Masks. An ethical debate?

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Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by SentientObject on Tue 31 May 2011 - 13:41

Here is the issue I face (I didn't realize the pun I just made). I don't want my characters face to be shown, I DO want him to wear a mask.
I feel masks are pretty cheesy.
I had an idea quite a while ago to use the carnival mask style eg. Phantom of Inferno, Darker than Black, before I started watching anime, but now I see that it is pretty overdone.

My gut tells me to just do what I want and not think about it and generally that is what I would do, I mean I don't think I am going to hit it big or anything. I don't think my OC will be competing for screen space with any of the pre-existing guys.

But, would you? Have you? Has this thought crossed your mind before, perhaps not with a mask but with some other character piece or trait you thought of then found out it is pretty popular and now forces you to second guess your decision to use it?

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 31 May 2011 - 14:03

They could wear a balaclava or niqā...

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by SentientObject on Tue 31 May 2011 - 14:15

Cool Cool, for this particular case it wouldn't fit the character. Thanks though.

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by Alfisti on Tue 31 May 2011 - 21:48

I think everyone has probably run into this at some point or another... I can't remember who the quote was from, but it went something along the lines of "there's no such thing as a completely original idea anymore". Though I wouldn't completely agree, 99% of the time that theory probably holds most of its water.... if it didn't we wouldn't have things like TV Tropes. Razz

Minor tangent aside, yes I've run into something similar before... sometimes I considered dropping the idea. More often than not though it motivated me to make damn sure there was a good reason for my decision, that it fit into what I wanted to create and wasn't just a product of my fevered mind that I'd regret in a month.

So, boring as it may be, my usual view applies: as long as you've got solid justification and resoning behind your decision (and as such it makes sense in-universe and for the character)... and you're not effecting anyone else, then go for it.

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 1 Jun 2011 - 0:00

From Native American war paint to Japanese Kabuki masks to blue Pictish face paint to the mud men of New Guinea; throughout history covering one's face has always stood as a ceremonial & practical means of showing agression (given that shared cultural predisposition it's easy to see why some people fear clowns).

In short; I can see why you like the idea...it presents an evocative, powerful image.

On the other hand it's hard to fit that into the GsG universe. In a way, the girls already wear a mask with opposite intentions. The Agency cyborgs wear a mask of innocence & vulnerability, covering their true brutal nature.

So how to make it work?
Perhaps your character could utilize a mask as a piece of technology...her special weapon so to speak. Give her a tool linked to command through a wireless broadband connection. In a fight her handler supplies her with instant up to date information via a heads-up display...which she can relay to her sisters-in arms. This is futuristic but believable, fitting nicely into the almost science fiction world of GsG.

Just a suggestion.

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by SentientObject on Wed 1 Jun 2011 - 6:24

@Alfisti wrote:I can't remember who the quote was from, but it went something along the lines of "there's no such thing as a completely original idea anymore". Though I wouldn't completely agree, 99% of the time that theory probably holds most of its water.... if it didn't we wouldn't have things like TV Tropes. Razz

I was a musician for a loooong time. I used to say that a lot. It would puzzle me when some people didn't understand what I meant by it. I think I started saying it more when I got into studio engineering and mixing for locals.

I don't think any one person was attributed with the original quote.

Thank you for the advice though. I think that considering that I am only going to be doing this for myself and the only ones who will see it will be those who happen to stumble across it on my page, I am going to go for it.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:On the other hand it's hard to fit that into the GsG universe.

Voodoo, sorry, this was for a character who lies outside of GsG.

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by Nachtsider on Wed 1 Jun 2011 - 8:39

I think it would best serve the purpose of the discussion if we were to see what the mask in question looks like, along with what your character looks like while wearing it.

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 1 Jun 2011 - 20:50

Wearing a mask is not an Ethical question. There are many reasons to wear one, including cultural (as VooDoo explained), professional (like construction workers and surgeons do), medical (O2 intake) and personal. There are even cosmetic reasons to wear a mask (like primitive plastic surgery from long ago). Any reason to wear mask is a good one.

Now if you live in New York City... you might have a problem. There is a law that prohibits wearing of masks except on special occasions like Halloween and cultural festivals, or a medical reason to wear one.

Yeah, NYC is stupid at times.

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by SentientObject on Thu 2 Jun 2011 - 7:56

@ElfenMagix wrote:Wearing a mask is not an Ethical question.

Yeah, NYC is stupid at times.

Ha, sorry, the title was just meant for giggles. Not to be taken literally.

I used to live with a friend in New Rochelle, but that was as close to living in NYC that I ever got.


Last edited by SentientObject on Thu 2 Jun 2011 - 7:56; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added C to NY)

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Re: Masks. An ethical debate?

Post by John_234 on Tue 30 Aug 2011 - 12:30

The basic rule of wet work: If you're going to do something that you'd be embarrassed about if your friends knew, then don't be immediately recognizable.

In truth, all the operations in GSG with people wearing thermals and having their faces exposed make no real sense, as they'd be covered with body armor, balaclavas and gas masks in real life. But... it's only a set piece kinda deal at that point.

Some characters wear masks due to occupation. But the problem is, anybody in this line of work want to look as generic as possible. If you walk around wearing some bizarre tribal mask, a gas mask, or goggles and a dust mask, you're going to stick out like a sore thumb.

I think, again, the easiest way to do this is to tie the character into a specific mask-wearing occupation as their day job of sorts.

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