| 23:43:28 10 March 2006
On forum: 02/17/2006
Judging issues concerning suitablility of the story|
The question is: Should any judge consider the suitability of the chosen story in regard of being printed in the manual (meaning the plot, not only the size of the story)?
The problem with judgement exceeds issues of general STALKER-compatibility by far.
In my opinion the winning story printed in the booklet should represent some of the STALKER background and feeling as well. The clallenge there surely is doing nothing that could possibly affect the game-storyline(s).
While the plot of fast ripe, fast rotten has to be the best (as I have lenghtily explained in the respective thread), it is without doubt not the most suitable story to represent the game in the booklet.
The story`s feeling gains very much out of a circumstance the player himself will never get into and from leaving out the topics linked to chernobyl (for instance: human guilt, civilisatorial hypocrisy, Cover-ups of unpleasant issues by the gouvernment etc.) secluding itself into its own (repetitive) microcosmos. While this has been pulled off briliantly, the story would never deliver with the weight of implying all those topics.
Still if you wanted to keep it more simple, it obviously is enough to focuss on an average Stalker’s motivation and thoughts, as for example in “Trough the eyes of a sniper” because the reader of the manual will soon "feel" himself into that position.
(If there are certain problems concerning the style, wich this story certainly has, I think it would suffice to let the writer know and have him fix them before publication, but not trouping so much about it when judging the story. I say this even though I take my time to avoid those mistakes and personally very much dislike them.)
Wichever way one chooses to go, I think there should only be a relation between the main feeling of the game and the story's content that is obvious to the buyer of the game, even if he is oblivious to the STALKER world.
In other words: Should the creation of a story that feels like an introduction to the game and its ethical, political etc. background (what most likely is the mindstate that made the initial Idea of the game arise) beat pure plot? Like the trailer says: Man made hell. This seems to me more than an evocative provocation.
The horrors of the accident and the cruel way human life was thrown away (as far as I am informed the first guys where sent in there without any protective gear) are used to kindle the engrossing feeling of the game, and as such I think the short story that is chosen to be printed in the booklet should at least hint at that background if not re-evoke it.
While it is perfectly suitable to leave those issues out of a plot-creation, and evade being compelled to realistically implement those topics or ideals and deal with them in a satisfactory way throughout the story, the judges should consider it nonetheless.
Entirely overlooking the suitability of the plot and the topics it implies would not do this literary contest justice at all.
In other words I think it is appropriate to assume the goal is not to merely create a fan-fiction story set in the STALKER world, but to devise a fan-fiction story for the STALKER manual since the prospect of publication is set there.
Writers trying to deal with those main issues and face the hardship to do so while still staying brief but compelling, should be recognized for the attempt (which means at least this fact not being overlooked).