Follow TV Tropes

Ask The Tropers

Go To

Have a question about how the TVTropes wiki works? No one knows this community better than the people in it, so ask away! Ask the Tropers is the page you come to when you have a question burning in your brain and the support pages didn't help. It's not for everything, though. For a list of all the resources for your questions, click here.

Ask the Tropers:

Trope Related Question:

Make Private (For security bugs or stuff only for moderators)

7th Oct, 2019 12:15:16 PM

I dunno. DIAA, Angst Aversion and DIEA all strike me as three separate and potentially valid tropes.

7th Oct, 2019 12:23:26 PM

How is Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy and my proposed "Darkness-Induced Ending Apathy" different? My impression is DIEA is how DIAA is supposed to be used but is misused as DIAA is confused with Angst Aversion.) And how would Audience Apathy be different than Angst Aversion?

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
7th Oct, 2019 01:07:07 PM

Angst Aversion is when people avoid a work because it's known to be too grim and depressing. DIAA is supposed to be when a work's main conflict is so grim and depressing that the audience it has loses interest. It's a pretty subtle definition- IMO, not really enough of a difference to warrant two different tropes.

Regardless, I've felt for a long while that DIAA suffers from heavy misuse. Tropers use it all the time for any sort of work that has an above-average quota of dire conflicts or depressing themes, and sometimes not even that- freaking Stardew Valley is listed on the DIAA Video Game page. You know, that farming simulator that's super popular for being a cosy little escapist adventure? Apparently its conflicts are too grimdark to care about it at all.

7th Oct, 2019 01:48:35 PM

I've felt for some time both that DIAA's "examples" are a total disaster, and that a lot of people adding them seem to be unaware that Angst Aversion is even a page.

7th Oct, 2019 01:49:12 PM

I'd be down with a cleanup.

7th Oct, 2019 02:59:38 PM

So do we need a wick check to move forward with a cleanup? Or is this enough to warrant a cleanup thread?

Angst Aversion says it "The personal tendency for a person to avoid a work once they hear it has an unhappy ending, or is generally filled with sympathetic characters that will be put through hell." It sounds like it's when they refuse to give the work fair chance because it's so dark. That's what keeps it objective enough to trope. It might need cleanup as well.

My thought is DIAA examples must include objective evidence of such (lower reviews or sales, later works becoming lighter to course correct, creator acknowledgment). Any other ideas?

7th Oct, 2019 03:21:51 PM

What makes this so much worse than other YMMV pages, though?

whizzer used Stardew Valley as an example of how seemingly ridiculous the examples can get, but DIAA isn't really restricted to especially dark works or an entire work as a whole. Also, Ferot_Dreadnaught used the fact that Joker was successful to discredit it as an example, but success really doesn't mitigate a common reaction. DIAA doesn't say anywhere that it has to be the overwhelming consensus reaction to the work — merely that a number of people had the reaction in question.

For an example, Steven Universe is a tonally-light show that has some incredibly dark moments and even moral complexity that even heroic characters can have moments of profound jerkassedness. One of the show's prominent backstory characters has jumped back and forth amongst fans as being loved and hated as more and more of their backstory and past actions are revealed. This viewpoint can often be confined to the conflict of a single episode, or sometimes to the entire overarching Myth Arc. Based on some of the horrible actions done by both that heroic character and some of the villains, there is a common feeling that the main conflict of the show comes down to a bunch of terrible people cleaning up their own messes.

You'll have to forgive the apologetic tone of argument. Just trying to provide an alternative perspective.

Edited by NubianSatyress
7th Oct, 2019 04:07:34 PM

I always got the impression that Angst Aversion was for things where the grimmer parts are a selling point, or a huge part of its reputation, and applies to those who have not yet started, while DIAA is for audiences who have made a start and find themselves losing interest.

I don't think DIAA's examples are particularly bad, but they suffer from subjective criteria. I was surprised to see Fallout: New Vegas on there but not Fallout 3, since FO 3's setting is by any measure much worse. But then I realised that FO 3 lets the player be a straight saviour, whatever the plot holes of its ending, while FNV forces the player to choose between four endings of which none are unambiguously good. As Ferot notes, it is hope for the ending that decides audience investment.

If we were to split and redefine these tropes, I would suggest:

- Angst Aversion for when the reputation is dominated by the grimdarkness.

- Darkness Overload for those examples on DIAA that are more "readers get bored of the darkness" than about the ending.

- Hopeless Situation Audience Apathy for examples that are about losing investment because there is no hope for an ending the audience would enjoy. (And any Start of Darkness or otherwise Foregone Conclusion works, or anything marketed as a tragedy, could not be put on here since they qualify by nature.)

7th Oct, 2019 04:29:51 PM

The criteria for DIAA, taken from its page:

Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy occurs when a conflict exists that simply lacks any reason for the audience to care about how it is resolved. This crops up where the setting is extremely but meaninglessly Darker and Edgier, or all sides are Evil vs. Evil, or at least, far enough gone that any difference is a Distinction Without a Difference.

In other words, there is nothing really at stake. It might seem like there is, but ultimately if you're presented with a choice between supporting one of two equally horrible groups or hoping for one of two equally despairing outcomes, that's not really a choice at all. The outcome's going to be awful either way, so who cares who wins?

An important factor here, I think, is the Apathetic part of the title; the audience has to not care about the characters or how their story is resolved for the trope to apply. For the Steven Universe example, do people care how the plot will be ultimately resolved? Do they care for the main cast (or at least the majority of it) even though some of the heroes have done bad things? If yes, then it doesn't count for DIAA.

For some other examples, DIAA has had to be removed multiple times from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (with a mod stepping in to agree that it should be kept off the page) because, while the game is very bleak in tone, it also heavily encourages the player to Earn Your Happy Ending for both the plot as a whole and for each individual character. I've had to remove DIAA from Life Is Strange 2 because I know from personal experience that the majority of the audience do care a lot about the main characters, even though they've been facing hurdle after hurdle.

And I do think the success of a work has some relevance to the trope- for example, I've heard that Berserk is notoriously dark, bleak, and hopeless. But it's also still a very popular and well-regarded manga, so I would like some evidence that its darkness has been enough to lose the interest of a notable amount of its audience. Otherwise, someone listing it as DIAA could very well just be their own personal opinion, and that's not what YMMV is for.

7th Oct, 2019 04:39:19 PM

Wouldn't "Darkness-Induced Ending Apathy" be a duplicate of Ending Aversion? Or at the very least, be a specific sub-trope?

7th Oct, 2019 05:05:58 PM

Ending Aversion is for complaints about the ending. "Darkness-Induced Ending Apathy" is complaining about the lead-to the ending making it hard to care enough to get there, the actual ending being irrelevent.

If a work has Ending Aversion, it likely lacks "Darkness-Induced Ending Apathy" as they care enough about the ending enough to not have developed apathy.

I see how the new name might be confusing. Thank for pointing it out.

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
7th Oct, 2019 05:09:02 PM

^ Ending Aversion is about works where the ending is felt to not work as an ending on a narrative level. It should not include downbeat endings that resolve the plot. It includes a section on dark endings, but these are ones that come out of nowhere or otherwise are felt to end better at an earlier point.

7th Oct, 2019 06:01:27 PM

^That would explain the difference between Ending Aversion (fails to provide a narratively satisfying ending) and Esoteric Happy Ending (provides a narratively satisfying ending if not for Fridge Horror). Is that the case because I was wondering that.

Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy or "Darkness-Induced Ending Apathy" are about the overall tone, not the endings. Unsatisfyingly dark endings are Ending Aversion, not Apathy. Though a work in retrospect can have both, they should be kept separate.

7th Oct, 2019 09:16:01 PM

@whizzerd: The key thing I noticed about the description is that it says "a conflict". It doesn't say "the MAIN conflict" or "the plot". As I said before, Steven Universe is filled with multiple conflicts per episode, season, and overarching narrative. In addition, it's the type of show where the emotional conflict and clash of ideals is just as important (in some cases MORE important) than the main war between the Diamond Authority and the Crystal Gems. And in some of these stories, both sides have been jerkasses. In the overall narrative, the Diamonds are UNAMBIGUOUSLY worse in terms of heinousness (what with them having destroyed BILLIONS of living beings throughout the universe and subjected countless members of their own species to a Fate Worse than Death for any perceived slight) but as I said, that is only the MAIN conflict of the story and the trope doesn't specify that that's necessary.

As for the success of a work...I ask again, why is THIS trope subject to that level of scrutiny? What makes its examples so much more egregious? Audience Reaction tropes in general have to constantly be vetted to prevent fringe opinions from being portrayed as common, but even heavily successful works can have a large number of people who either enjoyed it EXCEPT for whatever the complaint is or a huge contingent of people who don't like it no matter how successful it was. For example, the Transformers movies were highly successful, as well as heavily criticized by fans and detractors alike.

Edited by NubianSatyress
7th Oct, 2019 10:51:57 PM

^Because it is being subject to such misuse it needs some stricter rules.

YMMV still needs some objectivity even if it's an audience reaction. Like how Moral Event Horizon can't apply to characters treated as forgivable/redeemed in work even if audiences digress.

The movies, for their other faults, success means it wasn't subject to DIAA complaints until the 4th movie, which likely played a role in the 5th failing commercially.

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
8th Oct, 2019 05:57:21 AM

There was a previous discussion here. The idea is that there should be an actual audience reaction, there has to be audience apathy, it's not enough for the work to be "dark".

8th Oct, 2019 06:53:54 AM

^^ I brought up Transformers as an example of a work being successful but being subject to negative critique in general, not specifically DIAA.

As for DIAA's misuse, my point here is that I don't think the misuse is as grievous as it's being made out to be. I can't see any reason in this discussion that DIAA is being held to such an incredibly high standard; yes, objectivity is necessary, but it seems like rules and restrictions are being invented in this discussion that didn't actually apply.

8th Oct, 2019 07:56:41 AM

At least two ATT queries have been made about the misuse of DIAA, citing multiple examples of it being applied to works that it doesn't fit, with multiple tropers (including a mod) agreeing that it's suffered serious misuse. I'm really not sure what more reason you're looking for to believe that it's causing issues.

Asking for proof that an audience reaction does actually reflect the reaction of the audience really isn't an 'incredibly high standard'. A work has to be dark enough to cause apathy in its audience for Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy to apply- it's explicitly in its name and in its trope definition. A work being dark, having a lot of conflicts, and/or a lot of morally ambiguous characters is not enough on its own to qualify for the trope- a large minority of the audience, at the very least, has to feel that those qualities make them apathetic towards the work. That's the basic definition of the trope, not an unreasonably high standard that it's being held to.

8th Oct, 2019 08:12:17 AM

Iím getting outnumbered here, but Iíll state that ďit has misuse because other ATT queries said soĒ isnít really sufficient, IMO. An abundance of bad evidence doesnít equal good evidence. What are some examples brought up?

And lastly, those standards you bring up arenít in the description. Thatís why I said that weíre making up new rules that donít seem to actually address problems.

With that, Iíll recuse myself, because itís clear Iím alone in my opinion.

8th Oct, 2019 09:21:44 AM

I agree with the reading that Angst Aversion should be about a work's reputation for darkness preceding it, and Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy being about a work that loses an audience who is actively consuming it due to it being too dark to care about anymore, being the Eight Deadly Words problem under a specific lens. If we're keeping both tropes, then a clearer distinction should be drawn so they're used consciously without blurring, even if perhaps that's not the correct or best distinction that gets used.

8th Oct, 2019 12:15:44 PM

At the very least, to prevent the misuse that Ferot brings up at the start, I would suggest barring anything that is known beforehand to end on a downer, as that belongs under Angst Aversion.

I agree with Nubian that the trope isn't in a bad state, but at the same time it feels too broad and subjective. I would be down for a tighter definition.

9th Oct, 2019 10:34:24 AM

Some proposals:

  • Remove Foregone Conclusion examples as they know it will not end well as opposed to losing hope for it ending well, which is more Angst Aversion than this.
  • Remove works long-running or successful like Berserk and Warhammer 40,000 as they clearly aren't losing fans over being too dark.
  • Cut works like Stardew Valley as it doesn't have an ending to grow apathetic to. Warhammer 40,000 might be the same.
  • Require all entries give objective proof (sales, reviews, creator acknowledgment, course correction) that audience were driven away like we're doing with Audience-Alienating Premise.

Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy should be 1. audiences lose hope for a desirable ending 2. thus they stop following the work as they no longer care to see how it ends. Angst Aversion is when they are turned off by the darkness before they have a chance to develop Apathy.

Thoughts on this? Can we start on a cleanup thread?

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
9th Oct, 2019 12:27:50 PM

There are should a better distinction between this and Eight Deadly Words.

9th Oct, 2019 12:39:42 PM

Before we start cleanup, we might want to iron out any confusion in a Trope Talk thread.

9th Oct, 2019 06:17:35 PM

^^ Eight Deadly Words is when you stop caring about the story because you "you don't care what happens to the characters", you don't even hate them enough to stay and see if they suffer duly. DIAA is is when you stop caring about the story, even if "you do care what happens to the characters" because you lose hope that those you care about (be they to succeed or suffer) will get an ending you want them to.

^ATT is a Trope Talk. Where else would we "iron out any confusion"

9th Oct, 2019 06:23:05 PM

^ ATT is not Trope Talk. I meant an actual forum thread before this thread gets to be 30+ posts long.

9th Oct, 2019 07:06:40 PM

Please start a forum thread; link it here, and then this'll get locked.

10th Oct, 2019 11:49:08 PM

I made the thread.

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report