splintermute wrote:I think Erfworld's treatment of blood is interesting, if inconsistent. Units don't bleed, but they do bruise (and their vampire bats can drain wild bighorned sheep), which implies the presence of blood.
Well, Erfworld (by which I mean, the setting, not the comic itself) comforms to the (strange) standards of modern popular entertainment: Violence is fine, but excessive gore is not. Sexual content is fine, but fade to black for nudity or overt sexual acts. And for boop's sake, no swearing. Murder and pillage if you will, but keep it to a PG level if possible.
This is the inherent paradox that even Parson seemed unsettled by in his klog; Constant mass destruction, war, and carnage is the standard way of life in Erfworld, but the forces that shape and control the world seem to prefer that the violence be sanitized, abstracted, and "safe" for consumption. Everything is cute and comical, with soft edges and cartoonish features. Sometimes its even cute the way things die. Except when you stop thinking about them as comic figures or units in a game and start to consider them like real people. Then it's all the more horrible.
This, I think, was one of the primary themes of Book 1, society's fascination with physical violence but our unwillingness to look at it in a realistic or responsible way, coupled with our strange squeamishness when it comes to theoretically less offensive things like profanity. We like to have it both ways with our entertainment; Give us our action and our violence, but don't give it to us in a way that might be upsetting.
I've been curious to see how Book 2 handles violence. In the past I was critical of the jarring juxtaposition or comical and visceral violence in Erfworld (a criticism I still stand by to some degree, although the tail end of Book 1 addressed a lot of what bothered me at the time). Book 2 is playing it much more straight and serious, so I wondered if perhaps it would work better here. Still too early to say though.
splintermute wrote:Hearing someone's heart suggests that their heart is actually doing something (i.e. circulating blood). More distressing is her use of the word "scars." Considering the Erfworld healing mechanism - regaining full health at the start of next turn, and we've seen units that are battered black and blue one turn look completely unblemished the next - there is technically no way anyone on Erf should have any concept of the word "scar," except maybe in a psychological sense, but you'd think they'd use a different word for that.
Well, I think this might be similar to the question of why Erflings (apparently) have sex is their race reproduces (if that's even the appropriate term for it) via asexually "popping" units. The answer, I think, is because it's dramatically appropriate to the story, both in the sense that the real author, Mr. Balder, wants to incorporate it as an element in the story, an also because the forces that designed and control the in-comic setting of Erfworld seem to like for things to conform to expected dramatic conventions.
Erflings have scars because its expected that warriors will have scars, and scars are valuable as symbols and as bits of characterization. They talk about their "hearts" (whether they actually have one or not) because it's a dramatically appropriate thing to say. As is often the case in games, what makes sense and is logically consistent takes a backseat to what looks and sounds good.