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The Periodic Table of Storytelling.
April 11, 2011 11:23 AM   Subscribe


 
Great idea but, especially as it is from a "visual design" class, a terrible implementation. I defy anyone to figure out even just the 3 elements in the Dilbert example in under 5 minutes.
posted by DU at 11:32 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


. I defy anyone to figure out even just the 3 elements in the Dilbert example in under 5 minutes.

Is one of them the creative male light and another the empty sucking female void?
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on April 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


needs NSFW due tvtropes warning :)
posted by nielm at 11:35 AM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


It shouldn't be long before someone creates an interactive version with rollover descriptions and links to relevant articles on TVTropes. (not volunteering)
posted by ShutterBun at 11:36 AM on April 11, 2011


Huzzah for anything TvTropes-based!
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:37 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Man have recent revelations about Scott Adams changed my reading of any and all Dilbert cartoons)
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on April 11, 2011


Cool idea, but I'm with DU on this one: figuring out any of the "molecules" is downright painful. They oughta include the color coding from the table in the formulae.
posted by valkyryn at 11:42 AM on April 11, 2011


How about a simple explanation please.
posted by Xurando at 11:47 AM on April 11, 2011


(Man have recent revelations about Scott Adams changed my reading of any and all Dilbert cartoons)

Not read one since...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:47 AM on April 11, 2011


Can't wait for a fully expanded chart detailing all isotropes as well.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:47 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I defy anyone to figure out even just the 3 elements in the Dilbert example in under 5 minutes.

I did it in about 30s... do I win a prize?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:54 AM on April 11, 2011


Xurando: "How about a simple explanation please."

Did you even click the link?
posted by Rumple at 11:55 AM on April 11, 2011


Xurando: "How about a simple explanation please."

Did you even click the link?


Rumple, perhaps the link isn't working that well. I know it's not for me...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:57 AM on April 11, 2011


(Man have recent revelations about Scott Adams changed my reading of any and all Dilbert cartoons)

I think Artw means this.
posted by Long Way To Go at 11:58 AM on April 11, 2011


Heh. Man, if you are giving a shit what "Men's Rights blogs" say about anything you are so far into loonyville.
posted by Artw at 12:18 PM on April 11, 2011


(Man have recent revelations about Scott Adams changed my reading of any and all Dilbert cartoons)

It took me several minutes to parse that sentence, before I figured out that "Man" is an interjection and should be followed by a comma. (Is that a typo for "Many"? Is it Hulk-speak, and "Man" is the subject? What's going on?)

No aspersions on you, Artw, but clearly I'm not braining well today.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:24 PM on April 11, 2011


I'm typing for shit, so good match.
posted by Artw at 12:27 PM on April 11, 2011


Someone resurrect Mendeleev so we can have a chart that makes sense.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:29 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is a lot of good stuff in this, but I am so sick of the use of the periodic table of the elements for other things. The periodic table is a really good infographic that shows a ton of useful information, not only about individual elements but also relationships between these elements. It's arranged the way it is because of the elements.

Why is The Creepy Child under The Brute? And between The Knight Templar and The Corrupt Corporate Executive? In the elements, these positions have meaning. Here, they're just filling out spots to match something that has nothing to do with storytelling.

It makes no sense to try to shoehorn storytelling tropes, typefaces, bicycles, famous artists, etc. etc. etc. into the same pattern any more than it would make sense to make the periodic table of colors instead of just using a damn color wheel.
posted by nushustu at 12:34 PM on April 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hey! An awesome thing on the internet!
posted by odinsdream at 1:52 PM on April 11, 2011


It makes no sense to try to shoehorn storytelling tropes, typefaces, bicycles, famous artists, etc. etc. etc. into the same pattern any more than it would make sense to make the periodic table of colors instead of just using a damn color wheel.

Sounds like you would do it differently, or not at all, but in any case I'm not sure it is meant to "make sense" so much as "be fun". Although in a sense creating unexpected juxtapositions can itself be stimulating. Anyway, yeah, forcing tropes into a colour wheel would be fun. The internet should get onto that!
posted by Rumple at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2011


In the periodic table of websites the symbol for Metafilter is Meh and it likes to think that it is noble but while actually just being snooty.
posted by Artw at 2:12 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved this - but on closer inspection I think a lot of the cleverness comes from the underlying gold of TV Tropes. Using the periodic table as a visual metaphor is cute but rules of spatial assignment in the periodical table of elements have no logic as a tool for sensibly mapping TV tropes - so the groupings are sort of random and the author fails even to use colour coding when he shows examples of particular works.

What would be really nice would be to have a metaphor which does match with the TV trope content. I think something a bit like a food factory would be more in order: we line up a bunch of machines corresponding to our structure and plot - then we feed in our heroes and villains and raw ingredients. Finally we select what bits of the process we let people keep an eye on and what we do with the output - our production.
posted by rongorongo at 2:28 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Key to the molecules:

Star Wars
DraNeoFail: The dragon, the chosen one, You have failed me
Emp: The empire
C: Conflict
5ma: five man band

Kim Possible
Kz: the klutz
Ag: Action girl
Tfc: They fight crime

Dilbert
Sta: Static character
Sq: Status quo
Hil: Hilarity ensues

Mass Effect
H: The hero
Stw: Save the world
Jt: Justified trope
OmEld: Omnicidal Eldritch Abomination

Avatar
5ma: Five man band
Neo: The chosen one
Stw: Save the world
Emp: The empire
Rq: Redemption quest
DetAv: Determinator Anti-villain
Hft: Heel-face turn
posted by majonesing at 2:53 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The kilowicks are nice, but they're not terribly useable here in this format. Grouping them together is nice.

Reading the comments there, I'm surprised a chemist gave the whole thing a big thumbs up.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:30 PM on April 11, 2011


Excellent! But what we really need to do is make the elements clickable, so we can assemble them into trope molecules with a touch of the finger. Then I'll be able to write my next novel/webcomic/movie script without putting any thought into plot, setting or characterization- I'll just click on random elements, and there it'll be!
posted by happyroach at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love that Five Man Band bit at the end.
TVTropes bothers me for some indefinable reason, but it's also pretty awesome.
the Story Generator it linked is already generating some great stuff
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:20 PM on April 11, 2011


I like this very much.
posted by Skygazer at 7:51 PM on April 11, 2011


Aw, fuck, another TVTropes post. Now I'm going to spend three hours doing a WikiWalk. Thanks.
posted by spitefulcrow at 8:03 PM on April 11, 2011


This, along with TV Tropes is completely ingenious. There went my afternoon.
posted by contemplace at 9:32 AM on April 12, 2011


Apparently it's all sexist, so you should stop enjoying yourselves immediately.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2011


Artw: "Apparently it's all sexist, so you should stop enjoying yourselves immediately"

No, she's saying that pop culture is sexist, and that its sexism is made obvious by the tropes categorization.
posted by beerbajay at 3:09 PM on April 19, 2011


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