|This article is probably off-topic, but tolerated because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
|This article or section is about a topic that is particularly prone to Skub (that is, really loud and/or stupid arguments). Edit at your own risk, and read with a grain of salt, as skubby subjects have a bad habit of causing stupid, even in neutrals trying to summarize the situation.|
TVTropes is one of the Internet's leading sources of skub, so we'll try to confine ourselves to a few simple facts.
In essence, it exists to catalog the various recurring patterns in stories, characters, and general entertainment production and consumption. As such, it can be quite an addictive read (insert "TVTropes ruined my life" joke here), to the point where it's easy to lose track of several consecutive afternoons even after you discover their far briefer "Laconic" sections.
It attracts a great quantity of weeaboos, neckbeards, fanboys, fangirls, fanhermaphrodites, other weirdos, and just plain losers as editors - and it shows frequently in the general writing style and the types of pages included. It's a great place, in theory, to go to find ideas for your next campaign - but don't overdo it, since that's only in theory. Unfortunately, besides being a slippery slope of a time sink, TVTropes is the kind of site that lends itself to categorization for categorization's sake also like a lot of other wikis - but it's amplified so far that its users can no longer see any kind of media, or anything else in the worst cases, as anything other than a collection of archetypes and cliches. Poorly written examples and argumentative sperging over the smallest and most seemingly insignificant of minutiae abound, and that's not even getting into the times where they try to force tropes into applying to the real world with predictably disastrous results. And then there's the horror stories of the old "This Troper" section...
Beyond that, it's worth mentioning here because, coverage of all types of media aside, it has had a definite influence on fandom and internet culture in general, being a product of such. It's also prone to in-jokes that occasionally leak out onto the wider Internet (sometimes known as a TVTropism). As such, it'll probably show up at your table, either directly mentioned by someone trying to seem more learned and experienced than they really are, or by more adjusted players using certain terms. You may or may not find particular phrases littered here and there in this wiki's articles.
No matter how much we might deny any connection between ourselves and them, they have an entire section of their Warhammer 40,000 Fanfic Recs page devoted to works coming from 4chan (including many stored here).
Your Approval Fills Me With Shame *BLAM*
Recently TVTropes has clamped down; now every account made has to be approved by a moderator. On the upside, this could mean the community is more responsive. On the downside, with that kind of setup it'll be much easier for the website to turn into
even more of an echo chamber for the moderators.
- It can be very addictive.
- It may make you see entertainment as only a series of tropes.
- It may cause you to start using their page names in normal conversation like an idiot.
To speak of it any further is to invite madness.
Links and Notes
- You can find it here. Do not click that link unless you are prepared to accept the consequences.
- To protect people from butthurt, they sectioned off several other areas from the mainspace, including Your Mileage May Vary/YMMV, Flame Bait, Wild Mass Guessing, and so on. Problem is, they've become incredibly beholden to advertising for revenue; if you haven't whitelisted their dumb-ass invasive and history-rewriting ads, they'll bug you about it each time you open a page.
- A notable fork, All The Tropes, is found here. All the Tropes was formed due to censorship issues on TV Tropes - the tl;dr of that is problems with advertisers influencing site actions and some of the site's moderators abusing the banhammer for selfish reasons under the plausible deniability of "neutrality". ATT allows porn-based material, but left out Troper Tales and other cancerous friends - it's also completely ad-free, more focused on academic freedom and community consensus, and there's infinitely less chance you'll be banned for "wrongthink" as opposed to being a fucking moron. However, it is also painfully out of date and needs a Titan-load of work done to catch up with most works made after 2012 - a rather obvious downside to being less popular, and mostly the result of some licensing hangups with the main site's contents. Thankfully, the work is coming along nicely, if slowly.
- As a side note, the main admin actually wrote several GURPS books for third edition, plus the 4th edition GURPS Basic Set: Characters.