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New General SOTF Discussion Thread; Yep
Topic Started: Nov 20 2013, 11:42 AM (21,093 Views)
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May 20 2015, 04:23 PM
I'd also like to tackle the assertion that no version's pregame setting has mattered with two counter-examples (both from Mini, so sorry for folks who don't hang out there).

The first one's a bit of a cheat: Evo. Evo brought together characters from widely different locations, none of whom knew each other prior to the start of the game. These places they were from, though, in a lot of cases did come up and tended to inform what sorts of people they were. Now, it's undeniably way way easier to get such things right when you get to choose where your character is from, but it is proof that at least a good number of handlers were interested enough to take setting into account--even in a game where there was no pregame whatsoever.

The second game where setting means a ton is TV1. It contrasts two schools: an expensive private school in a small city in Texas and an inner-city public school in Detroit. Staff were really apprehensive about it at first, but it generally worked out well--the characters from the schools on the whole had notably different assumptions and manners of interaction, and in many cases it got pretty nuanced. I've actually heard an argument (that I won't repost in full to avoid stealing the thunder of the creator) that the conclusion is the result of attitudes reflective of the different socioeconomic backgrounds of the characters. TV1 was also far and away the most proportionally ethnically diverse game SOTF has seen. So it suggests, on the whole, that people do take the setting into account, and that it can create some really interesting results.
Note that in both of the counterexamples that you brought up, there's a common element that's lacking in the games on the main site: in both Evo and TV1, multiple possible background settings were present within a single game. As a result, taking a particular character's place of origin into consideration when creating the character was guaranteed to provide a contrasting element between this character and a nontrivial number of other characters. It differentiates them.

In v6? Saying that the entire student roster comes from a population that is predominantly lower-to-middle class doesn't have the same effect. It's an element that can be worked into a character's biography, but there's little point in doing so because there's no contrasting element within this version. What incentive is there to make a character from a lower-class family if the opposing background has been reined in towards the middle of the spectrum? It may be realistic to give the majority of the characters in this version such backstories, but in the end it just has the result of partially homogenizing one of the ways in which characters differ in a narrative which already has over a hundred other characters that they need to be distinguished from.
Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V7. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.

V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

Past Version Characters
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