How prevalent is Munchkinism?

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User1486
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How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by User1486 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:53 am

Just out of curiosity, just how prevalent is "munchkinism" with regards to "vs" debates, in particular Star Wars vs Star Trek. For those of you who don't know what Munchkin means, here is a simple wikipedia article on the topic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchkin_( ... ing_games)
Wikipedia wrote: In gaming, a Munchkin is a player who plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game (usually a role-playing game) in an aggressively competitive manner. A munchkin seeks within the context of the game to amass the greatest power, score the most "kills," and grab the most loot, no matter how deleterious their actions are to role-playing, the storyline, fairness, logic, or the other players' fun.
This is, of course, in reference to gaming, in particular role-playing games. However, since these "vs" debates also resemble role playing to a certain extent (i.e. you all agree to a set of rules and then let the hypothetical battle take its course), so it would seem to me that there would also be Munchkins among you guys too.

Some on the Hard Sci-Fi camp (such as the people on Orion's Arm) think that it is an inherent part of the "Versus" culture, particularly because of the outlandish rationalizations used by the majority of its participants, as well as their aggressive stance on their pet franchises. Personally, while I think its amusing, I don't think all members take it all that seriously. Certainly I don't, and I am well aware of the fact that most franchises being compared land squarely in the "Soft-Sci Fi" park.

What do you guys think?

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Cocytus » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:58 am

I had never heard that term until now. Of course, I don't game much. You learn something new every day.

The most applicable part of the description of Munchkinism is undoubtedly the tidbit about rules, willfully misinterpreting rules that work against them while proclaiming rules that work for them. As regards the vs. debates, this is commonplace with evidence, where one side will either misinterpret or play down evidence that casts its pet franchise is a less favorable light. The challenge of having so much evidence at our disposal, particularly as regards Trek, is to build a framework that can admit as much of it as possible, since we must assume that the universe is internally consistent.

As far as aggressiveness goes, I'd say we at SFJ are a pretty level-headed bunch. We do get some munchkins from time to time, but I'd say the nature of the board, as in not having a rigid canon policy people must adhere to, alleviates a lot of potential munchkinism. People can post their own interpretations of evidence, and other posters can choose whether or not to debate them. I think most people here bear in mind that this is supposed to be fun.

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Praeothmin » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:48 pm

It is very prevalent in vs debates, just look at most vs threads in SB.com, where people say things like "Sentry can wil himself back to existence from 1 molecule", no matter how absurd it is, or even if the character only did it once...

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Mr. Oragahn
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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:40 pm

"How prevalent is Munchkinism?"

Damn, that term sucks so much, no wonder it's seldom used.

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Kor_Dahar_Master » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:20 pm

In gaming, a Munchkin is a player who plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game (usually a role-playing game) in an aggressively competitive manner. A munchkin seeks within the context of the game to amass the greatest power, score the most "kills," and grab the most loot, no matter how deleterious their actions are to role-playing, the storyline, fairness, logic, or the other players' fun.
There is no such thing as a non-competitive game when you have two oposing sides and both want to win.

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by User1486 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:52 pm

Mr. Oragahn wrote:"How prevalent is Munchkinism?"

Damn, that term sucks so much, no wonder it's seldom used.

Well, maybe not around the "Versus" debates so much, but certainly in the gaming communities. I thought it appropriate here, because a lot of the "versus" debates do invokes quite a few elements of role playing (Fanfics in particular).

Kor_Dahar_Master wrote: There is no such thing as a non-competitive game when you have two oposing sides and both want to win.
I think it depends on how we defining "winning". Role-playing games aren't quite like other games like, say, chess or basketball, where the aim is specifically for one opposing side to emerge as the winner. Rather its more like acting out a story. Whether there is a side that is supposed to win (or not) is not that important, so in this sense there are no winners or losers.

It is the same with "Versus" debates, in that ideally we want to come to an agreement over which side (Star Wars or Star Trek) would win, who would have better chances, and so on. But of course, we do run into some people are so hopelessly fanatical that they feel that their favorite franchise has to win at any cost...

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by User1356 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:19 pm

It is oppressively prevalent

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Admiral Breetai » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:31 pm

Praeothmin wrote:It is very prevalent in vs debates, just look at most vs threads in SB.com, where people say things like "Sentry can wil himself back to existence from 1 molecule", no matter how absurd it is, or even if the character only did it once...
I don't think Sentry ever did that(considering his new powers that may not be BS) but other characters have..and consistently so done such things in comics and cartoons and anime so depending on the setting and the character thats not munchkisnim...thats simple fact
InvaderSkooj wrote:It is oppressively prevalent
in many vs boards..but I don't see it as a bad thing completely zealous arguments should be made..biased arguments are a problem and those two can be mutually exclusive

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by User1486 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:50 pm

Here is a short primer on Munchkinism, and how it applies to both worldbuilding and role playing:

http://old.orionsarm.com/intro/munchkins.html

In particular, the following quote is what I find common in quite a few vs debates around the net:
The only thing they are interested in designing weapons, long endless lists of them, and often the most ridiculous sillytech weapons at that. Munchkin universes tend to consist of things like a giant interstellar empire (the qualities of which are barely described) which has a starfleet consisting of thousands or even millions of baseline-human-crewed imperial battlecruisers, each one of which has hundreds of zillion-watt disintegrator guns and force fields and antimatter torpedoes and can travel billions of times the speed of light, and that's about it.
It describes the Star Destroyer site dead on, but the rival site (st-v-sw.net) also has quite a few elements of this too.

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Praeothmin » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:01 pm

Admiral Breetai wrote:
Praeothmin wrote:It is very prevalent in vs debates, just look at most vs threads in SB.com, where people say things like "Sentry can wil himself back to existence from 1 molecule", no matter how absurd it is, or even if the character only did it once...
I don't think Sentry ever did that(considering his new powers that may not be BS) but other characters have..and consistently so done such things in comics and cartoons and anime so depending on the setting and the character thats not munchkisnim...thats simple fact
That's the point, people attributing things never seen, or seen only once, as a regular capability for their side of a debate when it clearly isn't...

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Re: How prevalent is Munchkinism?

Post by Admiral Breetai » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:36 pm

Praeothmin wrote:[

That's the point, people attributing things never seen, or seen only once, as a regular capability for their side of a debate when it clearly isn't...
that's true I've dealt with that allot I think it's more prevalent in non sci fi vs debating though that particular aspect I mean then again they do go nuts with using outliers on SB your right there

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