The 'Shroom:Issue 159/'Shroomfest

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Written by: Ninja Squid (talk), Hooded Pitohui (talk), and Roserade (talk)

Art by: The Pyro Guy (talk)

This is the beginning of a long era known as the "Great 'Shroom War".

They really thought that the "friendly" debate between Roserade and Hooded Pitohui during Mach Speed Mayhem's nomination process was mostly harmless. That was cute of them to think that way. Well, that’s because they haven't seen the other side of the story. Should I say, the dark side?

While there were always constant conflicts between Hooded Pitohui and Roserade at the time, the Core 'Shroom Staff managed to conceal appearances in order to avoid an intense war coming up. Unfortunately, it's only after the debate between Spade and Digi-Boy who saw the victory of Pitohui's militia that things started to get downhill at the 'Shroom's office. After the Mach Speed Mayhem debate that saw Hooded Pitohui crowned as the victor, and seeing how the bitter fighting never seem to end, Ninja Squid, the Statistics Manager, took the lead in developing an emergency protocol during a conference meeting with the team directors, which of course, excluded the Fun Stuff and Strategy Wing directors so that the meeting did not turn into an awful war zone.

The only existing photograph of the meeting between Ninja Squid and the team directors. The Statistics Manager is apparently the one in the center of the photo according to our research. As for the team directors, it is still unknown who's who.

Note from the 'Shroom Research Lab: Everyone had a specific plan to implement in order to maintain good relations in the office at the time. Ninja Squid tried to keep Roserade's attention elsewhere by making him work on trivial matters at the office (such as making sure that the protocols regarding something called the coronavirus were respected), have him supervise projects of the Poll Committee (our research on what the "Poll Committee" is advance well, expect results from our research in the coming weeks), and by starting a weird revolution from nowhere in Fun Stuff. Doomhiker was apparently excluded from further plans, and was sent to Steve's overpowered wiki militia in order to become a well-trained patroller. The poor guy, who took office under the Pitorose era, thought that the internal struggles were a normal thing, and having someone on the 'Shroom office oversee the Wiki territory was thought to be a better approach in that regards. FunkyK38 was too busy eating the buffet in the meeting room to bother listening to her part of the plan, so that part is unfortunately a mystery. As Zange was leading the informative wiki-related department at The 'Shroom at the time (thanks to our discoveries, we found out that this department was called "Pipe Plaza"), she was appointed to the post of tactician of the Wiki territory, but since Steve's overpowered militia who ruled the Wiki territory was almost indestructible in the battlefield, no one bright enough wanted to fight them, so she wasted most of her time there doing nothing. Finally, Anton, who was in command of something called the Awards Committee, was busy keeping Hooded Pitohui's attention on Community Awards.

Unfortunately, while the plan was great, a small detail escaped everyone at the most opportune time. Ninja Squid, the Statistics Manager, had an unfortunate habit of asking existential questions out loud at the office. Although most of the time the questions didn't really cause friction, his last question came at the least favorable moment. The question was: What type of character is more interesting: the heroes or the villains?

Because of the chaos inside the office resulting from the question, the staff agreed on evacuating the place. Ninja Squid was forced to stay behind with Pitohui and Rose so that he could take care of cleaning up the damage that he himself caused at the risk of his life. After a few hours, luckily avoiding getting caught in the fight, he came up with an idea that could solve the problem... for a short time at least! At the time, they didn't know that this great idea would turn into a long war...

A photograph of Ninja Squid's idea in action. According to our research, more people got involved in this war. The Statistics Manager was apparently taking care of the supervision.

Unknown author

Note from the 'Shroom Research Lab: A summary of the beginning of the Great ‘Shroom War during the Pitorose era. Apparently comes from the archives of a newspaper, which no longer exists today. Explains the consequences that led to the start of the war.

Staff Notes

Shroom2020 NinjaSquid.png

cough cough Oh my! This room is so dusty! I better file a complaint about the poor cleaning job over here...

Oh! Hello, 'Shroom readers, and welcome to my new lair! I am your mischievous ninja and Statistics Manager, Ninja Squid, and I welcome you to our first 'Shroomfest. I can hear you, you know. You wonder "what is a 'Shroomfest?", and I will gladly answer you to that question. Well, to put it shortly, a 'Shroomfest is a contest between two opposite factions who will debate in order to prove their superiority over the other. Why is that, well... uh... how I can explain this? Well, it's because, as you can see above, I've made a mess.

The 'Shroom's office is a disaster right now, because of a simple question that I asked out loud (I should have kept my mouth shut while there was still time), and now I'm in charge of fixing the problem and cleaning it up. Ultimately, this is easier said than done, you know. So I had to come to a decision quickly, because... time is running out (no, it's NOT because I'm too lazy!), and that's where I got the genius idea of who could help us. It's YOU!

Yep, you, 'Shroom readers, and you, community members. You will have to convince us on which side of the debate is really superior and thus debate with us by bringing your own arguments forward. In order to fully understand how this contest works, be sure to read the instructions that you can find below. Then make sure you join us on the debate thread that you can find on the forum. Once you have chosen the team you support, be sure to cast your vote in the poll that you can also find below. You can also vote once a week, so just like our dear Anton says in his Critic Corner write-up, be sure to vote vote vote! We put heart and soul into this project, so we hope you will participate with us in large numbers. We? Oh... uh... yeah, me and my Ludwig costume *nervous laugh*.

Oh! Before I forget, Hooded Pitohui (talk) and Roserade (talk) are currently trying to rally their supporters, and they somehow managed to make their way to my secret hideout. Therefore, you will discover a brief introduction to their arguments about the "objectively" better side of this question, just below.

By the way, thanks to The Pyro Guy (talk) for his amazing portrait of myself. I love it so much!

That's all from me here, now you will find me in the debate thread. See you!

Ninja Squid, Judge

What type of character is more interesting: the heroes or the villains?

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Choose your side and cast a vote!

Join Team Heroes

Shroom2018 HoodedPitohui.png


Let me ask you something, readers of The 'Shroom? Can you think of any fictional characters that have inspired you, that you've found yourself admiring, that you've aspired to be like? Do you have them identified? Good. Now, tell me, how many of those characters are heroes, protagonists of their tales? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the label applies to the vast majority of characters you're picturing. Yes, we've always been enraptured by the stories of heroes, by those fictional figures who encourage us to better ourselves by emulating them. We've told tales of heroes as long as we can remember, ever fascinated with these better versions of ourselves.

One must ask: Why? Why have these figures enraptured us and captured our collective imagination? What makes a hero? Well, sampling a wide variety of characters, it seems clear that a hero is a figure who sticks to their ideals, despite personal risk, to create a better world for others beyond themselves. Heroes come in many forms, and we take from each and every hero out there different traits, different ideals and truths to aspire to.

Yes, it may be true, there are occasionally heroes that are, to mince no words, boring and generic. They exist in a variety of media. No matter how iconic a hero might be, some of them are simply too good for their own good. They're such kind and flawless folks that we find them hard to relate to. They bore us because they're presented as untouchable, as somehow above us, something we can never reach no matter how hard we try.

Yet, for every hero who represents something unattainable, there are two, if not more, who exist on a level closer to our own. For every Mario, there is a Luigi, who we admire for his dedication to his brother and friends in spite of his cowardice. For every Superman, there is a Batman, who brings the moral ambiguities of heroics to light. For every Kirito, there is a Karen who we watch confront insecurities and gain confidence. And yet, this is only a minuscule collection of the many heroes we admire and why we admire them!

Do not misunderstand, there are of course, incredible villains out there in the realm of fictions. Villains who may possess some admirable traits, villains who may help us to reflect on ourselves and better understand ourselves, and yes, even the villains who we simply love to hate enrich the fictional worlds we engage with. Villains, however, have a fatal flaw. There is something that holds them back, something that makes them far less interesting than the heroes of our fictional stories... Yes, villains have a weakness... but I need more space to go into that than I have here.

No, I've never watched My Hero Academia. That won't stop me from using this picture.

So, tell me, are you ready to rise up as a hero? Are you ready to answer the call and join me in charging forwards against these foul villains to establish once and for all that the heroes are better than their villainous counterparts? With your help, we will make this world a better and safer place for the good of all!

Hooded Pitohui, Leader of Team Heroes

Join Team Villains

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For as long as humanity has existed, we all have faced conflict. This is not a surprising statement, of course, as conflict and danger are what can give our life excitement, challenge, and fulfillment. Opposing forces to our ways of life can exist in a number of different forms, identified in literature and other media with terms such as "person vs. nature" or "person vs. society". The most predominant form of conflict in media, however, is "person vs. person" (that is to say, "protagonist vs. antagonist"), and it is within this category that we find some of the most memorable characters ever created: villains.

Villainy is a fickle subject, when it comes to entertainment. They can take on many forms, be it as blatantly diabolical as Disney's Maleficent or as sympathetic and understandable as The Creature from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. But one must wonder, why do we have an attachment to the antagonist? Shouldn't they always be the one whom the consumer despises? There are many proposed theories for this, one prominent idea being that the actions of a villain represent the darker side to us, as the media consumer, and witnessing their rise and fall allows us to explore these themes in an environment that is safe. Regardless of the cause, it is hard to deny the draw that a well-crafted villain carries with them.

"Why are villains superior to heroes?" I hear you ask. "What makes them more memorable than the heroes we’re supposed to root for?" The answer to this must be articulated in numerous points, not all of which I will be able to address here. That is what the forum thread is for, after all. However, I can attest that the art of a villain is generally related to the stakes they pose for the hero. Voldemort is the penultimate symbol of power in the wizarding world, and his defeat represents Harry Potter finally overcoming the loss of his parents, something which shaped his entire life; Bowser is a brutish force who will always return for a round two, no matter what, which fits in line perfectly with the flexible nature of Mario's adventures and games, and he can pose stakes ranging from winning a tennis tournament to absolute destruction of the universe. In this way, villains naturally give a causation to root for these heroes. Without the presence of the villain, there is no journey for the hero to go on, which is what makes the inclusion of a well-crafted villain so enjoyable for the consumer to witness.

I have more thoughts I could share, but we must move into the future. Therefore!

Shall you join me in chaos and destitute? Wouldn't it be fun to permit the villains their rightful places as the better characters? Pitohui's just cause is honorable, but now is the time for the villains to raise their voices! It's our house now, so let's get this wicked show on the road!

Roserade, Leader of Team Villains


In order for you to earn points for each teams, we have opted to divide things into three categories.

VOTES You can vote on the poll below once per week. Rally behind your side or give your votes to the side that convince you most each week after looking at the current debate!
ENDORSEMENTS Show your pride in supporting a team by posting words of encouragement (such as "Heroes for the win!" "Go Team Villains!") in the debate thread. Who will get the greatest amount of supporters? It's up to you!
EFFORTS You think you can make a difference and tip the scales of victory towards your team? Bring this whole debate to new heights by posting fan arts, your own opinions, a silly story, drawings or even photos highlighting your favorite heroes or villains. Putting in the effort can be rewarding after all!

The result will depends on the number of categories a team will win. For example: If Team Alpha receives 12 endorsements, while Team Bravo receives 8 endorsements, that means that Alpha wins on the endorsements category. The team who wins the most categories will be declared the winner of the 'Shroomfest. In addition, the winner is officially and objectively the best according the The 'Shroom's law. Therefore, taking the win is very important!

Debate Guidelines

The debate’s thread will be opened by the designated judge who will make a brief introduction to the debate’s subject, along with the motivations of each team's leader.

Afterwards, for a period of three weeks, the team leaders and their supporters will try to convince you that their team is truly the best. They'll do this with arguments, art, photos, and stories that will demonstrate the reasons why their choices is truly the better. After one week of debating, the judge will then write a brief note, highlighting the best cases from both team, and even question the various subjects raised by the team leaders and supporters. Afterwards, they will have to argue against the questions or subjects brought up by the judge, which will lead to further debating. This cycle will occur every week in order to keep the debate as fresh, and up to date as possible. Once the three-week period has passed, the judge will conclude the debate with a short message and invite the participants to come back for the results that will come out at the release of the 'Shroom's next issue. Any message or argument posted after this message won't be taken into account during the compilation of the results.

How to endorse a team: On the debate thread, you just have to post a simple word of encouragement for the team you choose to support. It is entirely possible to change teams at any time, by writing another word of encouragement to the other team to change side. Take note that only the last team you endorse before the debate ends will be the one that will be taken into account for the results. So be sure that the team you choose to support is the one you want.
How to give points to the Efforts category: To allow your team to score point into the "Efforts" category, you must add valuable posts ti the debate. Lay out your own opinion/arguments, create art or photos of your favorite protagonists/antagonists (caption are allowed), write entertaining stories, or even make a meme or two. Making the most convincing and entertaining case is an important part of the debate. If you are unsure if something is worthy of the "Efforts" category, just ask the judge about it on Discord, or with a PM. Our main goal is to make the debate as accessible as possible.

Please note that in an effort to keep the debate civil, fun, and lighthearted, please, we request that you respect all the instructions. Any inappropriate behaviors (spam, flaming, personal attacks, etc…), and discussions regarding politics, social issues, or any controversial topics that veer away from the light-hearted nature of this debate will not be tolerated.

The debate will take place from June 20th to July 11th. To join the debate, click here.

Cast a vote!


The 'Shroom: Issue 159
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight'ShroomfestPoll Committee DiscussionPoll Chairperson Election
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Community Awards DossierFeedback Survey Analysis