Stay classy, Newgrounds

If you came here from this video on Newgrounds and you're trying to find the story it's based on, it's called "The Difference" and you can find it here.

If you're wondering why the creator of the video didn't bother to provide a direct link to the story in question, and went so far as to put "Concept by: Jimtopia" in the credits, your guess is as good as mine.

*

Personally I wasn't a fan of the movie and here are several reasons why. Why is everything slowly moving sideways? Why do the guy's eyes blink one at a time and why is his chin a polygon? Why are his pupils square? Where's his nose? Why do the light on his face and the light on his chest flash independently from one another?

Artistic concerns aside, I don't think the concept would ever have worked as a movie. Firstly, the original story is just a textual conversation. There is no action to it, and filming one of the participants participating in the conversation is just boring, whether or not you film that participant's reactions to the story content, and whether or not you actually leave in the pauses between things being said while other things are being typed. Secondly, filming one of the participants breaks one of the fundamental tenets of the original story which is that you have no idea whether anybody in the story is actually real. The characters "A" through to "I" might well be chatterbots as well! This is deliberately left ambiguous, but the movie removes that ambiguity, as any such movie would.

Back to Blog
Back to Things Of Interest

Discussion (19)

2010-07-16 15:57:24 by Gil:

I agree that a text chat is very uninteresting as a movie and it's terrible that Newgrounds has taken a shining to it.

Your site is in the credits, though. Is this a recent change?

2010-07-16 15:58:50 by qntm:

I've been getting emails from people who've found this site but can't find the story in question. A link to the actual story would have been much more useful.

2010-07-16 16:06:42 by Gil:

Ah, I see. Yes, that would have been better.

And spot on criticism in the art direction, by the way.

2010-07-16 19:56:23 by YarKramer:

You know, this is probably the first time I've ever seen the word "classy" that close to the word "Newgrounds."

2010-07-16 20:06:57 by Bert:

Did you miss it? In the credits, it says. "Based on a story found at qntm.org", or something along those lines.

2010-07-16 20:17:23 by qntm:

There's a difference between a URL and a link and there's another difference between a link and a direct link! I've said this twice now, are you even reading what I'm writing?

2010-07-16 21:18:38 by Snowyowl:

"I've said this twice now, are you even reading what I'm writing?"
I'm sorry for quoting you, but I had to point out how much you sound like A at the moment :)

I don't know what "Concept by Jimtopia" means either. Though making B the main character instead of A is interesting, it's not exactly an entire concept by itself.

(Also, the story was good.)

2010-07-17 00:15:15 by MGarganta:

I think he means concept to turn it into a movie. Not the story.

2010-07-18 02:49:44 by Andrew:

But that's... not what concept means. That's never been what concept means.

2010-07-19 11:24:57 by Carlington:

I'm going to disagree with your opinion here. Not to say you can't have it as your opinion, obviously I can't change that, but to posit my own.
I think it was an interesting take, giving the perspective of "B" instead of "A". It allows us to see the range of emotions the a responder to this chatbot would have, and even inspires us to wonder what our own reaction would be. I think it's an interesting look at human nature, and how it's changed since the advent of Web 2.0 and the arrival of the jaded, desensitised teen stereotype.

Well, in either case, he still should have credited you better.

2010-07-19 11:48:39 by Imbenarion:

I think it is quite different from the opposite perspective. In just text it is more concerned about what it is to be a human when the only communication is just through little text messages. The guy could be a bot that is programmed so well even he/it thinks he/it is real. It is almost in the first person as you see one chatter talking to many other chatters. And of course it could be the other way around because he doesn't know if the people he are talking to are human either. This all sort of asks the question of when we talk just through text, how are we any different from well-made chat boxes?

When it is from the movie perspective however, it is really just a question of is this just a well programmed bot that can talk to me believably or is it a person. This is because you can physically see that at least one person in the conversation is real. By doing this you are able to draw the distinction between what is and isn't 'real'. It does cover the whole Turing test part, but not really as thoroughly as your first story did.

Obviously you can see which one I prefer, so take the bias into consideration. :P

2010-07-19 11:56:24 by Imbenarion:

<angry_rant>
I would like to yell at you for not saying "electrical engineer's". It would have saved me the past half hour.
Also, how about we change the number 6 to REALLY mean the letter n, I am sure that would make sense too.
</a6gry_ra6t>

2010-07-20 08:49:02 by BlueFroman:

Well, if you were to ever read anything beyond a day of what happened on his video page, you'd see that he apologizes. He even states he never even meant to steal the idea but rather pay homage to it, he just failed at his choice of wording.

And if what you're saying about his video being "boring", then you would be saying that you're own creation was just as boring, if not worse so.

Actually seeing the person's reaction to the "chatbot", truly making him think and seeing that thought going through his mind and facial expressions is a MUCH more engrossing experience to say the least. Now don't get me wrong, of course you're the original, you are the best, but I admire his style a ton, and it was animated and shown beautifully. He showed what WE might have experienced, rather than from the "chatbot's" eyes.

Your's is great, and his adaptation is good too, I know how you could be offended and whatnot, but you should really read beyond 5 seconds of something being out, wait a few days, and now you can see for yourself what he truly meant to.

2010-07-21 01:28:23 by eneekmot:

Well, Sam, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The kid who made it probably has come to this website a few times, and he obviously likes your work.

Why don't you email him or make a Newgrounds account and message him? Why not ask him nicely if he'll include a direct link in the description? I'm sure he'll do it, and it'll make both of you look better.

Oh, and the changed catchpa is just annoying, Sam.

2010-07-25 19:39:09 by Boter:

Yeah, but I mean, I made a movie based on one of Sam's stories too - and I gave him full credit. (And I keep meaning to redo it with a good camera, not... well, that's for another time.) "Concept by Not Sam" goes too far. Properly, it'd go like this:

Concept by Sam
Adapted by Not Sam

2010-07-26 01:09:08 by v:

I'm sorry, but I think this needs to be said to the creator of this video and everyone supporting him.

FUCK.
YOU.

I had to speak in their language.

2010-07-26 03:11:36 by Carlington:

V, I fail to see how blatant profanity is "speaking [supporters' of the video] language", especially not those I've seen so far in these comments. Mind you, I haven't seen how the people of Newgrounds have responded, so perhaps for them it was an appropriate response. I've seen naught but well-structured debate from both sides on this post, and to be honest you are the only one dragging the whole thing down a level. For the sake of everyone here, pull your head in.

2010-07-26 04:09:21 by AgWing:

Though the concept of the movie is inspired from the story "The Difference" it does not account for the fundamental concept which is really about making the "human" actually feel he is a real chatbot.

The concept was from Sam, sure, there wasn't a direct link and his wording sucked and wasn't clear that he was "paying homage" as some of you might think.

Though, I enjoyed the movie as it gave a different perspective (from the human) to the "bot" whereas the opposite is shown in the story.

2010-07-26 04:34:33 by Zyph:

I didn't enjoy the movie at all, but thought the concept was brilliant, so when I found out the original story was here I rushed over to this site to read the full one, which was far better.