These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Game Theory
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Tropes specific to the fanfic series as a whole
Alternate Character Interpretation: Precia. The reader is not as privy to her inner thoughts compared to other characters, which leads to certain ambiguities such as her actual feelings about Fate, or how much of her interactions with Nanoha are genuine.
Nanoha. It appears that breaking her utterly is a favorite pastime, and by doing so appears to bring about a whole new character based upon that break. This could be argued as a Author Appeal, though, as the Deconstruction of the retelling as a whole makes her decisions have consequences, and therefore her sense of willing, good-natured kindess and heroism does not go anywhere. Aleph, reasonably so, does like to break down Nanoha.
Author's Saving Throw: At one point a number of readers expressed concern that the timeline changes could have prevented Quint from encountering and adopting Subaru and Ginga. Earth Scorpion then gave an infodump which promptly alleviated any reader concerns, and it was subsequently noted in-story that Quint is in the process of adopting the two. And then Power Games revealed they were abducted during the events of Game Theory.
Better Than Canon: The world building is very, very good, and it's a lot more internally consistent than the canon material. Fight scenes are also nicely planned and well-described, and the characters make proper use of tactics.
The removal of numerous Idiot Balls also makes for a much smoother narrative.
Fridge Brilliance: Nanoha and Momoko are the only members of the Takamachi family with a strong innate talent for Magic. This doesn't seem unusual, considering that magical talent comes from the mother in this fic, but then you realize that Kyouya was from Shiro's first marriage and Miyuki's actually Nanoha's cousin; Nanoha is the only child of the family Momoko actually gave birth to!
It's mentioned occasionally that Nanoha's telepathic voice sounds almost musical, and it's revealed that she has a good natural singing voice in chapter 11. She also controls The Garden of Time's defenses by singing. Hmm, Lyrical Nanoha?
Genius Bonus: References are occasionally made, both in-story and in the world building, to computer programming terminology. The name Game Theory itself refers to the study of strategic decision making, which is fitting considering that's Precia's whole shtick in this fic.
In fact, the battle between Fate and Nanoha during the Jewel Seed activation at the hospital can be considered an example of the Nash equilibrium of the Prisoner's dilemma. Rather than cooperate to seal the Jewel Seed, Fate and Nanoha each try to stop the other one from sealing it (the "defection" option), which ultimately results in a bad outcome.
Jerkass Woobie: Precia. She's a selfish, manipulative bitch, but it's hard not to feel sympathy for a grieving mother who wants her daughter back, especially since she's not horribly abusive like in canon.
Les Yay: Even more than in canon. Nothing sexual yet, though, since Nanoha and Fate are only nine.
The Woobie: Despite the changes, Fate is still a woobie.
Nanoha too, in later chapters.
Quint gets major woobie points in Power Games.
Pretty much everyone, at one point or another.
Tropes specific to Game Theory, first part of the story
Accidental Innuendo: Yuuno fiddled with his Device in both hands, and sighed. ... It felt wrong in his hands. Eek!
Tropes specific to Power Games, second part of the story
Designated Hero/Designated Villain: Spoofed in Tea and Alicia's omake - both girls try to label either Nanoha and Fate or the TSAB as the villains and heroes of Game Theory. Understandable, as both girls are oppositely biased.
Les Yay: The third chapter has Vita quoting love poetry to Hayate.
Broken Base: The more controversial theories, such as "Mario Is Mental", "How Fast is Sonic the Hedgehog", the first few Pokemon theories and the "Wii U Is The New Virtual Boy"/"What Gamers Want" trilogy of videos.
The Wii U one in particular got Mat Pat into a lot of hot water among Nintendo fans who feel the comparison of a "struggling, but can still get better" console like the Wii U to a "dead on arrival" utter failure (even from Nintendo fans) like the Virtual Boy is a gross over-exaggeration (or on the other side of things, how the statement sounds all-too-familiar to what people said about the Nintendo 3DS when it first launched, but yet is now a huge success). The fact that Mario Kart 8 became a Killer App for the system less than four months after the video was released didn't exactly help his case.
Detractors of the last theory have given Mat Pat flak for his selection of games he considers tired rehashes/innovative and usage of sales numbers, which make some of his statements appear contradictory (For instance, he cites the "innovative" 3D Mario games selling less than the "tired" 2D ones as proof gamers hate change, despite statistics showing otherwise Super Mario 64, a game he labels as fresh and new, is the best selling game on the Nintendo 64 and better selling than the "tired" Mario Party 8). The fact he presents all of this in a condescending manner and assuming that most gamers don't like innovation while bringing up his opinions from the Wii U video don't help matters either.
In the video about Majora's Moon, a huge point is made about how little mass the moon has, and how it hitting the planet would do next to nothing. However Mat then goes on to talk about how the increased gravitational effects of the falling moon would do far more damage than the moon itself...completely forgetting that the gravity an object exerts is determined by its mass, and that such a tiny moon wouldn't have anywhere near the effect of the Earth's full size moon.
The video revolving around Wario's flying farts infamously had him claim Wario is ten feet tall despite being obviously shorter. He later turned this into a form of self-depreciation for future research failures.
He has drawn some criticism for his "What Gamers Want" trilogy for appearing to distort facts to get his opinions across (His usage of sales numbers regarding tired franchises vs innovation and calling Nintendo a bully when it comes to indie developers and YouTube copyright claim, ignoring the fact many indie developers are working on the Wii U and, the 2013 LP fiasco aside, Nintendo is rather lax about people posting videos on YouTube as a quick search result will show; Nintendo even later started up a new YouTube affiliate program in 2014 in order to help small time content creators who lack special affiliations with groups like Maker Studios or Fullscreen a chance to keep monetizing videos and not worry anymore about content ID claims).
His theories comparing the Wii U to the Virtual Boy fail to take into the fact the Virtual Boy is infamous for being faulty and capable of causing permanent eye damage, things the Wii U isn't being criticized for.
The video revolving around Bullet Bills becomes this after claiming the largest Bullet Bill is the golden Banzai Bill despite it being the same size as a normal Banzai Bill and there being the King Bills from New Super Mario Bros. Wii are far larger then the golden Banzai Bills.
His video on the Pyro's gender has him claim The Pyro can only be one of two things: a woman or a gay man based purely on their index to ring finger ratio. Actual research on the subject is extremely divided on how digit ratio relates to sexuality, with several high profile researchers claiming the opposite, that a hyper-masculine digit ratio is more evident of homosexuality, while others say geographical and racial variations also affect it. In short, it's impossible to pin down sexuality from fingers alone. His claim that schizophrenia is more common in homosexual men also caused many to cry Unfortunate Implications.
Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Despite being a fan of Nintendo, Mat Pat is still willing to call out the big N for making poor business decisions and not learning from their mistakes.
Face of the Band: Mat Pat; as far as anyone cares Gaijin Goomba and DNSQ don't exist.
Heartwarming Moments: While the presentation is extremely YMMV, the ending to the "What Gamers Want" trilogy has him desperately wanting Nintendo to learn from its mistakes with the Wii U and move on because he wishes to see them succeed despite his misgivings throughout the run.
His Draw My Life video for seeing his enthusiasm and thankfulness towards his fans for getting him 500,000 subscribers.
His speech at the end of "The Dark Side of MOTHER", helped immensely by the fact that "Smiles and Tears" is played in the background. I think it speaks for itself:
When Shigesato Itoi set out to create a different kind of RPG, one based on the real world, he did just that. And didn't limit himself to simply replacing tonics with hamburgers and merchants with department stores; he dealt with issues you see in the media every day: rape, religious fanaticism, violence. But handled them with a dash of humor, and a heaping spoonful of bizarre storytelling. EarthBound isn't about a boy trying to stop an alien menace; it's about a boy growing up, leaving his home, and experiencing both the good and the bad of the world. That's why Giygas is so scary; he's based on the moment Itoi lost that childhood innocence. And that's why the ending of the game is so satisfying, because Ness faced that darkness and made it through, becoming a young adult. He's grown up, and we as the player have cared enough to get him there. It's truly a triumph of the gaming experience, and one I recommend to anyone. But hey, that's just a theory. A Game Theory.
Memetic Mutation: It's become popular for gamers to post theories that end with "But hey, that's just a theory... A GAME THEORY."