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Switching Sparks - The Poll.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Sheilawisz, Sep 30, 2015.

What would happen to you?

  1. That sounds horrible, I would be devastated and after that, not sure.

    4 vote(s)
    13.3%
  2. What a nightmare! I would not survive for long.

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. I would be shocked, but I would adapt and survive.

    16 vote(s)
    53.3%
  4. I don't think it would make any difference to me.

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. That would be fun if it was temporary, but permanent? Please, no!

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  6. I don't want to even THINK about it.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. That's exactly what I want!

    1 vote(s)
    3.3%
  1. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello everyone.

    This thread is about a story that is already finished. Perhaps I should have posted this at Chit Chat because I am not seeking world building advice, but considering that the Poll included here is all about a particular type of Magic, I have decided to post it here in the World Building Forum.

    Please, before voting in the Poll consider this Fantasy scenario:

    You are camping in a forest with some friends, when you get attacked by a supernatural creature that shoots these searing white sparks at you. The others escape, but then one of the sparks hits you and you experience a terrible pain as you feel your body getting annihilated particle by particle.

    When your body is gone, it turns out that your inner self remains. You can still perceive the world around you, which allows you to witness how a new body is created... After this, your inner self (with all of your personality and memories) is forced to inhabit the new body that has been crafted by Magic.

    The problem is that while you remain yourself in your inner self, the new body belongs to the sex opposite to the one your original body used to be. You stand up wearing the same clothing you had before, the new body slowly begins to respond to your command and then you have to face life like this.

    You had heard about these magical attacks before. You know that your old body is gone forever, that there is no way to fix your situation. This is Permanent.


    Now, what do you think would happen to you?
     
  2. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    In my view it sounds confusing and shocking. But like everything else that befalls you, you carry on. Lose a leg - carry on. Get cancer - carry on. Have a divorce - carry on. In the end it's not really a choice for most of us.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  3. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    Lol, well since Sheil already knows the stance on this I think it'd be best if I don't vote =P
     
  4. Although I'd like to make an addendum that my wife would be PISSED.
     
  5. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello, and thanks to every person that has voted so far.

    I am surprised to have received thirteen votes until now, because I was expecting few people to participate. Please keep voting, I am really curious to see how various people react to my Switching Sparks idea.

    So far, only one person has said that it would have no effect and twelve feel that they would be affected, ranging from shocked-but-survivable to Please No! and even destroyed. In my story, this Magic destroyed all of its victims except for one very special character, and I wonder what would happen if it was used in our world.

    Psychotic: I agree that it sounds confusing and shocking... And also terrifying, at least from my point of view.

    If Switching Sparks were real here in Earth, I believe that they would prove fatal for the vast majority of the people they struck. Transgender people would love it and they would be seeking the sparks actively, but what about the people that are already happy being a man or a woman?

    Most people are Cisgender- the Switching would be a nightmare comparable to the sufferings of people born Transgender and I have my doubts that the formerly-Cisgender victims would just adapt, accept it and somehow move on with their lives.

    Many people carry on after suffering great losses, but there are also many stories that do not end well especially if something really awful happens to them.

    Brian Scott Allen: I think you make an important point with that.

    The families of the people that got Switched would find it very hard and tragic, too. They would know that the person inside is the same as before, but the outside part is a very different story. They would go through a Mourning phase for the person that vanished, and slowly learn to accept the new person into their lives, in case that person survived.

    Sorry if all of this sounds super gloomy and depressing: The start of my story is designed to be all gritty because this was happening to people... In contrast with comedy movies and other media that portray these scenarios in a funny way, I believe that it would be dark and painful as hell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  6. Scribe Lord

    Scribe Lord Minstrel

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    Interesting concept. You say it's permanent but what happens if you get attacked again? Can Switching Sparks work twice? If so then maybe the Cisgender victims would be more likely to survive. That hope to be turned back to normal would help them struggle on. There's almost another good story right there.
     
    Sheilawisz likes this.
  7. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello Scribe Lord, and thank you for this Feedback.

    I have considered what would happen in the scenario you just described, and this is the answer: Thirteen centuries before the start of the events in El Camino de Gracia, there was a Witch that invented the Switching Sparks. This Magic was used for the first time against the people of a remote village in the Tawny Grassland.

    The first time that it happened, the victims were left very shocked but they had hope that they would find a way to fix their situation... Then the Wizards that tried to help them failed to provide any relief, and so these people began to feel more and more desperate.

    It was a few weeks later that some of them managed to find the Witch, and when they were hit with Switching Sparks again their new bodies were destroyed indeed... However, this time the Magic did not create a third body and the result was the equivalent to getting blown up by an ordinary Lightning attack.

    Mage magic also proved unable to undo the Witch magic, and that was when the remaining survivors finally lost all hope and began to jump from towers and to hang themselves from trees.

    A second Witch came and attacked other towns with Switching Sparks seven centuries before the main storyline, and by the times of King Allargon, the Switching Sparks were just a legend of the distant past... Then the third Witch appeared, and the Switching attacks became more frequent and widespread than ever before.

    The Wizards once again proved powerless to fix the Switching, and the fear became even worse than it had been in the two separate occasions centuries ago. The fact that there was no way to reverse it, the past history and the stigma associated to dark magic also contributed to the quick demise of the victims.

    In the third wave, nobody survived it for more than seven days... Except for the main character of the story, because that's precisely what she wanted.

    What do you think?
     
  8. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    Ha,

    I tried to read that last bit twice but my eyes kept glazing over.

    The Kloons have some funny skits on YouTube called Switching Bodies.

    I think they pretty much hit the nail on the head.
     
  9. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I'll add my two cents. When I saw the poll, I instantly disliked it, because I thought the choices trended far too negative. Four were just variations of extreme negativity to the idea, the only purely positive reaction implied a long-held desire to be the opposite sex, and the two middle-ground answers were either, "Meh" or "OMG but as the song goes, 'I will survive!"

    I chose that last option, as most have. I chose it because it was the only thing close enough to an honest answer. If we could write-in our vote, mine would have been, "What a funny surprise! This could be great!" But this doesn't imply a long-held desire. Rather, that I would find the whole circumstance intriguing and would be open to enjoying the change.
     
  10. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    If this was true this would make you a very rare individual indeed.
     
  11. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    Possibly I am. I don't think that in truth my very first thought would be "What a funny surprise." There'd be a little shock, as I'm sure there would be for most people. But my shock wouldn't be replaced with a grim determination to adapt and survive. (That choice, which I made when I took the poll, is yet another example of the trend toward the negative in the poll.) I think that the funniness of the situation would strike not long after the initial shock, and being open to enjoying the change would be real for me.
     
  12. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hey MineOwnKing.

    I just watched the first episode of the material that you mentioned. It turns out to be yet another example of how the Sex Switching scenario is described as funny for comedy purposes, like it happens in some movies and animated series, and that's precisely what I disapprove.

    My concept is the opposite: It would be a devastating experience to most people if it really happened.

    I do agree that a temporary switching guaranteed to be under control would be a curious and funny experience for many people, even though I would not want to try it even if I can be sure that I'll have my body back. The concept of the Switching Sparks in my story is that the change is Permanent and it cannot be reversed.

    FifthView: Thanks for the Feedback.

    I feel that the options that I provided covered the full spectrum of possible responses, from absolute devastation to absolute joy and all the middle ground between. In my opinion the answer "What a funny surprise, this could be great!" would be equivalent to Would have no effect on me because you would feel just fine.

    Yes, the concept is negative in general because the story aims to portray the Switching as dark and totally unfunny.

    I know that many people feel very optimistic at the idea of this happening to them, but they are not considering how terrible and painful this situation is for the people that really suffer the wrong body experience in the real world.

    Real Transgender people fight teeth and nails against all kinds of difficulties and challenges just trying to be themselves, they do not just adapt or get used to the bodies that are wrong for them. The inner conflict between the body's sex and their gender identities is so hard that some of them even mutilate themselves with do-it-yourself surgeries, and they have one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

    That's the suffering that I try to portray at the start of El Camino de Gracia.

    Sorry if you felt disgusted or even offended by this concept and the poll.
     
  13. Scribe Lord

    Scribe Lord Minstrel

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    Except I feel that the person inside wouldn't really be the same anymore either. I'm actually surprised by this poll. Seriously, am I the only one to think that the results of this would wreck complete havoc with one's psychology? Think about. Your old body gets shredded and you are thrust into a completely different body. First you have to get over the shock of that. Then you realize that much of your physical skills are *poof* probably gone. You're hands, feet, everything is different. You are going to feel extremely awkward with your new body. Also all of your previous relationships with everyone are going to be altered. No one is going to think of you the same way anymore. Then lastly, you have to adapt to the biological differences between genders, which are a pretty big deal. There's more, but those are some of the main points.

    If sparking was something that could be easily reversed, I admit I would probably try it. I've always wondered how it would be inside someone elses body, and not even of a different gender. If it was irreversible I would definitely not try it. I would be terrified of it. If it happened to me I would look for a way to change back. Even if the history of the world showed that this probably wasn't possible, I'd still go looking. I don't know if I could adapt. I really don't.

    Anyways... just my take.

    On a side and less serious note, what determines how the new body looks? Is it like a roll of the dice were one person can get the attractive model look and another gets the, well, not so attractive look?
     
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  14. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    To me they are not equivalent, because the switch would have an effect. Having been one sex and then being the other is not the same as having only ever been one.

    And then you had the option, "That would be fun if it was temporary, but permanent? Please, no!" And I wonder why the idea of permanence automatically negates the reaction "That would be fun."


    I am not at all disgusted by the attempt to show the real suffering that real transgender people often experience. I am aware of that suffering and quite sympathetic.

    But I don't think that someone who has been born cisgender who suddenly gets a magical sex change is automatically going to be in the same position as someone who was born transgender and never had the chance to experience sex-gender harmony. I do think that many people, probably most, would experience a negative reaction to the change; but, not all. I am tempted to go into depth exploring the issue of gender identity, gender roles, etc., here, while contemplating why this is so, but I'm not sure I want to wade into those thickets.
     
  15. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hey Scribe Lord.

    You are not the only person that thinks the effects of the Switching would be total havoc. I voted What a nightmare! Since I am sure that it would destroy me. There is no way that I could adapt and continue living like that, and I calculate my life expectancy after the Switching at two or three days at most.

    So far, other four people agree with the two of us.

    In answer to your question: The new body created by the Switching Spark is very similar to the original body, like it was the biological brother or sister. If you were good looking then the second body will be good looking too, if you had brown hair then you will still have brown hair and so on.

    The only difference is the sex, which means a change in height, body mass, strength and everything else.

    FifthView: One of my favorite subjects to research is Color Blindness.

    I am intrigued by the way the world looks with Deuteranopia (Green blindness) according to the Simulators. If there was a way for me to become Deuteranopic for two days, or a week... Yes, I would try it because it would be a curious and learning experience.

    However, I know that if it could not be reversed then it would start to affect me a lot and I would hate it.

    I added the No Effect on Me option because there are many people that do not have a clear Gender identity (Genderfluid) or else they have no Gender identity at all, and I believe that the Switching would make little or no difference to them.

    In my opinion, a Cisgender person that suddenly gets transformed into Transgender would suffer even more than people born Trans, because the TG person learned to cope with it since the start of their lives. In the story, the Cisgender people that were affected never imagined this could happen to them, and this added to the shock effect.
     
  16. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Like FifthView, I don't see this as an adequate analogy to the experience of someone who's trans*, though perhaps for a few different reasons... If you carry this through, you seem to be assigning a 100% suicide rate to people whose sex no longer matches their gender identification. I'd think in most every case this would cause long-term mental health issues for those who identify as cisgendered, but there are a large number of trans* people in the world who aren't able to receive surgery or hormone therapy (analogous to magic in this scenario) or have chosen not to--whether because of the possible risks and side effects of these treatments or because of more personal reasons. Some people transition only in their gender presentation--clothes, hair, makeup, etc. Some people identify as non-binary. These options would also be there for people who have been "switched"... The idea that everyone who could not present completely and 100% as their desired gender would all commit suicide within a week is kind of a bizarre distortion of gender dysphoria.

    And there are other factors at work, here--I would suspect that the family and community of someone who had been a woman previously and assigned female at birth would be far more accepting of their continued identification as a woman than someone who had been assigned male at birth and raised, as far as her family was concerned, as a man. This is something that contributes to the high suicide rate among trans* people.

    It's a clever story idea, but it's been set up solely for Grace and for a trans* analogy, and when you attempt to expand it like this, it doesn't make much sense. Why are the witches using this specific gender-based attack? Is it really necessary to have everyone commit suicide in order to set Grace apart as a special case? It seems far more likely that widespread attacks like this would create a subset of the population that identifies as "switched", that lives with it on a day-to-day basis, and this would change the perception of gender in this world. Which kinda sounds like a more interesting scenario to read about, for me. It's just that, in this case, the attempt at realism and the fairytale fantasy aspect don't seem to have been sufficiently married. I hope this doesn't come across as harsh: I wanted to try to state my thoughts as clearly as possible. I think it's an interesting discussion to have, but some of the subtleties have been left out of this scenario.
     
  17. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    Sorry Sheilawisz,

    I did not understand the serious nature of the post.

    All kidding aside, I am not sure how I would react.

    If I am to assume that I am turned into a woman by magic relatively late in life, then I think it would not be a negative experience for me because I was not born as a male stuck in a female body.

    Instead, I would think of it as a problem that could be either solved or managed.

    Solving problems and managing stress are both healthy reactions that reflect the desire to live.

    I think I would be okay with it because ultimately it was an inconvenience that was thrust upon me and not a choice.

    I'll try anything once, definitely not the end of the world, just a challenge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
    Sheilawisz likes this.
  18. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello Nimue.

    Thanks for your feedback. I would like to point out that the intention of this Poll is to know what people here in our world think about the concept of Switching Sparks. This is separated from what happened in Salessya, because in the Fantasy world we are talking about very different people with other views and feelings.

    I do not think that the death rate from Switching Sparks would be 100% in our world, because there are various types of people that would react differently to the change. My opinion is that among Cisgender people the death rates would be very high, and if any survives they would be devastated anyway.

    It's true that many Transgender people manage to live without the surgery, but still the fact remains that between 40 and 50% of them attempt suicide at some point. The suicide rates are even higher according to other studies, and I believe that if it's so bad for them that are born that way, the Transgender experience would be even worse for a Cisgender person that got magically changed.

    Salessya is a Fantasy world.

    The people there are not exactly like us Earth people. This is clear in the story because some of them have red eyes, or yellow... They are the same species of the people seen in Violet Riding Hood, so some of them have violet eyes and there are other differences as well:

    The concepts of Transgender and Non-binary Gender are alien to them, because they all are Cisgender.

    Grace is not really a Transgender person. She is a Lost Soul, which means that a Cosmic accident caused her to be born at Salessya instead of Watz Eyll, which was her original destination. In these worlds, Lost Souls are such a rarity that many generations can pass without a single one showing up.

    The story is already finished and I am not changing it. I started this thread and poll out of curiosity.

    The Witches that decided to do this to people simply wanted to have fun causing misery and death, they are very dark and evil creatures. Also, Switching Sparks are very rarely seen because most Witches attack their targets by means of fire streams and lightning bolts.

    I want to point out that the attacks were never very widespread: In the third wave during the times of King Allargon and Grace, a little more than seven hundred people were affected. The previous waves affected smaller numbers each.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  19. Manalodia

    Manalodia Sage

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    You mean "sex" not "gender". Gender is more the characterization of the sex that society places upon the male/female, while sex is the actual biological side of it. People get those confused a lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  20. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Probably shocked and then eventually either adapt or risk death. I imagine instincts would take over rather quickly if they were called upon.

    After that I'd probably stand in front of a mirror topless for a few hours. :D
     

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