Discussion: Should Authors be Able to Express their beliefs in their stories


#1

Some things in this community gets very controversial and debatable at times. Mainly, this happens when an Episode author writes about a particular topic that they agree with, but others don’t. I don’t have a problem with expressing my beliefs in my stories because it’s just how I feel. I’m not afraid to do it, but some authors are. Do you think that authors should be free to express their beliefs and incorporate them into their stories?


#2

Yes, always as long as they handle it respectfully.
Everyone has opinions so banning them from being in stories kinda restricts your freedom of speech.
Keeping this in mind, the author needs to:

  • research all sides of the topic
  • not bash or put down a differing opinion
  • not attack those that believe differently
  • make sure their claims are based in truth
  • & be willing to revise or take something down if it offends a lot of people

There’s a huge difference between “Katz r better than dOgs bC they’re r smart unlike Stupid dOgs.” & “I prefer cats to dogs, though dogs are smart, because cats are very intelligent.”

Edit: Well, if the opinion has to die with discriminating people for any reason, I don’t think it should be allowed. Same goes for any opinion restricted by the Episode Guidelines.


#3

I agree with you. Everybody has a freedom of speech :slight_smile:


#4

Yes, as long as it doesn’t break guidelines.

But I think most authors already do express their beliefs in their stories, even if they’re not aware of it while writing it


#5

Of course. But your belief cannot exist at the expense of others. An example? There are many white supremacists in the world. These people call for the death and subjugation of those they believe are inferior. If someone holds a belief like this I do not care how polite they are. They are wrong and do not deserve a platform.


#6

Of course, as long as they’re not being sexist, racist, homophobic or discriminating against any minorities. And, obviously, they’re being reasonable.


#7

You are allowed to express your beliefs as long as doing so does not violate the terms of service/Guidelines, which prohibits things like hate speech. If your belief is that someone’s sexuality is unnatural or wrong, chances are you are violating the TOS.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that people who are afraid of expressing their opinion are afraid of being criticized for it. Here’s the thing: if you are given the freedom to express yourself, others have just as much freedom to disagree with you, and to let you know plainly and openly that they disagree.


#8

Lemme include this: no one should argue or debate with someone over something that they simply agree with it. Things can get very heated when people do that.


#9

Well as long as it’s logical and not like Noob Loop who thinks (warning: sensitive content & could be a trigger) rape is okay & forgivable / that you should marry your rapist. I’m so livid just thinking about that.

If it’s a good message & logical there’s no reason you shouldn’t. For instance I’m vegetarian transitioning into veganism & I feel like eating animals is wrong. Torturing anybody is wrong. Whether you agree or not, I’m going to express it when the opportunity arises. My agenda is to help this cause. I do remember to be open minded as the opposing side may have some points that could challenge my belief & you can take that into account if you want but at the end of the day I know what I’m standing for is right. That’s what’s most important. I also understand that it’s about the approach & meeting people in the middle so they have a chance of understanding your POV.


#10

As long as their beliefs aren’t hate speech, of course. I include plenty of social commentary in my work. One of my stories isn’t even a subtle metaphor about what the quest for fame and success can do to people. That one is literally in-your-face. Likewise, another of my stories is very clear on affirming trans rights, despite that not being the main plot or the main message.
Stories with messages are great, and each person should write to their conscience as long as it isn’t harmful toward anyone.


#12

I agree with you. Personally, I do see anything wrong with a person being vegetarian or a vegan. They’re human just like I am :slight_smile:


#13

I agree with you. There’s nothing wrong with a person expressing how they feel about something. Even if the person does faces some backlash from it, there’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself. Some authors are afraid to stand up and express with they believe in in their stories, and it’s crazy. You’re an author so you have the power to write what you want to write.


#14

I think that when we discuss the freedom of speech, it’s important to remember what that means in terms of how it’s defined by the constitution: Obscenity and hate speech aren’t protected, and therefore shouldn’t be expressed on Episode. Also, like another user previously mentioned, as much as freedom of speech gives you the right to express an opinion, it also gives others the agency to disagree with that opinion.
And, as always, the content guidelines should be followed.


#15

I believe authors should express their beliefs;
Because it’s their beliefs.


#16

Yes, I feel like they should have an opinion, but they shouldn’t do it in a way that bashes anyone who might disagree with them. Like for example, let’s say they are calling someone “trash” if they discriminate against minorities- I do agree that discriminating against certain certain minorities because of their looks/religion…etc… is completely WRONG, but I would call their actions wrong, not the whole person- I definitely wouldn’t call them trash- even though some of their actions are wrong. It is not up for us to judge if someone is a bad person or not- it’s not exactly common, but they can change their beliefs.

I don’t know- I just feel that it’s wrong to call ANYONE trash, except if they are really hurting you and people around you, I think you have the right to call them that- as it is your personal opinion with your experiences to back it up.

Sorry- just don’t know how to say this in a way that I am expressing my opinion- but not bashing others, sorry if it came off as “mean”- I am not trying to bash anyone, feel free to point out your opinion on this. But basically- the message was: You should never be mean to anyone- even if they are being mean to you or people around you- I think it’s okay when you complain about their actions- but not the person as a whole because you don’t KNOW their thoughts and see inside of them. Especially if you are talking about a group of these people and calling them “trash”- no, their actions are “trash”, I can’t say anything for the person.

Other than that, I believe that you should be able to put your beliefs/opinions/experiences- as it adds more things for the viewers to “relate to?” in the story, and you feel more connected to your story. Just the general message: If it is an opinion, you should not act like it’s a fact- it is your opinion based on your beliefs and you should be mindful that not everyone will believe this, even if it is for a good cause. But I feel that it is good when authors put their beliefs in their story.


#17

Just as you want the freedom to express your beliefs, others have the same freedom to express to you when they feel what you have written is harmful or hurtful. Others also have just as much freedom to express their differing opinions. You can’t demand the right to say whatever you want and then attempt to silence dissenting opinions just because you don’t want to hear it. Give others the same freedom you demand. You say or write something controversial or harmful, expect others to express their own opinions.


#18

Okay


#19

I think there’s a big difference between an author expressing unpopular/controversial beliefs, and a character expressing unpopular/controversial beliefs. It can be difficult for readers to separate the author from the characters, and personally for me, that’s part of why some of my characters can come off as a bit milquetoast sometimes. I just don’t want readers to confuse my own personal beliefs with those of a character- main, villain, sidekick, or background. It can be particularly tricky if you feature a character who happens to be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc, especially if that character happens to be the POV.

Generally we want our MC’s to be either a reflection of us, or a reflection of our readers for stories with CC. They are rarely their own person with their own opinions, which I think is one of the downfalls of the Episode Interactive platform, and of interactive fiction in general. Since we control the narrative, we expect bad things to happen to bad people, and good things to happen to good people. We don’t want to see good things happening to bad or hateful people., and vice versa. Thus we don’t really have room to express multiple character types in our stories, since we’re limited by what people want to see, and by what we want to show.

In no way am I defending unfounded hatred of any particular group- simply that controversial opinions and characters who hold them can alienate readers, so people don’t often feature them in stories. “Bad” characters doing “good” things can come off as glorifying their mindset, which is often the opposite of what is intended. But as I was saying earlier in this giant wall of text, a character’s own unpopular opinions can still be considered independent from the author. It’s just not something people want to risk being misunderstood.


#20

In general, people hear the phrase “freedom of speech” and thought that they can say literally ANYTHING they want without knowing that there are, in fact, restriction to this “freedom” of theirs. e.i. belief and opinion that promote hate or violence etc…


#21

Depend on what this “particular topic” is. Then again, people also have as much of freedom to disagree with you as you do to voice your opinion.

Debating with opinions we disagree with is an educational opotunity to both sides so it’s not like it’s pointless.