This site looks at the various theories of there being 1, 3, 7, 24, or 36 basic literary plots and that every story boils down to one of these.
I figured this would be a good time to bring up this topic of discussion since the Hunger Games film is out and we're already seeing people spouting stuff like, "Yeah, I already saw it back in 2000 when it was called Battle Royale" and other stuff about how they don't have to see Hunger Games to know that "it's just a cheap knockoff of 'the original.'" (which, you know, isn't a truly original concept. It's certainly been done before.) I'm reminded also of the "Simpsons Did It!" episode of South Park.
Basically, no matter what story you see, someone already did it first because there are only a finite number of plots, right? Reflects the finite nature of the human experience? For me, I don't expect true originality in my stories, but I do expect good storytelling. I feel as if "How To Train Your Dragon" explored the same themes as "Avatar" much more effectively and presented IMO a more engaging story. It's like two chefs making mac 'n cheese and one just pleasing my palate more I guess.
So, do folks buy into any of these plot theories presented in the link? Why or why not?
Do you think there are any plot points that these theories overlooked?
Is "so-and-so did it first" an acceptable argument against a story's credibility? When does that argument go from being decent to pseudointellectual snobbery?
In looking at the various mediums we enjoy at the 'Fan (video games, movies, books, comics/manga), is that "been there done that" feeling stronger in one medium vs another?
Basically, discuss and debate the whole notion of "finite plot" theories and perhaps even how we use them when trying to argue a point.