Hello again, adventurers, and welcome to the third match of Blogger Blitz Round One! Last week you saw the race of a lifetime when Guybrush Threepwood and Claire Redfield tried to outrun both their opponent and the demonic hound Cerberus, all while delivering the mail for a typical suburban neighborhood. This week we’re forgoing physical danger for something much more awful: the crippling humiliation of being outclassed on the dance floor.
Don’t know the rules? Here are the basics. Each week, the two competing bloggers post their argument for why their character would be the best at the randomly-chosen event. They have only 500 words to make their point, so they have to work quickly and skillfully to prove their worth to our five very discerning judges. For this week’s match, we’re seeing the results of the battle between Mega Man (sponsored by The Well-Red Mage) and Pokemon Ranger (sponsored by Lodestar_Valor). I encourage you to check out their blogs and give them a follow; the Well-Red Mage is a well-established presence and if you love gaming, he’s an obvious choice. On the other end of the spectrum, Lodestar_Valor is a brand new up-and-comer that you’ll be proud to have followed from the very beginning. Go check them both out!
Once the competitors have done their part, it’s up to our five ridiculously talented judges to check out their work and determine who wins the round. Our judges are Chris from Overthinker Y, my wife Destiny (who represents Adventure Rules here but has an art instagram if you’re into that sort of thing), Athena from AmbiGaming Corner, James from Quickly Tap X, and finally Geddy from Nostalgia Trigger, who wasn’t able to join us this time around. I’m sure he’ll be back and ready to judge next week!
Two One competitor s, five four judges, and only one blogger can come out on top! Let’s put on a catchy dance mix and bust a move!
Uh, hey there, anybody seen the Pokemon Ranger? I mean, it’s time for the battle to start, the music is running and everything. Wait, what the heck is that?
Yikes! Well folks, looks like Mega Man has a bit of a problem: he’s going to have to platform his way across this apparently dangerous dance floor in order to face off against the boss! What kind of a sick yet ruggedly handsome person would design such a devious music video challenge?!
Luckily, it seems that the judges all agree that Mega Man is up to the task. Just like the steady progression of arrows towards the top of the screen, The Well-Red Mage presented his points in a logical manner, one at a time, and that went over pretty well. My wife is a huge fan of list-making so this approach particularly gelled with her, and Destiny loved that not every bullet point was formatted the same. She particularly loved the fifth point of the argument: “Can [Mega Man] dance? Yes. Here’s a GIF.” Chris too felt that the GIFs of Mega Man dancing were a great touch in this post. The simple joke brought a refreshing sense of humor to a post that otherwise might have been strictly factual.
The music video industry depends a lot on technological prowess and no one doubted Mega Man’s abilities in this regard. Chris discussed his lack of familiarity with Mega Man in his comments: “I do now feel pretty thoroughly educated, as someone unfamiliar with Mega-Man to any great extent, that he does have the necessary skills to turn his hand to this challenge and produce something of professional quality.” Athena stated that “there is no doubt in my mind that Mega Man could put together a video with very pleasing video and audio effects.” And James felt that “Mega Man’s abilities were co-opted (or adapted) very well, and it’s hard to refute the logic of WRM’s list of how and why Mega Man-specific powers and skills would translate into his tackling of this particular challenge.”
Indeed, the Well-Red Mage was very thorough in his demonstration of Mega Man’s technical capabilities. As a robot, Mega Man is no stranger to technology and it is likely he could handle something as comparatively simple as editing software. On top of that, his experience with sound-based equipment and with a cornucopia of beautiful and flashy weapons make him the perfect special effects master. Destiny loved how exhaustive the list of potential SFX truly was: “it just kept going and going and that was pretty great!”
Now we’ve heard a lot about Mega Man and the Well-Red Mage, and it’s finally time to see about their opponents! At least, it would be if they could come. Unfortunately, Lodestar_Valor announced via Twitter a couple of weeks back that Pokemon Ranger would not be able to participate in the Blogger Blitz. Pokemon to save, ecosystems to preserve, you know how it is. Regardless of the reasoning Pokemon Ranger had no choice but to forfeit the competition, which means Mega Man is definitely the winner of this rou-
Whoa, slow down now. The Blogger Blitz ain’t that easy! Mega Man may not have to face his original opponent but there’s still a tournament going on, and this wouldn’t be a tournament inspired by video games if there wasn’t a surprise competitor stepping in at the last second to take a missing person’s place. That’s right, folks, there’s still a competition to be had here today, and it’s nothing like you’ve seen so far. For like all true video game heroes, Mega Man and the Well-Red Mage must now face the most terrible opponent of all: themselves.
I can hear the boss music starting! Mega Man may not have had a traditional opponent this week, but having to stand strong against your own techniques is a challenge in itself. I asked the judges to give their honest thoughts on The Well-Red Mage’s argument as if he had an opponent this week, and they certainly obliged, happy to share constructive thoughts so he would know how he can do even better in the next round.
The list method of presenting the argument was split pretty evenly down the middle as to whether the judges liked it or not. I already discussed how Destiny really enjoyed it, and Athena stated that “Mega Man’s strengths were listed in such an organized way; it not only made the amount of information a little easier to digest, but also seemed to fit with a guy that is a bit robotic.”
Conversely, Chris and James were less impressed with this method of presenting information, the summation of their points being that it was a bit too straightforward. James stated that “most competitors so far (and certainly the winners) have shown an ability to really inhabit their character, and to come up with a truly original approach to any given scenario” and that “a list of a character’s abilities might not have cut it against a strong competitor.” Chris stated that while he appreciated that The Well-Red Mage’s style effectively took advantage of his limited 500 words, “I feel as if this one could have been a bit more…. exciting.” A bit more experimentation would have gone a long way towards impressing these judges more.
When it comes to the substance of the argument itself, many of the judges struggled with one particular point: Mega Man’s autonomy. Point 7 of the Well-Red Mage’s post is focused on a moment where Mega Man determines that it would be mathematically reasonable to kill Dr. Wily in order to save a very large number of lives. This goes directly against Mega Man’s programming, as robots are not to harm a human being, but Mega Man is autonomous enough to make this decision for himself.
The issue is this: there is a degree to which music and art need a human element, and a couple of the judges questioned Mega Man’s ability to bring that to the table. Autonomy does not equal humanity and although Mega Man is able to think for himself, the decision that he makes is based on maths and is a very robotic way of looking at the situation. Of this point, Chris said “where I’m perhaps unconvinced is on whether he has the heart to make it work – one of the points is about deciding it would be mathematically optimal to kill a dude, which I don’t feel is necessarily going to come into play when trying to be creative.”
It’s funny that Chris should choose the word heart, because Athena said the same thing. “He has the equipment, but does he have the *heart*? So much of this argument is talking about the tech side of actually crafting the parts of the video, but only two points comment on his character.” She went on to say that “honestly, I’m not sure what his autonomy has to do with this challenge,” remarking that this was one of only two points about Mega Man’s personality, and neither one really demonstrated that he had the winning charm to make a music video work. Sure, he could be cool, but could he be marketable? And would he even want to be? The ultimate question Athena found herself asking was “what’s his motivation?”
The constructive criticism for The Well-Red Mage focused primarily on two points: presentation and heart. Mega Man and the argument he presented both struck the judges as somewhat robotic, which may cost him against future challengers. However, at the end of the comments of the judges had many positive things to say about the article as well!
While Athena doubted the humanity that Mega Man could bring to his video, she had no doubt that the video quality and effects presentation would be anything less than stellar. James was quite impressed by how well The Well-Red Mage knows what his character brings to the table: “it was clearly shown that the character possessed the requisite skills, and that the Well Red Mage knew how to channel them for this particular scenario.” Destiny loved the informational and funny presentation, and at the end of his comments Chris stated “I really like the idea of MM doing his thing, absorbing different robots’ musical abilities in order to produce a crazy genre-smashing tune of epic proportions.” Mega Man’s suite of abilities is honestly pretty perfect for a music video, and The Well-Red Mage capitalizes on that to present an argument that is pretty convincing. And with a plan in place to handle the Pokemon Ranger should he try to interfere, it seems that there’s nothing stopping Mega Man from completing the challenge and making a totally sick music video.
Ah yes, hear the sound of victory! Mega Man may have won by default this week, but the Well-Red Mage proved though his article that he is not an opponent to be trifled with. His competition will need to look out for Mega Man’s impressive array of abilities in future rounds!
I want to once again congratulate The Well-Red Mage on his victory (and his recent birthday!) as well as extend a hearty “we missed you!” to Lodestar_Valor. Go check out their sites and read their other content – it comes highly recommended by yours truly! I want to once again thank the judges for their hard work. It was tricky for them to tackle a single post rather than comparing two, but when I asked them to judge anyway this week they all totally agreed and jumped right into it. Their assistance is invaluable to making Blogger Blitz function the way it does, and they are all amazing content creators in their own right, so be sure to go and check them out as well!
Haven’t had enough yet of the Blogger Blitz? If you missed the first two matches, you can go back and check them out – and any other Blitz-related post – by clicking on the Blogger Blitz category on the sidebar to your right. There’s only one more match left in the first round, and those posts will be going up on the competitor’s blogs on Monday! If you want to stay as up-to-date as possible on the Blogger Blitz, the best place to follow is the Adventure Rules Twitter, where I tend to post announcements that are too small for a full blog post and retweet anything related to the competition that’s tweeted out by judges or competitors. Thank you all so much for reading and we’ll see you again next week for even more Blogger Blitz excitement!