It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like:Chrome,Firefox,Internet Explorer orOpera

×
arrow-down2arrowcart2close4fat-arrow-leftfat-arrow-rightfeedbackfriends2happy-facelogo-gognotificationnotifications-emptyownedremove-menusad-facesearch2wishlist-menuwishlisted2own_thingsheartstartick
I just can't understand, it seems like somewhat beyond me. Is that because "IT" has a female voice, sort of face, human-alike motivations to rule and command, so you (homo-sapiens) can easily associate "IT" with another human-person?
I mean, just google SHODAN, and there will be tons of fan-art with "IT" in human-like proportions. Where is this pathetic need to associate someone/something with human is coming from? Is it so hard or probably impossible to sympathized with Many, or are they just too inhuman to understand?
I have a theory that some part of population while receiving information that considered to be inhuman will not understand it, they will be just like "errr.. what?" I mean when you hear "You pathetic insect, why are you so slow?" or "Our biology yearns to join with yours… We welcome you to our mass… ", what you would likely understand better? I felt so much joy listening to Korenchkin's logs (my favorite logs of entire game, can listen them again and again), such a great character! I instantly became fan of The Many, and I thought almost everyone would. But no... So.. Why The Many aren't popular? is it so scary to associate yourself with biomass, something not social, something inhuman? Is it scary to associate yourself with brain-like structure (Beautiful Psi-Reavers <3)?
And the other option, to associate yourself with human with cyborg-implants, why of course, human-look remains, new abilities given, kinda obvious choice for some people, eh?

Oh well, never mind, I guess I answered my own question.

P.S. Glory to the Many!
Post edited January 06, 2014 by Raproerk
the Many - big fat slug with split personality that oozes goo and breeds spiders and worms. also, you have to go crawl up its anus.
Shodan - hot, insane cyberspace goddess. now with all the right body parts after the "Rebecca" upgrade.

any questions?
Also, SHODAN got hef fame in the first game already.
avatar
Raproerk: I just can't understand, it seems like somewhat beyond me. Is that because "IT" has a female voice, sort of face, human-alike motivations to rule and command, so you (homo-sapiens) can easily associate "IT" with another human-person?
I mean, just google SHODAN, and there will be tons of fan-art with "IT" in human-like proportions. Where is this pathetic need to associate someone/something with human is coming from? Is it so hard or probably impossible to sympathized with Many, or are they just too inhuman to understand?
I have a theory that some part of population while receiving information that considered to be inhuman will not understand it, they will be just like "errr.. what?" I mean when you hear "You pathetic insect, why are you so slow?" or "Our biology yearns to join with yours… We welcome you to our mass… ", what you would likely understand better? I felt so much joy listening to Korenchkin's logs (my favorite logs of entire game, can listen them again and again), such a great character! I instantly became fan of The Many, and I thought almost everyone would. But no... So.. Why The Many aren't popular? is it so scary to associate yourself with biomass, something not social, something inhuman? Is it scary to associate yourself with brain-like structure (Beautiful Psi-Reavers <3)?
And the other option, to associate yourself with human with cyborg-implants, why of course, human-look remains, new abilities given, kinda obvious choice for some people, eh?

Oh well, never mind, I guess I answered my own question.

P.S. Glory to the Many!
Because the Many have no identity. Being a pure collective, there is no single "face" that we can ascribe to them as a character, making them more of an abstract concept. If it weren't for the fact that the Many had a voice comprehensible to humans, they might have had more of a Lovecraftian appeal to them. Even that would be limited by the fact that the Many are a threat that we can understand, if only by virtue of the fact that we can clearly see and comprehend their various forms, and that those various forms have identifiable weaknesses. That one guy who gets taken over by the Many is interesting, but he's ultimately just a lackey for the Many who eventually loses his identity and any interest to the player when he assimilates with the Many completely.

Shodan, on the other hand, has a distinct personality and charisma whereas the Many do not. She is an individual who the player can ascribe a face and identity to, making it easier for the player to interact with her on a psychological level, while the Many are distanced from the player by having no individuality due to being a collective hive mind. Also, whereas the Many are clearly defined antagonists, they never have much in the way of power over the player, whereas Shodan is both an antagonist and the only thing that allows you to make anything resembling headway by giving you power when you do her bidding and taking it away if you piss her off; Shodan is simply more of an engaging threat than the Many, and the fact that you have to cooperate with her throughout most of the game creates an intriguing dynamic between the two.
Glory to the flesh! The Many are strong! I think, The Many not so popular because human nature very individualistic, human beings appreciate its own decisions and opinion, otherwise Many - is a collective thinking. In real world biology also exist examples of "sacrificing", when one cell can be killed for the health of entire system :)
But when the entire organism achive the stage, when he can analyse, obtained the mind and "can thinking", his primary goal changing to "survive\reproduction", plus some "path searching" operations to make this true. "Sacrificing", in this case, becomes something like disease.
In other words, SHODAN more popular, because she very egoistic, powerful and have appeal female face (what's important for the primary male gaming auditory) :)
Oh, I can also remember The Master from Fallout universe; it same "archetype", but in another "cover".
P.S. Sorry for my awful english >_< I hope it makes sense.
I have no interest in becoming an annelid.
For what it's worth, I didn't find either to be very interesting. SHODAN is more interesting than the Many, but sadly, I don't think it's by much.
I'm sorry, somehow I can't quote all the people in one message.

To voodoo47:

wow, that's very humanized point of view, especially about Shodan. So... If Shodan looked like HAL 9000, "IT" wouldn't be popular? And why is everyone considering Shodan as "female", when it's clearly "IT", is that program flaw or something? Probably hacker's joke? I don't remember Shodan having a womb or mammary glands, well at least before SS2 Ending.

To Jonesy89:

Thanks for the answer! So... You are telling me that's simply easier to interact with shodan on humanized psychological level... Oh my. Oh well, I believe, there is actually funny thing about personalities; in a manner of speaking we can con-sider ourselves as hive-minds as well. In the end personality is but a hmm "bag of ideas", ideas interact with each other and we have an opinion, the problem is we can't feel that interaction (something we call the unconscious), when the Many probably do.

To BioWhore:

Glory to the Many!
Oh don't worry, English isn't my native language either. Anyway, I think I understood what you mean.
That's actually funny, from the perspective of biology human being can be also considered as a Hive-mind. But where we can consider Human being as a macro organism.. The Many oh well... I dunno, something higher than macro organism =P. So, when Many offers to join them, it basically can be considered as a hmmm "Nervous tissues from Giant organized Colony of cells makes an offer to the little colony of cells to join them" In other words, there are two choices, either to merge your nervous tussues with theirs, or be taken by force as a build material. The Many considers itself exactly for what it is, a Giant Colony of Cells. And that's also funny, because human being is also a colony of cells.
Hmm I haven't played fallout yet, good thing was able to grab it, before it got taken away. Haha I like that one - "Same Archetype in another cover", I bet you have read "New adventures of Hitler" by Grant Morrison, it has a similar line - "Some ideas are the same in any language. Ideas wear many guises and dress in many uniforms but underneath they are always the same". Oh well, probably you haven't, doesn't matter, you said exactly the same just in different words.
Funny, in the end both flesh, and technology serve only one purpose as a hard drive to ideas. Ideas that produce ideas, that produce ideas, that produce ideas etc. =p Simplest ideas interacting with each other give birth to simple ideas, simple ideas to complicated ideas, complicated ideas to more complicated ideas etc. Х)
P.S. I'm sorry, I got a little far from the original topic, I just love to talk about such things. Anyway I hope my English also makes sense.
Post edited January 10, 2014 by Raproerk
to OP:
I think human society can be compared with "Hive-mind", but people have this functions on some instinctive way, more unconsciously (if this a correct word). Some kind of human beings trying to deny their "egoistic part", but, at end of all, it can cause a lot of pain :( There can be also a "heroes", but most of them just want to become famous.
On the other hand, Many are more interesting for biology-geeks and scientists; with some "lyricism", i guess, but it also can be a good example for your own future lifeforms xD
SHODAN, as we considered, is more for "lonely tech-guys" :)
avatar
BioWhore: to OP:
I think human society can be compared with "Hive-mind", but people have this functions on some instinctive way, more unconsciously (if this a correct word). Some kind of human beings trying to deny their "egoistic part", but, at end of all, it can cause a lot of pain :( There can be also a "heroes", but most of them just want to become famous.
On the other hand, Many are more interesting for biology-geeks and scientists; with some "lyricism", i guess, but it also can be a good example for your own future lifeforms xD
SHODAN, as we considered, is more for "lonely tech-guys" :)
Well yes, human-society can also be considered as a hive-mind sort of. From cells to tissues, from tissues to organs, from organs to organism, from organisms to hmm colony of organisms (in mankind's case that would be society). I know I have missed lots of levels of organisations, like proteins, atoms etc, but I think you understand what I mean. The way you talking I think you are familiar with biology and know that humans have autonomic nervous system (that consist of lots of sub systems) that is functioning below the level of consciousness and mostly controls visceral functions. What am I saying is The Many's nervous system that controls consciousness is probably somehow merged with autonomic nervous system, in other words they act as one entity fully aware of all cell/organ processes those are happening in it. From human perspective it would be like if we were able to decide when to perform every damn body/organ/gland/tissue fuction. So basically from "our" perspective (what consciousness is allowing us) we don't have to deal with all this visceral management, leaving us free to explore other world of complicated ideas - abstractions, society. The Many probably have just one consciousness for all the functions. That probably goes beyond socialized-level of understanding, those making Many unpopular.
I started this topic, simply to make sure that shodan is popular just because almost everyone considers "IT" as an "attractive female", and the way "IT" acts just reminds another human. So there's probably some sort of an ideal female archetype written in our DNA, that is considered superior to other females, because of which, when male organisms see something familar, it attracts them.
Post edited January 10, 2014 by Raproerk
SHODAN actively communicates with the player from the very first second of gameplay. "She" is your only companion in a place full of death and mutation and even then it is strictly out of necessity. I think there can be no contest which of the two antagonising elements in the game is the most engaging and personal to the player and the player character.
Post edited January 10, 2014 by Sufyan
Well, thanks to everyone for answering. I think I got what I wanted, it's not like I didn't knew that, but some part of me still wanted to see the proof.
So basically shodan's popularity can be explained by sort of "manly" logic, where it is considered to be some sort of perfect/very attracting mating partner on unconscious level, or something like that. And that leads to all of this humanisation of the character. In other words, no one considers shodan as AI (even shodan itself lol).
I'm not trying to say that someone's opinion is wrong or something, but this is just beyond me, where are the fans of The Many??? In W40K Universe Tyranids (pretty similar concept) are highly popular, that makes me think that such people who would sympathise with The Many do exist and in large numbers. Where are they? Is this game considered to be too hard, or no one heard about it? I thought the game's legend.
I think you are overthinking it if you are trying to turn this into a "male gaze" explanation. Neither Shodan or The Many are sexualised. Both are inhuman, though Shodan is a little less inhuman and far more coherent and personal in her interactions with the player. Shodan's interactions with the player character is pretty much what drives the plot forward for most of the game. In a game where the player character is a complete brick with no name, story or personality, Shodan stands out among the cast of VERY DEAD humans and roaming mutants. Guess which character took up all the space on the box-cover? That's right, the only actual character with personality and a fleshed out backstory.

I see your point and agree with much of what you say about The Many. Still, by comparison they are dull and unsympathetic when held up next to the crazy and manipulative narcissistic AI character. I think they were only meant to be an alien and very dangerous uncompromising threat to all the human crew (and therefore to the player) and they succeed very well at that. A well written "assimilate everything" hive mind antagonist, but still just a hive mind antagonist.

The Many were probably not designed with fandom in mind, while Shodan clearly was. You have to assume the developers themselves were fans because they wanted to make a sequel to a game they liked and use the central character from that game in their own.

I'm not so sure I agree that Tyranids are relatively popular. People like their designs and some people even like their rules, and that is enough to keep selling models and putting out new books every handful of years, but they aren't exactly a central race in the 40k universe. It is there for the people who like flesh eating hive mind space aliens and they are very servicable at that. The real meat of the 40k universe is centered on humans and their obvious and long standing rivalry with various intelligent and malignant threats. Much like SS2 is very much about the interactions and dependency between the unnamed player character and Shodan.

Trick question: Do you think GLaDOS is popular because she is a sexy woman catering to the male gaze? She is very similar to Shodan what with the megalomaniacal AI thing. She is very popular yet I don't think anyone is looking for her supposed fleshlight socket, if you get what I mean.
avatar
Raproerk: Well, thanks to everyone for answering. I think I got what I wanted, it's not like I didn't knew that, but some part of me still wanted to see the proof.
So basically shodan's popularity can be explained by sort of "manly" logic, where it is considered to be some sort of perfect/very attracting mating partner on unconscious level, or something like that. And that leads to all of this humanisation of the character.
I think you might be misunderstanding some of the responses you have gotten (or at the very least, mine) on a fundamental level. I don't like Shodan because she resembles an attractive mate (which she doesn't), but because she is the most interesting character of the bunch. The Many are just human enough to not have the alien "wow" factor that one might get out of a Cthulhu Mythos entity, but are otherwise incomprehensible as a character and thus rendered boring and uninteresting. Shodan is the only character who is still alive during the game who has a personality, thus making her the only character we can understand and be able to analyze. In essence, in the kingdom of the non-characters, the character is king, and Shodan is the only living "character" to be found, and she is an interesting one due to have being an AI who has transcended her nature of a professional AI akin to Xerxes into a arrogant yet ambitious entity that closely resembles some of the more unpleasant aspects of humanity and aspires to godhood. She is a villain that the player loves to hate, whereas the Many is just cannon fodder.
Post edited January 10, 2014 by Jonesy89
On the original question, I do find The Many interesting as an antagonist, but it is limited and perhaps most significantly it's around for one game and fails, permanently so far as we can tell, whereas SHODAN is around longer, interacts more and was clearly going to be part of any sequel. The Many has the same general interest that most other Levine penned anatgonists have- it's an allegory for communism in the same general ways as the Pagans/ Trickster/ Viktoria in Thief were allegories for anarchists or Rapture/ Ryan/ Fontlas were allegories for objectivists- but its story is finished and complete.
avatar
Raproerk: And why is everyone considering Shodan as "female", when it's clearly "IT", is that program flaw or something?
It uses a female voice, unless you're playing the disk version of SS1. That's eminently sensible as well, since we have Bitching Betties rather than Bitching Barries for a reason- science says that people whether male or female are more likely to listen to a female voice. The equivalent would be something like Viktoria in Thief- there's no actual indication that she's female given that she's a personification of a woodland spirit, but she's regarded as such anyway.

There's also the tendency for many inanimate objects- cars, ships etc- to be regarded as female in english even if we don't have set grammatical sexes for objects as objects like german/ french etc have.

And finally, SHODAN is clearly regarded in the game as having female qualities- the Many refer to her as the 'metal mother' for example, not the 'metal father' or 'metal creator'. She is, technically, biologically and scientifically, an 'it', but an it with a lot of female characteristics. That is not so much true in SS1, but then SS1 was written (and later changed somewhat when the voicing was added) prior to Terri Brosius doing the voices.

Perhaps the best reasoning for why SHODAN was so successful an antagonist comes from Kieron Gillen, it's an old article now but certainly well worth a read.

avatar
Sufyan: Neither Shodan or The Many are sexualised.
Eh, they are sexualised- not in the frequently overdone 'oh, that sexy nude rumbler, I want to boff it/ oh man that SHODAN avatar so sexeh!' way but rather more subtly.

There's an awful lot of mother talk from both parties which has always had sexual undertones from the times of the ancient Mother Cults, rather a lot of suspicious orifices in the BOTM and of course the "look at you hacker, a pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors" speech dating back to the first game which is absolutely loaded with sexual imagery.