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Victoria Walker is a totally unnecessary addition to Ark's animated series


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For those who are unaware, a new character is being added to the Ark story via the animated series by the name of Victoria Walker. Her role? A humanitarian aid worker and the wife of Helena.

The thing that genuinely worries me is this character was included for no reason other than to pander while requiring a rewrite of an existing character (Helena) to make it fit the story. Also, Ark's plot is large enough as it is, and considering that the animated series is not likely going to be a long running franchise, anything that takes time away from the core story runs the risk of ruining the story, or at least the flow of the story. The more time that is spent developing Victoria and Helena is time taken away from Helena, Mei Yin, Rockwell, Santiago, and the other survivors of which there are already plenty. In addition to that, the events of the story basically starts with Helena figuring things out, helping the tribes resolve their issues, discovering the purpose of the Arks and the history of Earth, and finally culminating in a final battle to save Earth. The inclusion of Victoria and her relationship with Helena does nothing but slow down the pacing of an already convoluted story.

While Helena's personal life was never outlined in clear detail, none of her explorer notes ever made mention of having a wife. Meanwhile, said notes went into depth with regards to her relationship between the other survivors. This means that for all intents and purposes, Victoria walker does not exist and wasn't even remotely required when building Ark's lore.

In addition to all of that, the most ironic thing is that there's already a lesbian couple in Ark - Mei Yin and Diana. The inclusion of Victoria in nothing short of redundant, and gives me the impression that it's not expected for ark Ark to run long enough to introduce Diana (who honestly is a far more interesting character than a humanitarian aid worker).

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Not necessarily. A better question would be "why was there only one lesbian couple until now, which required a rewrite to accomplish?"

 

Knowing Helena's story from the game, I don't see a "humanitarian aid worker" being a plausible romantic interest to Helena. So that makes me wonder, what is the ACTUAL reason for the addition of Victoria Walker as a new character? Why did Wildcard not feel it necessary to write Victoria into the story until now?

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You're right, there's most likely going to be more characters than just those who wrote the explorer notes. However, out of the main cast of explorer notes, you have 14 characters, more than enough to drive a story. The additional characters should be secondary and tertiary characters who serve to advance the plot, not pile onto and muddy up the primary roster. The inclusion of Victoria as a primary character feels incredibly ham fisted and is without a doubt an after thought.

Edited by Frankenburger
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2 minutes ago, Bruvas78 said:

Ah so what. Just watch the bloody thing or don't. I will, and I don't give a hoot as to who the characters want to toot.

It's kind of disingenuous to imply the only reason why I'm against it is because of who wants to toot who. A character's orientation doesn't factor into my disapproval of Victoria at all. This is something that should be pretty obvious if you read my post.

I want Diana + Mei Yin to be a thing, not Helena + Victoria. Can you guess why? My reasoning is already in the original post, so if you read the post, you would understand the reasoning.

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26 minutes ago, Frankenburger said:

It's kind of disingenuous to imply the only reason why I'm against it is because of who wants to toot who. A character's orientation doesn't factor into my disapproval of Victoria at all. This is something that should be pretty obvious if you read my post.

I want Diana + Mei Yin to be a thing, not Helena + Victoria. Can you guess why? My reasoning is already in the original post, so if you read the post, you would understand the reasoning.

It's someone else's story for them to write though. I'm looking forward to a story arc from a character I don't know. Those who played Ark know about Helena etc. At least this tires it to the narrative.

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57 minutes ago, Frankenburger said:

The additional characters should be secondary and tertiary characters who serve to advance the plot, not pile onto and muddy up the primary roster.

You have obviously never heard of Game of Thrones. Your argument about the reasons for including or not including characters is painfully wrong, authors include characters for many reasons.

You have every right to like or dislike a story, that is a matter of personal, subjective taste. No reasonable person should ever try to force you to like something that you don't, but being dishonest about your reasons is not going to get you anywhere. No one is fooled by your hiding behind a smokescreen of arguments about the literary merits of characters, you already gave yourself away in your first post.

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39 minutes ago, Frankenburger said:

It's kind of disingenuous to imply the only reason why I'm against it is because of who wants to toot who. A character's orientation doesn't factor into my disapproval of Victoria at all. This is something that should be pretty obvious if you read my post.

On the contrary, reading your post is exactly what gives away your underlying intent, "Pander" was a dead giveaway.

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Were I a writer, I would totally pander.  People get more invested in stories when they see characters that share some of the same qualities, struggles and joys that they do.  I'd try to write characters that are a good reflection of everyone. You also could get some in the audience who might live in a homogenous echo-chamber to understand that the world is filled with people who are different from them, but that doesn't keep them from sharing the same struggles: pander away! 

While on the subject of Helena Walker, why is her awesome haircut not available as an option in the game?

Edited by maxplanck58
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3 hours ago, Pipinghot said:

On the contrary, reading your post is exactly what gives away your underlying intent, "Pander" was a dead giveaway.

 

2 hours ago, maxplanck58 said:

Were I a writer, I would totally pander.  People get more invested in stories when they see characters that share some of the same qualities, struggles and joys that they do.  I'd try to write characters that are a good reflection of everyone. You also could get some in the audience who might live in a homogenous echo-chamber to understand that the world is filled with people who are different from them, but that doesn't keep them from sharing the same struggles: pander away! 

While on the subject of Helena Walker, why is her awesome haircut not available as an option in the game?

Is there going to be pandas 🐼 yes or no?

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You don't know her role. Maybe her character relates to Helena pre-island and she is shown only through flashbacks.

Maybe Helena was an awful and selfish person until she met the caring humanitarian, Victoria, who taught her how to be compassionate to others. Maybe that compassion and the flash back references are what allow Helena to be the intermediary she is/was. 

We won't know until the show airs.

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6 hours ago, Pipinghot said:

So you're not capable of telling the difference between calling someone out for garbage posting and being "triggered". Pretty impressive.

LBGTQ stuff is hot right now. It's all over Hollywood and dominates the news. I'm not speaking for or against any issues, just stating the fact that its a hot topic.

Writing in a second lesbian couple out of nowhere does seem like a move to take advantage of this and cater to the hot topic of the day.

Your blind if you dont think this is a regular practice. 

That being said I'm really looking forward to the show and Helena being a lesbian in no way changes that.

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21 hours ago, Pipinghot said:

Translation: You don't like LGBTQ+ characters. Everything else you've said is just a smoke screen, you gave yourself away by complaining about pandering.

No one is fooled by your fake "literary" arguments.

*Praises Diana, a gay character, but disapproves the existence of Victoria, and is automatically considered anti LGBT because of using the word "pander"*

 

Yeah, makes total sense 🙄

 

Fun fact, some of my favorite movies and shows feature gay characters (Diamonds are Forever, Vandread, Saber Marionette). But hey, whatever helps you stay in your bubble I suppose.

 

20 hours ago, maxplanck58 said:

Were I a writer, I would totally pander.  People get more invested in stories when they see characters that share some of the same qualities, struggles and joys that they do.  I'd try to write characters that are a good reflection of everyone. You also could get some in the audience who might live in a homogenous echo-chamber to understand that the world is filled with people who are different from them, but that doesn't keep them from sharing the same struggles: pander away! 

While on the subject of Helena Walker, why is her awesome haircut not available as an option in the game?

You need to decide what the story of Ark is. Is Ark a story of love, romance, and deeply interwoven personal relationships? Or is it a story about a group of people trying to kill Godzilla and restore Earth? That said, we both know what Ark is about.

 

There's a reason why non-romance stories rarely feature more than 1 couple, and when said couple is featured, little time is spent developing that aspect. The reason for this is because too much attention on relationships in action oriented movies/shows runs the risk of the movie/show losing its focus. The inclusion of multiple romances and couples in action movies/shows are more often redundant that at best do nothing for the story's pace, and at worst completely screws with the story's pace. In that regard, a lot of what I'm saying now would also apply if Helena was written to have a husband, which I would also disapprove of. The only way Victoria can work in a non obtrusive manner is if she exists only in flashbacks, but even if that held true, I still take issue with the fact that she's marketed as a gay character. There's more to a person than their orientation, and the fact they decided to focus on that aspect of Victoria and use it for marketing is incredibly disingenuous. Introducing Victoria runs more risk of stepping on Diana and Mei Yin's relationship and making them feel redundant, or at least cheapening their relationship status, than it does developing Helena.

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2 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

You need to decide what the story of Ark is. Is Ark a story of love, romance, and deeply interwoven personal relationships? Or is it a story about a group of people trying to kill Godzilla and restore Earth? That said, we both know what Ark is about.

 

There's a reason why non-romance stories rarely feature more than 1 couple, and when said couple is featured, little time is spent developing that aspect. The reason for this is because too much attention on relationships in action oriented movies/shows runs the risk of the movie/show losing its focus. The inclusion of multiple romances and couples in action movies/shows are more often redundant that at best do nothing for the story's pace, and at worst completely screws with the story's pace. In that regard, a lot of what I'm saying now would also apply if Helena was written to have a husband, which I would also disapprove of. The only way Victoria can work in a non obtrusive manner is if she exists only in flashbacks, but even if that held true, I still take issue with the fact that she's marketed as a gay character. There's more to a person than their orientation, and the fact they decided to focus on that aspect of Victoria and use it for marketing is incredibly disingenuous. Introducing Victoria runs more risk of stepping on Diana and Mei Yin's relationship and making them feel redundant, or at least cheapening their relationship status, than it does developing Helena.

We agree on the point that there is more to a person than their orientation.  I disagree with the OP in that I just don't share the same concerns:

to assume the intentions of the writer of a story that you have yet to read and then worrying about it is just a non-issue for me.  You are obviously free to voice those concerns, and sometimes they can lead to a conversation that is worth while.

For an action oriented movie or show, I would assume that writers would want an audience to be emotionally invested in the characters.  That usually involves letting us know who they are, which usually includes a back story.  If that is now considered losing focus, then it is not a surprise as to why Michael Bay movies are universally panned by critics but make a lot of money. 

Perhaps the Ark series will be more on the Michael Bay end of the spectrum, but I think it would be nice if a show or movie puts in a little more effort in the writing so that it has longevity and connects with the audience in a slightly more meaningful way than non-stop explosions, chases and breakdancing robots.

Edited by maxplanck58
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19 minutes ago, maxplanck58 said:

For an action oriented movie or show, I would assume that writers would want an audience to be emotionally invested in the characters.  That usually involves letting us know who they are, which usually includes a back story.  If that is now considered losing focus, then it is not a surprise as to why Michael Bay movies are universally panned by critics but make a lot of money.

The thing that I think a lot of people are forgetting is that there's already a relationship for the authors to develop with the intent of bonding with their viewers - Diana and Mei Yin.

 

The addition of Victoria can either go 1 of 2 ways.

1) She's a flashback character that isn't alive during the events of the series

2) She's a living character during the events of the series

 

If she happens to be a flashback character, then I would argue there is little room for the viewer to connect via the relationship of Helena and Victoria since not much time will likely be spent with Helena's past. That paired with the knowledge that Victoria would be dead by the events of Ark means there's not much room to watch the character grow, as their history is already set. Also, if the addition of Victoria is meant to shape Helena as we know her, then honestly, that role could have been given to any character and not just a romantic interest

 

If she happens to be a living character, then what is her actual purpose? Helena is a tribe leader and basically occupied with the restoration of Earth. I don't see her having time to consider getting married or spending any significant time to develop a relationship without it being forced. Also, taking time to develop Victoria + Helena takes time away from other and more organic relationships, like Diana and Mei Yin, who's bond was formed from both circumstance and a common character archetype - the strong warrior. With the constant threat of death, the constant battles, and the focus of restoring Earth, I do not see any meaningful relationship sprouting from a "humanitarian aid worker" and a tribe leader amidst all the chaos that is Ark.

 

Not only is Diana + Mei Yin a far more interesting dynamic, but I'd argue that  there's more to relate to them than Victoria + Helena. Why? Because Mei Yin's nationality is Chinese, and likely stems from a historical era where same sex relationships was frowned down upon (which honestly, it still is over in China). If they wanted to appeal to a marginalized group and have a narrative around oppression, then that's their opportunity right there.

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9 hours ago, St1ckyBandit said:

LBGTQ stuff is hot right now. It's all over Hollywood and dominates the news. I'm not speaking for or against any issues, just stating the fact that its a hot topic.

Writing in a second lesbian couple out of nowhere does seem like a move to take advantage of this and cater to the hot topic of the day.

Those are true statements, they also have nothing to do with your ridiculous use of "triggered" or my reply to you.

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5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

*Praises Diana, a gay character, but disapproves the existence of Victoria, and is automatically considered anti LGBT because of using the word "pander"*

 

Yeah, makes total sense 🙄

That's the problem with accusing people of pandering, it's an intrinsically inflammatory description, if you want to be effective at reaching your audience without distracting from your own message then you need to do a better job choosing how you describe things. "Pandering" ranks up there with "you people" and other similarly inflammatory phrases & terms. Your choice of words created the conflict, don't try to blame people who read your message from responding to it.

The burden of communication is on the communicator, it's your responsibility to craft your messages more effectively. You certainly can't come here to complain about how a story is being written without holding yourself accountable for your own writing choices. Critiquing their story doesn't grant you immunity from a critique of your critique.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

Fun fact, some of my favorite movies and shows feature gay characters (Diamonds are Forever, Vandread, Saber Marionette). But hey, whatever helps you stay in your bubble I suppose.

That's a terrible argument, it's like saying, "I have gay friends", it doesn't let you off the hook for the results of your own choice of words.

You accuse someone of being in a bubble but you want a free pass because some of your "favorite movies and shows" just happen to feature gay characters. Whoa, speaking of being in a bubble...

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

You need to decide what the story of Ark is. Is Ark a story of love, romance, and deeply interwoven personal relationships? Or is it a story about a group of people trying to kill Godzilla and restore Earth? That said, we both know what Ark is about.

That's a false choice, and a blatantly obvious false choice at that. It can be both, because of course it can.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

There's a reason why non-romance stories rarely feature more than 1 couple

Whew, that's a painfully bad blanket statement. There are lots of examples that agree with your description and lots of examples that disagree with it, the idea that it "rarely" happens is a lazy qualitative assertion since it gives you the ability to move the goalposts as much as you want when people give you counter-examples. No, it's not "rare" that they feature more than 1 couple it's also not super-common. Featuring more than 1 couple is not the most common form of non-romance story telling but it's common enough that "rare" is a false description.

There are tons of examples of books/shows/movies that feature more than 1 couple in non-romance stories, claiming that it's "rare" is either dishonest or just intellectually lazy.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

and when said couple is featured, little time is spent developing that aspect.

Again, not true. What you're really describing is the aspects of those stories that you focus on and pay attention to, not what the story tellers actually do. If you are more focused on the the non-romance aspects of the stories you read & watch that's certainly your right, each and every person who reads/watches the story has the right to focus on the aspects of the story that they enjoy the most, but your focus is not the same thing as the focus of story tellers. Most non-romance stories feature a broader approach to romance and relationships that you're describing.

I meant it when I said that this is your right, you absolutely should enjoy a story on your own terms and no one else can tell you how to enjoy it or what you should enjoy. But in terms of providing critiques and arguments your false choice  that the story of ARK has to be one or the other already shows the weaknesses behind your argument against another couple in the story. You may not enjoy that additional couple, or multiple additional couples, but your false dichotomy that the story of ark has to be a romance or a non-romance is a broken argument.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

The inclusion of multiple romances and couples in action movies/shows are more often redundant that at best do nothing for the story's pace, and at worst completely screws with the story's pace.

Sometimes that's true, it all depends on how good the writers are at making all of the elements of a story work. But that has nothing to do with the false choice between romance and non-romance, it's a matter of how good a job the story tellers do of including multiple elements and still moving the story forward. Beyond that, the story(ies) of those relationships can also enhance the larger story, if the writers do it properly. Additional romances don't automatically detract from advancing the story, it all depends on how well they write it.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

In that regard, a lot of what I'm saying now would also apply if Helena was written to have a husband, which I would also disapprove of.

It's too bad you didn't include this idea in your OP, it would have gone a long way toward making your case more effectively without resorting to the lazy use of pandering.

I still disagree with this, but at least it's a better literary argument then pandering.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

The only way Victoria can work in a non obtrusive manner is if she exists only in flashbacks

That's the only way you can think of writing it, if you were the one doing the writing. Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that the ARK writers are better at writing than you are. Assuming in advance that the only way they can include a character is in flashbacks is a limiting viewpoint that lacks imagination for other possibilites.

And, for the record, let's hope they're better at writing than I am. I don't mean the above statement as a personal attack, I'm trying to make the point that good writers can make a story work in more than one way, not only the way that you or I can think of.

5 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

There's more to a person than their orientation, and the fact they decided to focus on that aspect of Victoria and use it for marketing is incredibly disingenuous. Introducing Victoria runs more risk of stepping on Diana and Mei Yin's relationship and making them feel redundant, or at least cheapening their relationship status, than it does developing Helena.

Based to your argument, the only relationship in the entire ARK series should be "Diana and Mei Yin's relationship" because it has to be either a romance or a non-romance story, and including extra couples in a story runs the risk of completely screwing with the story's pace. All other relationships are redundant and distract from the real story, which you want to argue, is forced to be a choice between a romance and a non-romance, because a good story can't have both types of stories mixed in.

Even if we completely ignore the question of gay or not, we're still never going to agree that a well done story can only feature a single romantic relationship, that's your personal limitation on what you like in a story and has nothing to do with what good story tellers can accomplish.

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3 hours ago, Frankenburger said:

The thing that I think a lot of people are forgetting is that there's already a relationship for the authors to develop with the intent of bonding with their viewers - Diana and Mei Yin.

No one's forgetting that, you're making a false argument. As @RedOne already pointed out, lesbian couples are not like highlanders, there can be more than one.

Just like there can be more than one hetero couple in a story. No two relationships are the same, two different lesbian couples can have their own individual characteristics and contribution to the story just as much as two different hetero relationships can have.

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