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Old 01-02-2020, 08:15 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 601


This appeared in a discord channel the other night:

"I can't help it if a bunch of illiterate chuck!@#$s aren't going to read about Shandris' character before BfA--and if they aren't, they probably don't give that much of a damn about her character anyway--the majority of the players aren't concerned with the minutia of this sort of character development anyway--they just want to kill the next big bad, press buttons and get phat lootz."

This is partially right, but it misses the point, and I bring this up because as much as I have brought up presentation versus strict canon, I don't feel that I have given the topic the attention it deserves. I'm going to try to fix that now.

They say that you should show and not tell, and that a picture is worth a thousand words. To illustrate this, here's some marketing guidance:

Here are some highlights:

"The human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds."

"People following directions with text and illustrations do 323 percent better than those following directions without illustrations."

"Approximately 65% of the population is visual learners."

Here's some more:

"90% of the information that the brain receives is non-verbal."

"Our brain is hard-wired to understand visuals better than text."

"People remember up to 80% of what they see, compared to only 20% of what they read."

One more:

"Viewers retain 95% of a video's message compared to 10% when reading text."

"It's been said (wryly we think) that one-minute [of] video is worth [up] to 1.8 million words."

For completeness' sake, I do feel compelled to add this study, comparing retention between text, audio, and audio and text. The difference in mode in this case appears to make no significant difference:

What's clear here, however, is that visual content smokes text and the comparisons aren't even close. Now here's a video that I've shared many times talking about how this can create problems in visual works of fiction.

"Framing and aesthetics supersede the rest of the text. Always. Always. Always"

So to return to the original point - a person isn't "illiterate" when they remember what's on the screen but forget what's in the text - and this is a problem that's made worse when average players click-through quest text, don't buy the books, or don't pay attention to what a dev says on Twitter or in an interview. Don't confuse what I'm saying - those people still experience the lore and still form opinions on it - they just won't be the same ones that someone focused on the text will get thanks to Blizzard's failure to harmonize visuals and text. You don't have a brick for a brain if the images stick with you more than the text - that just means you're like everyone else.

So, departing from the abstract, when the text says "the Night Elves actually did extremely well", but the visuals say "the Night Elves were easily swept aside", the visual presentation will win out every single time.

This has been my main issue with the people who will respond to my claims that the Night Elves look weak with "but on page 87 of this book it says this" or "but this NPC said this". Put simply: they don't matter in comparison. What matters is what goes up on the screen, because what goes on the screen is what gets remembered.

Last edited by Kyalin V. Raintree; 01-02-2020 at 08:32 PM..
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