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

1356

Posts

  • HamHamJHamHamJ regular 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.

    So all editors are pro-censorship and/or hypocrites?

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget regular Registered User regular
    To those who feel that making a new ending now would be bad for art: what if they simply took the already existing ending and expanded/added scenes to clear up the flaws in it's execution? Would that be a degradation of art as well?

    Because I'm getting the feeling this is what we are going to see happen.

    People need to keep in mind that a good chunk of people are not complaining because they didn't get the ending they wanted, they are complaining that the ending they got is poorly done.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere meaningful unless the OP defines the parameters of art.

    Are we discussing Fine Art? Applied Art? Digital Art? Should we even recognize the differences?
    Are we discussing aesthetic principals? Which?
    Should we consider the medium of a work over the work itself? Vice versa?

    It's an interesting question, but we'll end up talking in a vacuum if we don't have definitions to work with. For instance, I find the very premise of the OP incorrect: videogames can not be and are not Art. However, who cares? Should this thread be a bunch of un-grounded voices flailing in the darkness? Or should we constrain ourselves and use limitations to create meaningful discussion (much like art itself)?

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere meaningful unless the OP defines the parameters of art.

    Are we discussing Fine Art? Applied Art? Digital Art? Should we even recognize the differences?
    Are we discussing aesthetic principals? Which?
    Should we consider the medium of a work over the work itself? Vice versa?

    It's an interesting question, but we'll end up talking in a vacuum if we don't have definitions to work with. For instance, I find the very premise of the OP incorrect: videogames can not be and are not Art. However, who cares? Should this thread be a bunch of un-grounded voices flailing in the darkness? Or should we constrain ourselves and use limitations to create meaningful discussion (much like art itself)?

    This guy has the right idea. And the best idea.

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 regular Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I don't see how either of these two attributes, "art" and "consumer product", have anything to do with what we can reasonably demand of a product. I can just as easily make demands of consumer products that are not art, such as eggs, and their producer is just as free to ignore my demands. Artistic integrity doesn't enter the equation. If I make unreasonable demands, they should be ignored. But artists and businessmen all have goals, or at least a motivation of some sort, and it's possible to make reasonable requests that also help them further their own goals.

    Bliss 101 on
    MSL59.jpg
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere meaningful unless the OP defines the parameters of art.

    Are we discussing Fine Art? Applied Art? Digital Art? Should we even recognize the differences?
    Are we discussing aesthetic principals? Which?
    Should we consider the medium of a work over the work itself? Vice versa?

    It's an interesting question, but we'll end up talking in a vacuum if we don't have definitions to work with. For instance, I find the very premise of the OP incorrect: videogames can not be and are not Art. However, who cares? Should this thread be a bunch of un-grounded voices flailing in the darkness? Or should we constrain ourselves and use limitations to create meaningful discussion (much like art itself)?

    On the other hand, trying to define art is kind of a circle-jerk, because art isn't a discrete category. Some things are clearly art, some things are kind of art, some things are only art, some things are both art and something other than art.

    When you try to come up with a discrete inclusive definition of 'art' it's easy to end up coming to the not-too-terribly-constructive conclusion that "everything humans do is art and also some things done by some animals."

    Contrary to the philosophy classroom expectation that we should clearly define our terms first and then determine what logically follows from those definitions, I think art is a topic where we shouldn't actually do that and should instead explore the connotations and subtleties of the topic without being bound to rigid preconceptions, even if that means occasionally wandering into vaguely off-topic territory.

    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.
  • The EnderThe Ender regular Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Can someone in spoiler tags explain to me what happened at the end that was so terrible? Was it something akin to "lulz it was all just a dream!"


    Just doing some rudimentary Googling, it looks like there's some real visceral hatred for how things went down.

    The Ender on
    With Love and Courage
  • iguanacusiguanacus regular Desert PlanetRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Can someone in spoiler tags explain to me what happened at the end that was so terrible? Was it something akin to "lulz it was all just a dream!"


    Just doing some rudimentary Googling, it looks like there's some real visceral hatred for how things went down.

    The game gives you a choice of 3 endings. As seen in the video, all 3 endings are virtually the same, save for the color used for the explosions. Not getting into to many details, everything you've done in the course of the 3 games leads always to these 3 options, no matter what choices or decisions you've made previously. Also at issue is that the ending itself fails prey to deus ex machina in that the big bad is just kind of thrown in for the last 5 minutes or so of the game.

  • Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk regular Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The Ender wrote: »
    Can someone in spoiler tags explain to me what happened at the end that was so terrible? Was it something akin to "lulz it was all just a dream!"


    Just doing some rudimentary Googling, it looks like there's some real visceral hatred for how things went down.

    There's a lot going on, but here's the rundown:
    1. You are railroaded into three choices, the most important and dramatic effects of which do not actually change depending on the choice, and you cannot back out or say "fuck this, I want none of it."
    2. For a game based around making your own choices and playing as a character who takes command, it's a total shift in tone. You don't even get the chance to ask any questions or find out any background, a staple of the series.
    3. literal Deus ex machina. A hologram of a little kid orders you around and drops a ton of random plot that never came up before, and Shepard just automatically obeys him.
    4. The motivation for the villains is shit. It is, as I said above, dropped on you at the last minute and makes very little sense. A race of machines destroy all organic life so they don't...invent a race of machines that will destroy all organic life. Yeah.
    5. The ending lasts for all of a couple minutes. There's barely any dialogue, you don't find out what happened to any of the characters (except your crew gets stranded on a planet) and you learn nothing about the future ramifications of choices you made throughout the game or at the end.
    6. There are a bajillion plot holes. it would take a while to list them all, but one of them was a huge ME2 DLC plot point and implies that basically 99% of sentient life, including everything on earth, is now dead regardless of your end choice.
    7. it's half-assed. The cutscenes for every choices are 90% the same, with the only real difference being the color of the explosions, and there are some questionable production choices (choosing to merge synthetic and organic life gives one character a cyborg hat and makes a robot character...more robotic or something because they apply a circuit texture to literally everything)
    8. It ends with the "everything was an old man telling a child a story" cliche except in this case the old man is also voiced by a rambling buzz aldrin.

    Psycho Internet Hawk on
    ezek1t.jpg
  • CouscousCouscous regular Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Can someone in spoiler tags explain to me what happened at the end that was so terrible? Was it something akin to "lulz it was all just a dream!"


    Just doing some rudimentary Googling, it looks like there's some real visceral hatred for how things went down.

    There's a lot going on, but here's the rundown:
    1. You are railroaded into three choices, the most important and dramatic effects of which do not actually change depending on the choice, and you cannot back out or say "fuck this, I want none of it."
    2. For a game based around making your own choices and playing as a character who takes command, it's a total shift in tone. You don't even get the chance to ask any questions or find out any background, a staple of the series.
    3. literal Deus ex machina. A hologram of a little kid orders you around and drops a ton of random plot that never came up before, and Shepard just automatically obeys him.
    4. The motivation for the villains is shit. It is, as I said above, dropped on you at the last minute and makes very little sense. A race of machines destroy all organic life so they don't...invent a race of machines that will destroy all organic life. Yeah.
    5. The ending lasts for all of a couple minutes. There's barely any dialogue, you don't find out what happened to any of the characters (except your crew gets stranded on a planet) and you learn nothing about the future ramifications of choices you made throughout the game or at the end.
    6. There are a bajillion plot holes. it would take a while to list them all, but one of them was a huge ME2 DLC plot point and implies that basically 99% of sentient life, including everything on earth, is now dead regardless of your end choice.
    7. it's half-assed. The cutscenes for every choices are 90% the same, with the only real difference being the color of the explosions, and there are some questionable production choices (choosing to merge synthetic and organic life gives one character a cyborg hat and makes a robot character...more robotic or something because they apply a circuit texture to literally everything)
    8. It ends with the "everything was an old man telling a child a story" cliche except in this case the old man is also voiced by a rambling buzz aldrin.
    1. One choice is called destroy-it destroys all synthetic life, including the Reapers, Geth, and EDI. How this works is not explained.
    2. Another choice is control. Shepard basically becomes a Reaper and uses her control over them to...fly away. She doesn't use them to destroy the Reapers or help humanity outside of stopping the Reapers from destroying all life.
    3. The stupidest choice is synthesis. All life becomes partly synthetic or partly organic. ALL OF IT. How does it work? Who knows.
    4. All choices cause the relays to be destroyed for some reason.

  • The EnderThe Ender regular Registered User regular
    Watched a 'variety' of endings on YouTube:
    LULZ

    It looks like they ran out of ideas and / or money. "Guys this game needs multiple endings. But we blew all of our budget rendering the Reaper ships. Fuck it, just recolour this ending."

    And you always know they've hit the bottom of the barrel when they trot out hologram deity kid, who starts harping on about 'chaos'.

    And it all just WAS a dream! Or story. Whatever. Man, that's hilariously bad.

    With Love and Courage
  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    So does modular or crowd-sourced art make good art? Or conversely can a static consumer product be a good consumer product?

    I see people throw around references to popular films making changes for sake of audience, to Arthur Conan Doyle's decision to ignore the ending he wrote to the sherlock holmes books
    (I feel the need to point out that he never changed the ending, just wrote himself another book where sherlock holmes makes up some hackneyed story about landing on some cliff and then being undercover for a few years instead of falling to his death, which was never actually observed in the story because the stories are written from watson's point of view. One thing I gather from this discussion is that many people haven't read sherlock holmes outside of maybe the hound of the baskervilles. The reality is that it was a series of magazine articles produced cheaply and en masse, more famous for being one of the first incredibly successful mass-produced forms of entertainment rather than for any intellectual or authorial sophistication. Doyle was not really that stellar an author and his audience was reading at about a high school level)
    but the reality is that neither of these are considered "good" art. The end of The Godfather wasn't test screened, nor was Amelie's plot focus tested for making any damn sense. I can't imagine a serious, non-commercial author publicly changing the ending of a work of fiction without being laughed out of academic english circles. Franzen might do it to be edgy and ironic.

    So the gist of what I'm understanding from this and other discussions is that (according to the gamers who think that ME3 ought to be changed) games might be art, but they're not good art. They're just cheap art vesicles designed for the masses, which damn well better please those masses or else.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Michelangelo changed the Sistine Chapel because the guy paying him wasn't happy about it.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Watched a 'variety' of endings on YouTube:
    LULZ

    It looks like they ran out of ideas and / or money. "Guys this game needs multiple endings. But we blew all of our budget rendering the Reaper ships. Fuck it, just recolour this ending."

    And you always know they've hit the bottom of the barrel when they trot out hologram deity kid, who starts harping on about 'chaos'.

    And it all just WAS a dream! Or story. Whatever. Man, that's hilariously bad.
    Also the ship that explodes was YOUR ship and it was running away from the battle to stop the ultimate genocide at faster than light with zero explanation

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • The EnderThe Ender regular Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I can't imagine a serious, non-commercial author publicly changing the ending of a work of fiction without being laughed out of academic english circles. Franzen might do it to be edgy and ironic.

    Serious, non-commercial authors don't exist.

    The Ender on
    With Love and Courage
  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    \
    The Ender wrote: »
    I can't imagine a serious, non-commercial author publicly changing the ending of a work of fiction without being laughed out of academic english circles. Franzen might do it to be edgy and ironic.

    Serious, non-commercial authors don't exist.

    You must not read much.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX regular Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere meaningful unless the OP defines the parameters of art.

    Are we discussing Fine Art? Applied Art? Digital Art? Should we even recognize the differences?
    Are we discussing aesthetic principals? Which?
    Should we consider the medium of a work over the work itself? Vice versa?

    It's an interesting question, but we'll end up talking in a vacuum if we don't have definitions to work with. For instance, I find the very premise of the OP incorrect: videogames can not be and are not Art. However, who cares? Should this thread be a bunch of un-grounded voices flailing in the darkness? Or should we constrain ourselves and use limitations to create meaningful discussion (much like art itself)?

    I think that "defining the parameters of art" isn't quite as easy as you make it out to be. I'm fairly sure that a number of people far more intelligent than us have spent more time than we probably have right now trying to answer that question and failing. It might be more helpful to try not to look at the broad stroke, but rather to focus on discrete examples. Like, if videogames cannot be, and are not Art, then why is that? What is it about videogames that makes you say such.

    I gather that you think that there are pieces of art out there, what makes them different? This might allow us to start discussion without having to try to work up a complete theory of art from nothing.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    I can't imagine a serious, non-commercial author publicly changing the ending of a work of fiction without being laughed out of academic english circles. Franzen might do it to be edgy and ironic.

    Serious, non-commercial authors don't exist.

    You must not read much.

    Well, there's fanfic.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • The EnderThe Ender regular Registered User regular
    You must not read much.

    Who are the 'serious, non-commercial' authors? Most serious authors end-up writing for a living, which almost always involves selling thoroughly edited manuscripts to a publisher, who then further edits the manuscript (usually in cooperation with the author, but the publisher has all the power in that particular relationship).

    And there's no such thing as a manuscript that doesn't go through changes after it's initial draft - often changes that the author makes after gathering at least some outside opinions.

    With Love and Courage
  • LawndartLawndart regular Registered User regular
    Fun fact: BioWare has already gone on record as having changed the narrative of Mass Effect 2 in response to feedback from Mass Effect fans. This makes the claims that BioWare should treat Mass Effect 3 like the building from The Fountainhead and refuse all of the fan feedback asking for an altered or expanded ending rather silly.

    Especially since we're dealing with a medium that lends itself to post-release narrative changes.

    Yes, even to endings. Broken Steel for Fallout 3 changed an ending which was even lazier and insulting than the ending(s) to ME3.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme regular Registered User regular
    I think the thing which gets me about the whole sell-out "artistic integrity" argument is the editorial process: good art is edited. Books are edited thoroughly before release. Films are edited thoroughly. There are director's cuts.

    The only type of thing people use when making the argument is paintings - and even that's not true. Artists "edit" their paintings all the time. Or just paint over one which was already there. Or produce a work, and then paint in extra details only on certain runs or whatever.

    At what point is the "artistic integrity" compromised, considering most editorial processes consist of having an external person review the work, and suggest alterations - which could be construed as a "demand", depending on who's doing it.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Feral wrote: »
    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?

    I've posted multiple times that anyone can criticize any piece of art.

    What's problematic is not criticism. What's problematic is when fans react to the piece of art by demanding that it be changed, or seeking legal action to force a change.
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    Fans are taking legal action against Bioware. Or, seeking a means by which to take legal action against Bioware for false advertising.
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    When California tried to ban the sale of video games, gamers voiced the opinion that the state could not take legal action to limit or change video games, because video games are art.

    The Supreme Court ruled that video games are art, that they receive the same 1st amendment status as other works of art.

    Yet now some consumers are trying to take legal action against Bioware, to force them to change ME3 because
    1) They maintain that Bioware utilized false advertising.
    2) They think the ending sucks.

    That seems to conflict the sentiment expressed previously, with respect to the California law. California can't tell an artist to change their product, but gamers can? California can't seek legal action, but consumers can?

    That seems strange.
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere meaningful unless the OP defines the parameters of art.

    Are we discussing Fine Art? Applied Art? Digital Art? Should we even recognize the differences?

    In the OP I utilized the Ad Reinhardt quote to define art as art-as-art. A consumer product is not art-as-art, so there is a tension between ME3 as art-as-art and ME3 as a consumer product.
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Are we discussing aesthetic principals? Which?
    Should we consider the medium of a work over the work itself? Vice versa?

    It's whatever principles gamers take to apply to art. I'm just wondering if this act of demanding that Bioware change the ending somehow undermines the notion that ME3 is a work of art, an act of artistic expression by Bioware.
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    For instance, I find the very premise of the OP incorrect: videogames can not be and are not Art. However, who cares?

    Well, legally, video games are art in the United States.

    I guess if we want to go with the legal definition of art, that'd be fine.

    I'm just curious as to how fan reaction to ME3 influences our understanding of what gamers take "video games are art" to mean.

    Because they don't seem to be treating ME3 as a work of art.

    They seem to be treating it as a defective toaster.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Supreme Court ruling that Video Games are Art, for those who maintain that video games are not "art".

  • LawndartLawndart regular Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The idea that changing any aspect of a work of art to increase its appeal to an audience negates its status as art means that pretty much entire categories of popular art, including about 99% of video games, are not actually art.

    I'm also wondering why the idea of changing an ending seems to raise to much more ire from the auteur theory folks than any other types of post-release changes that are made to video game narratives.

    Lawndart on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The idea that changing any aspect of a work of art to increase its appeal to an audience negates its status as art means that pretty much entire categories of popular art, including about 99% of video games, are not actually art.

    I'm not saying that it negates the status.

    I'm saying that if we declare X to be art, it seems odd to treat X as one would treat a defective toaster.

  • LawndartLawndart regular Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The idea that changing any aspect of a work of art to increase its appeal to an audience negates its status as art means that pretty much entire categories of popular art, including about 99% of video games, are not actually art.

    I'm not saying that it negates the status.

    I'm saying that if we declare X to be art, it seems odd to treat X as one would treat a defective toaster.

    Except the folks asking BioWare to expand the ending to Mass Effect 3 via DLC are not treating the game like a defective toaster, they're giving feedback on a work of art in a medium where post-release changes to narrative (based on fan feedback or otherwise) are already quite well established.

    The Mass Effect fanbase asked for Tali and Garrus to be romance options in ME2, apparently much to the surprise of the folks at BioWare. BioWare then made both of them romanceable in ME2. Does that mean BioWare and/or the ME fanbase were treating ME2 like a toaster?

    Lawndart on
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Leitner wrote: »
    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.

    It kinda is when it comes down to it in regards to things like this.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget regular Registered User regular
    If all we are supposed to be discussing here is if people who try to take legal action against artists for not doing what they like are silly geese or not, there's really no need for the discussion. I think we'd all agree that it's a pretty ridiculous thing to do.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    mrt144 wrote: »
    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.

    And you're basing all this on whose standards? The dominant hegemony? What about the heterodoxy? What about another culture's hegemony? Etc. etc. etc. How can you take the emotions it triggers in you and then tell someone else their opinion of a piece is wrong?

    Are you talking about using Lucy Lippard's three step analysis? Because that's not judging whether something is "good" or "bad" at all.

    Also, that horse is amazing.
    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

    Oh, and I'm pretty sure the post-modernists would be the first people to agree with me here. But I've only really studied them in regards to anthropological theory, not art.

    EDIT: And this discussion is going to get really out of hand, really fast. Don't expect any responses from me because I don't feel like playing tetherball.

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    The Ender wrote: »
    You must not read much.

    Who are the 'serious, non-commercial' authors? Most serious authors end-up writing for a living, which almost always involves selling thoroughly edited manuscripts to a publisher, who then further edits the manuscript (usually in cooperation with the author, but the publisher has all the power in that particular relationship).

    And there's no such thing as a manuscript that doesn't go through changes after it's initial draft - often changes that the author makes after gathering at least some outside opinions.

    Like I said, you must not read much.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Lawndart wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The idea that changing any aspect of a work of art to increase its appeal to an audience negates its status as art means that pretty much entire categories of popular art, including about 99% of video games, are not actually art.

    I'm not saying that it negates the status.

    I'm saying that if we declare X to be art, it seems odd to treat X as one would treat a defective toaster.

    Except the folks asking BioWare to expand the ending to Mass Effect 3 via DLC are not treating the game like a defective toaster, they're giving feedback on a work of art in a medium where post-release changes to narrative (based on fan feedback or otherwise) are already quite well established.

    The Mass Effect fanbase asked for Tali and Garrus to be romance options in ME2, apparently much to the surprise of the folks at BioWare. BioWare then made both of them romanceable in ME2. Does that mean BioWare and/or the ME fanbase were treating ME2 like a toaster?

    ME3 Ending Sparks FTC Complaints
    As detailed on the BioWare Social Network, a player by the name of El Spiko believes EA and BioWare are guilty of false advertising.

    “I filed an FTC complaint against EA. After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims.”

    That's not, "Hey, Bioware, I'd really like it if you made this change, pretty please, cause fans are co-creators of the game."

    That's "Bioware promised me a toaster that did X, and the toaster I purchased doesn't do X."

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Wow an angry fan wrote an FTC complaint

    That sure is the basis for coloring everyone who's unhappy.

    Hey I also heard all southerners were skinheads

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme regular Registered User regular
    That's just taking a few geese and...ok I can't think of a metaphor.

    Crowds of people tend to have bad actors in them that do stupid things. Video game fans are not a homogenous entity.

    Your example, __J__, is of literally 1 goose.

    The actions of one goose doesn't suddenly invalidate the right of many to criticize.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    That's just taking a few geese and...ok I can't think of a metaphor.

    Crowds of people tend to have bad actors in them that do stupid things. Video game fans are not a homogenous entity.

    Your example, __J__, is of literally 1 goose.

    The actions of one goose doesn't suddenly invalidate the right of many to criticize.

    For the 4th time, I'm not talking about criticism. Art can be criticized.

    What i'm curious about is the nature of the criticism, the consumer-product based criticism, or the "I didn't get what they promised me" criticism. And the legal actions, or threats thereof, that treat the game like a defective toaster.

    "I didn't like it" is fine.

    "the product they promised me isn't the product they delivered" seems to treat ME3 not as art, but as a consumer product.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    In my time I've come to realize most things in life exist under simultaneous, and not necessarily corresponding, definitions.

    With many things there is often a:

    Legal Definition

    Literal Definition

    Scientific Definition

    and, sometimes, a

    Cultural Definition

    Legally, games need to be protected as art to allow games to potentially exist as a valid from of creative expression. Not so much that games become art by law, but giving them the room to be capable of it.

    Literally, games can be considered art, for a host of reasons involving how the medium allows people to express ideas and present others with interesting things to mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically react to. Most games do this in ways that are unique from eachother, given the staggering number of variables that allow a gamut of possibility. Much as is with most art, if all art was compared by process of creation, there'd be a hell of a lot of unique instances going on.

    Scientifically, well. In the case of games and art, it's hard to wrap a scientific definition around it all. At best we end up with a nebulous thing that exists around the thing we're trying for, whether it's the technology involved in the game, the biological responses that happen as we interact with art, or something else like that. Just charting the shadow of the experience, not the substance the experience itself.

    Culturally, there is very definitely a sense of games as art. Gaming culture has a painfully long way to go yet, but it already has many of the qualities one can find in its adjacent entertainment cultures, such as movies, music, and comics. Many of the negative qualities, actually. There really isn't a way to get rid of those, but we are getting better at developing more and more positive aspects to balance the equation. Cultural stuff gets changed all the time, as culture stems from the melting pot concept where stuff develops and redevelops and is repeatedly remade and reincorporated into new things as people involve themselves in the shared human experience of the celebration of stuff.

    Is Mass Effect Art? Wrong question.

    Is it acceptable for Art to experience change?
    A good question, but not one tied to Mass Effect or to games.

    Is changing Mass Effect going to affect my experience of it as Art? That's a better question, but the answer will not be inclusive, will not be quantifiable, and may change depending on other variables in your life state. Results may vary, and side effects are possible. If you continue to have trouble distinguishing Mass Effect or other objects in your life as Art, you may want to consult your local librarian for prescriptions including but not limited to: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell, Point and Line to Plane by Kandinsky, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, and/or Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme regular Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    "the product they promised me isn't the product they delivered" seems to treat ME3 not as art, but as a consumer product.

    Maybe that person doesn't see the game as art. More likely they're just emotionally hurt and lashing out. The "can we sue someone" thing comes up really often on the internet in regards to games. See: just about any MMO's forums.

    But then, this seems like it treads a more complex territory as well: if I marketed a game carefully and showed a bunch of awesome scenes, but then the rest of the game was 2D sprites and Pong, then have I been marketed a product truthfully?

    There may be artistic merit to the approach, or someone may have just set out to perform an elaborate scam. How do we distinguish these very similar cases?

  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    Can we stop pretending that any attitude in this debacle is monolithic? It's the worst kind of semantic drudgery to claim that someone is wrong because not all people interested in changing the game have the same opinion. It's almost as bad as claiming that the "overwhelming majority" of players have problems with the end, when the overwhelming majority haven't actually beaten the game yet.

    What's important here is that some people feel entitled to changes in the game because some people think they paid for it. What we're discussing is the overlap between these people and the people who claim that games are inviolable and uncensorable art. Realistically, you're not likely to find many people involved in the community who do not consider video games a form of art, and yet here what is unavoidably some of those who do, and they are demanding changes to another person's creative expression. Changes that are not merely proofreading or editing, but centrally related to the actual story content of the game.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    That's just taking a few geese and...ok I can't think of a metaphor.

    Crowds of people tend to have bad actors in them that do stupid things. Video game fans are not a homogenous entity.

    Your example, __J__, is of literally 1 goose.

    The actions of one goose doesn't suddenly invalidate the right of many to criticize.

    For the 4th time, I'm not talking about criticism. Art can be criticized.

    What i'm curious about is the nature of the criticism, the consumer-product based criticism, or the "I didn't get what they promised me" criticism. And the legal actions, or threats thereof, that treat the game like a defective toaster.

    "I didn't like it" is fine.

    "the product they promised me isn't the product they delivered" seems to treat ME3 not as art, but as a consumer product.

    ME3 is a consumer product

    It's art status is irrelevant to that, it's objectively and factually a consumer product, developed by a corporation to create a profit. Your feelings don't factor into that, it is what it is. Furthermore, it had hundreds of artists of different skill sets who designed it, many of which had to compromise their work along the way to meat budgetary requirements, deadlines, whatever.

    override367 on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Jakeman, do you know why and editor is called an editor? Do you know what a publishing company actually does?

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I hope this doesn't come off wrong, but usually, if I see something I should like that I don't, for reasons and opinions of my own, I generally take it as a sign I should be making stuff myself to accomplish these aims, rather than bitching at others for failing to deliver what I wanted to see in the first place. A lot of the time, frustration in the works of others is symptomatic of unrealized creative urges in oneself.

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