Westworld - Hopkins, robots, six-guns


#682

The human guy with Maeve clearly says that shogun world was made for guests who found Westworld “to tame” which could mean a higher threat and portential harm. Also it’s been stated that the parks safety measures have been turned off.


#683

Also like I have said before I don’t need a bunch of tech jargon that explains everything. That’s not the point of this show. Star Wars hardly ever explains all its advanced tech and people don’t care.


#684

Samurai World and Team Maeve were the interesting bits. I’ve stopped caring about Dolores, Bernard, and Jimmy’s game.


#685

I’m willing to handwave the weaponry thing. I’m not so sure about Psychic Maeve.
Edit: I guess there’s supposed to be host-to-host networking that I’d forgotten about, mentioned earlier this season. So I guess that’s okay then.


#686

I’d love to know what “safety measures” would stop an arrow from flying into your face, or a sword into your neck.

That’s fine except like a videogame “shooting” (and in ShogunWorld, “swordfighting”) are the primary verbs to interact with quests the park designers have made. Star Wars is a fantasy adventure. No one cares about the science behind Excalibur or light sabers because they’re not the focus of the stories. In Westworld, there’s very little to do in the park if you’re not fucking or killing something.


#687

I find it hard to believe that you guys are wishing there were fewer ninjas in this show.


#688

Exactly. If you think about the logistics of this park at all, it falls apart, because from the very beginning of season one, before everything goes wrong, there’s a perfectly reasonable question of how the park can live up to its pitch as a fantasy world for its guests where they can be as virtuous or evil as they’d like, without one guest’s fantasy jeopardizing another’s.

There’s no established way for guests to recognize other guests—no signal, no outfit, no “safe word”—so almost any interaction starts to raise some questions. Maybe a bar fight breaks out with a mix of hosts and guests, and maybe that’s okay. Surely part of your agreement to play in the park includes some risk, maybe up to and including fist fights. You might get a broken nose, that risk makes it more real, makes the experience more intense. And maybe the hosts actually act as a safeguard, some three laws of robotics type precautions where if guest A smashes a bottle on the bar and goes for the jugular on guest B, the hosts drop what they’re doing and intervene. You can reason through some scenarios where the danger can be managed when the park has time to intervene.

So then you’ve got guns, and the hosts can’t start jumping in front of bullets, so they give us this explanation of how the guns won’t fire real bullets at humans. This is where the comparison to Star Wars is apt—we’re not nitpicking the feasibility of that technology. We’re not complaining “you expect me to believe these revolvers and all the ammunition actually have the technology to identify targets and instantly adjust the effect of the round fired?” The technology is a fantasy, but so are these robots. We can roll with that because it’s an attempt at explaining things and the leap they’re asking us to make (implausible technology) is a conceit we’re already granting elsewhere.

But it’s an incomplete explanation and it starts to break down when you start poking at anything else in the broad spectrum of violence presented in this world. Again, this is still all before the safeguards are deactivated and things stop working as intended, before we even hear about Shogun world. It’s as simple as something like “how do you make safe knives?” One option would be that none of the knives are truly dangerous, they’re all dull, soft blades, but that’s not the route Westworld took. They’re clearly real knives that can do real damage to hosts (or you can really whittle a walking stick or whatever), so if Westworld has made the choice to go with real knives, how do you stop violent guest A from slitting violent guest B’s throat in a one on one encounter where they’re both playing the villain? Have they invented some kind of hard-light hologram technology that can pass harmlessly through some things while impacting others? That would be a bit too far for me, and they haven’t even hinted at any kind of explanation like that.

So @Jason_Becker I’m glad you can ignore this and enjoy the show, it’s what I mostly do too. But these aren’t invalid questions, they’re not killjoy nitpicks, they’re very reasonable and logical problems that don’t take much scrutiny to make the whole world as explained look impossible.

A theme park free of real-world moral consequence that’s striving to be as realistic as possible is basically a set of contradictory goals as long as there’s more than one guest in the park at a time. You’ve got to compromise on the realism, or you’ve got to compromise on the lack of consequence, and Westworld is trying to have both and ignoring that tension for everything except some smart revolvers.


#689

Are you guys only just now figuring out that Westworld is really dumb? :) Jonathan Nolan wrote a high concept story arc about the nature of consciousness, but then JJ Abrams made sure it got dumbenated in the usual JJ Abrams style. After last week’s battle, I’m not sure how anyone can take anything in this silly mess seriously.

That said, Rinko Kikuchi! She’s awesome. And that was quite the dance scene. It almost made me like this episode!

-Tom


#690

No many just enjoy a well written, well made, and terrifically acted show. But I know being a hater on popular stuff is one of the hallmarks for many on these boards.


#691

Hey, point made, you don’t care about a thing other people do care about it. Quit being dismissive of those people though, it’s coming across kinda shitty.


#692

I’m being dismissive? Take a look at the mirror dude.


#693

I went overboard explaining things, but you just keep ignoring the valid points Telefrog, myself, and others have brought up. I should’ve just boiled down what I posted earlier to this:

Telefrog brought up arrows and swords of Shogun world because they highlight something that’s bothered some of us for a while. You responded with things like “well the safety measures are off now”, which sounded like you misunderstood the question we were raising, so I kicked into over-explaining mode. Again, I wasn’t very concise, but I don’t think I was dismissive.

Is this response just aimed at Tom? Am I being incorrectly offended? Then I guess I’ll bow out and you two can fight it out. But if you’re lumping in the criticisms I raised with “being a hater on popular stuff”, then yeah, you’re being shitty.


#694

The way to grasp it is that the guns of Westworld aren’t even consistent in the world’s logic. Take that very first episode of the show. Was William/Man in Black staggered from the blows of the impacts when Teddy shot him? Did it look like “lower velocity” rounds were hitting him? Contrast that with the way he was knocked around in the last episode of the same season when Teddy shot him. Or check out the way the guy spun and collapsed after being shot in The Raj.

So okay, you make allowances for the story. William got special “no stagger” VIP treatment until Ford wanted to teach him a lesson at the end of the season. Fine. I can roll with that. But over in ShogunWorld you have guests firing off arrows at each other and getting into swordfights. How does that work in any way?


#695

Some people always gotta think about how the sausage is made, and its always a source of high hilarity to watch them recoil from the snouts, anuses, and tripe filling the bucket.

Tom is right in that wow, did Westworld start with one conceit (nature of consciousness) and then swerved to another (it’s all about immortality now?) That being said, on a second watch of Westworld’s first season a few of those episodes dragged on a bit. But this season we get fuckin Ninjas, and hopefully we will get get fuckin Pirates, because then they might get in a huge fight and that would be sweet.


#696

I did love the idea that ShogunWorld was a dirty cash-grab sequel.


#697

This has been established and shown, they call it the Samaritan Reflex. Hosts will do everything they can to stop guests from hurting each other.

My take is that you’re not guaranteed to be 100% safe in the park. In the same way that a random psycho can wield a knife in the real world, it can happen in the park as well. However, I do believe (though it’s not been explicitly stated) that they control the narratives so that two guests won’t end up driven by narrative into that kind of situation. Still doesn’t protect you from the guy who starts cutting up people randomly, but that’s why they’d make sure there are always hosts around.


#698

Typical corporate bullshit to keep down on the creative costs. “Let’s just hire one lead creative!”

And said lead creative, of course, does no delegation (“hey, maybe we’ll let the intern write up…”) because of Alpha reasons.


#699

I couldn’t remember if that had explicitly happened or if I was just thinking it might, thanks for the clarification.

As you say, a random psycho can wield a knife in the real world, but I don’t think that’s a sufficient disclaimer when the parks are actively promoted as an outlet for psychos to wield knives (and guns and whatever), but without real-world consequences.

If there are safeguards to make sure there are always hosts around and guests are being steered away from dangerous scenarios for other guests, the show hasn’t made that clear at all. Or maybe it was something else I overlooked or forgotten, let me know if I missed it. But it seems like they’ve really done the opposite with things like Will’s adventures in the past and present, emphasizing the total freedom and violent hedonism.


#700

Yup. They literally had a host knock William out with a gun butt. That’s a great way to accidentally kill a guest.


#701

Up until everything went to shit they were tracking and doing fairly fine-grained overwatch on everybody and shown as such across much of the first season. They’ve never been clear about overall guest counts but it’s apparently extremely expensive so not unreasonable to suggest only a few dozen guests at a time, mostly moving on separate tracks by group.