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Thread: Dilemma V ◇ Finale ◇ Jury Deliberation

  1. #343
    Queen of Thorns Estquer's Avatar
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    Hi Rob!

    So my initial reading of your question was that it was sarcastic and you're not actually interested. If that's the case, fair enough

    On the off chance you meant it though, here are the main reasons I want to win.

    1. I survived against the wishes of the powerful in this game.

    There's something about being targeted consistently in a game that makes me really want to fight back. I instantly become way more invested in a game if people want me gone. Throughout the entire game, I was never a true part of any major alliance and I was given terrible social scores round after round. I thought I was going to be eliminated so many times that it probably comes across as a recurring joke in my confessionals. I outlasted my expiration date here by months.

    The fact that in a game like this, without a strong social presence, I was able to out-compete many strong players, use game mechanics to my advantage where I could, and act independently to survive when I was marked for annihilation time and time again makes me hungry fore this win. I didn't survive all that to just lose a jury vote in the finale. (I mean, this may turn out to happen, but that's not obviously what I want to happen ). I stayed on the site to close out my experience in this game because of how satisfying it was to defy the odds. Finishing with a win would feel great in so many ways.

    I understand that it doesn't matter on like... a cosmic level or whatever. But I'm here, fighting for my spot, and I hope you want to celebrate the chaos and disruption my presence in the finale offers to plans of the people who wanted me out.

    2. I'm invested in Lluvy as a character.

    Lluvy Gomez is (at this point) a relatively obscure reality show participant who last had a TV appearance in 2005 (America's Next Top Model). There is nothing particularly remarkable about her performance on the show in terms of personality, or lasting impact on the franchise. However, she did have one memorable moment, when Tyra Banks declared that this masterpiece...



    ...was the "worst photo in America's Next Top Model history" and the judges further compared her to a dead fish. Which, like... fair.

    She became an important character for me in my experience on the site, especially since back in those days it was a lot more active so there was much more social roleplaying and so forth. That initial moment morphed into characterization extremely distant from her as an America's Next Top Model contestant, culminating in choices I made like having her as the CEO of a shady genetically-modified fish corporation to host Goldfish Rush, that she was an actual fish, or as some kind of abstract fatalist sea goddess. I've played as her in many games at this point, but no matter how well I did, I would always fall short. (I've placed third as this character three times.) Given the state of the site, this might be my last time to ever play as this character and I'm in a position where I could finally win. It would be an incredibly satisfying culmination to her story arc for me.

    I think one of the big points of a reality tv site like this is to celebrate obscure, irrelevant TV characters like this in increasingly absurd ways. It's part of taking ownership of your fandom and expressing it through the fun of games/chatting. Even though there's no reason to care about Lluvy Gomez, I was made to care because I cared about my experiences on the site over many years. I signed up as her this time hoping to revive her legacy and bring it to the close, so the fact that it might actually happen in this game would be such a great way to close it out.

    3. This could be the end of RTVG.

    As many people seem to be saying, it feels like the games section on the site has collapsed. I have this horrible sense that this could be the last game I get to play here. I don't want that to be true. I want the site to continue. But god, considering that possibility, this is a finale that matters even more than before. Maybe this is only the end of a chapter, and the site will have a resurgence and continue. I want to host again if I can, even with how difficult it is for me to balance that responsibility with what's happening in my life. If this is the end, though, I want to end it with a win. I've been a member of the site since the beginning, an an active member for most of those years, so it's had a huge impact on my life. Maybe it's petty, but I feel like I'd have a stronger sense of closure winning my last game than losing it. And maybe that's not a great reason to vote for me, but it's a huge part of why I want this win.

  2. #344
    Queen of Thorns Estquer's Avatar
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    Hi Ho! Thanks for the thoughtful questions. Here are my responses.

    Lluvy, the others tried to sell you as a dominant force in this game who would obviously win if you made it to the end. Do you think that was a fair assessment or do you think they were just playing you up to convince me to let you get eliminated before the finale?
    I think there's a grain of truth to both sides of this. On one hand, I think it's fair to say that in most situations, if I make it to the end, I'm at least in contention. In terms of jury phases, I feel like one of my strengths is being able to show my narrative in a way that is generally self-aware, and also highlight my dedication. In terms of the game itself, I was a significant force, sweeping people out through various Danger situations, and surviving despite all these efforts to get rid of me. That's a powerful story to tell, and I'm beyond thankful that I have a chance to tell it.

    But I do think that portraying me as an "obvious winner" is an exaggeration. There are players who may value different aspects of gameplay than the strengths that I showed this time, as well as players who might be basing their decisions more on social circumstances or their game relationships with the other finalists. I do think that the two of them ending up in a finale with me does give me a minor structural edge under the first-past-the-post voting system that Vashhee set up. Since Runic and Nyan worked together, they risk splitting the vote with each other as they have similar strengths and similar allies. I represent a distinctive brand with different allies, and a different path to the end, so it's entirely possible that I could win with a plurality. Runic and Nyan have to work hard to argue what is distinctive about their path, where I feel like I can very clearly set myself apart and draw from a different "electorate". From that perspective, there's obviously a strategic benefit for them to end up in a different finale configuration than this current one.

    So to sum it up, I think they did have a point in the sense that I have a realistic shot at winning this. But that reality is obscured by the fact that the jurors can make independent decisions and have distinct criteria. I'd be at least a little surprised if I turned out to be a "runaway" winner, especially considering the potential for a trainwreck resulting from very low voter turnout.

    Also, had I not told you what was going on do you think you would have been able to survive the final Dilemma?
    It's hard to know for sure since we can't "see" that timeline, but what I can do is show my thought process at each stage and evaluate the potential outcomes.

    1. Initially, I intended to Betray.

    Before I talked to you, my default position was that I was going to Betray. This could've had three different outcomes.

    First, in the scenario where all four of you aligned and I was the sole Betray, I would've been eliminated in 5th place. I'm not sure if everyone else allying is part of the hypothetical here (it sounds like it isn't?) but that was a risk I was willing to take.

    In a mixed betray/ally scenario (where one or more players got greedy), I would've advanced to the finale with the other betrayers.

    Finally, in the event of an all-betray scenario, the two of us would've advanced to the finale together due to our grid scores. This was my preferred timeline, but obviously at the time I didn't know what the grid scores were.

    So, in the event that we never spoke and I had no idea what was going on, that's what likely could've happened.

    2. After our first exchanges, I switched my opinion to Ally.

    You were the only player left in the game that I had a connection with, and I respected your willingness to talk with me and work toward an all-ally situation even though I wasn't a key member of the alliance or anything. At some point, you have to place trust in other players. That's how this game works, and you had proven yourself to be a trustworthy person and player so I was willing to ride out that situation with you regardless of what happened. If this is where our conversations ended and other people betrayed, then yes, I would've been eliminated with you.

    3. After our final exchanges, I switched back to Betray.

    You tipped me off at the end, so I switched my decision and ended up advancing to the finale. I want to give you fair credit here: you had the power to decide whether or not I made the finale. I placed trust with you, and could've made either decision. If placing my fate in your hands is a reason that I don't deserve to win the game in your eyes, then I respect that decision. But the fact that you proved that my trust in you was warranted is a reflection that it did ultimately end up being a good decision for me. I'm so thankful that you gave me the chance to be here in the finale. I wanted to be here with you. But I'm here now, on my own, and I still want to ****ing win. After all that I went through in this game round after round, seeing the people I was working with get taken out, and surviving danger after danger, I'm asking you for one final favor: your vote. God, I want to win this, and I hope you aren't disappointed in how I got here. It means a lot to me that you were willing to help me get here when no one else was working with me.

    To all of you: The site is clearly dying and this could be your last strategy game. Tell me a little bit about what the site has meant to you and why you feel like now is the time it's coming to an end.

    This is a complex question to answer, so I hope I can do it some justice; we'll see. Because I've been here since the beginning of the site, I feel like I have a distinct perspective on it. And I don't mean to condescend to the other two finalists, or anyone else who has a relationship to this site; it's just that this has been a huge part of my life for a very long time, and I've seen many versions of the site, many waves of people who were active and then left.

    When I consider the place that RTVG has had in my life, I think it has shaped me, in both positive and negative ways. I'm going to start with the negative, just to get it over with. There have been many times when I prioritized the site over things that ultimately had material consequences. In 2010, for example, I failed university classes because I stayed up all night talking on Skype chats and doing challenges or other stuff on the site. While I did eventually recover from that, it showed that RTVG contributed a lot to my inability to set priorities. It was the ultimate escapist vehicle; a place where I had fun and friendship and connections and didn't have to dwell on the changes in my life that I was struggling with. I let a lot of my "real life" friendships and family relationships wither and die because I detached from the "real" world and spent as much time as I could in this virtual space. Hell, even RIGHT NOW, I could be working on my writing, or addressing the huge backlog of grading I have this quarter, but instead I'm writing this increasingly meta essay because I choose to place my competitive drive to win this game above priorities that should matter more.

    When I reflect on the current state of my life, I can trace a lot of these patterns of detachment, disconnection, and dissociation to RTVG. It even altered my sleep schedule. RTVG trained me in a nocturnal sleep habit that basically has never broken. It might not be possible for me anymore to live a "normal" daytime schedule because even when I put a lot of focus on it, my now natural routine snaps back into place. And even think about how much time I put into designing and hosting games. Some of my most interesting creative output has been in unpaid forum games which have done really nothing to help me in the creative fields I'm interested in as I can't really cite them as credits, even though I'm proud of what I created. To think, what if I put those thousands of hours somewhere that "mattered"? Maybe I'd be something other than an increasingly alienated grad student.

    But I want to also focus on the positives. I've had so many great, complex, interesting relationships with people I never would've gotten to meet if not for the context of the site. There's something really remarkable about relationships forged through repeated trust and betrayal. Being in dozens of RTVG games is the ultimate stress test for a friendship in a lot of ways, and I feel like RTVG trained me to be mindful of my thoughts and actions; to place my competitive spirit where it mattered and to not use it as an excuse to be hurtful.

    I grew so much as a person from interacting here. I learned what sociopaths were through lived experience in an RTVG game. If I'd had to deal with that in real life first, I might have put myself in dangerous situations. But because I had that experience here, first, it was a "safer" way to learn that life lesson. RTVG was also a really important support network for me when I was coming out. I didn't have that support elsewhere.

    Not only that, but the games are just fun. Some of the most intense competitive experiences I've had have been in live challenges, or strategically dense situations. Having to navigate emotions and strategies in a competitive context in real time can be exhilarating.

    And creatively, I don't know that I'll ever have another opportunity like RTVG. Because of the platform, I had the opportunity to design pretty much any game I could imagine using the tools at my disposal. Not only that, but people would then willingly sign up for those games and fight hard for their wins. Seeing some of the most diabolical game mechanics I could think of interact in real time was something truly special. Over the course of my time at the site, I grew to enjoy playing less and hosting more. I could host the weirdest, most abstract concepts and people would still give it a chance. Hell, as recently as 2017, THIRTY people signed up to play Goldfish Rush, a game I completely made up based on no existing reality show or game format that I'm aware of. That's a creatively fulfilling experience, and that matters to me. I know I mused earlier about how RTVG detracted from my creative output in other fields, but you know what? People had fun. People had emotionally interesting experiences in these games that not a lot of people got to have since it's such a weird, niche community. I'm so thankful not only for the support for my hosting, but that I was able to give something to a community of people I care about.

    So it's had a lot of huge impacts on my life, positive and negative. It's in many ways a formative place for my identity, humor, and so on. It's tough to see the site in this zombie state, still online but working improperly, people still here but not sure it will continue. In some respects, it would've been easier if it just suddenly disappeared; a clean break.

    I could say more—so much more, about so many things. I'm definitely willing to continue this conversation on whatever aspect people want to talk about, but I'll leave it there for now.

    I'm also really interested in what kind of responsibility you think you have for the site's current state or if you would do anything if you were able to to help revive it.

    This is another tough question. I don't want to overestimate my contributions to this site's rise and decline, but given my position and role in the game section of the community I think it's important to acknowledge these things. My primary contributions to this site have been through hosting games. I feel like, in many cases, I gave people reasons to keep showing up. When I was able to keep a more rigorous hosting schedule, the site became more active and could sustain a larger user base. Administratively, I've contributed far less. Some of this is structured into the site. For example, one of the primary sticking points over the years has been the ability to create and move subforums. I have never been granted that power. So when people asked me for it, I could never help them because I didn't have the authority to do so, even with a blue username.

    Maybe I should've fought harder for that authority. I was given this position because of my hosting credentials and longevity with the site, not because I have any specialized knowledge about how to run a website. At the very beginning, this site split off from another forum after they closed down the reality games section and banned everyone from it. I won't speak for Aly's experience, but for me personally, I don't know that at age FOURTEEN, I had any idea what the **** went into running a website. I still kind of don't. So if I took my position more seriously, taken up more administrative responsibilities, perhaps the stress of running a website this complex would've been more relieved for her. I don't know. I can't change time. If I'm responsible for the decline due to my inaction, I take that responsibility where it's due.

    More recently, my real life obligations have made it increasingly difficult to stay attached to the site. It's hard seeing the decline in my own hosting quality. So many of my recent games have died compared to the high success rate I used to be able to maintain. I know that I can do better, but in these conditions where I have to put out (metaphorical) fires that have been burning due to responsibilities endlessly deferred to try and do the things I want to do in life.

    One other factor that I don't think should be underestimated is the decline of reality TV in general. I'll only speak for myself here, but like... I haven't watched the last two or three seasons of Survivor. There was a time when that would be unthinkable. I just am not as interested in the topic that is the general premise of the site, and I think competitive reality shows, though they've been stale for a long time, have become increasingly irrelevant. A lot of the core shows that defined early RTVG are off the air or might as well be.

    As to what I can do, I don't know. If enough people are here that want me to host a game, even under these difficult conditions, I'll find the time to make that happen. I'll design a game that's easy to maintain so that people can stick to the deadlines and I won't kill it when my life situation becomes more difficult. That's the best I've been able to contribute in the past—hosting and playing games—and I'll keep doing it when I can until the site really does die. If you want me to host something—to continue—I will. I promise. But I can't host a game for no one, either. Without players, hosting is meaningless.

  3. #345
    Queen of Thorns Estquer's Avatar
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    Hi Andrei!

    Here you go:

      Spoiler:  


    Ask a meme question, and you'll get a meme answer.

  4. #346
    Brains, Booty, Business VanityEgo's Avatar
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    <33 Thank you Estqueen


  5. #347


    Winner voting will now commence!

    Jurors and finalists have had a week to participate. It's time to decide the winner.

    Finalists are still permitted to respond to jury questions. You should be prompt.

    Jurors, if you are quick you may still be able to participate as the winner voting
    deadline will be at least 7 days.












    Jury, you are voting for one (or more) of the following players:

    Beth ◇ Runic
    Gia ◇ Nyan
    Lluvy ◇ Estquer


    If you have more than one vote, you are permitted to split your vote between finalists.
    The number of votes you have will be outlined in your PM. You may accompany your vote
    with a statement.

    The jury will have at least 7 days to vote to ensure I get as many votes as possible.

    Last edited by Vashhee; 11-18-2019 at 07:12 AM.

    Christie • Cliff • David • Kathryn • Kemi • Nicole • Ovi • Sam • Tommy •

  6. #348
    Queen of Thorns Estquer's Avatar
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    Alright! Thanks for the questions, everyone.

    I'll keep checking in periodically in case any other jurors show up to ask questions. Otherwise, good luck to Nyan and Runic!

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