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homor
Self-published independent author, writer and avid enjoyer of stupid, popcorn entertainment. Always happy to help!
"We all have a thousand bad drawings in us, the sooner you get them out the better." - Chuck Jones.

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[UPDATED] A Journal About Polls

Posted by homor - May 9th, 2022


This is an updated version of an older blog post. I'm hoping that in this *expanded* and *enhanced* version, the important details and facts I left out the first time will become much more clear, and I'll be able to better explain some things I didn't explain thoroughly enough last time.


Here's an in-depth analysis and explanation of a troubling situation me and a friend have been dealing with involving Project Pixkill, internet polling, and Tankman. My friend has asked that I don't use his username, so I'll just refer to him as "my friend."


Back in the winter of 2019, Project Pixkill, a series where adorable sprites of famous fictional characters brutally slaughter each other in the field of battle. The winner is determined by the result of viewer polls put up by the creator, 53xy83457. The poll that caused all the commotion was "Doom Guy vs Tankman."


What I didn't realize at the time was how emotionally invested my friend (who asked that I not use his username) was in Tankman winning. See, usually in Project Pixkill, Newgrounds characters and obscure underdogs tend to win. It was a tradition he really appreciated, and I did too.


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(Editor's Note: all the fights screencapped here were way before the FNF Ludum Dare prototype)


Furthermore, the fact that Newgrounds characters always won was also important to him, because it showed how loved, respected and appreciated the site was by 53xy's fanbase. He believed it would be a good tribute to Newgrounds, seeing as Tankman is the main mascot. Trouble is, it was looking like it wouldn't happen this time. To make matters worse, I also initially voted for Doom Guy.


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Why did I do it? I thought Doom Guy was cool, just like a lot of other people. But I didn't think about the tradition. I just forgot about it. Even then, it was a tricky decision for me, and there was a 50/50 chance I'd vote for either character. Later, once he finally pointed it all out, I regretted my choice. To be honest, in hindsight, I felt a little stupid afterwards.


I ultimately decided to change my vote to Tankman for several reasons, like the fact that I really do like obscure characters more, and that just like my friend, I thought Tankman should win because he's a Newgrounds representative. but the strongest of which being that I realized how important it was to him. It might seem silly to some, but Newgrounds holds a special place in his heart, as it does in mine. 


Naturally, this really upset my friend. He repeatedly expressed displeasure and sadness over the fact that I didn't vote for Tankman, and that Doom Guy was winning. He felt like it was unfair and it seemed to really hurt his feelings. He had a lot of emotional investment in this, it seemed this tradition was really important to him. Later, he'd tell me that he was hoping that by getting me to vote for Tankman it could help turn the tide, that maybe we'd both be motivated to rally more votes for him and turn it back. Unfortunately, by the time I changed my vote, it was already clear Tankman was going to lose.


Keep in mind, this was in 2019. Quite a while before Tankman saw a huge uptick in popularity thanks to Friday Night Funkin, which was originally released as part of the first Ludum Dare Game Jam in October 2020. At the time, he was fairly obscure. Sure, he's the mascot of Newgrounds and all, but how many people have seen JohnnyUtah's fantastic Tankman series before then? So, by all means, Tankman was definitely an underdog.


You can see why my friend thought Tankman would win, and why he thought I'd vote for him. Finding out I didn't, and that Tankman lost, would naturally hurt a lot worse because of this expectation. I’m sure the stark contrast between the expectation/hope and final result made things quite painful.


It's inspiring to see a smaller character triumph against the odds and win, to achieve victory despite having a small chance. If Tankman, a beloved but slightly obscure dark horse character from Newgrounds had successfully beaten an extremely popular, absolute juggernaut like Doom Guy, it would have been a massive victory. So, for these reasons, I felt Tankman was arguably the better choice.


(Editor's Note: Oh, and I should mention, all these compelling arguments for why Tankman should have won were thought up by my friend :D)


Tankman's loss was a gut punch for my poor friend, especially with the expectations he had that weren't met. I sometimes still wonder if I had changed my vote earlier, if it would've helped build up more momentum. The ratio by which Tankman was defeated was even more disheartening, losing with only 18% of the vote to Doom Guy's 82%. I imagine if the vote were much closer, it wouldn't have made us both feel so badly.


To this day, my friend is still upset over it. He's still disappointed with the outcome and wishes it happened differently, and that I voted a different way. It didn't seem very important to me at the time, but now I realize with how much emotion he had invested in this fight, I regret not voting for Tankman sooner.


But, hey, maybe one day they'll invent time travel and we can pull a Marty McFly. Until then, what do you guys think? What's your take on the situation? Is anybody in the right, or the wrong? Is anybody at fault? Your thoughts are deeply appreciated.


With all that, we'll close out on a few life lessons I think we can all learn from this :)


1. Communicate clearly, Make sure people know what you want and what's important to you.

2. Don't act in haste. Think carefully before you do something and ask questions.

3. Be kind, and others will be kind back.

4. See failure as opportunity to learn, and discomfort as an opportunity to grow stronger. Challgenge yourself and you'll keep evolving and get better!


Have a great day, people!


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Comments

I must admit I might have been one of those 'other' people in this scenario, in the overwhelming 81%, if I voted... I thought I did but not sure anymore? Though I love NG my love for DOOM is older and all the more important to me personally, so I do not regret my vote here if I did vote, though it is unfortunate that to this day the issue still causes so much emotional turmoil for this one friend...

I just hope eventually he comes to terms with the results.

What's done is done, and it's best to move on; to set sight on future goals and endeavors instead of past grievances. Just that you've gone out of your way to write up a detailed post on the matter shows how much you care about both him and the site, and IMHO that should be more important to him than the outcome of this one poll.

Disappointments are a part of life, and it's best not to rely on expectations too heavily, as the disappointment will only be stronger if and when things don't go your way. To learn how to manage failure, or uncomfortable, inconvenient outcomes... that's just something we eventually have to get better at as to feel better about ourselves; our lives. No matter how much you try, things just don't go your way always, but it's not a failure if you learn something from it. And it's only as bad as you perceive it. Next time you can do things differently, and in time hopefully you can let it go. Focus on the good. On the future.

Acceptance heals the deepest wounds.

In this particular case I don't think anyone was at fault.

You voted according to your preferences at the time. Your friend expected things according to his experiences at the time. And the result of the poll turned out as it did due to the collective distribution of votes at the time, and even if you had voted as your friend had expected I personally don't think it would've made a big difference as far as the result goes. Though of course it might have made a big difference for your friend specifically.

But there really is little use grieving over past misfortunates, and I hope eventually he sees that clearly. It doesn't benefit anyone, not him nor you. It won't make him feel better, or make you feel better. It won't change the outcome of the poll either, though indeed with time travel... who knows. I don't think it's scientifically impossible, but probably improbable in our lifetimes.

Best focus on the good right now anyway; live our lives the best way we can; cherish friends who're so thoughtful as to write up something as reverable as this.

Hey CB! Great to hear from you again.

In a sense, I agree. I think it's far better to look forward to the future than dwell on the past. In another sense, I think the memory of the past and the lessons we can learn from it can bring us a better future. I think maybe our friend will ultimately feel better when something so good and new comes along that it makes the sadness from the past event irrelevant. Like maybe a rematch?

You're a very nice guy, and I'm glad you're so empathetic to both of us!

Hey hey! Good to see you're still patiently revisiting these memories too. :)

Wise words there too, we definitely can learn from the past, and some memories aren't so bad either, I'm a very sentimental person myself so I can relate to not letting go of things even though sometimes I probably should or really want to - certain memories seem to give comfort. But the bad memories... if you can't forget them it's good to at least accept them; be at peace with the demons that dwell... anyway yeah a rematch might be the ideal solution here. :) Hope it happens. And that the outcome turns out differently then. Though best not let me know about it before it's over, cause y'know, I do like Doomguy...

Well I try, thank you. :) The world does get a little brighter with each good deed doesn't it! Glad you're around here too; caring and crafting and contributing to that collective good!

Hey, it's Matthew. The guy your friend has been chatting with about this whole situation. First, I just wanna say thank you for what you've said about my feedback on the matter when he's shared it with you. Both the compliments and the critiques. I dunno if he's shown me all of your feedback on what I've said, but he has shown me some.

But I'm mainly commenting because he recently showed me screenshots of a conversation he had with you that has me extremely concerned. In it, he just explicitly states that you make him angry and you're trying once again to explain to him why the treatment is unfair and bordering on ridiculous. It starts at him saying "You make me angry" and ends at you saying that you didn't know his feelings until he told you about them and you've since tried to go back on them and feel bad for it not working. And that as a result, you feel it's not warranted. What's even more concerning is the time stamps beside yours and his name that would normally show when the messages were sent or say how soon the screenshots were taken has been edited out. I need to know. Is this a conversation he started recently? After everything we've discussed with him independently, is he STILL coming back to drag up old wounds? Or is this an old conversation that he for some reason decided to randomly share with me?

Whatever the case, I feel I should reiterate. You did NOTHING wrong in this scenario. Especially nothing that warrants this type of treatment. He has a right to be upset at the result, but not at you for being the "cause" of it and ESPECIALLY not for this long after the poll is beyond done with. But please, let me know if this is still an ongoing issue or if my concern is unnecessary.

Thanks for the kind words! I agree that I'm not at fault and don't deserve to be treated badly. At the same time, I understand people lash out when they're upset and try to find something or someone to blame to try to feel better. It's not right, but it's a mistake I made before. Regardless, I feel like we've squared things up on that front and he doesn't take his anger out on me anymore. He's a lot younger than me, and has lived a lot less life, so making mistakes like that is something I'd expect. Anyway, I just want you to know I'm doing fine :)

@homor Yeah, things are starting to add up. He eventually showed me the date of the conversation. It was the exact day he first told me about this whole incident. I have no clue why the dates were missing from the screenshots. I'm just glad it's not as bad as I thought it was. I was honestly gonna block him if he was still doing it. I also tried finding you on Discord to try and ask you about it there, but not only were you not in the server I remember you were in, but even when I found an old message of yours in that server to DM you from, it told me I couldn't due to a reason I wasn't able to read before it went away. But anyway, all of that aside, I'm glad this isn't still an ongoing issue.