Mary Sue

December 13, 2003

Via John and Belle, I find a definition of something I had seen before but never known had a label: Mary Sue fiction.

It is amazing just how much bad fiction out there fits this model. The concept first appeared in fan fiction - the writer inserted into the story as an idealized character who does no wrong and re-shapes the original universe - but I find it elsewhere as well.

Among other places, I sometimes play MMORGs. The challenge to a massively multiplayer game with a role-playing background is that everyone wants to be the hero, no one wants to be "third spear-carrier from the left". In other words, everyone in Everquest, or whatever, wants to be Mary Sue - and the game works only to the extent that the people playing the characters agree to give everyone their Mary Sue moments.

Interesting stuff, but almost everything John and Belle link to is interesting.

Posted by Red Ted at December 13, 2003 07:40 AM | TrackBack