META: The Problem of Fourth Wall Breaking

Tarq mitchell_crouch at
Sat Aug 2 03:51:56 PDT 2008

On Aug 2, 5:34 pm, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at> wrote:
> Again, if the villains wink at the reader and say "Ha ha ha!  I'm the
> bad guy" then the story is lost on me.  You might as well bring in
> talking snails at that point. :)

I think that a villain could be quite powerfully written like that,
really. "Your reality is 'higher' than mine, you see me as the
villain, all you'll ever see me as is the villain, why shouldn't I go
around killing people? It's not like it makes a difference anyway."
Ken, the Digimon Emperor from Digimon Adventure 02, is a good example
of this, in a way; he sees the Digital World as being 'fake', so he
has no qualms about enslaving and torturing the Digimon.

In everyday life, a person might squash an ant if it crawled on their
leg. Their reasoning? It annoyed them. Something annoying a person
seems pretty good reason to wipe out *real* life; 'dangerous' animals
are put down, insects are sprayed and poisoned, and just because their
location inconveniences a human. If a person wasn't real and they were
being annoying, would you really care about whether or not you hurt
them? No one seems to mind slinging insults at humanesque robots, or
even hurling abuse at people on the Internet who they've never met --
these people aren't 'real' to them. So if you were heavily
disillusioned with the world and believed that it didn't matter
whether or not you killed everyone, would you hold back?

It makes sense to me that there would be some breed of person who


PS -- On a related note, are talking snails really that much more
absurd than flying humans?

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