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  3. Plagiarism in Zoska's Agony guide

User Info: Karpah

Karpah
8 months ago#11
This seems thin at best... I mean, I'm pretty sure there are authors out there that their entire body of work is following official guides and writing their own guides as they go along, a few similar sentences are likely to slip through.
Old loves, they die hard... Old lies, they die harder o.O Push button to turn on, play with button to drive wild....

User Info: Krystal109

Krystal109
8 months ago#12
SBAllen posted...
Calling this "plagiarism" and striking this guide from the site for it would set a very dangerous precedent for what a guide is and isn't allowed to do without the risk of being pulled from the site. As mentioned already, facts about a game can't be copyrighted, only presentation. This information is pretty hard to present in a different manner than the original if that were the place it was sourced from. As suggested above, at worst a mention in the credits of the guide seems sufficient here assuming we aren't just dealing with coincidence, which is equally likely considering the material.

This.

I have been accused of plagiarism for using the same boss strategy as another guide in the past and had to go thru this whole argument before.

The rules of GameFAQs, only count plagiarism as word for word copying and/or presentation (extenuating circumstances like event order being identical, etc may also apply depending on the type of game). This means that an author can use other source information, usually only strategies or facts, and reword it or present it in a different manner without getting in trouble. Ideally, the author would list their source to give the original author credit, but in some cases the "information" is so obvious or straight forward that it really is the ONLY way it can be done.

For example: the boss strategy I wrote was a boss that was weak to poison and therefore I used the exact same party set up and skills as the source material. Is this theft? Am I suppose to write an inferior strategy because someone wrote the most obvious (due to the bosses weaknesses) strategy first. No. Similarly, when listed enemy data in a bestiary there is a pretty standardize way to do this. Can you call it plagiarism for using the same standardized layout for bestiary data as Prima Guides, especially when the information is usually readily available in game?

-

You'd be hard pressed to write the above mentioned 1 liners in any other way than the way Prima Guides has done it. While the person maybe not have uncovered the endings themselves and probably should have confirmed or sourced Prima Guides data, this is not plagiarism by GameFAQs standard.

As Allen mention, removing guides for these cases would set a very bad precedence. Unless there is a history of theft or large portion of a guide that has clearly been ripped word for word from another source, you'd be doing more harm than good.

User Info: Krystal109

Krystal109
8 months ago#13
assassin17 posted...
TestaALT posted...

Bell: "Unlock Evil and Succubus Endings, access the Cathedral basement, and collect Garments of Adam."

Zoska: "Unlock the Evil and Succubus endings, gain access to the Cathedral basement, and collect all Garments of Adam."

?

i would say the chances of accidentally duplicating that *single* sentence are significantly under 50%. but when you consider that TestaALT provided FIVE passages, and i gave one (where eight words in a sentence are copied in the same relative order), the overall probability plummets closer to 2%.


The above example is a list of things that must be completed to unlock this ending. When listing items in sentence for, you write it just like that. I haven't looked at the whole guide, but unless the rest of the guide uses run on sentences without proper punctuation and then the endings section is short and sweet with proper punctuation, this is still very thin that the info was copy and pasted and then altered slightly.

Let's say an ending requires you to:
- Complete all other endings
- Defeat "Captain Underpants"
- Save the princess

The most obvious way to write that in sentence form is "Complete all other endings, defeat Captain Underpants, and save the princess."

An uncommon way would be something like "To unlock the [ending name] you must complete all the other endings and travel to the Undead Gorge to defeat Captain Underpants and ultimately save the princess in the final chapter." or something that isn't just "do this, this, and this."

The second one is extremely long and in the context of a guide that SHOULD explain how to do all the above tasks, it's completely pointless.

-

Despite ALL THAT, the point still stands that factual information like unlocking endings is going to be pretty much the same for ANY author who writes a guide for that game. While it is likely that this person did use Prima as a source, there is nothing in the rules that says a guide can be removed for that.

User Info: assassin17

assassin17
8 months ago#14
The second one is extremely long and in the context of a guide that SHOULD explain how to do all the above tasks, it's completely pointless.

oh ho, but it doesn't! searching the walkthrough portion for any of the following terms comes up empty: succubus, cathedral, garment, adam.

so they're making brief and "obvious" references to gameplay elements they have yet to write!

the walkthrough section as it currently stands (dated 6/10/18) is only a couple pages long, and some of it is just a skeleton. it's as if they tackled the endings section before most of the game ... why would anybody do that?! it makes a lot more sense when you realize the section was already written for them. :P

----------

Let's say an ending requires you to:
- Complete all other endings
- Defeat "Captain Underpants"
- Save the princess

The most obvious way to write that in sentence form is "Complete all other endings, defeat Captain Underpants, and save the princess."

you're completely overlooking a key feature in language: synonyms. like i said when they near-cloned "meet the requirements" to "met the requirements":

that second quoted phrase is especially suspect to me. same root verb, same noun. why not "fulfilled the criteria" or "accomplished the prerequisites" or "done what was necessary for", etc, etc? but nope; they somehow took the same essential path to conveying things. could be genetic predisposition; maybe they're cousins without knowing it?

how is it that Zoska just coincidentally lands on the same verbs and nouns as Bell over and over?

or in your example, "complete" could have been "finish" or "achieve", and "save" could have been "rescue".

furthermore, if an ending has three criteria, and those criteria don't depend *on each other*, then they could conceivably be listed in ANY order. yet Zoska repeatedly matches Bell's ordering on phrases (as opposed to just their individual wording).

having never played the game, i can't say which criteria are dependent and which aren't. but for any instances of the latter, one author matching another's ordering many times is cause for suspicion.

-------

more of the Nimrod Ending:

Bell: "You must then access the basement in the Cathedral by finding all the parts of the golden statue. You will also need to collect Garments of Adam, which are found attached to certain martyrs in the game. To get the Garments of Adam, you must kill or possess the martyr that wears it."

Zoska: "To access the Cathedral's basement you need to collect all the parts of Golden Statue. To collect Garments of Adam, you have to kill or posses the Martyrs."

why not "reach" or "enter" instead of "access"?
why not "pieces" instead of "parts"?

it's clearly Bell's 3 sentences being reworked into 2 (and misspelling "possess" as a bonus, perhaps to make it seem spontaneous?).
''Attacks are the best attack.'' -- RedDemon's strategy for the 2nd to last boss in FF3us -- http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/snes/file/final_fantasy_iii_boss.txt

User Info: Uta

Uta
8 months ago#15
assassin17 posted...
you're completely overlooking a key feature in language: synonyms. like i said when they near-cloned "meet the requirements" to "met the requirements":

A) Synonyms aren't valid on EITHER angle. Using identical word choice does not indicate plagiarism, and neither does a plagiarized work become less-so by substituting synonyms.
B) You're grasping for straws for something that the Admins have already declared is NOT plagiarism.
C) Primarily on the grounds that you can't plagiarize FACTS.

@Zoska - Care to share your thoughts on the subject? I think it only polite to invite the person being accused if y'all are going to be so adamant about putting him or her on trial.
You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

User Info: Krystal109

Krystal109
8 months ago#16
The problem with calling the use of someone else's facts as source material, which would be the same whether you found them yourself or was told them, as plagiarism is that if you had 100 authors write the same information up, a fair amount would end up with very similar results.

This leads to some serious issues with "who has the right to use those facts" or "how has the right to cover those facts". This is why GameFAQs does not consider it plagiarism.

User Info: assassin17

assassin17
8 months ago#17
A) Synonyms aren't valid on EITHER angle. Using identical word choice does not indicate plagiarism, and neither does a plagiarized work become less-so by substituting synonyms.

^ i never said synonyms (or lack thereof) were the be-all, end-all litmus test for plagiarism. rather, Krystal109 (and prior posters) are contending that sentences like this:

Bell: "Unlock Evil and Succubus Endings, access the Cathedral basement, and collect Garments of Adam."

Zoska: "Unlock the Evil and Succubus endings, gain access to the Cathedral basement, and collect all Garments of Adam."

are not cause for alarm, because there are only so many ways to express the same basic idea.

and i'm saying there are actually LOTS of ways to express an idea, synonyms being one such source of differentiation.

when one author eerily takes a near-identical route to another for *several* passages, the chances they did them ALL organically approach NIL. when they don't even bother with synonyms, it's not just plagiarizing, but pretty lazy plagiarizing.

Primarily on the grounds that you can't plagiarize FACTS.

word choice isn't "FACTS". nobody's grousing that Bell and Zoska both answered "37" on a math problem. rather, you have two authors employing a language that has hundreds of thousands of words at its disposal -- and a far greater number of combinations for phrases -- yet the later author is oddly constrained to drawing from the first author's nouns, verbs, basic phrases, and ordering.

if Bell and Zoska were both painters here, and Bell's "palette" in making the Ending Guide consisted of 64 colors, Zoska's palette for their Ending Section would be about 48 colors -- only 2 of which aren't also found in Bell's.

simply put, one author is regurgitating another's work, condensing it a little in the process. oh, and they might land a cash bounty for doing so. O_o we can only hope the guide's other sections are more originally-crafted. indeed, this section might be a one-time slip; as TestaALT said: "I have browsed through some of Zoska's other guides, and I do not see any more plagiarism."

maybe the painting analogy is not to your liking, but since word choice and sentence structure is an art, i think it fits.

any claim that only "facts" have been replicated here is B.S.

and hand-wringing over the "dangerous precedent" of cracking down on a statistically-uncanny sequence of near-duplications is a bit overwrought. applying a more stringent test than "Was it Xeroxed?" won't stop Janie and Timmy from both answering, "The train arrives at the station in Cleveland at 3:15pm." on a math exam. don't worry; the trains are safe.
''Attacks are the best attack.'' -- RedDemon's strategy for the 2nd to last boss in FF3us -- http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/snes/file/final_fantasy_iii_boss.txt

User Info: Zoska

Zoska
8 months ago#18
If you see the "general information" section of any of my guides, you'll notice that we are two people writing on this account. The way we usually go about this is one of us rushes through the game, and the other one plays through while writing the guide. That is the reason why we wrote the endings before finishing the walkthrough.

I did double check that the info about the endings was correct, but with some guides on Steam. I'm not gonna source/credit Primagames because I didn't read that guide, not even to double check. I'd have no trouble doing so, had I used it.

If I was willing to plagiarise, my guide would be a lot more complete. There are better guides out there than the one on Primagames, some guy on Steam has nearly every optional item in the game.

User Info: Zoska

Zoska
8 months ago#19
Also, about the bashing of my Extinction guide: if you played the game you'd know that even the story missions are 90% procedurally generated.There is plenty of strategy provided, as much as it could've been given, considering we can't account for the random elements of the game, such as the different kind of 'Ravenii' that can spawn.

There's not much information, really, but because there is simply not much to say about it. That said, that guide did receive a lot of positive feedback (as did most of my guides). The guide with the lowest rating is State of Decay 2, with a 71%. There's room for improvement there for sure, but going from that to accuse me of doing low effort guides for quick cash grab is a stretch.

EDIT: Thanks to Uta for mentioning me, I wouldn't have seen this otherwise!

EDIT2: One more thing, that chapter you linked I refer to strategies that have been explained before. Someone actually reading through the guide knows by then what they have to do.
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