1. Villainova97
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    Villainova97 New Member

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    What would a world without villains be like?

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by Villainova97, Jan 31, 2016.

    Close you eyes for a minute, and imagine a typical fictional setting: It could be a city full of superheroes and supervillains, a fantasy world where forces of good battle forces of darkness, a sci fi universe where stalwart space pilots ward off bloodthirsty aliens, etc. This world can be anything, as long as it has a personified good (protagonist), and a personified evil (antagonist).

    You have the world down in your head? Good. Now, erase the villain.

    Let's just say that one day, in this world, all forces of evil just disappear. No one knows what happened to them, where they went, and why they were taken. They just vanish.

    How does this affect the fictional world? How would the heroes respond to it? How would the general public/civilians respond to it? What would eventually happen to this world as time went by without any antagonist to inhabit it? What would it look like?
     
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  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    There is a huge difference between a villain and an antagonist. A villain is a rather silly, comic-booky idea of 'pure evil' or something like that. A villain is a 'bad' person.

    An antagonist is a character whose interests clash with that of the progagonist. For example, two guys can be vying for the love of a particular woman. One of them is your protagonist, perhaps. The other one is the antagonist. Who will win? That's the crux of the story.

    The antagonist doesn't have to be a bad guy. In fact, if he's a good guy as well, with different things to offer the woman, then it will make your progagonist's chances even harder to beat. You'll be rooting for your protagonist because you like him, but not because the other guy is bad.

    Same with political systems. You might have one that believes in capitalist trickle-down economics. The other one believes in socialism, or communally owned resources. Neither of these are evil, they are just different outlooks. Both have good points and bad points.

    I think the sooner 'fantasy' can dump the idea of 'villain' and start dealing with more subtle kinds of conflict, the better.
     
  3. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Uh. Megamind, just switching removing evil with removing good.
     
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  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Here's my OHO - the comic book version of a villain isn't interested in giving reasons for his actions. Except for very sketchy logic. It's interested in cause and effect. Evil warlord wants to take over country with mind control device - allowing a good guy to step forward. It's basically a war waged over an action/idea but the action/idea is embodied in one person - making it/him easier to defeat. When in actuality the idea hasn't been conquered just one man has. It's like World War 2 - anti-Semitism wasn't conquered when the war ended but Hitler and his forces were stopped.

    Depending on what kind of story you're making, how evil your characters are, to deal with it on such a cut and dried level - you raped me I'll hunt you down and kill you - really lessens the impact of not only his actions but also the reactions. And the idea of rape itself.

    Also to get rid of evil, you'd probably have to ditch free choice and contrariwise rules.
     
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  5. lastresort
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    lastresort Banned

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    A world without evil people. And the stereotype does exist. Like drug dealers and mafia bosses for instance. I'm trying to imagine a world without these people. And the list goes on, rapists, serial killers, paedophiles, wife-beaters, control freak narcissists. Some people are just "bad" and their redeeming features might include "charm" and "personality" but I don't rate that as good.
    Is it human nature then to create a new scapegoat? Are we going to make "telling lies" a capital offence? "Stealing" is the new "first degree murder". So our mediocre crooks become the most wanted villains. The half-hearted, petty crime people become the new "evil".
     
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  6. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    They'd do the same thing we've been doing since the Cold War ended. They'd invent antagonists so they could all keep their jobs.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    The more cynical side of me wants to quote what an antagonist from Red Dead Redemption once said, "When I'm gone, they'll just find another monster. They have to...because they have to justify their wages."

    No matter what, someone's always going to oppose someone else, and even if the antagonist isn't hell bent on world domination, the protagonist of a story will always have to be fighting some opposing force one way or another.
     
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  8. lastresort
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    lastresort Banned

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    Reminds me of when I left my last workplace. They'll just find someone else to bully. Like there always has to be this minority of around 1 to 5% for a group to scapegoat. Like you have to feel relieved you're not in the minority.
     
  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's like prejudice. As dead as we'd like it to be, there will always be someone who's prejudice against someone else. If we all had the same skin colour, prejudice would still exist between sexes... or it would be based on baldness, or height or fingernail shape. There's always be something.
     
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  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Yep. If someone wants to hate another person, they'll find something to hate no matter what.
     
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  11. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    I think it would turn out like the movie Mystery Men with Ben Stiller. The superhero with his super ego would find a way to create a villain that he or she needs to stop.
    Human nature I think would not allow the extinction of evil. Humanity needs to fight against something. I think as long as jealously and competition are two of our character traits, we will always have villains.
    As far as what the society would probably look like, I think it would be like the planet Vulcan from Star Trek. A civilization based on Logic would probably be the closest answer to what is asked above.
     
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  12. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    @Raven484 Vulcan, in which case someone retcons the universe, makes the villian-less planet the villian, and singularities the planet. A planet without evil might not have the imagination to see evil coming.
     
  13. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    Basically, the entirety of the human race uploaded to an omniscient AI.
     
  14. PBNJDraftNumbA
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    PBNJDraftNumbA Member

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    Raven484, right on. I literally searched Ctrl+F to see who used "Mystery Men." And you are the winner!!! :D
     
  15. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    If evil disappeared huh?

    Well I guess things would be about the same, except bad things would be done out of ignorance.
     
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  16. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I don't think it's very possible to not have enough negative emotions and viewpoints to create some kind of bad people. You don't have to be a complete monster to be worse than your average person.
    What it would be like is anyone's guess. There are a number of things you could say for certain, but there all high-level statements that don't indicate the detailed and practical reality of what might happen.
     
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