Author Archives: stargatewraithfan

About stargatewraithfan

Artist. Activist. Wraith fan.

Marketing Analysis of Membership Titles at the SGC Site

I’ve come to notice the SGA site is making the same membership title mistakes a certain art site did, an art site which was recently sold off and still hasn’t learned or recovered. Member titles are small details, but make a world of difference.

Some types of member titles on the SGC site, past and present:

*All Access. This title is confusing because one tends to think all-access means that something is open and available to all. Visitors get confused, thinking most of the content is free and open to all, for all time.

*Founding Member. This title is of little interest to prospective new buyers, as it is something they are not able to obtain and they will ignore it or cry sour grapes. It alienates geoblocked fans who are want to buy but who are unable. It reduces its image of freshness and its the contrast to GateWorld, which intimates new members with its long history and members who have amassed thousands of posts and custom avatars.

*Original Gater. Same sticking points as Founding Member along with internal confusion even among existing customers as to what it is.

*Symbols and badges. Same sticking points as Founding Member along with internal confusion even among existing customers as to what it is.

*Airman thru Ascended titles. OK, they are earned and not paid for or geoblocked, but skewed toward extroverts by favoring those who post on the forum over introverts who could be rewarded with canon knowledge in the quizzes. There should be more ways for introverts to ascend.

A better solution for the paid titles:

*A simple “Premium Membership” text, in both profiles of paid subscribers and locked content, which is also be a link which visitors can click to learn how to purchase the product. This would signal to prospective buyers that the product is available and ready to purchase in a consistent and clear manner of exactly what the subscription benefits are.

Memberships are traditionally paid with annual dues, and so this would reduce the confusion about lifetime access.

The premium membership product should be available globally, for all to purchase and it would lower feelings of alienation among those past geoblocked and/or new to the fandom or site, as it would be understood to be a product to be purchased on a yearly, continual basis and is not a statement about members themselves.

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Non-Minority Solicitation About Minorities: Just No.

Publicly creating posts asking non-minorities if there exists discrimination against certain minorities is a useless endeavor: the majority does not experience that discrimination, so the majority will say no such discrimination exists and high-five one another, always outnumbering the minorities (if the minorities dare to even say something to the contrary and subject themselves to trolling by the majority).

Double this when said minorities are bullied off of the site, get tired of it and leave, and/or banned one-by-one, resulting in even lower representation.

Soliciting non-minority input about the experiences of minorities denies the experiences of demographic minorities and enforces that only the demographic majority matters.

Trying to pass off such a set of responses as truth is a statistical error and also an example of the Appeal to Popularity fallacy, in which the popularity of something is substituted for truth or morality about something. Just because something is oft-repeated and widespread doesn’t mean it is the truth or is ethical. If a slur is posted and a handful of people deny it exists, it still exists.

If one wants honest answers and cares about the experiences of minorities, look up or ask for private responses from minorities… and also ask how one can best be of support.

Using File Sharing Site Metrics as Check-Ins

The change in nature of the SGA AM comics disappointed with issue 12. The change in nature of the Fandy Legacy books disappointed.

I get to wondering, “Is it just me? How do I check in?”

Always go for metrics, which are observable and quantifiable. So, I head over to some torrent sharing sites. I see that no one is sharing any of the recent Fandy books since the past couple of years nor the most recent AM comic after issue 12, a SGA/SGU anthology, which used to pop up on the same day the comics were released. It gives the impression nobody cares about these product lines anymore. One of my relatives says, “If something isn’t being shared, it probably isn’t worth checking out, because it means, in the whole wide world, no one finds value in sharing it.” New fanart of these things are also either nonexistent or no more.

So, no, it isn’t just me.

The same as it isn’t just me with the way many SG sites have so few correct, on-topic posts because the prolific on-topic posters have given up and gone elsewhere. When the same 3-6 people make 80% of the actual on-topic posts (and the off-topic posts outnumber the on-topic ones), the ponds have gotten way too small.

(To clarify, I’m not endorsing torrent sites. I bought physical copies of all the comics and most of the Legacy books before switching to buying digital due to lag times in the printers. I am merely using these sites as check-ins to see how the market at large is responding to these products.)

(Clarification #2: This metric works for opinions, not facts. Trying to use popularity for or against facts or morality is a logical fallacy. Saying a comic is disappointing is an opinion.)

How Do Stargate Wraith Get Scars?

Wraith are able to regenerate and heal gunshot wounds. So, why did Boris (fan-given name) have a cut-mark scar over his eye?

Two good fan theories:

*Some fans theorize Wraith children, who can’t feed yet, can’t regenerate and they have to rely on adults to give them the Gift of Life to heal their wounds. If the cut happened when Boris was young, maybe it was not deemed threatening enough by adults to expend energy to heal it or maybe an adult was not around when it happened and it had to heal slowly, the human way.

*Some fans theorize starving Wraith could gets scars if they are injured while hungry. No energy reserves means nothing to draw on to regenerate, leaving the wound to slowly heal, the human way.

Regardless, social responsibility needed as to not otherize anyone by turning variances into negative bias indicators, which is an outdated trope. Wraith fans tend to get this correct, as there are Wraith OCs with scars and other bodily variances. Fans want diverse representation.

Eye Pupil Variances in Stargate Atlantis

Ford and Boris (fan-given name) each have a distinctive eye. I got curious to see if if these eyes are sci-fi traits or not.

Boris’s X-shaped contact: The implication is Boris’s iris was altered, along with his skin over his eye, as a result of a cut wound. The closest medical condition I could find was an eye coloboma, which is a keyhole-shaped pupil, usually formed in the womb by the iris not forming a round circle around the pupil. But the iris is merely out of round, not an X-shape.

Ford’s black sclera contact: I could not find any such medical condition for the eye to be totally blacked out as if the pupil expanded and overtook the eye. The closest I could find was brown leftover from still healing bloodshot eyes and some pigment outside of the irises, but nothing so dark or extensive as these contacts. He also seems to be the only one with this feature, even though other characters willingly or unwillingly had Wraith enzyme in their systems, so I am not sure what was supposed to have caused Ford’s one eye to change.

These eye variances seem to be the stuff of science fiction, probably just added to the characters because the producers thought the contacts looked cool.

Even so, social responsibility is still needed not to otherize anyone by turning variances into negative bias indicators, fictional traits or not. Protagonists should be as equally likely to have variances as antagonists and chaotic neutrals.

What to Do About Post-War Wraith Who Resist Change? Pt 2: Humans in Real Life

A few months ago, I blogged about a fanfic scenario someone came up with about Wraith having a way to meet their energy needs and having to deal with others who still chose to want to hang on to power/privilege/tradition.

I still think often of this fanfic scenario in so many ways.

But! For the real-life audience, there are 2 problems with this scenario:

1) It all too closely mirrors real life. A divide is growing among human nations in attitudes and practices surrounding animal agribiz and plastics. So many EU countries have had biodegradable bags for years and needlessly exploiting and killing fellow animals is on the decline, especially in the UK and Germany. Meanwhile, the US lags behind, pumping out plastics and wasting soy, grain, and antibiotics on animals they will be killing and causing oceanic dead zones and resistant bacteria, all because of corruption and cronyism creating layers of structural violence, trading the future of all the planet for the profit of a few. Island nations such as the UK are hardest hit by rising ocean levels. Could the day come when nations go to war over some humans refusing to change? Some say Middle East unrest and migration were already a result of climate change and hunger and Pacific Island residents have already started to lose their homes.

2) At the time, I did not ask, but, now, to my knowledge, all of the other individuals posting opinions about the fanfic scenario themselves refuse to stop needlessly harming fellow animals, even though a number of them brought up fellow animals and the environment. The one who was loudest in calling for the Wraith to be genocided later made ad hominem anti-vegan statements elsewhere. (I found out later while unfriending someone for posting heterosexist, cissexist, and specieist comments which appeared in my feed.) Another seemed to defend stalking and killing fellow animals (hunting) in another thread. If exploiting animals bothers others to where they bring it up, and decry it repeatedly in a public scifi forum, off-topic, why not simply stop funding that?

The “what to do about those who resist progress and endanger others” scenario is not only for fanfic writers to ponder. It is for everyone. We only have one Earth, we are running out of time, and we need to stop the needless exploitation and death being inflicted on our fellow Earthlings– not sit and point fingers at the potential dilemmas of fictional scifi races.

Wraith Are Not Apex Predators

I like the Wraith a lot, but calling them “apex predators” is Mary and Gary Stu-ing them to the extreme and is a misconstruction, often by so-called “fans” who wish to portray them as violent and evil and jam everyone into hierarchies. Wraith are merely human hybrids, and humans are not apex predators either. As with humans, Wraith abilities and attitudes range a spectrum: some are better fighters than others, some are craftier than others, and some want to try to exert their privilege more than others (as in runner hunting). Their extra abilities are not enough to ensure success in hand-to-hand combat, especially unaided.

*The privilege the Wraith have is an artificially-propped up technological advantage. The capability of the Wraith to meet their lifeforce needs is because the Wraith have space flight and beaming technology while human world populations and tech are intentionally kept low as to not be able to compete. Even before the arrival of the New Lanteans, the Genii keeping their secret weapons and plan to blow up the hives in hibernation could have genocided them all. It could have only been a matter of time.

*Ronon and Kryrk can still best runner hunters in hand-to-hand ground combat, even with the runner hunters cheating with tracking devices, stun weapons, greater numbers with contingents of masked warriors, airships, flying cameras, the Gift of Life, etc.

*Busy medical doctor Jennifer is able to fend off runner hunters after taking a few sparring lessons with Ronon.

*Erik did seem to have any combat skills when Ronon pushed him against a wall and Tommy had to reach for a fallen masked warrior’s weapon. Either they naturally didn’t excel in combat or they preferred to spend their time pursuing science rather than martial arts training– neither of which support the apex predator misconstruction.

*Spike shows signs of PTSD after encountering John, having to flee, and re-living his dart crash, suggesting battle is not fun, desired, natural, or accustomed for them.

*Ellia and Queen Betty’s hive cohabit with humans and other Wraith such as Todd and Michael have worshippers who are spies and business associates.

*Michael, after getting to know the Lanteans and developing a friendship with Teyla, said that humans are not much different from the Wraith. Todd tells John he is more like the Wraith– NOT Kolya! Ignoring their words and projecting imagery of Wraith being warmongering killing machines is colonialist and erases their culture.

*They have strong enough of a fear of being captured by humans they would rather die first and have self-destruct accessories. This suggests they hate the risk they must take during culling and that they know how humans can be extremely cruel.

*As diluted as Teyla’s Wraith DNA is, she can still walk among them disguised and telepathically get away with it, even directing her unborn son to help her to overpower a Queen.

*The Queens do not always mentally fair better, as Todd is able to fool Akasha and keep his motives hidden and seemed surprised when Teyla took control over Laura’s body.

*Like the majority of human children, Ellia wanted nonviolence.

Rather than a hierarchy, there is more of a web of Asurans, Vanir, Tau’ri, Travellers, Genii, and others vying for power. In Pegasus, the “apex predator” title should probably go to the T-Rexes on moon M1M-316. The Wraith get the title of being the coolest scifi species ever and ruling the universe #1. 😛 🙂