• Member Since 21st Dec, 2011
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13 year veteran furry. Writer. Armchair soldier. Luna is the best pony.

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Have the fans crowd-sourced Equestria to death? · 4:09am Jan 1st, 2014

I'm a long time fan of Digibrony and Tomas Oliver (amongst others) and have enjoyed their analyses of episodes and theme for Friendship is Magic. Lately they've both been taking a rather pessimistic tone for season 4, culminating in Tommy's Season 4 Thus Far video. This is my guess as to what might be behind our collective lack of enthusiasm for season 4 so far.

Have the fans crowd-sourced Equestria to death?

It's a little known principle that (sometimes) when amateurs outnumber professionals enough, the amateurs will produce better results. This can be explained in several ways, and has been demonstrated several times, but to an extent it comes down to unguided (or at least decentralised) evolution beating out on intelligently directed efforts.

The fans, and the analysis community, have gone into almost every conceivable aspect of the show, the characters, and the world in exhaustive detail. And then we've produced fantastic works of art, and stories, based upon these idea. Can we realistically expect a 22 minute show to match that amount of effort by that many people?

If you go on a site like fimfiction, you'll find dozens of Dash meets Daring stories, or Twilight Becomes An Alicorn stories, or Ponies Meet Humans stories. (Story tag relevance!) For each of these three, is it possible to say with any certainty that Daring Don't, Magical Mystery Cure, or Equestria Girls was the best presentation, out of all the ones listed? Well, maybe MMC, that was a fantastic musical! But even then, I'm not sure I would say it was the *best* possible presentation of that topic...

Even if the writers don't read fan stories or see fan art (and we know they don't) we do, or at least some of us do. It is hard not to look at the fan ideas and then run with them, even as idle fantasy, and then compare the results to the show's writing. Even if we don't intend to, this can affect out expectations of the show.

Other media properties have gotten around this problem with novelisations. Doctor Who and Star Trek novels (for example) do things the show can't. Hasbro has authorized the IDW comics, but those are still locked down fairly heavily, and rather labour intensive, hence produced not much faster than the show is.

It is possible for the show to keep pace with the breadth and depth of fan creativity without resorting to the kind of shark-jumping spectacle they have indulged in so far in Season 4? And if not, is that our fault?

Have the fans crowd-sourced Equestria to death?

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Comments ( 1 )

I think it's just an unfortunate and unavoidable side-effect. So, yes. But still, we seem to have this ingrained respect for the show and the writers are showing that they're doing their best that I think it'll manage for at least a little longer.

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