Sunday, October 15, 2006

Starmaking Quidditch

I'm currently reading a Harry Potter novel (no 5 to be precise), and in the process had a new thought, which I'm sure more keen and literary readers had a long time ago, but nonetheless I will discuss and elaborate upon here.

The main team sport in the novels is Quidditch. A team is made up of a goalkeeper, 3 chasers (a bit like forwards and are the main ordinary scorers), 2 beaters (they distract the other team by trying to hit them with some of the balls), and a seeker, who tries to capture the smallest of the several flying balls, which is called the snitch.

There are two ways to score in quidditch. The first is by throwing the main ball through one of the three goals, which is worth 10 points. The second is that the seeker scores 150 points when they catch the snitch. This also ends the game.

It should be rather obvious that the team that catches the snitch has a significant advantage when it comes to comparing the scores at the end of the game. This is especially the case in the games presented in the Harry Potter novels, where the scores before the capture of the snitch rarely get anywhere near 100 (the first game in this book has the snitch captured while the score was 40-10 against Harry's team). The seeker is very much the person who determines the outcome of the game.

And for those of you who haven't read the novels, can you guess which position Harry plays? The seeker. Thus, Harry is in the position of being a major part in the success of his team.

I believe the game of quidditch was designed in such an unbalanced way so that Harry can play such a major role in the games. This thus emphasises his importance in the stories, and makes him more special and amazing.

It does however detract somewhat from the game of quidditch as a sport. I can think of no other team game where one position is so blatantly more important than any other in determining the games outcome. It must be extremely depressing for the players on a team to have a significant lead over the other team lose the game because their seeker didn't catch the snitch.

Anyway, that's the idea. Quidditch is a severely broken game designed more to build up a character than be a realistically designed game.

End Post
Writing time: 30 minutes (minus a distraction, see next post)
Time since last post: 15 minutes
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