Reposted: Well Done Stakes

Take a look at this great post by Nate Winchester, readers:

Raise the Stakes - HDNET MOVIES

Well Done Stakes

Something I’ve come to learn about stories: When it comes to their stakes, it really doesn’t matter (except it does).

I’ve heard it said more than once, “The audience can tell you the problem, but not the solution.” This applies to both stories and game design. The basic idea is that the audience can help you see where a problem is, even if they can’t give you the best solution for it.

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One thought on “Reposted: Well Done Stakes

  1. A very pertinent article to far too much mainstream fiction put there, books, TV, and film. Although he only obliquely mentions one of my biggest stakes criticisms, which is stakes that are unrealistically high. It’s really hard for an audience to sympathize as much with destruction-of-the-universe stakes, sometimes even with characters they care about, because that just doesn’t happen. The only reason Infinity War+Endgame worked (arguable) is that the characters we’d come to love over ten years were carrying it – but let’s be honest, you could have made Thanos a by and large vanilla supervillain with much smaller goals and we would have cared just as much. When it came to the amount of audience investment, the stakes themselves didn’t really matter.

    This is one of my biggest criticisms of the MCU phase 4. They’ve decided to launch into a multiverse collapsing arc with a whole bunch of new characters who we do not know, and are unfortunately for them being introduced by and large in movies with very shoddy writing. They’re trying to up the stakes they set at the end of Endgame, which was already stretching suspension of disbelief and that we only went along with because we cared about the characters involved. High stakes does not equal high sympathy, and honestly it would be great to see some fictional takes on real life scenarios more, instead of fictional takes on some fictional scenarios.

    Liked by 2 people

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