When Shipping Goes Too Far

Some ships will never sink...

Some ships will never sink…

Along with being a gamer, I am an artist, a writer, and a role-player. I am addicted to fiction and I seek to both enjoy the creativity of others and express my own creative energy at any given opportunity. Hearing stories and sharing stories, enjoying characters and creating characters, laughing and crying at plots and stories created and creating them myself is a joy that little else can compare to. I suppose I have a unique perspective when it comes to gaming. I know the hard work and thought that goes behind even the minor characters. I understand the struggle to not only compile a storyline that not only makes logical sense in the confines of a fictional setting, but also to make that storyline mean something to an audience. Any good story, be it in a book or on the television screen, needs to make some kind of connection to its audience and make them feel invested in it. A game could have top of the line graphics and amazing concepts behind it, but if the player cannot feel invested in or connected to at least one character, they may lose interest.
The characters are the heart and soul of any story. If written well, a single character can win the hearts of an audience and become something of a living entity to them. We want to know the character’s history, their feelings, how they relate to others. We want to know their origins, their lives after the game concludes,  and their influence on the world around them. Great characters become something of an obsession to any fan base. Gamers will spend more time theorizing after the events of Link’s life from Legend of Zelda than they will on human history. It’s a wonderful thing, but admiration has a darker side as well.
Troy Faolan

One of my personal pieces featuring two original characters belonging to myself and a friend.

My first exposure to this took place shortly after I graduated high school and became more active on the internet than only for artwork references, AOL chat rooms for roleplaying, and research assignments. Following high school, I was given my own laptop, became familiar with photoshop, and obtained a wacom tablet. I wanted to join an art community so I could get feedback on my work and connect with fellow artists and writers. I did just that but in opening the doors to a large art community, I also  opened the doors to content that I had been successfully, and thankfully, sheltered from for the majority of my life.
Knuckles29

Sometimes, artists create their own ‘ships. This was one HECK of a backstory retcon: Princess Sally’s family vacationing on Angel Island spending time with Knuckles in their youth sounds ripped from The Notebook.

I entered college around the time Kingdom Hearts 2 was released. I never had the chance to play Kingdom Hearts because I did not get a Playstation  until after the first game was already a few years old, and by then my interests were more set on the Suikoden and Final Fantasy series. I had limited funds, so when faced with the choice between Kingdom Hearts and Suikoden 3, I went for the latter. I wanted to get into the games to be more like my art community friends, but that soon waned. Every day, the front page of my art community site was flooded with fan art and  the web forums were completely overwhelmed with Kingdom Hearts talk. At times KH  was all my friends on AIM talked about. That’s when I was introduced first to the obsession called “shipping.”
mlp_demotivational_2_by_norcon72-d4p6312
Shipping, as I understand it, involves slapping two characters together because it’s visually appealing for the audience. More often than not, the shipping involves two characters (or more) of the same gender. The fans defend their ships with religious devotion and will use anything to justify their pairing. A character looks in the direction of another character— instant attraction. A character smiles in the same room as another? They’re clearly in love. A character sits alone in a room? He’s clearly fantasizing about the other members of his team.  Does the character already have a canon love interest? Well they must suck! They’re just getting in the way of true love! Is one of the characters under-age? Love is love! Sadly, Kingdom Hearts 2 was subject to nearly two years of near constant attention by this crowd and I could not go a single day without an uncomfortable image showing up in my feed.
At first I could easily ignore this subculture,  but it eventually became apparent that the world of shipping was nothing like the comparatively more friendly realm of game theorizing. Fans of the Zelda franchise will get into intense debates over timelines and implications through the games, histories behind the tribes, and what they hope to see in the future. These debates do get heated, but in the end, everyone acknowledges that they are all fans of a great series and that is what brings them together. I rarely see these type of discussions get personal or hostile. Shipping, however, is a different story.
No matter how hard you try to hide from it, shipping fan art will find you...Some of my friends on the community sadly jumped on the bandwagon and tried to pull me along with them. Being more traditional-minded, I made my discomfort known to them and requested that they leave me out of their discussions. I wanted to maintain my friendship with these people so when they began showing me their shipping fan art—most of it uncomfortable in content—I obliged and would offer them critiques. When I failed to budge on my stance concerning the content of the pictures, their work became more suggestive and they became more aggressive in their inquires. I eventually asked that they withhold their shipping fan art from me. For some of my friends, this was a final straw. I was called intolerant, homophobic, bigoted, closed-minded, and every other name under the sun. We did try to mend our friendship but they never relented in their attempts to sway my attitude. I was sent books with offensive content, I was approached by associations of my friends from the art community asking for me to participate in fan art collaborations, and finally I was approached by my friends in an intervention type situation to address my “closed-minded” upbringing. When I took offense, they disowned me.

Seems legit.

The months to follow were miserable. My former friends were posting journals to their galleries expressing their disappointment in me for rejecting this new political movement by rejecting Kingdom Hearts ships. I eventually lost paying clients, reputation, and an audience on the site. I had been able to make some money to help me pay my college expenses by doing artwork and I was gaining a positive rapport before this. Following this incident, I could not go one week without some negative comment being thrown at my inbox in response to spreading rumors. I would later  come to discover that my situation wasn’t uncommon.

 

 

totally_not_sharing_a_scarf_by_tigryph-d9jau4o

See I ship in fandoms! …I just make my own characters and then ship them.

In my early years on this art community, I managed to forge a friendship with another traditional-minded Christian artist. Her art is beyond fantastic and her writing is pure poetry. She was my inspiration and in some ways, my mentor. She managed to publish one of her stories shortly after I was hired into my first job, a graveyard shift followed swiftly by several hours of college classes. Her book was my constant companion during a very difficult time of my life. I admired her and her work, and I felt personally indebted to her for giving me a story to latch onto in order to get through my troubles.
I went online to post a review of my book and found that my friend’s work was being ripped apart in the comment section. It was shocking. I went to her gallery and found that there were several people that were being openly hostile towards her. After some asking around, I discovered that some of her fans had drawn fan art or had requested that she make official some of the fan-favorite ships between several of her characters. She had politely refused and while she had been grateful for the time her fans put into fan art, she requested that they respect the characters as they were written. This sparked some outrage among the art community. Like myself, she was accused of being closed-minded, bigoted, and phobic of several things I won’t repeat here because she wanted her work to be respected for what it was. Ultimately, she was forced to pull her work out of publication and abandon her dream of seeing her stories completed. It was heartbreaking to watch.
Here’s the thing…
Shipping is harmless on its surface. In our heated political climate, certain types of shipping has implications behind them. The shippers tend to lose sight of several things when they are met with objections. It is becoming increasingly popular to defy the traditional model of romance and marriage. Artists can gain exposure, fans, and even paying commissioners if they pander to the community by flinging two good looking characters together. Fans will engage in holy wars debating who should be shipped with who. Fans will turn on anyone that objects to the pairing and instantly assume that their reservations come from a political standpoint rather than a respect for the original intent of the characters and story. While I do have an unpopular political opinion of relationships and love, my major objection to shipping comes from my deep rooted respect for the creator.
My friend was attacked because she did not appreciate seeing her characters represented in a way that was not only against the nature of the character, but against her own nature as well. I cannot imagine how the creators of such popular characters such as Roxas (Kingdom Hearts 2), Link (Legend of Zelda), and Sephiroth (Final Fantasy 7) must feel. You cannot google these characters without an offensive pile of images surfacing, regardless of how strong you think your filter may be.

KHWRY

Take a moment to consider this: Every single character in any work of fiction, be it a book or a video game, was once someone’s original creation . Someone somewhere sat down and poured parts of themselves into creating a fictional being. This character could very well represent something deep and personal to the artist. They could be modeled after someone they knew; they could represent a part of their own past; they could represent an ideal that the creator holds close. The artist puts hours upon hours into giving their creations a personality, a history , a set of beliefs, and a heart. The artist then must find a way to weave this character into the world and must discover their characters’ roles in the story. The artist puts a lot of thought into every aspect of his or her creations.
Another thing to consider is this: if the characters were written any other way, they likely would not be popular enough for anyone to bother shipping them in the first place. It’s the characters and their stories as they are that bring forth any kind of attention in the first place. Fangirls and fanboys often whine about how games need to be more inclusive to special interests, include one thing or the other, or have a twist in the story that leads in another direction, but if these elements existed it’s very unlikely that the games would have been successful at all. The games became icons because of how they were executed. Fans are a diverse group of people and everyone will have their own ideas on how to improve a story but in the end it’s in the hands of the creator.

Final_Fantasy_9_Zidane_and_Garnet_hug

Storytellers are just that: tellers of stories. They have something they want to express through every single element in their tales. Some of my favorite games don’t have a heavy focus on romance at all. Sure, I’m a fan of the fairytale romance depicted in Final Fantasy 9, but let’s be honest, romantic stories can get a little old after a while. If every game and every character was written simply to provide some romantic fodder for the fanbase we wouldn’t have half the emotional investment in them. When was the last time fans got in a heated debate over the characters in dating sim games? Can anyone name just three dating sims off the top of their head? No. Why? They’re boring. The entire point is to woo and romance; there’s absolutely no substance to them beyond that. Great games and great characters reflect the complicated nature of humanity. The characters that resonate the strongest with fans are those that do show love, but love is not limited to romance.
Love is the most powerful emotion in the world, but we have such a narrow understanding of it. When we reduce something as complicated as love to the narrow scope of romance, we’re actually doing a great disservice to not only the creator of the games, stories, and characters, but to ourselves as well.
Love is Complicated
Fan girls and boys, please hear me out on this: those characters you ship very well may love each other, but why do you cheapen the story, the characters, and the deeper meaning of love by stripping “love” down to something as shallow as what you find to be visually appealing? Christian fans especially should take a look at the relationships between characters through the scope of the Bible. Love is the great overcomer, the most powerful force known to man, and it is in fact perhaps the most painful emotion we can ever experience. Love is not always about the physical. In fact, physical expression of can occur without love. That’s certainly the case in shipping.

 

 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. – John 15:13

Love is laying yourself aside for the best interest of another person, even if that other person is an enemy. Storytellers have embraced this idea and have presented it in many forms for centuries. In games, some of the most moving scenes are those in which a character is giving his or her last words to their companions.  A powerful example is Gremio’s death from Suikoden 1. He willingly, without hesitation, gives his life for the hero, who he sees as his own son. Those that ship him with the hero do this scene, and the relationship behind it, a grave disservice and cheapen the story of the game itself.
Yen

Fans of the novels know this, though fans of the game series may not. Geralt’s amnesia lasts longer than Yennifer’s. Thus, as he recuperates at Kaer Morhen under Triss’ care, she betrays TWO friendships through her seduction. Geralt’s friends drop subtle and awkward hints in their distress and amusement, but it is not until Witcher 3 after Geralt’s memory is fully recovered that all bets are off. Triss’ relationship with Geralt is doubly strained through the sightings of Ciri—Yen and Geralt’s surrogate daughter—and reappearance of Yen herself. It took three games spanning over 150 hours (if one rushes) to establish the most complex love triangle in the history of the video game industry. The shipping is strong with this one: Geralt can resume his relationship with Yen (who makes haste to throw out Geralt’s mattress due to the red hair on it) or repair the damage with Triss—the player chooses.

Video games are simply a more interactive way for a story to be told. You as the player are placed into the role of one of the characters and must  live through  them within the story. You as the player may fall in love with the characters because you begin to feel the connection that they have for each other. It’s so easy for us to project our own personal feelings into a character since the characters essentially serve as an avatar for us within the world they live in. Their friends become our friends, their sorrow becomes our own, and for some of us, we see qualities in the other characters that we would want in our own lives in the form of a romantic partner.  I can understand the reasoning behind shipping, I really can, but at the same time I can take a step back and look at the game as a writer. What is the story-teller trying to say?
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

In some games, the storyteller wants to show the power of friendship. Love manifests itself through friendship, perhaps more so than it does through any romance we will ever experience. Friends are people that have no blood ties with us but somehow they are closer to our hearts than our relatives. We love them in a very different way than we could ever love family or a romantic interest. It’s a kinship, an emotionally intimate relationship, and a love that we choose. It’s a love that brings two perfect strangers together based on a single interest at first and nurtures them into a united force. Friendship is powerful; it’s something beyond romance. It’s easy to see how fans who have a strictly romantic view of love can interpret deep friendships as romance and assign that meaning to it.

I wanted to see Roxas. He was the only one I liked. He made me feel like I had a heart. It’s kind of… funny. – Axel, Kingdom Hearts 2

In other games, the storyteller wants to stress the importance of family. Family isn’t just composed of the people that we share a bloodline with, it’s also composed of the people that we share our hearts with. Family are those that we feel a place of belonging with. Family is always there for you; they support us in ways that go well above and beyond. Family reaches beyond the intimacy of a pair of people, but it extends to a large group of individuals who share a mutual love for one another regardless of their differences. In games there are countless families that are formed from through the relationships between complete strangers. Let’s be honest: most video game characters lack blood relations to make it easier for them to go on a grand adventure without strings attached. They don’t often have a mother that refuses to allow them to set out on a difficult journey, a father that would impose himself on the party if only to protect his child, siblings that will tag along because they’re siblings and that’s what they do. There are some exceptions, certainly, but in a lot of games, the hero has no blood family. The heroes of these games form their own families through their trials. Mentors and guardians become surrogate parents, brothers and sisters in arms become like siblings, and those that stand beside them in the face of adversity become their entire reason for standing at all.
cloud_tifa_or_zack_aeris__by_nasiamarie88-d4afjp2

‘Nuff said. Artwork by: nasiamarie88

All these relationships would become rather two dimensional if they were all meant to be romantic. Creators are generally pretty clear about romance when it’s necessary, and while most games do include some kind of romantic element, it’s something that takes a back seat. Romantic love is a fantastic thing’ I would never say otherwise, but to view every single relationship through the scope of romance really does a game a great injustice. What makes these games great is the heart that’s put into every aspect of them. Just because two characters are strictly friends doesn’t mean that love is absent. Rather than trying to jump into a bandwagon that’s composed of hostility and politically charged dialogue, we should stand back and give credit to the authors of these games. They tugged at our heartstrings and gave fictional characters life and meaning to us. They created something that has reached millions of people, something that made us laugh and cry.
God knew what he was doing in giving humanity an imagination. We were made in his image, so it’s only naturally that we want to create people the way God created us. When we sit down to play a video game, we should appreciate that the creators of the game and the characters within it are reflecting the creative nature of God whether or not they were aware of it. The creators wanted their characters to be able to love and experience love in all its forms, and not just in a one-dimensional, patronizing way. Games should be appreciated for what they are, as they are. As a community, we need to respect the creators and the story that they’re trying to tell us. We’ll all interpret the work differently, but in the end, I think that we can all agree that we were touched by the stories in some way. The best way to show our love and appreciation is to acknowledge and honor the story the way it is. As an artist and a writer, there is no bigger compliment than to have fans say that everything is perfect just the way it is. Shipping and ripping a piece to death not only discourages and frustrates the creator, but it reflects badly on the community as a whole.

I’ve filled the article with some of my own personal artwork. If you’re interested in seeing more, you can visit my DeviantArt gallery. I have not named the other artists I mentioned for their personal protection.

Kelly

I was born and raised in a traditional Christian household, educated privately, and brought up with a passion for Christ. The works of CS Lewis and Tolkien were my greatest influences. I aspire to become a published fictional author, hopefully illustrating my own work as well. Christ is the center of my universe and my faith is the lens in which I look through in regards to everything. As far as games go I am swayed best towards fantasy/action/rpg's.

26 Comments

  1. Snobbles Gunderson on June 22, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    So shipping is only bad when it’s gay?

    • Kelly A. Bornstedt on June 22, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      I think you’re missing the entire point of the article and straining at a gnat, friend.

      • Snobbles Gunderson on June 23, 2020 at 8:04 am

        Mmmm… no. I think you took the gnat and magnified it.

        • Kelly A. Bornstedt on June 24, 2020 at 3:21 pm

          Considering the environment of toxic shipping, I think I was spot on. Alphabet community ships dominate the shipping communities so it was a little difficult to find a popular “crack ship” that was heterosexual in nature. That said- this is a Christian publication written by a Bible believing Christian so the choice of homosexuality will always fall into shade when it comes into the discussion. You may not like it; you’re entitled to your opinion, but given that the article was to expose problems with ruining valuable non-romantic character dynamics in favor of social pandering I think your offense that it focuses on a sinful lifestyle is bad is on you rather than on the content presented.

          • Snobbles Gunderson on June 28, 2020 at 12:47 am

            Goodness gracious, you sound angry. Well… Happy Pride! Love is Love! Black Lives Matter! And wear a mask and wash your hands!



  2. me on April 15, 2020 at 8:12 am

    It’s okay you’re uncomfortable with same sex shipping. I’m uncomfortable with opposite sex shipping. But the levels of logic you try to twist to make your subjective preference an objective truth instead of just filtering and moving on is a little sad.

    Inb4 I’m an sjw, whatever – nah I’m just gay, sorry if that upsets you 🙁

    • Kelly on April 15, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      How so, exactly? If the canon of a character is that they are a certain way, that is the objective reality of that character according to their creator. To break a character down to nothing more than a sexual object is a degrading to the story and the creator themselves.

      Frankly, I don’t care what you chose for your preference, it’s beside the point of the argument made in the article. The bottom line is that when shipping becomes the focus of a story rather than the plot, characters, or the actual canon relationships they build- it destroys the content and divides the community.

  3. Best Of February – Maggie's Musings on November 17, 2016 at 1:40 am

    […] the geeky side of things, Kelly at Geeks Under Grace wrote a post titled, “When Shipping Goes Too Far.” If you’ve ever been involved in any sort of fandom (books, movies, TV shows, video […]

  4. Victoria Grace Howell on March 1, 2016 at 2:48 am

    This is such a great post. You basically just iterated all of my grievances against shipping. Thank you for this. I’m a writer and an artist as well and I get exactly what you’re saying. Following you on deviantART totally!

    • Kelly on March 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. :3 I think that it’s a pretty common complaint from artists and writers with their own universe. We wouldn’t want people going in and ruining our hard work, I can see how published writers and game developers would get a little fed up with that aspect as well!

      And thank you for the watch! 🙂

  5. Micah Marshall on February 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Kelly,

    This is such a great response to the rising shippings that have occurred in video games! People tend to overlook the intention that the creators put into their stories, and I think that it has tainted the view of many gamers. I know that I have stumbled upon shippings of Pokemon, and I have been disgusted by them. I have grown up with the series since I was three years old, hiding under my sofa to steal my younger brother’s gameboy for a glimpse of Crystal, and seeing the way in which the games have been distorted makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    I believe that people have done the same with God’s love for them, as a connection to the real world. People define love as what makes them feel good: sex, one-way friendships, and selfishness. But we know from God’s word that love is reckless, selfless, and sometimes painful to show. Love is truly hurting oneself, but in doing so we make someone else feel good. Love truly flourishes when it is two-way, and I think that we experience this the greatest in a personal relationship with Christ.

    Again, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and creativity with your article! I sincerely enjoyed reading it, and I cannot wait to see what else you write!

    Regards,
    Micah Marshall

    • Kelly on February 19, 2016 at 4:49 am

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the article! And it is an aspect that it so over-looked in everything. I like to frequent discussion boards for authors who’s books I enjoy (those that are still alive anyway) and the pressure to make their work conform to the current school of thought is just depressing. There are a good many authors who do compromise in that regard, but it never satisfies the sjw’s that haunt those threads. They always want something more. The writers that don’t conform are flamed mercilessly. Most these days try to stay carefully neutral or don’t respond to those threads.

      Very good points! God showed his own love by actually dying for everyone. He could have saved himself, he could have chosen not to bother coming to Earth at all, but he loved us enough to humble himself, endure the hardships of being a mortal, living human, and then suffering the worst death that humanity could come up with. It’s something we’ve allowed ourselves to forget.

      I’m very glad that you liked it! Thank you for your support. 🙂

  6. T.C. Lewis on February 12, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Woah. Awesome job Kelly– I wasn’t sure what to expect as I first read it, and then you took it to a very reasonable creative perspective, followed by some cultural context, and then you also established the issue from a theological view of love’s forms. And look how many people related and engaged with your thoughts!!

    • Kelly on February 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much! :3 I’m glad that you had a good read on it. I try to take a logical approach with sensitive topics like this. I won’t let go of the Biblical perspective, but it helps to come at it from a neutral angle as well. And yes! It’s very nice to know that it isn’t an isolated incident. :3

  7. AlphaWolfDrummer on February 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Such a great article. I fully agree!

    Why do you think shipping often goes to far? Is it part of human nature or just just our overly complicated culture?
    I personally hate seeing characters in my fandoms shipped when they have nothing in common, and in a few cases, don’t even know each other. Fandom should be an accepting, yet dedicated facet of culture, but putting characters together for a quick laugh or shock value, seriously hurts and disrespects the creators of those said characters.

    • Kelly on February 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      I think that shipping has so many sources. Firstly, the characters in the media (game, books, movies) connect to the reader/player/viewer on an emotional level. They invest in the character because they’re written to allow that to happen. So the bonds the character forms become our bonds. Some people, especially those who have an already confused view of love’s many forms, will view these situations as romantic rather than friendship, mentor/student, sworn-family, etc. Others…well let’s be honest, others just want something to get their jollies off and slapping two attractive characters together does just that. It’s shallow and mindless. I’ve met artists who do ships just to gain views on their galleries and obtain new commissioners and generate more followers. (So it’s for attention and money.) A lot of these artists don’t even know the game/movie/book these characters are from. They just see what’s dominating their feeds, google references, and slap characters together. It’s really a shame because it essentially is taking characters someone poured so much into and using them as sex objects for money and attention. ><

  8. Carissa on February 12, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Absolutely love this article! As someone who writes, I, too, always want to consider what the author intended. When I see characters shipped who in no way would get together, it irks me. I avoid any kind of shipping that goes there. I remember once seeing a tag for the shipping of Harry Potter and Professor McGonagall in a fanfic. !? So much shipping seems to be done for the pure desire of pornographic intent. For some reason the dark soul of so many comes out when shipping. I know that is our human sinfulness emerging, but I hate to see the darkness crushing the light, especially in fandoms I love.

    I have written several fanfics and I have purposely created a rule for myself that I will stick within the realm of the fandom I love. I won’t put anyone together that wasn’t clear in the original source and personally, I stick to the official canons as well. I do this because I want to respect the creators. I call fanfic a “labor of appreciation,” because creators made me like characters so much I continue to think about them after a book or show or game. I want to make sure my writing is appreciating, not destroying, what they created.

    I also like the section in the article about different kinds of love and relationships: romance, friends, family. Friendship I feel has been given such a disservice in our culture these days. Deep friendships are so beautiful, but now if you try and write one it is often immediately equated with romance by shippers. No, Frodo and Sam are not romantically involved. They have an awesome friendship. To make it anything other than a friendship is to completely ruin what makes their relationship so touching and soulful. I wish more friendships could be written without knowing that many out there will automatically ruin it by equating it with sexual attraction.

    • Kelly on February 12, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      I think that everything boils down to the destruction of the family. Children are being raised in broken homes so they cannot see what a healthy romantic relationship looks like. Children missing a mother, father, or both will seek out that affection in other places. A girl that doesn’t have a father, for example, doesn’t know what paternal love feels like, nor does she know what a husband looks like. She’ll seek out this bond in other places, often times this leads to bad romantic situations. It’s not true for everyone, I know many people from broken homes with very healthy relationships but these people are also part of strong Christian communities. I think that the culture has just sexualized love beyond reason. “Love” has been cheapened down to the activities of the bedroom rather than expanded upon as the complicated emotion that it is. It’s very sad these days that when people see me hanging out with one of my lady-friends they assume we’re a couple. It’s getting to where if you’re standing in the same room as someone, the world assumes something else. c_x; Long rant there lol

      I’m not so much into fanfics but I know that a lot of people do them as a tribute or to fill in blanks. I watch a few anime that HAVE NO ENDING. I can see why fanfic writers would pick up the pen, if only to give themselves some closure. (12 kingdoms, Legend of the Legendary Heroes, etc. all lack a good ending for some story archs. c_x)

      I think the best we can do is produce good, clean content and bond with like-minded folks so we have a good example among the fan base floating around. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading!

      • Carissa on February 12, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        I completely agree. The destruction of the family has warped our view of what romantic love should really look like.

        When I write, I do as you said, fill in blanks or take a minor character and explore his or her point of view of an event.

        “I think the best we can do is produce good, clean content and bond with like-minded folks so we have a good example among the fan base floating around.” Definitely!

        • Kelly on February 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm

          It’s the source of a lot of problems, both morally and economic. The family is the foundation of any strong society and when that falls apart, the rest isn’t too far behind. >: It certainly explains the modern depravity we’re seeing.

          :nodnod: That’s always good! Sometimes those minor characters really grow on you. XD I had a minor character who literally was going to be a footnote grow into a main character. >_>;;; they really do have minds of their own sometimes.

          :brofist!:

  9. "Special Interests" on February 12, 2016 at 12:06 am

    I’m certain I know what you meant by ‘special interest’ (why you didn’t come right out and say it is really what I’m confused about), but are you aware that catering to Christian gamers are some of the most specific (read: special) interests a Japanese company, which if you have forgotten, is a majority non-Christian nation, could have? Is everything a special interest unless it caters to you?

    • Kelly on February 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      There are a lot of logical fallacies in your statements, none of which I will address as none of them will bring forth a productive conversation. Creating rabbit-trails to deviate away from the topic at hand and to stand on a soap box of social justice warrior righteousness is not something I am going to entertain. If you would like to discuss the topic presented in the article, I would be glad to engage you there. You’ve stated your opinion, which you are entitled to, but I’m not here to discuss politics, globalization policies, or the history of the USA, it’s founding, or the demographics of the last census taken regarding faith. I’ll let you do your own homework. 😉

  10. Maggie on February 11, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    This was a really well written article. Although I have my fair share of favorite ships, I actually tend to avoid online fan communities just because the mentality is so toxic. Disagreeing with the majority is like asking for a death sentence, which is especially ironic considering that people on the internet usually claim that “everyone is welcome.” I’m glad that you mentioned love between friends as well, because I think a strong friendship is something that most people either ignore or force into a romantic relationship. (I’ve seen that happen a lot, especially with male characters – they’re “obviously in love” and if you don’t agree, you’re an “intolerant homophobe”). Personally, I’ve always enjoyed reading or watching a strong friendship develop between characters, because I think it’s something that’s just as, if not more important, than fictional romances.

    Anyway, as you can probably tell, I really enjoyed reading this. It’s definitely a topic worth talking about!

    • Kelly on February 12, 2016 at 4:38 am

      I’m glad that you appreciated it! And I’m not immune to shipping either. XD But I don’t take it seriously. I don’t even do fan art of my favorite ships because while I Like the idea of some characters getting together, they aren’t. I respect the author for how they built the characters and relationships so I try to keep that in mind. :3

      Friendship really is amazing XD Honestly, I get more invested in the friendships in games than anything else. It’s really sad that presently we live in a world where every relationship is seen through the lens of physical relationships. >< It's bringing a multi-dimensional emotion such as love into a single dimension and I think that's tragic.

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂 I really appreciate the feedback!

      • Maggie on February 15, 2016 at 4:56 am

        Yeah, I usually don’t take shipping too seriously either. There are some ships that I think “aw, they would be really nice together!” But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I’ve always been of the idea that the creator knows their characters best, so I respect whatever they decide.

        I’m in the same boat, haha. Friendships are what I really get interested in, whether it’s a book, a movie, a video game, or whatever it may be. (As a side note, I absolutely love seeing healthy rivalries between characters). And I agree, it is tragic that our world tends to solely focus on physical relationships. On the upside though, we have the opportunity to show others that love is so, so much more than what they think.

        You’re welcome! This post really got me thinking as you can probably tell, haha, so I figured I’d share a few of my thoughts 🙂

        • Kelly on February 15, 2016 at 7:05 pm

          That’s pretty much how I see it. I have weekly game/anime nights with the girls and we’ll joke around with ships. “Now kiss!” and the like. XD But we’re honestly never serious. We’d not be watching the anime or playing the game if the writer had made it any other way (all things considered) so we appreciate it as is. Planet of the Beast King was especially infuriating but hey, not our story to write. XD

          Friendships in books/movies are just awesome. XD A garnish of romance isn’t bad, but it shouldn’t be the main course in my opinion. Love’s way more complicated than that. :3 And very true! Anything can be used as an evangelistic tool 🙂

          I appreciate it! 🙂 I love having a dialogue about this topic.

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