of the previous ones. And given that future character being the clone of past character is a big part of the previous games... The two characters looking and sounding the same is hard to understand why?
 

Rolzup

Dinoczar
Validated User
But I'll try to engage with the premise of the thread. Shutter Island is a movie that's often mentioned as complicated and challenging. I really don't see it. There's a mild sort of mystery that gets played very straight, but it's hardly noteworthy in depth or breadth. I mean, I get it - the fun of mystery is to indulge in the feeling that there's something you don't understand. Maybe my genre awareness tainted the sample, but I can't imagine listing it alongside genuinely bendy pieces like Primer or Mulholland Drive.
To go outside geek media entirely, there's the ur-example of an incredibly complex and inaccessible work: Finnegan's Wake. It's not incomprehensible, by any means, but you need to go into it with the right mindset and background if you want to make it through. Lacking either, I've never had much luck with it. But I don't think that there's too many who would argue that book lacks literary value, or is poorly written.
 

austenandrews

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
To go outside geek media entirely, there's the ur-example of an incredibly complex and inaccessible work: Finnegan's Wake. It's not incomprehensible, by any means, but you need to go into it with the right mindset and background if you want to make it through. Lacking either, I've never had much luck with it. But I don't think that there's too many who would argue that book lacks literary value, or is poorly written.
Definitely qualifies as willfully inaccessible.
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Just google MGS+confusing and you'll see that it's hardly an uncommon observation. Hell, even Kojima says it turned out more complicated than he intended:
I admittedly haven't played all MG/MGS games, but the series always struck me as yet another video game plot made up as the game were made, with the usual cut, nonsensical bits, and retcons, written by someone who isn't a writer but a video game maker. It's not terribly unique in that regard.
 
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