Uru as Magical Realism
Posted 19 August 2008 - 12:08 AM
So how does one make D'ni ordinary? The only way I can see to get there is through Magical Realism. For me, Magical Realism makes the fantastic ordinary. It is a style that introduces an element that breaks the rules but is routinely accepted by the inhabitants of the world. We don't ask how that element got there, nor are we allowed to question its reality (unless the characters do). Instead, the unreal element is real, and characters simply interact with it, are affected by it, and affect it. It has always been there, and it always will. Uru as Magical Realism is problematic, of course, in that D'ni has not always been there. We have a Discovery Story, which creates an almost impossible problem of hiding things from the government, etc. But I'm just extending my "magic" to include a government that doesn't care. I don't see any other way around it, at least by the rules I've set for myself (journalist telling a "story" about Uru).
Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:22 AM
More seriously, I think that if anything, the fantastical nature of D'ni may very well put it on the fringes of scientific and social acceptability... it's just too impossible to even possibly be true, and that may work to the advantage of the story, but I don't think it's an indefinite solution. For a while your journalistic reports might be relegated to Weekly World News (next to "Bat-boy Spotted in New York Sewer Main"), but inevitably someone's going to use a Relto Book in a crowded mall, and then all hell will break loose . In the meantime, though, I think all of the characters in Uru approach it in a manner similar to Magical Realism... to them, D'ni really isn't all that big of a deal, despite its enormous personal importance, while the rest of the world just looks at them (and the rest of the explorers, by extension) like they're crazy.
Be the storyteller
Don't worry, even Rand can't say my name right.
Posted 21 August 2008 - 09:51 PM
People get used to things, no matter how fantastic, unless they are extremely traumatic. As an example, I ran a Weird Happenings role-playing game once. Pretty much I inserted whatever weird stuff I could think of and throew it at the characters. For the first year, there was a ton of 'Oh my god! Is that what I think it is?!?'. However, when I started the second year and added new players, the old players walked around like the fact that someone had figured out how to disassemble a person into component parts that looked like waxy white Koosh balls was perfectly normal while the new people gaped and stuttered a lot. So, I guess I'm saying that people adapt over repeated exposure.
In fact, you can see examples of that 'accepting the fantastic as mundane' all over Uru. People use Relto books like a personal safety system. People link in and out like it's just riding the bus. People talk about Relto being theirs (This whole universe is theirs, and we only ever see a 1000 square meters of it). Etc.
Though, the fact that the certain things that should happen (like the government finding out about D'ni) don't seem to happen could be a plot element. What if, somehow, the government never finds out, even when people try to tell them? Something seems to stop it. But no one knows why. Could be an interesting element.
Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:20 AM
In the movie Beetlejuice, there was a line about "People ignore the strange and unusual."
At the beginning of the movie Stargate, scientists skeptically walk out on Daniel Jackson's presentation where he suggests that the timeline of Egyptian artifacts and civilization do not seem to fit together.
These seem to fit in well with idea of a government that conveniently ignores D'ni. Still, I'm a little disappointed that this didn't become part of the story. I tried to guide some conversation in that direction many months ago ( http://forums.drcsit...topic.php?t=719 ) but yeah... it didn't really go anywhere.
Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:57 PM
Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:01 AM
Edited by Zardoz, 30 October 2008 - 12:03 AM.
Posted 02 March 2010 - 06:37 AM
The only thing I can think of to explain it is that somewhere in the vicinity of the American government (but not tied to any one administration) there are powerful people who make it their business to discredit any reports that might come in of people vanishing into books and so on. They would of course need to be much more efficient at covering up than any government in the history of the world has ever been...
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