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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Shorah B'shemtee! :)

There has been some talk about "Canon" lately. I've looked over many topics and posts regarding the matter, and I believe that some of us may have a different definition of "Canon", as well as a different stance on it.

So I've created this topic to ask everyone two main questions:

1. What does the word "Canon" mean to you? What is your definition for what it means, in terms of applying the word to the MOUL community?

2. Assuming that your definition of "Canon" is "correct", What is your opinion of "Canon" and how it should be handled?

Are you for preserving it in Uru?
Do you not care about "Canon" either way?
Are you against "Canon"?

Please elaborate as much as possible.

I'll go ahead and give my personal thoughts. Keep in mind that the following definition below is all strictly opinion, so don't go crazy on me if you disagree with me. Also, just to keep things civilized, don't personally attack each other's definitions and opinions on this topic. Keep the criticism constructive please! ;) If I think of anything else to add to my definition and stance on this, I'll edit this post accordingly, so please note my definition is subject to change.

-------------------------------

My personal definition of "Canon" is: the theme, story, background, & history put forth into Uru by Cyan Worlds, and the general theme that some members of the community try to base their user created content from. From what I've seen, I believe Cyan Worlds cares about Canon, since it can help maintain their vision for what they want Uru Live to become.

Some examples of my personal definition of Canon are:

Rules & Laws of Linking Books
The History of the D'ni civilization (Including Yeesha, Atrus, Bahro, Myst Novels, etc.)
[I'll add more of my examples as I think of them]

In my personal opinion, I am completely for preserving my definition of "Canon" in Uru Live. I believe that user created content can safely be globally considered "Canon", when Cyan Worlds says that it fits the mold of what they would like to see in Uru Live.

So, what do you all think? Cyan Employees (Chogon, RAWA, etc.), you are more than welcome to post here as well. I would love to hear opinions from as many people as possible. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:26 pm 
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Definitions.

The purpose of a good definition is to make a useful distinction. Canon could mean a lot of things; which of all these possible concepts draws the boundaries of a distinction worth making? Truth is irrelevant here: only what should be right is right. That is the nature of definitions.

Canon, in all its definitions, seems to be about consistency; continuity. Things are the same, are stable, reliable, predictable from episode to episode and Age to Age. Some things change, some things are unchanging. The question is, I think, what should change? What should not change? And how much should we care?

My caring about it is grounded in artistic sensibility. Canon is a strong artistic tool, but it is one of many. It can be overridden -- with great cause. Nothing is absolute, but neither may anything be held wholly careless.

There are things I think should not be changed. Some of them have already been changed: Linking, but not through Books; D'ni technology founded on a touchscreen rather than gears and levers, the grinding of metal and stone.

Ultimately, the only thing we can do is to preserve in our own Art the things we believe in, and disregard those who speak too far afield otherwise. Some of us may choose to give greater weight to certain speakers: though I do not endorse the KI, I accept it because it comes from Cyan. I would not do so if it were anyone else.

This is the best I have to say about canon. I apologize for my unorthodox grammar.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:31 am 
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I delved into my views on Canon on an article I wrote on Inkwell called Canon is Atrus, but I'm an Atheist, touching on the various forms of canon that exist within Uru.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:43 am 
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What he said. ^^

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:02 am 
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BAD wrote:
What he said. ^^

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:35 am 
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I'd go along with your definition, Jamey, with my constantly repeated caveat that a distinction must be made and kept clear between what we know (from direct experience) and what we are told (by the D'ni, Atrus, Yeesha, the DRC, and even Cyan). I believe (though I have yet to elicit any support for this) that this distinction is important and intentional on Cyan's part; what we know cannot be doubted, what we are told must always be called into question, tested where possible and not taken for granted as established fact. It's canon that they say it; it is not canon that it's necessarily true.

As for how we are to handle it, well, that follows from the definition. What we know is what we know, and ideally, in any user-created environment that professes to be guided by canon, should remain consistent. What we are told...well, that's up for grabs, with the proviso that internal consistency (within a given shard or set of Ages) is better for storytelling, for those who like storytelling, and does no harm whatsoever to anyone else. In other words, if a shard is based on the premise that Yeesha was lying to us and was actually in cahoots with the so-called "evil" bahro, then a story in that shard which is based on taking Yeesha's words at face value will not necessarily be a good idea.

If I ran a shard, for instance, I would maintain the mechanics of linking and D'ni history as they have been established, but I would be operating on the premise that Ages are created, and that the bahro war is a fiction cooked up by Yeesha for her own purposes and supported by Sharper and Phil. Fortunately, perhaps, I'm never likely to be in a position to run a shard..


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:18 pm 
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My views and opinion on it pretty much line up with Tweek's in his article.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:07 pm 
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I'm Tweekacus! Wait, wrong thread.

Yeah, my opinions on canon are around what Tweek said.

As for how it's handled, I think canon should be preserved. However, I don't think canon should be a criteria for fan-made content (ages, code, etc.) because canon is very much open to interpretation. Things are often canon only as long as it is convenient for the storyteller (see the rules broken by Yeesha. All of a sudden, they aren't rules of the multi-verse, they're close-minded self-imposed regulations by the D'ni).

I want canon, but I also want other things. I want a truly Open Uru where people are free to create and experiment without regard for canon. Those ideas can then be reworked by others and form the basis for a canon Age/code feature. I want to see a system of merit rather than a system of canon interpretation.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:21 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
I'm Tweekacus! Wait, wrong thread.

Yeah, my opinions on canon are around what Tweek said.

As for how it's handled, I think canon should be preserved. However, I don't think canon should be a criteria for fan-made content (ages, code, etc.) because canon is very much open to interpretation. Things are often canon only as long as it is convenient for the storyteller (see the rules broken by Yeesha. All of a sudden, they aren't rules of the multi-verse, they're close-minded self-imposed regulations by the D'ni).

I want canon, but I also want other things. I want a truly Open Uru where people are free to create and experiment without regard for canon. Those ideas can then be reworked by others and form the basis for a canon Age/code feature. I want to see a system of merit rather than a system of canon interpretation.


^^ What he said, entirely, and exactly.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:22 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
Things are often canon only as long as it is convenient for the storyteller (see the rules broken by Yeesha. All of a sudden, they aren't rules of the multi-verse, they're close-minded self-imposed regulations by the D'ni).


This is exactly where my two-pronged approach to canon comes in so useful. Those rules, for me, were always canon type two (something we were told) and thus open to re-evaluation. From my point of view, no retconning happened there; we were just given more information.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:23 am 
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Whilyam wrote:
I want canon, but I also want other things. I want a truly Open Uru where people are free to create and experiment without regard for canon. Those ideas can then be reworked by others and form the basis for a canon Age/code feature. I want to see a system of merit rather than a system of canon interpretation.
I agree that Uru should be completely open for experimentation. Anybody should be able to create whatever they want, but getting those changes accepted into the main trunk of the code (once it is open source), or for fan ages, accepted as an Age which normal users can see, should be subject to extremely stringent guidelines.

In my opinion, the rule of thumb should be that anything accessible to ordinary Uru users, on the main game server, without any out-of-game configuration, must be held to the existing Cyan canon standards. Anything which is a) on an alternative server, or b) something you can configure out-of-game, should be fully open and canon-breaking. But ordinary users should have an unbroken game experience.

A few examples of "out-of-game configuration" on the main server could include installing custom client-side addons (in another thread, Whilyam suggests new Ki integration with things like Twitter), or selectively adding canon-breaking fan Ages to their Relto shelves (even on the main server). But a book which an ordinary player can find in the Ae'gura library should not break canon.

The Guild of Writers (whose wiki seems to be down presently, or I'd link to it) [Edit: Here is a link to RAWA's rules.] have already established, with the help of RAWA, some very strict guidelines for fan content. Basically, fan ages must be something that the D'ni could have written (not crazy Yeesha/Bahro powers, not modern technology, etc).

Also, Cyan has broken their own canon a lot in the past. People have had many opinions on this. But regardless of whether you thought this was a good idea, I think that we (the community) should be held to much stricter guidelines than Cyan. Cyan is one entity, pushing the boundaries of a canon which they themselves created. If a thousand explorers all interpret "pushing the boundaries" differently, then there will be utter chaos in the game. This, I believe, is why the Guild of Writers' rules prohibit fan ages from exhibiting "Yeesha magic", even though Cyan themselves are free to add Yeesha magic to the game.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:54 am 
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Eat_My_Shortz wrote:
<snip>

The Guild of Writers (whose wiki seems to be down presently, or I'd link to it) [Edit: Here is a link to RAWA's rules.] have already established, with the help of RAWA, some very strict guidelines for fan content. Basically, fan ages must be something that the D'ni could have written (not crazy Yeesha/Bahro powers, not modern technology, etc).
<snip>


uh... "RAWA's rules" were not established by anyone else but RAWA =P There was no "Guild of Writers" involvement. And, to my interpretation of RAWA's /guidelines/, is that modern human tech is actually perfectly fine. <g> There are two different kinds of "fan ages", there are explorer-written, and D'ni-written. =)

Also, regarding the twitter-hack.

Well, for one thing, the DRC have been posting on their forums via the KI since.. well, iirc, about '03?

And some people have been claiming their hacked KI's have been posting to Twitter for years now. =) (hacked KI being a IC-hacked KI, in this case)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:08 am 
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Just to clarify: I have no problem with using hacked (official or otherwise) Kis or game clients on the main server, as long as:
1. The hack does not cause distruption to other players' experience (i.e., I can't tell that you have hacked your Ki). Thus, hacks which let you fly around the city, or link into my Age instances without an invite, are not OK by me. Things you do in your own private instances are fine (if I go into your instance, then I might expect to see some silly business).
2. The hack does not become part of the default client without strict community approval. Thus, a twitter integration in the Ki is an add-on/mod/hack which you and anyone else who wants to can apply -- it's opt-in, not available by default.

Considering those above conditions, I don't have any problem with you using Twitter/Facebook with your own Ki, as long as it doesn't show up on my Ki. Similarly, I'm fine with the DRC posting to the forums with their Ki.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Eat_My_Shortz wrote:
Whilyam wrote:
I want canon, but I also want other things. I want a truly Open Uru where people are free to create and experiment without regard for canon. Those ideas can then be reworked by others and form the basis for a canon Age/code feature. I want to see a system of merit rather than a system of canon interpretation.
I agree that Uru should be completely open for experimentation. Anybody should be able to create whatever they want, but getting those changes accepted into the main trunk of the code (once it is open source), or for fan ages, accepted as an Age which normal users can see, should be subject to extremely stringent guidelines.

While I don't quite understand the concept of "normal" users (people who put add-ons are abnormal?) . . .
Quote:
A few examples of "out-of-game configuration" on the main server could include installing custom client-side addons (in another thread, Whilyam suggests new Ki integration with things like Twitter), or selectively adding canon-breaking fan Ages to their Relto shelves (even on the main server). But a book which an ordinary player can find in the Ae'gura library should not break canon.

I pretty much agree with this. My understanding was that fan Ages would be put in a "Fan Nexus" (simple to make, small, infinitely scalable) so no book to the Age of Brown Cubes need ever be seen in the City. While I'd love to see fan Ages in the City, I think it's far more pragmatic to have them in their own area.
I don't necessarily agree that they should be added out of game, though. Why not have the full list in the nexus? You would go in, checkmark a few ages and select "Retrieve Books" (or some other IC mechanism). Progress bars start up showing how far you are on downloading and you can go about your business while the Ages are downloaded in the background. You come back and you see the Ages you've downloaded (as a different color to identify them as available to you) and can link through.
KI add-ons could be handled through a KI "upgrade center" Age. Stick your hand in the machine and a panel pops up with the numerous patches.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
(see the rules broken by Yeesha. All of a sudden, they aren't rules of the multi-verse, they're close-minded self-imposed regulations by the D'ni)..


Before I get into this I need to make a small comment on this. These may not have been "close-minded self-imposed rules" Most rules that exist are primarily due to saftey. It could very well be that the things like linking into the same Age and the like were tried and ended up with catastrophic side effects , And Yeesha with her training from Atrus, Catherine, Callum, and the Bahro finally found ways to do it without splattering yourself across the Age. Which I'm sure we can figure out eventually be to be fair IC we've only really been doing the whole Age thing for 7 years or so self taught at that.


Whilyam wrote:
I want canon, but I also want other things. I want a truly Open Uru where people are free to create and experiment without regard for canon. Those ideas can then be reworked by others and form the basis for a canon Age/code feature. I want to see a system of merit rather than a system of canon interpretation.


I have many agreements to this but some arguments. When I look at the Star Wars Expanded Universe Canon, which comes down to it's George Lucas Universe and he let's us play in it. That's how I see it for URU's Canon, that Cyan should have the final say. Does I think it limits us? Perhaps a bit, but we are given so much to play with we can strive to do incredible things, pushing boundries and creating story. All they ask is hands off their stuff don't try and "prove" anything and be respectful to the storyline that has been created before. And as stated before Cyan should have absolutely no say in our characters and plots which is only fair. But when it comes to who should bend for whom? My stance is we should bend for them, as long as they don't push us too far.

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