Rare Disease Creates Elves That Love Everyone

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Rare Disease Creates Elves That Love Everyone

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A rare disease might challenge all that we thought we knew about elves.

In classic fantasy writing, elves are normally a race that despise all others. They will cloister themselves away in a hidden mystical vale, only to emerge when absolutely necessary or when shown that dwarves and humans have some redeeming value by chance. According to a newly published study, those afflicted with Williams Disease are given "elfin" facial features, but none of the racial hatred typically exhibited by elves.

Williams Disease, along with elfin facial features, is characterized by "mild to moderate mental retardation" and a complete lack of "racial stereotyping." This group is the only one currently known to not exhibit these racial fears, and is also socially fearless. Not to diminish those affected by Williams Disease, but this new study could have sweeping consequences on the belief system of nerds.

Elves hate everyone, and must have their tough exteriors broken down over time: this is the way it's always been. However, in the study, children with WS showed no bias towards their own race, though gender bias was still evident. In fact, those affected by WS are considered "hyper-sociable," which is much different from elves as we know them.

Has classic fantasy gotten it all wrong? Are elves actually incredibly friendly in real life? According to science, yes. On the other hand, this article could be the insensitive ramblings of a madman.

Source: Study via Science Blogs via technabob

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Buga-buga-wha?

huh...who'da thunk it eh?

Sheesh... how long do you think it'll take before at least one person with WS becomes an Elfin Lady Of The Night?

This is a Gygax Fantasy this is.

I've read about it. It's an interesting read and so far I know, they are really incapable of feeling social fear. Which might turn out for the better or worse, depending how you look into it.

I think we could all use a little WS.

That is a very interesting study, I never looked at it that way.

Hmm, maybe genders are taught and racism is a genetic instinct lacked by elves.

Hm... have elves always been known as "isolationists", or are they the way they are because the first guy to write about them made it so, and now everyone just does what he did?

So people with Williams Disease are in fact Elves?

So all I need now is a Dwarf who won't yell at me for asking about the location of his Battle Axe and I'm all set for an Adventure.

On Topic: Huh, interesting... (All I could honestly think of that was serious)

Until the last line, I was almost on a rant, but...

Surely "Elfin" is a descriptive word that denotes features commonly associated with the Elves of mythology, in the same way that there are dwarves or giants, without them being obsessed with gold.

The "madman" in this instance seems to be whoever wrote the technabob article who links Elven to racial hatred. By the looks of the original study, what the Professor is saying is that children with WS don't form the xenophobia that "normal" children do - usually passed on from their parents.

In fact, I think that it's purely the xenophobic reaction of the writers of technabob that WS sufferers are glad to be without. And especially not trying to turn a study into a cheap laugh.

According to the study... oh its too late to think! I will give a propper comment tomorrow.

but can they talk to the trees? that is the question...

I crush all beneath my boot scum

TheNumber1Zero:
So people with Williams Disease are in fact Elves?

So all I need now is a Dwarf who won't yell at me for asking about the location of his Battle Axe and I'm all set for an Adventure.

On Topic: Huh, interesting... (All I could honestly think of that was serious)

Where is my axe?!
Sorry. I just couldn't help myself.
I had heard about WS before. But one thing I learned is that if one feels socially repressed, it can still be conquered. Even if it may be genetic. Power of the human mind over evolution. Ya, baby!
I'm still waiting for my axe. Will share some ale for the favor.

I always thought that a group of people who love nature hating everyone else even though they too were part of nature was... odd.

I bet for the geeks to look upon them it would be kinda cool. But for people suffering from it...not so much fun

Jaredin:
I bet for the geeks to look upon them it would be kinda cool. But for people suffering from it...not so much fun

Individuals with Williams syndrome also experience many cardiac problems, commonly heart murmurs and the narrowing of major blood vessels as well as supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS). Other symptoms may include many gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain and diverticulitis, as well as hormone problems, the most common being hypercalcemia (elevated calcium levels in the blood). Hypothyroidism has been reported to occur in children, yet there is no proof of it occurring in adults, whereas diabetes has been reported to occur in adults with WS as young as 21 years old.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_Disease#Symptoms

Yeah it sounds pretty nasty

I could have sworn I read about this disease before, and that Shadowrun even did a bit on it at one point in their lore, in covering the time periof between Earthdawn and Shadowrun.

That said, this would have done better as an April Fool's day article, because really I don't think it's funny since we're dealing with humans with a not-especially ugly (but differant looking) deformity and not another species.

As far as the traditional portrayal of elves, well I guess it depends on what your reading. Some worlds have elves and humans as close allies. Others that feature a seperation of sorts like say "The Forgotten Realms" tend to portray things quite differantly where elves and humans were once very close, but things changed due to events like The Fall Of Myth Drannor and even so the two races deal with each other frequently.

A lot of it also comes down to numbers and such as well. Typically worlds with the elves hiding in some magical vale or whatever, are doing so because their numbers are comparitively small. Typically reinforced by long lifespans, and very low child birth rates.

In many cases elves don't want to come out and fight because they are hoping that if they can stay out of the affairs of others, they can rebuild their numbers over centuries. Not to mention the fact that if you live forever, or centuries at least, and understand this reality, it's going to influance your desicians and your going to be less likely to want to risk your life. Sort of like coming to grips with your immorality as opposed to morality.

As odd as it sounds there is some truth to the idea that losing a single elf in a world where the numbers are so few, means as much as losing thousands of humans.

What's more, when your looking at species survival, letting the humans get overrun by an evil empire or whatever can be seen as a minor thing when you look at the fact that the empire doing the overruning itself might die our in a couple hundred years if you wait long enough. Cruel, but when your talking about the potential extinction of your own people, or losing valued reproductive stock and youth in a war?

In many cases elves are portrayed as being aloof for a reason, and in many cases they come out to do the warrior-emo thing not because they are just now seeing something worthwhile in other races, but because they have no choice in the face of a threat that they can't just hide from and let move on (ie it will eventually come for them).

Of course I've put ridiculous amounts of thought into this kind of thing from having played elves in a number of settings as a PnP RPG player. In a world setting where there are decent numbers of elves, and a few big kingdoms, playing an elf is similar to playing a human and they can be fairly friendly (and the lore usually reflects this). In a setting where you might have all elves coming from like one concealed kingdom or forest "empire" surrounded by these other massive empires where you have fantasy sized legions the size of mongol hordes duking it out every 15 minutes well... the attitude is going to be differant, and again the lore usually reflects this.

Being a good race (mostly, there are exceptions) I basically see part of the whole elven thing as being that even when aloof they would mostly like to help, but see a bigger picture. Such as the losses here fighting some Orc Horde could take a thousand years for elves to replentish and recover from, in which time the humans they are protecting with their low numbers might not even be there anymore anyway. Again (as I've said) survival of a dying or "diminished" race.

I didn't understand this they look nothing like elves?

http://www.williams-syndrome.org.uk/

Maybe its just to late for me

Seriously? You're actually assuming a RL disease would have *any* impact on a completely fictional race of magic born beings?

Seriously? Dude, really, you have wwaayy too much time on your hands. Plus, thy're far more likely to be mistaken as Vulcan than elven.

Well since the people affected are NOT ACTUALLY ELVES(!!!!), I think you're little nerd fantasies are safe.

But more on topic, personally I think this is a good thing, if this becomes more and more common racism will eventually vanish (Although I wish it included other prejudices to.)

This is kind of a weird stretch to make something an Escapist news story I think. I'm not normally one to consider something in poor taste, but taking a random disease that causes mental retardation and going off on a random tangent about elves simply because of a descriptor in the study seems at best irrelevant and at worse callous.

I'm all for callous if it's funny, to be sure, but this just seems like troll bait. No pun intended.

Were I in a less capricious mood, I'd find the attempt at humour the news article is reaching for to be mildly to moderately offensive. As it stands, I can't help but appreciate the quirks and eccentricities our hobby generates in those who partake (even if it does tend to be overapplied a tad much by those who really revel in their lifestyle).

I like how Dragon Age kind of turned the whole Elf thing on its head by making them an oppressed minority group.

I think when when they say elfin, they mean in the Santa Claus, eastern europe sense of the word elf. Not in the Tolkien sense.

WHAT!!!!!! elves may be friendly and possibly real???? whats next girls talking to me..... im so alone....

Didn't they have this on House?

Lullabye:
I think we could all use a little WS.

So true... =/

I think someone needs to take a break from WOW.

Irridium:
Hm... have elves always been known as "isolationists", or are they the way they are because the first guy to write about them made it so, and now everyone just does what he did?

In any case its the fantasy norm for elves, which works for me. People can be crazy and make them be all friendly like to humans and dwarves all the time but thats their take on elves.

REPLAY13:
but can they talk to the trees? that is the question...

Depends on the kind of elf, if they are magical as in arcane origin they cannot but nature based elves may or may not.

Or your talking about the lame elves? Whoops.

Therumancer:
Of course I've put ridiculous amounts of thought into this kind of thing from having played elves in a number of settings as a PnP RPG player. In a world setting where there are decent numbers of elves, and a few big kingdoms, playing an elf is similar to playing a human and they can be fairly friendly (and the lore usually reflects this). In a setting where you might have all elves coming from like one concealed kingdom or forest "empire" surrounded by these other massive empires where you have fantasy sized legions the size of mongol hordes duking it out every 15 minutes well... the attitude is going to be differant, and again the lore usually reflects this.

Being a good race (mostly, there are exceptions) I basically see part of the whole elven thing as being that even when aloof they would mostly like to help, but see a bigger picture. Such as the losses here fighting some Orc Horde could take a thousand years for elves to replentish and recover from, in which time the humans they are protecting with their low numbers might not even be there anymore anyway. Again (as I've said) survival of a dying or "diminished" race.

In the elves I tend to read/role play its more of a superiority complex. Their connection to magic and nature is usually greater than humans and their lifespan in itself is reason to gloat. To an elf they are just quick lived savages with some redeeming members, such as a horse with unbearable compassion, great for a horse, but it's still a horse.

Then again I am a warcraft lore nut so...

Davrel:

"mild to moderate mental retardation"

Well, that confirms everything I've ever said about people who play Night-Elves.

...oh its on! Night elf druid on your ass now boi! :P

OT: I don't care about how "elves" in real life act. My elves are bloody magical created by the powers of the Well of Eternity or some other redonkulous origin.

No disease of the Earth could create an elf in my mind, real life elves are boringsauce.

I'd like to clarify the authors statement: when he says elfin features he means the creepy kind of fairy tale elves, not in the way some have called say Felicia Day's facial feature elfin. (Lord knows where I read her face described as such. Harper's Bazaar?)

Whoa. Next thing we know dwarves won't be hoarding treasure and drinking all of the time.

Ha. I read about this this morning.

These people aren't getting into my racial supremacists' club, that' s for sure.

Wow clearly has it all wrong. Both Elven factions are all over the damn place.

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