Star Trek

The Mary Sue of SF/fantasy races

Wikipedia: “In fan fiction, a Mary Sue or, in case of a male character, Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized character, often but not necessarily an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment.”

Humans – In many works of science fiction and fantasy in general they could be considered the Mary Sue race, in a special way, through relation to others. (Because as soon as there is a race that puts humans to shame, the common definition wouldn’t work anymore. But such a race could still be a clichée. I just couldn’t find a better way to name this trope.)

I understand that often alien races are a tool for reflecting certain human traits for closer examination and exploration of specific aspects, e.g. for showing us the mirror, but it can also be considered lazy writing and could even fuel a certain hubris.
Did you notice how other races are often just a sub-section of human cultures/psyche/behavior etc.? People would ask things like “What is this race like?” Imagine an ET visitor asked you to tell him what humans are like, what kind of a species they are. Weird question, isn’t it?
It reminds me of how in Star Trek they eventually loosened that view and fixed some of the clichée when they revealed that “warrior Klingons” was just the generalized assumption because Starfleet had mostly just interacted with their military and thus in their narrow-mindedness probably never have considered that there are wise, peaceful Klingon teachers and all kinds of people like that. In a way, here the evolution of Star Trek lore over time serves its own exploration of human nature and our experience of life.

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How marketing learns from imperalists

Doom, Doom 2, … Doom 3, … Doom. Oh no! You, too, id?!

id Software teamed up with Bethesda as publisher. One of the big ones. Those who all follow the same idiotic marketing bullshit (actually worrisome, more on that in a minute).

They talk about rebooting the series, which is almost double-bullshit in one short sentence. Doom has never been a real series. There were two quite similar games long time ago and then much later a creepy, jumpscare-themed graphics orgy, relatively different from the original material. And then, now, much later again, we get … “Doom”.

You know why this bothers me so much? Not just because it is becoming very popular, but because the mindsets that drive such marketing ideas are the same that you can find in politics. When you “reboot” a series so that you can exploit a popular name for doing things as you please, different than before, this is very similar to how empires erase culture and history (e.g. by burning books) in order to establish their ways as the beginning of everything, without disturbance from what came before.

Remember the double middle finger case of a confessing Star Wars fan directing a ‘reboot’ of Star Trek that ended up being like a Lost in Space quality Star Wars style lens flare festival?

Tomb Raider is another example of such naming crap. (‘I mean Tomb Raider, not Tomb Raider.’)

These things are being done so much because it’s an agenda. Marketing optimizes, changes, attempts to reprogram people. And when you want to fully control the present, you have to erase the past from people’s minds. That’s really oldschool imperialist insights. Basically, when people talk about Doom, the marketeers want everybody to think of their new product, not the original game … or a super-capitalist future.
Leaving franchises alone instead of dissing them? You can’t expect that from marketeers. That would imply respect.

I won’t hide how much I agree with Bill Hicks’ view on the matter:

UPDATE: Search “Bill Hicks – Advertising and Marketing” on Youtube. It seems if I directly link it here, it will trigger content ID claims. (Either that or coincidence.)

P.S.: Don’t accuse me of doomsaying. It’s marketing that spelled Doom.