Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mary Sues. They Suck. Here's why.

A Mary Sue is an rpg term for a character created to be perfect in every way. She's a lovely Pollyanna for which a Godly light shines down from the Heavens onto her brow. She exhales joy, love and laughter and craps gold and flowers. To be foul with her in anyway is damnation.

How do you spot her?

  • She usually looks like Nicole Kidman, Sarah Michelle Gellar or Mary Kate Olsen because she's intended to be drop dead gorgeous. (I left out Ashley Olsen because she might come across as a ho compared to Mary Kate.) I've encountered all sorts of faces to suit the Mary Sue persona but these ladies are the most common. Ever since Moulin Rouge, Buffy and whatever the Hell the Olsen twins have ever done, you can't escape these gals. It's an upsetting trend. The only time I ever engaged a character like this was to have fun with her. Or is it at her. She looked like Nicole Kidman but she was supposed to be a 5th year (10th grader) in a Harry Potter rpg. WTF? A 40 year old 5th year?

  • She's incredibly smart because she's top in her dark arts class or she's studied all kinds of martial arts so she can one day avenge the brutal murder of her parents at the hands of savage vampires. Mary Sue either has an amazing knack for things that could be considered just out of bounds within an established rpg world or she's gone through a horrible trauma that has given her insight beyond her years. The first incarnation may have the same horrible childhood as the second but both Mary Sues expect other characters to look up to them. In one highschool based rpg I watched one chick's Mary Sue move from role player to role player because she was desperately looking for one to tell her how awesome she was. She wasn't getting the results she wanted so she chewed us all out in a long, hateful, boring ooc (out of character) post. When it was pointed out that she was very over dramatic and she was taxing the energy of fellow players and interacting with her was a nightmare, she called us all fucking bastards and left. Now that was awesome!

  • When you are playing a bad guy trying to menace a Mary Sue at The Bronze, she's already read your post about secretly wanting to menace her so she knows and her katana is drawn your bad guy's throut before he can ask to buy her a drink. They are already aware of your inner monologue which is annoying because you can't get into any conflict with them. Conflict is the backbone of all stories but Mary Sues won't have it. They end all build ups and won't even entertain the idea of getting into a situation that might mess their hair. You see, Mary Sue's are extensions of their authors. The author wants the Mary Sue to be everything she isn't. She couldn't possibly make a mistake and accept a drink from a possible vampire because Mary Sue wouldn't be so stupid. How dare you try to be a bad guy in Mary Sue's world! Expecting her to make a small error in judgment is an insult to the author herself. At least her tingling Mary Sue senses made you aware that she's not going to play fair or at all, really. Watch how long she sits there at the bar before writing a long, whiny ooc post and leaves.

  • Some Mary Sues are bitches. She maintains that she has a right to be moody and rude to all characters because she's just misunderstood. She might look like Avril Lavigne in these cases. She claims to hate all the perfect characters but in reality, her bitchitude is absolute. She demands to rule over the entire rpg by insulting every participant under the guise that she's noble in her gothy alternativeness. Actually, the 5th year Nicole Kidman was one of those. SHOCKER!!!!!!

  • She's given some totally awesome name that sets her apart. She's no Anne, Sherry, Rachel or even Mary Sue. She's a Raven, a Cadence, a M'Kenzi or a Chase (yes, Chase is female). She has some name that is bigger than life itself! She wants you to notice her and her name screams out in Mary Sue panic to look at her!!!! LOOK AT HER NOW!!!!!! See how special she is????? You can't see that? What's wrong with you? Get ready for a long post about how you're not giving Raven-Cadence McM'KenziChase a chance to let you worship her.

I could keep listing things to use to identify one but I think over the course of this blog, it should become apperent. Real life examples are astounding and can be found all over. All genders as well.

I've only mentioned female Mary Sues but my absolute favorite example was a Mary Sue male equivalent. A "Gary Stu." He called himself "Blaize Angel" in a Harry Potter rpg. He had almost the same background as Harry Potter except for some small details that made him better, faster, stronger and more troubled. No one paid much attention to him because he started his character off with several "intro posts" that didn't need to be responded to. We were supposed to take notice of his awesomeness. In one post he was just flying around on his broomstick and he had some bottle in his hand that he was innocently holding. Innocent, until he dropped it. It fell at an amazing speed! He zoomed down and caught it before it hit the ground. Wow! We were all supposed to say, "Hey! That Blaize Angel kid is cool! Let's sign him right up for the quidditch team!"

Nobody really paid attention to him which seemed fine for him as he soon created himself a Draco Malfoy named Magister Mactbili or whatever. Pretty soon Blaize and Magister were having their own epic battles. The rest of us ignored him as he played with himself all over the board and eventually burned himself out.

Mary Sues cock up rpgs and they are all spewing teenage angst and why do I keep going back? Who knows. At least it seems most rpg owners are getting wise to this and trying to cut back on it.

We shall see. Oh yes, we shall see.


PM said...

I couldn't agree more. I personally enjoy messing with Mary Sues/Gary Stus and making them cry and/or storm off in a huff of melodrama! >:oD

Good first post, Cadence. :o)

Anonymous said...

The two best stories I have ever seen are *Methods of Rationality* and *Don't Panic* which gets into culture/survival issues where most self inserts suck!!

Why do self inserts always ignore real issues that an OC would face and skip ahead to the action and love scenes? Often times the OC is just a piece of luggage until either the action or love scene with nothing in between to make her grow?

In fact why does OC's always have to be women? Why not males for steady support?