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Video Games as Art vs. ME3 Ending [Use Spoiler Tags!]

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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    I think some slapping should go down, because in the end they would of bought the fucking game anyways. It's the third game in the series, were they really going "They said it doesn't have a traditional ending structure? count me in!". Disappointment isn't the same as false advertising.

    Anyways, _J_ you ask a really fucking good question, kudos. I don't even know how to start discussing it. I am going to go off and think for a while. I think we need clarification, even with a limitation on the artist, isn't the expression of medium still a work of art? I mean the game had a budget in the first place, which limited the outcome of the final product. if we run back and tell them to make another ending, does it stop being art? I dont think it does. at least not necessarily(and I hope that part isnt a cop-out).

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  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    Gamers can certainly ask for ME3's ending to be changed. That it's art doesn't effect this.

    Whether it's a good idea to change it and what it should be changed to and such is a whole other story and not related to this at all. And this isn't even confined to just art. It's the same for any consumer product as well.

    I don't see the purpose of the duality the OP tries to create here.


    If there's anything definitive to say on the subject, I'd say it's this:

    If ME3's ending is to be changed, it should be changed because it's badly done, not because a bunch of fans demanded it be changed

    It's just not that simple. ME3 isn't the work of a single artist. It's the work of many individuals who created it and many other individuals who published it. And it wouldn't have even existed if it weren't for the individuals who bought it.

    So who holds the right to decide if it is changed? The director? What about the other writers, other programmers, artists on the team? Do they not count?

    What if Casey Hudson said a flat no, and EA said "no, you will change it or you will not make games anymore"? Because they are part of the process that allowed this art to even exist; they would have the right to do so. They could fire him and hire someone else to "fix" it. Alternately he could say "shit, you're right, my bad, lets fix it" and EA could say "nope, waste of resources, we've made our money on initial sales, just stick to your dlc you have planned". Does Bioware have the right to override the decision of their owner and publisher?

    It's not simple. And ultimately whether it will be changed due to it being badly done or fans demanded it, a straight yes or no is perfectly legitimate. Them deciding to fix it over fan furor even if they feel it is a perfectly good ending isn't wrong, its their right. If I build a house, it is my art. But if whoever I'm building it for wants a bigger bathroom, even if I know I built that bathroom perfectly, I'm still going to probably make it the way they want, for various reasons.

    Whether it is a good idea or not to change it is absolutely related to this. Because its a product that required the input of countless people in various positions, weighing options is a good idea.

    You're going to base your actions purely on whether or not its in the best interest of whoever to make the change. It is not a separate issue. You can't (or at least shouldn't) make a decision without adequately examining options and outcomes. Kneejerking "this is art therefore it is immune to criticism or change" isn't helpful and isn't realistic on any level.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    I think some slapping should go down, because in the end they would of bought the fucking game anyways. It's the third game in the series, were they really going "They said it doesn't have a traditional ending structure? count me in!". Disappointment isn't the same as false advertising.

    Actually it's a beat up by _J_ and - I'm going to be inflammatory and say the pseudo-intellectual crowd.

    The exact thing going around at the moment is quotes by people before the game was released - specifically Casey Hudson, talking about things the ending would not be - particularly the "A, B, C" path ending - in comparison to what was actually delivered.

    This is because the ending is bad though. It's because, by all accounts, the ending was the brainfart of Casey Hudson and Mac Walters (I think that's his name?) in the absence of the rest of the collaborative process, and it fails so badly, on so many levels that many people - myself included - are at something of a loss as to how such a thing actually happens.

    There are far too many (well, not many, but they're there) people who are doing the stupid internet thing though of trying to be contrary for the sake of it - or trying to pick a middle or just the argument and claim to be above it. The pseudo-intellectual crowd.

    Art changes all the time. My favorite example in this is the directors cut of Blade Runner which is a much better movie and much more profound. The fan reaction to ME3's ending is not about false advertising - that's just a comical irony - it's about bad writing. The writing and plotting of those last 5 minutes is just profoundly awful, and tonally inconsistent with the rest of the game.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    There are far too many (well, not many, but they're there) people who are doing the stupid internet thing though of trying to be contrary for the sake of it - or trying to pick a middle or just the argument and claim to be above it. The pseudo-intellectual crowd.

    I don't take that to be a fair assessment of my question.

    My observation is that this is occurring: Gamers are demanding consumer appeasement, rather than respecting artistic freedom.

    Gamers aren't treating ME3 like a work of art. They're treating ME3 like a defective toaster. The ME3-toaster they bought gives them X, and they were promised Y, so they would like a new ME3-toaster.

    That, to me, seems to conflict with the sentiment found in the "game are art" argument, as I've understood it over the years.

    I'll grant that "art" is an incredibly vague term, so arguing "Calling X 'art' entails understanding X to be Y, Z, Q, ..." won't be easily resolved.

    However, I think it fairly uncontroversial to state that a piece of art is treated differently than a toaster, with respect to appreciating and acknowledging the "artistic intentions" of the creator of the artwork.

    It would be one thing for the fans to critique the game. I think art is nigh-always critiqued.

    What I find problematic, with respect to the "games are art" mentality, is persons petitioning for the game to be changed, or seeking legal action to attempt to force a change, under the guise of consumer protection.

    That isn't what one does with "art". That is what one does with a "consumer product".

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    That's a DAMN good question to ask in this context of ME3 by the way. Well played, _J_.
    Anyways, _J_ you ask a really fucking good question, kudos.

    The fundamental idea that one can't ask for someone to change art is absurd and patently false.
    There are far too many (well, not many, but they're there) people who are doing the stupid internet thing though of trying to be contrary for the sake of it - or trying to pick a middle or just the argument and claim to be above it. The pseudo-intellectual crowd.

    I really like that these replies all resulted from the same question.

    I think it's neat that some people take this to be a fantastic question to ponder, and others take it to be a retarded false dilemma.

  • DversedDversed Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »

    I think it's neat that some people take this to be a fantastic question to ponder, and others take it to be a retarded false dilemma.

    The thing is, it is a false dilemma. Art is a Consumer product.
    That Duchamp picture you posted earlier.... people bought that.
    He presented it. Some people liked it. And he was commissioned to make more.

    It was produced and consumed Art. Just like ME3.

    The only thing that will be decided is whether its Bad or Good.




  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Perhaps the question is more whether art is devaluated by being turned into more of a consumer product, and whether the fans clamouring for a different ending are being hypocrites to some extent. If we get too hung up on the dichotomy in _J_'s first post because it's an either/or proposition, we're missing out on having a more interesting discussion that acknowledges it isn't altogether black and white.

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  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    There are far too many (well, not many, but they're there) people who are doing the stupid internet thing though of trying to be contrary for the sake of it - or trying to pick a middle or just the argument and claim to be above it. The pseudo-intellectual crowd.

    You can be disappointed about the ending and yet not be angry about it to the extent that you want/demand a new ending without being part of the 'pseudo-intellectual' crowd, just like you can think the ending is bad, want a new one and not be part of the (also very large) 'frothing anti-Bioware retard' crowd.

  • CadeCade Eppur si muove.Registered User regular
    One of the worse flaws with the whole concept of video games?

    The need to be validated.

    It happens on every level from design, to concept to finished product and beyond.

    Being simply fun isn't enough.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    Cade wrote: »
    One of the worse flaws with the whole concept of video games?

    The need to be validated.

    It happens on every level from design, to concept to finished product and beyond.

    Being simply fun isn't enough.

    That's not really the fault of the games, though. That comes from somewhere else. That comes from people that see games as literally a part of themselves, and therefore want some emotional return investment beyond the enjoyment of the game. They want to be validated, and they want to be validated by which games they're playing. And, really, never the twain shall meet, but that only makes the proponents of this concept try all the harder.

  • Guitar Hero Of TimeGuitar Hero Of Time Registered User regular
    I don't see the conflict here. People make different types of art all the time, and consumers like or dislike those pieces of art.

    Bioware doesn't have to change anything about ME3. Gamers don't have to like it. But Bioware wants gamers to keep buying their games, so they are trying to keep them happy. The tricky part for any artist is to balance the desire of the audience vs. their skill at their art, so that their influence doesn't 'disappear'. Otherwise the audience might as well just crowd source a piece of art and leave the artist alone.

    Now, if people are fans of Bioware, that means they like 'something' that Bioware does, but not necessarily everything. It makes sense for the fans to give feedback to let Bioware know what it is doing 'right' and 'wrong', and Bioware can judge for itself if those comments are insightful or not.

    The contrary argument doesn't make any sense to me. It sounds like people are saying that since Bioware is making art - which must remain pure -that asking for changes is wrong. That fans should return the game, or just stop buying from Bioware in the future if they don't like the output. But if this happens, then Bioware loses some of its audience, and that part of the audience walks away unsatisfied. Neither side wants that outcome, so both sides lose. Funnily enough, this might happen anyway if Bioware can't find a way to satisfy the fans.

    The idea that artists should ignore their audience when creating, or that 'done is done', is absurd to me, especially when it comes art that has a high level of audience participation. Bioware can make what it likes, the fans can criticize it, and Bioware can do with that criticism what it will.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    So I take it that Battlestar Galactica isn't art?

    Honestly, using "it's art" as a defense from criticism is simply what you do when you can't defend a work on it's merits. It's the media version of saying that you can't argue with an opinion.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    it is almost impossible for art not to be a consumer product, since art is, you know, a thing that exists

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  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Bagginses wrote: »
    Honestly, using "it's art" as a defense from criticism is simply what you do when you can't defend a work on it's merits. It's the media version of saying that you can't argue with an opinion.

    This.

    With respect to Mass Effect, I beat the game and chose the "C" ending. My reaction was, "Oh. well that wasn't very good. I guess I chose poorly. Then I reloaded to see what the "A" ending was. I was very disappointed.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Stephen King better hope that demanding replacements for disappointing endings doesn't take off.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    There's such a thing as bad art. People get mad about paying to see bad movies all the time.

    No, that's subjective. There's no such thing as "bad art". There's your opinion on something, but that doesn't invalidate someone else's opinion.


    Esh on
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  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    I'm pretty sure Regretsy proves that there is such a thing as "bad art".

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote:
    If ME3 is a work of art, we must accept it as an artistic expression if its creator. We can critique it, but not demand for it to be changed.

    If someone tells me that they're painting a landscape, and shows me some work-in-progress shots that look like a landscape, and then later when I buy it having not seen the final product it is actually a painting of a sad man taking gigantic dumps because the artist decided that they didn't like the way the landscape was going, I have a pretty strong case for false advertising, regardless of whether or not it is art.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    So according to _J_, the Sistine Chapel isn't art. That's hardly even a surprise.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    Esh wrote: »
    There's such a thing as bad art. People get mad about paying to see bad movies all the time.

    No, that's subjective. There's no such thing as "bad art". There's your opinion on something, but that doesn't invalidate someone else's opinion.


    Opinions can be more or less valid.

    When people describe a film or game as bad they're generally making a broad point encompassing a number of more nuanced critiques, that the cinematography was poorly done, the stiffness of the acting, the weak nature of the story and so on. Now yes, there's a level of ambiguity there, differing personal resonance/reaction to art, cultural background and so on - no ones suggesting a piece of art is bad from a philosophical standpoint of truth, however, if one were to claim that say a little scrawl my sister drew was of equal artistic merit and value to the Sistine Chapel, then we've collapsed so far into artistic solipsism as to make critique entirely valueless.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Esh wrote: »
    There's such a thing as bad art. People get mad about paying to see bad movies all the time.

    No, that's subjective. There's no such thing as "bad art". There's your opinion on something, but that doesn't invalidate someone else's opinion.

    of course there is such a thing as bad art

    to say there is not is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of even the most radically postmodern and anti-authoritarian criticism

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular

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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    So when an editor is submitted a script for the ME3 story, and he responds "this ending is bullshit, rewrite it", its still art when it comes out, but not when fans go "rewrite it" ?

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  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Esh wrote: »
    There's such a thing as bad art. People get mad about paying to see bad movies all the time.

    No, that's subjective. There's no such thing as "bad art". There's your opinion on something, but that doesn't invalidate someone else's opinion.


    This is a lie that parents tell their children so they don't crush their children's creativity and esteem.

    There absolutely is bad art. You can evaluate art on a few metrics like proficiency of work within the medium, originality and inspiredness, thematic significance and relevance to audience/society, aesthetics, balance and perspective, and many more.

    Let's evaluate this

    9826ebe7500.jpg

    What is good about it? What is bad about it? In terms of absurdist artwork how does it compare? What does it make you feel? Visually, how competently drawn is everything relative to the subject matter? Is this original and inspired?

    People who say there is no bad art don't even know how to look at this drawing with anything other than "I like it" or "I don't like it" in which case it is totally impossible to invalidate their opinion. But that's not how critique works - you don't come to an opinion based on how it makes you feel right off the bat. You actually look at it, pick it apart, compare and contrast it to other artwork, walk away for a while and come back to it, think about the range of emotion it triggers, the place it has in the world of art and society.

    Rigorous critique can determine whether art is good or bad, and it doesn't always have bearing to whether you like something or not.

    mrt144 on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    Perhaps the question is more whether art is devaluated by being turned into more of a consumer product, and whether the fans clamouring for a different ending are being hypocrites to some extent.

    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.

  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    _J_ wrote:
    This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.

    Since this quote inaccurately represents the ending structure to ME3, some gamers are demanding that the game be change. They were promised a product that did X, and the actual product does ~X. Gamers contend that Bioware utilized false advertising and inaccurately presented their product.

    I disagree pretty adamantly with this point. Most gamers look at the last five minutes as the "ending", but really the entire game was the ending of the Mass Effect series. And that ending did take into account your decisions from previous games.
    For example, the Genophage mission could have turned out several different ways based on whether you saved or killed Wrex on Virmire in ME1, whether you destroyed the genophage data in ME2, whether Mordin is loyal to you in ME2, whether you decide to side with the Salarian councilor in ME3, etc. The Genophage mission is part of the ending. Similarly, what happened on Rannoch is similar with several different ending based on your decisions from all of the games. You can end up with the Geth and Quarians making piss, the Geth winning against the Quarians, the Quarians winning against the Geth with variations in each of those depending on your actions.

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  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Thirith wrote: »
    Perhaps the question is more whether art is devaluated by being turned into more of a consumer product, and whether the fans clamouring for a different ending are being hypocrites to some extent.

    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.

    Gamers are like Kincade fans who are all up in arms because there wasn't enough snow in the latest cottage scene.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Honestly, this whole thing kind of reminds me of a case I read about (in the NYT, I think) concerning a disagreement between an architect and a family. The architect said that architecture is an art and insisted that he be paid for the work of art the family had commissioned from him. The family argued that his work of art, also known as a house, was unfit for human habitation, no matter how much of a statement the thing made.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote:
    This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.

    Since this quote inaccurately represents the ending structure to ME3, some gamers are demanding that the game be change. They were promised a product that did X, and the actual product does ~X. Gamers contend that Bioware utilized false advertising and inaccurately presented their product.

    I disagree pretty adamantly with this point. Most gamers look at the last five minutes as the "ending", but really the entire game was the ending of the Mass Effect series. And that ending did take into account your decisions from previous games.
    For example, the Genophage mission could have turned out several different ways based on whether you saved or killed Wrex on Virmire in ME1, whether you destroyed the genophage data in ME2, whether Mordin is loyal to you in ME2, whether you decide to side with the Salarian councilor in ME3, etc. The Genophage mission is part of the ending. Similarly, what happened on Rannoch is similar with several different ending based on your decisions from all of the games. You can end up with the Geth and Quarians making piss, the Geth winning against the Quarians, the Quarians winning against the Geth with variations in each of those depending on your actions.
    No. This is not what the word 'ending' means. The last five minutes of Mass Effect 3 basically tosses everything else in all three games out the window, and it's a terrible end to the series.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Thirith wrote: »
    Perhaps the question is more whether art is devaluated by being turned into more of a consumer product, and whether the fans clamouring for a different ending are being hypocrites to some extent.

    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.

    They don't expect, they want.

  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    I don't like the "false advertising" or "we were promised so-and-so...." arguments because our expectations and promises and hype have exceeded the actual product before, but no one ever demanded (or got) fundamental changes. The Fable series, Spore, all promised more freedom/variation than what was actually delivered.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.

    Actually, I was unaware that censorship was a real issue in the industry these days.

    Seriously, now. Is censorship a thing that is commonly occuring in games, and is it something that audiences care about?

    Because I really don't believe it is. There are quite a lot of developers getting as much gore and profanity as they want-in some cases, the developers' publishers ask for more to firmly set in the title in one content rating grade or another. Games that pretend to have deep intellectual concepts are either met with indifference or scorn, or is more often the case, seen by the audience as being much more groundbreaking as innovative than they really were at the time.

    I'd really rather see more restraint from developers, and a willingness to express some subtlety from time to time.

    I don't believe there is an epidemic of censorship in this industry. The gaming industry has a lot of problems, but censorship is not chief among them. I'd love to see examples, and I'd love to see some data behind the idea that audiences are 'clamoring for the rights of game developers.'

    We're in a time right now where it is more possible then it ever was for a unique idea to be made into a game. Between the well-established indie scene, the digital download networks, the development of mobile apps for phones and tablets, social gaming, and now kickstarter, there are many, many ways a game can become noticed, funded, developed and released without relying on traditional measures, traditional means, or traditional platforms.

    We also have many cases of teams unofficially releasing patches and add-ons for games that include things that could not make the cut, along with lots and lots of user made modifications of many stripes and varieties for gaming as well.

    Please, give examples of censorship of any developers in the last two years.

  • reVersereVerse Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.

    Actually, I was unaware that censorship was a real issue in the industry these days.

    Seriously, now. Is censorship a thing that is commonly occuring in games, and is it something that audiences care about?

    Because I really don't believe it is.

    BioWare was originally going to add homosexual romances into Mass Effect 2 but decided against it because of the whole Fox News farce regarding sex scenes in the first game. EA also decided to rename Al Qaida into "Opposing Force" in Medal of Honor's multiplayer mode because goosetards kept honking about playing as the enemy and killing American soldiers.

    So, there's some self-censorship going on. Whether or not it's a serious issue is up to whoever to decide for themselves.

    reVerse on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    Gamers aren't treating ME3 like a work of art. They're treating ME3 like a defective toaster.

    I'm not the first person to say this, but I find the dichotomy you've drawn between 'art' and 'commercial product' to be spurious - first, from the observation (as others have mentioned) that there are works that clearly qualify as both (anything commissioned); second, on an analysis of your argument. You seem to be arguing that nobody besides the artist has standing to criticize a piece of work, which is a puzzling idea to me. It's puzzling in this thread and it's puzzling in every other thread we've had on this subject. What's the basis for that assertion?

    Of course, I've seen people draw a distinction between criticizing a piece of work and demanding that the artist change it. This is a valid distinction, but I don't think it explains what's going on. What does "demand" mean in situations like these? It's usually shorthand for saying, "If you do not do X, then I will bring to bear my (legal, financial, political, or physical) power to make something happen that you don't want." Saying, "your art sucks and you should change it" isn't a demand. Saying, "your art sucks and if you don't change it, I'm going to return it to the retailer and get my money back, and if that doesn't work I'm going to file a complaint with some regulatory agency" is a demand.

    In this specific case, regarding Mass Effect 3, I feel strongly that the latter response is silly. But that's not because it's wrong to demand a refund for art, but rather because ME3 simply wasn't that bad. The vast majority of the game is spectacular; and the ending itself wasn't significantly below the bar in comparison to other video games. I think it would be great if we could consistently return video games for failing to live up to their pre-release promises, but in a possible world where we have that right, I can think of a huge list of games far more deserving of that treatment than ME3.

    As for the overall universe of art, is it somehow wrong to criticize and/or make demands of an artist? No, that's silly, and I haven't seen a good argument yet to convince me that I'm wrong.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.

    Actually, I was unaware that censorship was a real issue in the industry these days.

    It's enough of an issue to warrant a recent United States Supreme Court decision, and dealing with censorship in countries that don't have constitutional freedom of speech (like China, for instance) is a really big deal.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • DorriebDorrieb Registered User
    edited March 2012
    Not all art forms are the same. In books and films, the protagonist's character, actions, and motivations are set independently of the audience. We may interpret events differently, but we will all more or less agree that we saw the same thing. In a game like ME the protagonist's character, actions, and motivations are defined by the player as she progresses through the narrative, within certain parameters set by the authors. The ME games for example won't let Shepard be a baddie or a coward, but you still get an impressive range of freedom to decide who Shepard is and why she does what she does, especially in ME3, where the degrees of freedom extend to decisions made in the previous two games. My Shepard is not your Shepard. My experience may have been quite different from yours.

    I call that absolutely brilliant. Of course that freedom has to be narrowed down at the end, unless you could somehow tailor individual endings for all the Shepards out there, which you can't, and I think that's part of the problem right there. The narrowing of possibilities is maybe too abrupt, and maybe goes too far. It certainly seems to feel that way for a lot of people, myself included.

    My Shepard, as I made her with the outline and crayons Bioware provided, was motivated by one goal:
    to save the united galactic peoples, even at the cost of her own life.
    The option to achieve that goal doesn't seem to be within the range of possibilities at the end. I suppose that there is realism in that, not all goals are achievable, but it colours everything that went on before. It makes all of her efforts seem futile. If that's what it is, then it's what it is, but games do continue to grow even after they've been released, so the option to add a few degrees of freedom to the end is certainly there, and need not compromise artistic integrity in the slightest.

    That option is completely up to the creators and I wouldn't dream of demanding it of them, but I can suggest it and I can ask. I am the audience, after all, and audience participation is an integral part of this art form.

    Dorrieb on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    The writing and plotting of those last 5 minutes is just profoundly awful, and tonally inconsistent with the rest of the game.

    Well, in fairness, it is very difficult to wrap-up a saga. I haven't played the ME series, so I don't know just how badly the ending was executed, but I almost always expect something of a trainwreck when an epic saga is being wrapped-up.

    With Love and Courage
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    Thirith wrote: »
    Perhaps the question is more whether art is devaluated by being turned into more of a consumer product, and whether the fans clamouring for a different ending are being hypocrites to some extent.

    The seeming hypocrisy is interesting to me. I’m not sure how to quantify it, but clamoring for the rights of game developers to present the game they want without being censored or limited seems to conflict with the notion that gamers expect the developer to change the game to accommodate gamer’s desires.
    I don't see this as a hypocrisy. One is the law requiring a product to not include or to include something. The other is people complaining about an ending they feel unsatisfied with. One is a requirement, and Bioware would have to follow it. The other is something Bioware can choose whether or not to follow. You are confusing "Governmental regulation" with "Criticism".

    edit: In addition, I think the "It is art, it shouldn't be censored" is a red herring. It is free speech, it shouldn't be censored. To me, whether or not it is art has little to nothing to do with the situation of censorship. The statue of David should be immune to censorship not because it is art, but because it is an expression of speech. Censorship, as a whole, is BS. Just my thought on the matter. There are some mitigating circumstances (won't somebody think of the children and other whines) that might be considered as a society, though.

    Elitistb on
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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    _J_ wrote:
    If ME3 is a work of art, we must accept it as an artistic expression if its creator. We can critique it, but not demand for it to be changed.

    If someone tells me that they're painting a landscape, and shows me some work-in-progress shots that look like a landscape, and then later when I buy it having not seen the final product it is actually a painting of a sad man taking gigantic dumps because the artist decided that they didn't like the way the landscape was going, I have a pretty strong case for false advertising, regardless of whether or not it is art.

    Nah.

    The landscape is fucking amazing. The mountains look amazing, the pine trees look amazing, the rivers and wildlife look amazing.

    Except the main focus of the picture for some reason is a hastily painted cubist palm-tree.

    And now its the only part of the picture you can really see anymore.

    Der Waffle Mous on
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  • either,oreither,or Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Art can be a consumer product. This sort of thing happens all the time in films. How many times have you read about studio executives asking a director to change something in their film to meet the criteria for a lower classification and the opportunity to reach a broader audience? I don't think it's a dichotomy between art and consumer products, rather there is a dichotomy within art between art for art's sake and art produced for a consumer. Duchamp exhibited Fountain but he also sold works (Nude Descending a Staircase included) to Walter Arensberg. Picasso wasn't painting in a vacuum, he was able to keep producing works of art because Gertrude Stein and her friends/family were ready to keep buying them. Anybody who had commissioned a work of art or bought one would be well within their rights to request the artist change something they found distasteful in what they'd bought, and the artist would be well within their rights to refuse. If Bioware either do or don't it shouldn't affect whether or not ME3 is a work of art.

    either,or on
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