Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prompt 1: Consequences and Passivity

Prompt 1: Consequences and Passivity

Influential representation is an important role in today’s society. The entertainment industry by far is the largest contributor (not necessarily in a good way). From the celebrities on the television to the models in the magazines, a message is being sent. The age group targeted the most is the younger generations simply due to the fact that they are a blank canvas; they are easily swayed and generally except circumstances how they are presented to them. If an influential person in their life were to repeat certain behaviors continuously, the child would assume such actions to be normal. More than likely that child would naturally adopt those behaviors and live out those actions throughout his or her life. The negative side to this theory is not all traits mimicked are the correct ones and that is explored throughout the workings of Frankenstein and video game Zork. Together these two works can show how Frankenstein's main character Victor has difficulty handling real life consequences.
On the surface, Victor Frankenstein’s upbringing was a fantasy that most children would envy. His family’s wealth and social status allowed for frequent vacations that would last an extended amount of time along with servants for anything they required. The parenting skills were also unconventional. “We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed.” This quote suggests that the parents simply existed to provide joy and happiness for their children, neglecting the role of parenting where they discipline or instill lessons in their children. Victor grew up in a shielded and unrealistic world. His parents did him an injustice by allowing him to live boundless, absent of any responsibility for his actions. Victor’s interpretation of his parents’ parenting skills is challenged only when he encounters others, “When I mingled with other families I distinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted the development of filial love”. On the outskirts it’s safe to state that Victor’s views and morals were drastically skewed due to his upbringing.
Victor’s first encounter with the monster demonstrates that he has never had to encounter disappointment or failure before. The monsters’ features fall short of Victor’s expectations, something he has never encountered; disappointment. Rather than rejoicing and interacting with his creation he tries to avoid it, first by sleeping followed by eventually rushing out of the house. Since the ugly monster was something Victor no longer valued, he abandoned it like a toy, “I was their play thing and idol. ” This quote demonstrates the two sided relationship Victor had with his parents. At times he was idolized, the center of their world, he could do no wrong in their eyes.  Whereas other times his parents’ interest with his existence fluctuated, sometimes they were entertained and sometimes he sat in the corner alone, like an abandoned toy waiting for someone’s attention. This trait of treating others as inanimate objects rather than actual people was a trait that Victor adopted. The occasion action of his parents treating him like a lifeless toy is seen throughout the novel as Victor neglects his monster creation.
The strong role Victor’s upbringing has on his future runs parallel with how video games and similar technologies make it difficult for us to deal with real-world consequences. In Zork, all advancements of the game are made by text. By typing in a sentence (make sure all words are spelled correctly) a response replies back updating you of your status in the game. Intepretating one’s thoughts through text may be difficult in the real work but Zork does a decent job of understanding what the user wants to do. Since the boundaries allow the user to write any sentence they pleased, you can ultimately, try typing anything, although you will quickly learn that Zork’s response will be “you can’t do that” if it is outside the story lines. Zork’s lack of boundaries and direction relate to the upbringing of Victor Frankenstein. The game sends a false pretense that the world is at one’s exposure to do whatever he or she pleases. Simple actions like finding a note in a mail box or coming across a key are easily solved if the user types in the correct sentence. The real world does not always comply so easily. Victor was raised in a world without limits, allowing him to think he and his actions were not followed by consequences. Little did he know the world he claimed as his playground had something else in mind; all the years of careless and selfish decisions reappeared in his life as he watched the ones closet to him die tragically.


Adam said...

I don't understand what your first sentence means; the second isn't even a sentence at all. The paragraph as a whole makes perfect sense, but it was too long (and far too awkward), given the simple and familiar point that it's making.

Your discussion of Victor, idol/plaything and his treatment of the monster is fine, but since it basically rehashes much of what was said in class on the second day, it could have been greatly abbreviated, in favor of (presumably) your attempt to extend that argument in some way. In short, nothing here really seems like *yours* yet (in contrast, incidentally, to your short blog entry, which was much more interesting).

I don't think I've ever heard Zork's parser described as being easy before. Setting that aside, though, there isn't a whole lot here which is really about Zork in any kind of depth - the substance of the game is about solving abstruse puzzles, after all - if you're going to talk about Victor Frankenstein in relationship with Zork, it's strange not to address that at all.

Overall: There isn't a strong argument here, and to the extent that there is an argument, it's really material that we had gone over pretty thoroughly in class.

Caleb Radomile said...

The essay is very well structured and ,easy to follow. I like the opening, however it does drag on a bit to get to your main point. I agree about Victor's parents not raising him correctly and you make it very clear with the evidence you present. I would have liked to see more discussion on the influence of video game violence in the last paragraph. You talk about what Zork is and tie it in really nicely to the book, but there doesn't seem to be a solid thesis. Also, you explain what Zork is and how it confines the player by saying "you can't do that" but then in the following sentences you talk about how it is easily played. Overall, you did very well talking about games, not so much.