Good morning fight fans and welcome to the second match of the third annual Blogger Blitz! Today’s event is perhaps my favorite prompt I have ever invented, mostly because it led to two of the most delicious blog posts on the internet. That’s right, today’s match is all about creating a delicious meal from multiple locations throughout the world of video games. For those who may be visiting for the first time, here’s how it works.
Our competitors KT Martin and TC Clockworth each chose a character and a relationship that is significant to that character. They then posted articles in response to the official writing prompt for their match: you can check out KT’s argument in favor of Geralt here and Clockworth’s argument in favor of N here. Once those posts went live, our hardworking judges – Jace of Zen Mind Zen Life, Andrew of Serial Book Seller, and Heather of Just Geeking By – all read the articles and submitted their vote for which one should proceed to the semifinal round. Finally, last night I cobbled together most of this article in addition to some haphazard fanart to communicate to you the judges’ ultimate decision.
Clear as chocolate pudding? Transparent as a thick slab of steak? It’ll all make since one the match starts, so let’s not waste any more time. Put a napkin in your lap, distinguish your salad fork from your dinner fork, and get ready to dig into the juiciest Blogger Blitz match to ever grace your plate!
Each submission to the Blogger Blitz is judged on three key categories: post structure, event compliance, and portrayal of the characters. Post structure is all about the way in which the argument is conveyed, and this time both competitors chose a very similar structure to work with. Typically the Blitz features short stories as the preferred method of making a case, but this time both KT and Clockworth instead chose to explain their ideas without the prose. This more argumentative structure gives both competitors an opportunity to fully explain their ideas without the fluff, but which one maximized their delivery in the structured argument department?
Our judges were actually quite split on this decision. For his part, Jace felt that Clockworth brought something special to the structure with his vivid descriptions of the food and locations. “Imagining N and his Pokemon sharing such a colorful fruit salad in the treetops, the beautiful descriptions of the Alola region… It helps me better envision the fun date.” Conversely, KT’s less fluffy descriptions caused her argument to read more like a “travel brochure.” Heather agreed that KT’s approach felt a bit like an impersonal brochure but added that it was very well-composed. “As a writing exercise on its own, this would be fantastic,” she said, complimenting KT’s use of images in the piece as well as her skilled references to various side quests from throughout the Witcher series. Meanwhile, she felt Clockworth’s ‘structured’ argument was a bit lacking in the structure department. “Several times throughout the piece Clockworth mixes up talking about game design, what may have/have not happened in the game and their description of the place they’re describing.” Clockworth’s article was written in a conversational tone which sometimes made it difficult to keep track of specific arguments.
So where did Andrew come in? Turns out, in his mind structure was effectively a draw. “Post compliance and post structure I’m gonna call a push here. They both used the same structure and both met the requirements.” With our judges so divided in the structure category, we certainly won’t be able to use that to determine the outcome of this meal, so let’s move on to talking about compliance with the event. After all, Andrew gave us such a lovely transition – he felt the competitors were tied in this category just like the first. So where do our other judges fall when it comes to who actually satisfied the terms of the event the best?
In this event the competitors were given the task of choosing four different locations for four different parts of a meal: drinks, appetizers, an entree, and dessert. These locations were to be carefully chosen from the game world in which the characters originated. As Heather pointed out previously, KT chose to utilize a number of locations from the universe of The Witcher, specifically referencing side quests from the game and sharing details about the locations and their proprietors. And as Jace has shared, Clockworth gave us vivid descriptions of various locations in the Pokemon world along with the food that each had to offer. On a surface level, both submissions satisfy the terms of the event. So is there one that seems to do so better than the other?
“I feel like T.C. took it a step further with details about the specific food, drinks, and overall atmosphere,” Jace said. Perhaps it was Clockworth’s passion for Pokemon shining through, but his account of each location and why it was chosen clearly conveyed the logic behind every decision. Heather had plenty to say about the structural weaknesses of Clockworth’s article but in the end she agreed that it did a little better at checking off all the boxes for the event prompt. “It has the locations, the food and the relationship,” she said, whereas although KT delivered a well-written article, “as an entry for a specific prompt, I feel it just doesn’t tick the right boxes for me.” It’s a small victory but it’s enough to push Clockworth in the lead for the match. Can KT come back from losing the edge in the event compliance category? At this point we’ve had drinks and appetizers, but in Shipping Wars one could say that the next category is the main course: the characters and their relationships!
This week we got to see two different kinds of relationships on display: the affection between a man and his pets, and the bond between a father-figure and daughter-figure. Which of these bonds came through most strongly in the submissions?
Heather felt as if she had a difficult time getting a feel for either relationship in this round. “Both read like game guides rather than creative pieces designed to sell us a character relationship.” Each article certainly focused on making sure the audience understood each location and had a grasp of the game world, but for Heather this approach didn’t do much to convey to her the essence of either relationship. Andrew, though, felt that there was a clear winner in this category.
“KT created, for me, the more coherent and easy to imagine vision of date night,” Andrew said. Like Heather and Jace, Andrew felt that KT enhanced her presentation effectively with images in order to convey her point, and he could “easier sink into the world that KT created.” It’s a hard point to argue with. KT shared the history of each location as well as why the food there would be ideal, and taken together her argument convincingly portrays a lovely night on the town.
Though their characters are very different, the similar approach taken by both bloggers has created a neck-and-neck battle where neither can break ahead and where the tiniest misstep can give the opponent the advantage. With a tie in post structure and each competitor taking one category, you may be wondering who in the world is going to come out on top this time around. And we were wondering the very same thing: when the scores were originally tallied for the first time, both competitors came away with a solid 3.33 for their final score! But as great as both KT and Clockworth are, only one can proceed to the semifinal round. The tie had to be broken and the match decided – the question is, what would break it, and in whose favor?
While the two competitors technically got the same numerical score, the purpose of having three judges is to avoid ties during the competition. Once the scores were set aside and the votes themselves were tallied, the victory ultimately fell to KT Martin and her ship of Geralt and Ciri. “Clock had excellent creativity and found some great places where I had worried that there were none to be had,” Andrew said, but he added that “it is VERY close this week, I’m gonna give the win to KT Martin, with Geralt and Ciri.” Heather agreed with Andrew’s vote and it was her second that ultimately turned the tide in KT’s favor. While her argument in favor of Geralt may not have resonated as strongly when it came to event compliance, KT delivered an excellently written article that utilized images effectively to convey the world of the Witcher in a delicious way. Clockworth delivered an excellent argument in his own right, but the back-and-forth within his structure made the flow a bit too tricky to follow. In a match this close – a tied match in terms of numerical scoring – that makes all the difference.
So congratulations to KT Martin and her pair Geralt and Ciri, who will progress to the semifinals of the competition! And commiserations to Clockworth as well as N and his Pokemon – they delivered excellently and this is easily one of the closest bouts to ever be battled in the Blitz. I fully encourage you to check out the blogs of everyone involved and I hope you’ll come back next week to see the next battle of Blogger Blitz: Shipping Wars. Until next time, fight fans, have a great weekend!