The End All Of Stories
“TvTropes will ruin your life.” –tv tropes.com

This website is more addictive than Wikipedia, less easily changed, but ten times more or less imaginative! “Your mileage may vary”. It’s addictive nature can be attributed to “The Wiki Walk” effect, where one article takes the user through a train of related articles until the origin is almost completely unrelated to destination of the “walk” There will be more on this later. It’s like failing to realize you’ve lost your way in a forest until you’ve already found your way out by aimless wandering. Then, upon realizing how long you’ve been wandering, decide that you’ve missed several instant messages in the adjacent social networking forest opened in another tab. Tv.tropes.com has been given a great deal on my computer time, but it will not be for naught, or forgot. Tv.tropes.com can and will drastically alter your appreciation of creative works after enough exposure. From the website users themselves though, there is no universal agreement on whether the change is for the better. Ultimately though, but recognition of writing conventions has yielded a more solid grasp on reality.

What is this website? Tvtropes.com is a wiki. As you may have guessed, a wiki is a website that users may collaboratively edit and update to their hearts desire. Wikis have existed even before Wikipedia’s 2001 launch. The source of this factoid is from Wikipedia itself; don’t cite me on it. Like Wikipedia, there have been measures placed to prevent anyone from simply warping the site into some foul aberration. The main function is to catalog various literary devices, conventions, plot devices, stock characterizations and clichés of various creative works under the singular, catch-all term, “tropes.” A “troper” is what someone is called who edits the site. Examples are numerous for each article, spanning video game, movies, theatre, novels, Japanese and western animation, the list goes on. Along side this, are applications in real life situations.

“Real Life” has it’s own article on the website with various tropes listed under it like “Anyone Can Die”. This trope is “Exactly what is says on the tin.” Now, “Exactly as it says on the tin” is named as such to compare to subversion of false or misleading advertisement on boxed products. My act of explaining every exemplified trope is an example of assuming that “The Viewers Are Morons.” Any attempt on my part to “subvert” this assumption will not be explained. See: “True Art is Incomprehensible” and Self Demonstrating Article.

The first paragraph provides an example of “metaphorgotten” That trope is described as follows: “the metaphor begins with a solid concept but quickly degenerates into a repetition of the actual situation only projected onto the metaphorical concepts. “You can’t make an omelet without [something much more unpleasant than breaking a few eggs]” seems to be particularly popular, perhaps because it lends itself well to Black Comedy. As seen in the second page quote, it is also possible for the metaphorical concept to distract the speaker so that the metaphor is forgotten.” As we saw in the third paragraph, common tropes that occur universally, like “Don’t Explain the Joke” are also expressed, elaborated upon, and given examples of application throughout the site.

Another example, a “Sadist Teacher” a type of character used often enough, and under “real life” examples is a link to the “Troper Tales” area. Troper Tales is the areas were people share personal examples. Understandably, the area for “Sadist Teacher” was expansive and disturbing. This is especially true for an education major like myself. I aspire to fall under either “Cool Teacher.”

Many, including users of the sight, would argue that “explaining the joke” would inevitably remove the wonder or splendor from a work. But the reality is that it shifts the source of splendor away from events in the story, and more toward the wonder and splendors of the creative writing process.  It’s been said the overuse will cause you to develop the inability to “see the forest instead of the trees, causing them to become jaded and cynical about consuming media.” This is true, but the “jadedness and cynicism” is not necessarily the case. This only becomes true when the illusion was preferred, and when someone adopts “it’s only good if it’s new” as an outlook beforehand. The forest becomes much more remarkable as a series of individual trees than otherwise. Society, for example, becomes less of a hopeless mess when seen as an extremely large group of individuals with personal histories, feelings, and opinions rather than some “unstoppable system.” Seeing fiction for what it is MAY disillusion the audience to the “magic” that brought it there, but it opens the door to the expanse of labor, passion, and imagination it took to create the product. Listen to an audio commentary on a DVD.

TvTropes is the new virtual encyclopedia of media analysis, and it will expand indefinitely. When a meme is recognized and documented, it is found out wherever it hides in the past, present, or future. When a cliché’ is fits widely enough, it becomes a part of the vocabulary of users worldwide. When critical analysis overpowers passive, mind numbing, viewing in favor of instant recognition of the person behind it all pulling the strings, it will then dispel the “magic” in what they watch, in favor of real creativity on their part. Then may get off the couch. And play! Write! And give something new for future generations to enjoy!

“TvTropes will enhance your life.” –tv tropes.com