campkilkare: (Default)
T. Oso ([personal profile] campkilkare) wrote2012-02-04 10:46 pm

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Still open!

As its a fandom I only know about through Milliways. Please tell me what got you into Homestuck and persuaded you that you wanted to play Karkat.

Okay so--the first thing to understand about Homestuck is that it's the fourth adventure in a series called MS Paint Adventures, which are united not by plot but by theme, mechanics and art style. By mechanics I mean, they're structured like old school text-input games and hinge on reader input in enormous ways, although exactly how that's done has shifted over time. The mechanics are incredibly cool and fascinating to me; the art style is simple and fast but well-executed, and the sense of humor makes me laugh, mostly. (Not always, but nobody but Andrew Hussie *always* finds it funny.) I started with the third adventure, the first coherent and really properly finished one, Problem Sleuth, and when it was all gone and I wanted more I continued onto Homestuck.

But Homestuck is something else entirely. It has all the basic MSPA hallmarks I mentioned, but it has astonishing depth and complexity of world-building and execution, under the skin. The time travel plots alone are enough to tie your head in a knot, the characters are lovable but fucked up, and the stakes are insanely high. Andrew Hussie delights in stacking the deck against himself; putting himself behind the narrative eight ball and then escaping. Making a character into a horrifying S&M space furry, then making you love him, then killing him. Making a character into an idiotic juggalo, then making you love him, the making him go insane and kill all his friends, then making you root for him to survive and have a romance with one of the protagonists. He is a crazy man, and he does the kind of things, storywise, I would if I could, and try on a smaller scale.

I chose Karkat to play for a lot of reasons. If you read my last post you can see a lot of the reasons on display. Karkat is permanently angry, but with good reason, and it comes out him having a huge heart and a lot of compassion that he is afraid to show anyone (with good reason). He is the leader not just despite but because of his negative qualities; no one else could do it except for a complete maniac. He is cursed, and the narrative delights in making awful things happen to him that never quite seem undeserved because he's such a jerk. He is also hilarious, and keeping up with his level of verbal acuity is probably my greatest weakness with playing him.

One thing that does come naturally about playing him is his tendency to explain, and to be incredibly straightforward and honest. Exposition and giving away too much in the narration is a weakness of mine that becomes a strength with Karkat; he really does love to tell people how it is, in the most condescending manner possibly, and he almost never holds any thoughts back. If it crosses his mind, it comes out of his mouth. The world-building aspect necessary to playing a troll is something I also enjoy, and playing with the mechanics of canon. Homestuck's background mechanics are pretty much built to invite curiosity about what else they could do.

Karkat is pretty much a character that I can play any time; when I was younger (a little older than Karkat, but not much) I basically was him, except for the whole end-of-the-world thing. (Although a lot of my anger and disillusionment stemmed from the world NOT ending the way I had always been told it would.) Hopefully I have grown up a lot since then! But there is still a little Karkat voice, rage and despair and depression and pride, simmering away in a corroded corner of my soul.

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