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

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Posts

  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    _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?

    Do developer interviews count as "marketing?" Brand positioning, maybe. Hype generating, sure. Buttressing an unwieldy amount of games journalists, absolutely. But "Marketing?"

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS 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.

    Yeah, it seems like some of the complaints about ME3's ending are "I've imagined a better ending, and Bioware didn't let me do that."

    That raises a whole new issue, though: The degree to which fans are actually co-creators of this gaming franchise.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Yeah, it seems like some of the complaints about ME3's ending are "I've imagined a better ending, and Bioware didn't let me do that."

    That raises a whole new issue, though: The degree to which fans are actually co-creators of this gaming franchise.

    Fans are not co-creators.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Yeah, it seems like some of the complaints about ME3's ending are "I've imagined a better ending, and Bioware didn't let me do that."

    That raises a whole new issue, though: The degree to which fans are actually co-creators of this gaming franchise.

    Fans are not co-creators.
    especially since Casey Hudson said that Bioware and the fans are co-creators of the Mass Effect series.

  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    Were fans "marketed" as co-creators?

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    Were fans "marketed" as co-creators?

    Well, Casey Hudson's claim that "There won't be A, B, C, endings" seems to count as marketing...so maybe?

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Yeah, it seems like some of the complaints about ME3's ending are "I've imagined a better ending, and Bioware didn't let me do that."

    That raises a whole new issue, though: The degree to which fans are actually co-creators of this gaming franchise.

    Fans are not co-creators.
    especially since Casey Hudson said that Bioware and the fans are co-creators of the Mass Effect series.

    Well, that's great and all, and a terrific spin to endear the fans ever more closely to the game, but...

    No.

    Are the fans getting paid for being 'co-creators'? Do they get their names in the credits? In order to be a fan, do you have to submit a resume detailing your skills and history that indicate you have what it takes to contribute to Bioware? Can Bioware fire you or lay you off if the game you are a fan of is cancelled or no longer supported?

    I like a lot of stuff, like Red Bull, 80's post-punk, and the films of David Lynch. My affinity for these things does not make me a co-creator, even if the people involved give me nonspecific lip service for my patronage.

  • KingofMadCowsKingofMadCows Registered User regular
    The test audience did not like the original ending for Terminator 2 because it was too happy and tied things up a little too well. So James Cameron went out in the middle of the night, shot some footage of the highway, had Linda Hamilton do a voice over, and that's the ending that was put in the film.

    The last chapter of "A Clockwork Orange" was inconsistent with the rest of the book. People did not like it. American publishers asked Anthony Burgess if they could cut the last chapter and he agreed. Kubrick went with the version without the last chapter in the film adaptation. That's now considered the definitive version.

    Sherlock Holmes died in a heroic battle against Professor Moriarty. Fans did not believe it. They came up with all sorts of ideas about how Holmes survived. They constantly asked Arthur Conan Doyle to bring Holmes back. Eventually, Doyle did bring Holmes back, and about half of Sherlock Holmes stories were written after he was brought back.

    William Shakespeare wrote different versions of his plays for different audiences. He made sure he had a version of the play that would appeal royalty and a version that would appeal to the peasants.

    Things like this happen. There is always interaction between the artist and the audience, not to mention the producer/publisher/censors/advertisers/etc.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    _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.

    I don't believe anyone has ever criticized a toaster for being emotionally empty and nonsensical.

    "It started toasting the bread really well at first, but then at the end my toaster turned into a microwave and gave me a lean pocket. Would not purchase again."

    In general however I suspect there's really no way for this argument to end well as it will inevitably be "What is art?" and "Who owns art?" which are fundamentally unanswerable questions. I do find the attempts to draw mostly arbitrary distinctions in support of one's position to be enjoyably foolish (which isn't a complaint against anyone in the thread specifically, just more a statement that "oh boo hoo if you do / don't change the ending / story / game / DLC or if you do / don't charge for it then you are / aren't an artist and you can't have it both / neither / one way!"

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    The test audience did not like the original ending for Terminator 2 because it was too happy and tied things up a little too well. So James Cameron went out in the middle of the night, shot some footage of the highway, had Linda Hamilton do a voice over, and that's the ending that was put in the film.

    The last chapter of "A Clockwork Orange" was inconsistent with the rest of the book. People did not like it. American publishers asked Anthony Burgess if they could cut the last chapter and he agreed. Kubrick went with the version without the last chapter in the film adaptation. That's now considered the definitive version.

    Sherlock Holmes died in a heroic battle against Professor Moriarty. Fans did not believe it. They came up with all sorts of ideas about how Holmes survived. They constantly asked Arthur Conan Doyle to bring Holmes back. Eventually, Doyle did bring Holmes back, and about half of Sherlock Holmes stories were written after he was brought back.

    William Shakespeare wrote different versions of his plays for different audiences. He made sure he had a version of the play that would appeal royalty and a version that would appeal to the peasants.

    Things like this happen. There is always interaction between the artist and the audience, not to mention the producer/publisher/censors/advertisers/etc.

    Yes, but that is also part of the creative process on behalf of the creators and not the audience. Games have this too. They're usually called beta-testers or play testers.

    Bioware can totally invite its audience to consider themselves co-creators of Mass Effect or whatever, but the bottom line in all this is more that it's an effort to engineer the appeal of the game and acknowledge what people respond strongly to. I don't feel that's really the same as being involved in the creative process, it's more of giving the creators a heads-up in terms of what requires more attention. It's more of a reactive response than a proactive response-audiences don't get to tell creators what to do, so much as tell them what didn't work in what they did do.

    That may seem like semantics, but it's not-it's a rare thing that a creator will follow specific direction from an audience, and it's also much more likely that a creator will key in on what audiences share as a common negative in the work as being something that requires change of some kind. It's pretty rare that an audience will have the same positive suggestions, but you can usually count on a flaw or an oversight being spotted by many people in the same way.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    There's a distinction between a critic and an author, although the distribution opportunities allowed by the internet and the flexibility of videogames as a varied medium (audio, visual, intellectual) makes that distinction very blurry in some places.

    Things get blurrier when you talk about authors that respond to a community. If an author recognizes a meme or joke or theme is particularly popular and changes their work to incorporate it, who gets ownership?

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • KingofMadCowsKingofMadCows Registered User regular
    The test audience did not like the original ending for Terminator 2 because it was too happy and tied things up a little too well. So James Cameron went out in the middle of the night, shot some footage of the highway, had Linda Hamilton do a voice over, and that's the ending that was put in the film.

    The last chapter of "A Clockwork Orange" was inconsistent with the rest of the book. People did not like it. American publishers asked Anthony Burgess if they could cut the last chapter and he agreed. Kubrick went with the version without the last chapter in the film adaptation. That's now considered the definitive version.

    Sherlock Holmes died in a heroic battle against Professor Moriarty. Fans did not believe it. They came up with all sorts of ideas about how Holmes survived. They constantly asked Arthur Conan Doyle to bring Holmes back. Eventually, Doyle did bring Holmes back, and about half of Sherlock Holmes stories were written after he was brought back.

    William Shakespeare wrote different versions of his plays for different audiences. He made sure he had a version of the play that would appeal royalty and a version that would appeal to the peasants.

    Things like this happen. There is always interaction between the artist and the audience, not to mention the producer/publisher/censors/advertisers/etc.

    Yes, but that is also part of the creative process on behalf of the creators and not the audience. Games have this too. They're usually called beta-testers or play testers.

    Bioware can totally invite its audience to consider themselves co-creators of Mass Effect or whatever, but the bottom line in all this is more that it's an effort to engineer the appeal of the game and acknowledge what people respond strongly to. I don't feel that's really the same as being involved in the creative process, it's more of giving the creators a heads-up in terms of what requires more attention. It's more of a reactive response than a proactive response-audiences don't get to tell creators what to do, so much as tell them what didn't work in what they did do.

    That may seem like semantics, but it's not-it's a rare thing that a creator will follow specific direction from an audience, and it's also much more likely that a creator will key in on what audiences share as a common negative in the work as being something that requires change of some kind. It's pretty rare that an audience will have the same positive suggestions, but you can usually count on a flaw or an oversight being spotted by many people in the same way.

    What about "A Clockwork Orange" having its last chapter eliminated as a result of feedback from audiences and the publishers?

    What about Arthur Conan Doyle bringing back Sherlock Holmes because of fan pressure?

    Both of those cases are reactive.

    This also happens a lot in television. Shows would eliminate characters or subplots the audience doesn't like or expand the role of minor characters people do like.

  • SagrothSagroth Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    In case this hasn't been pointed out yet:

    The supposition earlier in this thread that books do not have their content changed after publication is false. In a very ironic turn indeed, a rather prominent recent example of this is the most recent Mass Effect novel, that has been confirmed by Bioware to now being rewritten to fix continuity gaffes. And this is due to-guess what?-fans demanding it be changed.

    Sagroth on
    3DS Code: 5155-3087-0800
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast 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.

    Somewhere before your editor tells you "add an emo vampire to your book. People like buying stuff with emo vampires" or "change the ending, it's not happy enough" or "the focus group said it should be this way instead".

    There's good ways and bad ways to conduct the editorial process.

    I'd say, generally, the good ways are much more about honing the artistic vision of the creator(s) to make a better product, not changing the product to suit a marketing agenda.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    In general however I suspect there's really no way for this argument to end well as it will inevitably be "What is art?" and "Who owns art?" which are fundamentally unanswerable questions. I do find the attempts to draw mostly arbitrary distinctions in support of one's position to be enjoyably foolish (which isn't a complaint against anyone in the thread specifically, just more a statement that "oh boo hoo if you do / don't change the ending / story / game / DLC or if you do / don't charge for it then you are / aren't an artist and you can't have it both / neither / one way!"

    One useful question we could address is what merit the "games are art" label has, when we treat games as a mere product we consume and treat as anything else we purchase as a result of marketing.

    If we define the category of "art" and "consumer product", do we find that any of the qualities conflict? And if so, how do we deal with situations in which one label is priviledged over the other?

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    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.

    I can't speak for everyone who's disappointed with the ending, but personally I don't think I'm demanding changes to anyone's creative expression. I'm saying that they failed to express whatever they wanted to express, because of lazy, sub-par craftsmanship, and I'm demanding an improvement in the quality of their work. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, given that the rest of their work is absolutely fantastic.

    People keep bringing up the Dark Tower series and going all "olol next these fools will demand that King change his ending", but that is not an analogous situation. The ending of Dark Tower isn't a case of poor craftsmanship. Some people are unhappy with what King is saying, not how he says it. To achieve something similar to what the makers of ME3 did with their ending, King would have had to lower the quality of his prose enough to make the entire ending unintelligible, then smear some poop on the pages for emphasis.

    MSL59.jpg
  • SagrothSagroth Registered User regular
    Oh I dunno, the last 100 pages of the final Dark Tower book were rather rubbish.

    Susannah freaking out and quitting out of the blue? The Crimson King just being some dude with Harry Potter snitches? Being killed by lolart?

    Frankly, my wife and I would love a rewrite or a short story that better ends the series.

    3DS Code: 5155-3087-0800
  • SagrothSagroth Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Tying the above somewhat to the topic at hand:

    Neither my wife nor I took to the Internet after reading the ending to Dark Tower and demanded that King change the ending. In fact, this might be the first time I've ever brought it up(I think the wife made a derisive joke about something else and compared it to DT in a Facebook post or something, though).

    What we DID do, though, was never buy a King book again. For reals. We did read "Cell" because a friend loaned it out, but we have not given him a dime since DT, and "Cell" was the very last of his we read. And I had read absolutely everything King had written up until that point(I read like a madman in Middle and High school). We did this without making any threats or decrees. It was an ultimatum we gave ourselves: until King gave his opus a proper ending, we were done with his multiverse.

    Why this matters is that our actions parallel something I was told over and over again while working in retail: for every Person who's vocally discontent and makes a fuss, there are at least 10 others also upset who won't say anything. Instead, they'll just cease being your customer without a fuss. I imagine the internet has decreased that ratio, but to me it proves the lie that is IGN, Game Informer, etc, insisting that it's just a very small and vocal minority who are angry at the Mass Effect 3 ending.

    Unfortunately, if you were to ask me if the Dark Tower series had just ended, would I go online and demand a change now? I wouldn't be able to give you a definitive answer. I don't think I'd do any demanding. Maybe express my discontent and the reasons, and state what I'd like to see. Maybe.

    Sagroth on
    3DS Code: 5155-3087-0800
  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you'd read everything King had written up till that point you should have figured out that his endings were usually atrocious.

  • SagrothSagroth Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    If you'd read everything King had written up till that point you should have figured out that his endings were usually atrocious.

    Oh, I dunno. "Insomnia" had an excellent showdown with the Crimson King compared to DT. And Marinville vs Tak in that one(not "Regulators", the other one that started with a D). And "warp speed Mr Sulu" in "Tommyknockers" was awesome. But yeah, "The Stand" had a lousy ending, I guess.

    3DS Code: 5155-3087-0800
  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    Insomnia has a pretty terrible ending, I think. It makes little sense unless you're also reading King's other stuff. He did this a lot, tying all his books together with Dark Tower gubbins that meant nothing if you didn't read them. Black House had the same problem, though it's by far the better book.

    It's an common problem with horror fiction (the monster is revealed and suddenly isn't so scary - it's a big spider!), but King's endings are often worse than that.

  • SagrothSagroth Registered User regular
    I'm not entirely certain why the wife and I were so upset about DT, then. I'm thinking perhaps it has to do with how much hype King gave it even in the work itself. When the character talk to King himself in the author insertion portion of "Song of Suzannah," he goes out of his way to exclaim how important the work was to him and his universe. And, admittedly, how scared he was to finish it and how he might not be worthy of it.

    Unfortunately, he was right.

    3DS Code: 5155-3087-0800
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I have to agree with Sagroth on all things DT. It was also more than a bit odd that, after waiting several years between each installment, suddenly we got like, the last THREE of the books in the span of just over a year's time.

  • GonmunGonmun He keeps kickin' me in the dickRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    @kakos,

    In regards to your earlier post I have to argue the "entirety is the ending" and here is why I say this. You brought up the options of a certain plot point in the game so I'm going to put the rest of this into spoilers for those folks who haven't reached the part yet or don't want to be spoiled...
    In relation to the Quarian/Geth conflict we reach one of three possible endings, all of which I feel can be voided depending on which decision you make at the very end of the game. Say you managed to broker peace between them and then choose to destroy all synthetics. The work you did has all been negated. Or if you chose to side with the Geth, they are then destroyed and the choice you made has been made moot.

    To me the ending felt like it did not have the polish that the rest of the game did and I believe that has to do with what many have said or speculated that the creative process used for the vast majority of the game was thrown out by one individual or a few who decided to come up with the end themselves rather then have a collaborative effort in it like the rest of the game. To me, that's rather lazy and/or ignorant of the story that was told. You don't make a saga like this only to decide for the last 5 minutes "I'm going to do this on my own without any help or input from the ones who got me to this point". It's a slap in the face of the whole process before it if you ask me.

    I'm sure I'm going to get picked apart for whatever reason for the example I'm going to make but it would be like having a group all working on a mural of a river, a piece of art, and the head of the group saying "Hey guys, we've all done a great job but I'm going to do this last bit you guys don't worry I've got this" and when he finishes the mural. But he decided to add a person relieving themselves into the river in the part that he did alone. It kind of goes against the rest of the work and for that matter because none of the other contributors were consulted it puts them in an awkward position because now you have this piece with this one small part that has irrevocably changed the tone of the entirety.

    With that in mind I'd really like to pick the brains of all the writers and how many are for and against this ending.

    Gonmun on
    desc wrote: »
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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    It's not strange, and it's not inconsistent with the idea that video games are art.

    1) It's art they are selling. They are promoting their sales using advertising. The advertising lied about what the art contained. That makes it false advertising. This does not affect the product's status as "art", unless you are making the argument that something being sold to a consumer automatically makes it not-art, in which case your problem is not with gamers but with everything from modern art auctions to Medieval art patrons.

    2) Art can suck. "It's art" isn't an obligation for everyone to like an item. Literature is art, yet Atlas Shrugged sucks. Sculpture is art, yet that ridiculous thing in Place de Paris in Québec City sucks. And video games are art, yet the ending of ME3 sucks. Giving something the label "art" doesn't shield it from negative reviews and personal opinions.

    Now on to your next point: what sense does it make to have consumers demand a change of art when the government can't? It makes lots of sense.

    A) First on the difference between individuals and the government. Individuals asking an artist to change their art is "market pressure". The government asking an artist to change their art is "government censorship". Those are two very different things. That's why it's ok for the public to make that demand but not for the government.

    B) Artists edit their art all the time. Books are reviewed by editors. Movies are cut and recut by studios. As someone pointed out, Michalengelo changed the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Editing art does not void its status as art. Thus, editing the ending of ME3 won't change its status as video game art.

    C) The public is making this request by virtue of the fact they are the consumers of the art, and they have the right to request a consumer product they like. The artists have the right to refuse. If they feel the art is perfect the way it is and do not want to jeopardize their artistic principles, then they should refuse. If they feel that selling their art is more important, then they'll give in.

    D) The outrage and lawsuit are not so much about the art as they are about the false advertising of the art. The product advertised was X, gamers were explicitly promised X, and in the end the product delivered was not-X. That is completely justifiable ground for outrage. Whether or not it is ground for lawsuits as well will be determined by the courts, but I personally feel it is. At any rate, as I pointed out in #1 above there is no dichotomy between consumer products and art, therefore this point does not relate to whether ME3 is art.

    sig.gif
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Richy drops the microphone and walks off the stage. There is an explosion behind him. He does not look back.

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    I can understand some of the annoyance, but the lawsuit is insane. Is someone going to sue Vince Vaughan for claiming his movie about Santa's brother was 'fun'?

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    You can claim false advertising on anything. In Mass Effect's case, there's probably more standing for this kind of thing since Bioware seems to be asking for input from its audience, but in general I don't think that there's any standing for an audience to demand something be changed. They can of course critique, they can of course complain, they can even say "hey, this was stupid, here's what I would've done" (like the countless prequel trilogy stuff) but to demand something get changed because I'm The Audience, You Owe Me! is pretty ridiculous and entitled.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Bogart wrote: »
    I can understand some of the annoyance, but the lawsuit is insane. Is someone going to sue Vince Vaughan for claiming his movie about Santa's brother was 'fun'?

    Someone should!

    But more seriously, as my lawyer friend is fond of saying, anyone has the right to sue anyone else for anything. It's the courts' function to determine which of these lawsuits are legitimate and which are frivolious. We can just wait and see how it comes down in this case.

    Richy on
    sig.gif
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    i think another issue is that it's pretty hard to officially change the ending to a book or a movie, since everyone will still have those original versions, but a video game can be patched, which I feel to be a more substantive - not to mention immediate and widespread - method of post-release revision

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • NightspellNightspell Registered User
    edited March 2012
    As a commercial artist, I believe art is both "art" and a consumer product, based on your intentions with it. If you make art for yourself, solely for your expression with no intention of making money on the piece, then you can tell anyone/everyone to take a flying leap, you aren't changing a thing. Someone may come around and decide they like it just the way you did it and offer to purchase said piece. Now as the artist, if you decide to caterer to a particular audience in efforts to make more money, then you have essentially decided that what your audience wants is more important than your "artistic vision." I don't see it as selling out, but merely making a living with the skills you have, but you are now making a product, not just your "vision". (The joke in art school was, "You can paint whatever you want, but if you want to make money, paint landscapes.")

    In the case of Mass Effect, I equate it to when an artist does a commission. They are making a product for a specific consumer base (Fans of the series and potential new gamers being introduced to the series.) Can it also have artistic expression? Sure. But it is also a product that will be open to consumer criticism. RetakeMassEffect was about uniting those that shared the same consumer criticism, and because we live in an age where it is in fact possible to change the ending this opens doors to Bioware as artists and product developers. Here is the part that many seem to dismiss. Bioware has a choice. They can choose to say, "No, it ended as was intended. This is our vision, don't like it, return it/don't buy it." But that doesn't necessarily make your consumer base very happy, and will later hurt sales, particularly since they want to sell DLC. I have played all 3 ME games through multiple times, though I can't seem to finish my second play through of ME3 because, to me, it feels kind of pointless. Now Dragon Age: Origins, I played at least 5 times through because each time felt different even though all endings were somewhat bittersweet.

    The point I'm trying to make in all of this rambling, is that art isn't/shouldn't be made in a vacuum, and if you wish people to buy your product/art then consumer criticism comes with the gig. If you don't like it, don't try to sell the product. And to change your "artistic vision" based on the consumer feedback, is a choice, not a requirement. Do I hope they release some type of DLC
    that takes my decisions (and war assets that isn't hinged on whether I played multilayer><) into account and doesn't feel like I am watching the EXACT same cinematic just with different colors
    I would be elated and glued back to my couch cushion. I would happily hand over cash for it too, because as the consumer that would be worth it for me to purchase. But Bioware doesn't have to do anything, just accept that they are going to have to continue to deal with the consumer criticism and financial backlash of that choice.

    Nightspell on
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    i think another issue is that it's pretty hard to officially change the ending to a book or a movie, since everyone will still have those original versions, but a video game can be patched, which I feel to be a more substantive - not to mention immediate and widespread - method of post-release revision

    Well, that makes facilitating the change much less of a logistical nightmare. I suppose I could imagine some hypothetical action wherein people with, say, a book, are able to send in their defective copies to the publisher and receive a proper copy in return. I'm not sure how devastating that kind of turnover would be for a publisher of any type of media, but I suppose it would come down to how many people actually come forward to collect on the revision.

    That would actually be some interesting data to know, if an optional patch surfaces, to see how many get it, versus original sales.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    I have to agree with Sagroth on all things DT. It was also more than a bit odd that, after waiting several years between each installment, suddenly we got like, the last THREE of the books in the span of just over a year's time.

    He almost died, freaked out about never finishing the series and forced the last 3 out in short order.

    DT worked best when it came naturally to him. The last 3 did not.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    American publishers asked Anthony Burgess if they could cut the last chapter and he agreed. Kubrick went with the version without the last chapter in the film adaptation. That's now considered the definitive version.
    What about "A Clockwork Orange" having its last chapter eliminated as a result of feedback from audiences and the publishers?

    FYI, this is misleading.

    Burgess didn't agree to cut the last chapter from ACO because he thought it made for a better book, or because his audience demanded it. He simply resigned the battle because he was desperate for money. When he discovered - when the film was nearly complete - that Kubrick had based the film on the American rather than the English version, Burgess was disappointed. Later in his life, when Burgess had more financial success and more leverage, he insisted that the last chapter be restored in all subsequent printings.

    In any case, while the Kubrick film is 'definitive' (mostly by virtue of Kubrick's brilliance), the truncated version of the novel is not considered definitive by anybody. As far as I know, the edited version is no longer in print and the modern versions of the book that I've read included a forward written by Burgess describing everything I just said.

    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
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Richy drops the microphone and walks off the stage. There is an explosion behind him. He does not look back.

    That was an excellent post and spared me the trouble of writing it.

    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.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    American publishers asked Anthony Burgess if they could cut the last chapter and he agreed. Kubrick went with the version without the last chapter in the film adaptation. That's now considered the definitive version.
    What about "A Clockwork Orange" having its last chapter eliminated as a result of feedback from audiences and the publishers?

    FYI, this is misleading.

    Burgess didn't agree to cut the last chapter from ACO because he thought it made for a better book, or because his audience demanded it. He simply resigned the battle because he was desperate for money. When he discovered - when the film was nearly complete - that Kubrick had based the film on the American rather than the English version, Burgess was disappointed. Later in his life, when Burgess had more financial success and more leverage, he insisted that the last chapter be restored in all subsequent printings.

    In any case, while the Kubrick film is 'definitive' (mostly by virtue of Kubrick's brilliance), the truncated version of the novel is not considered definitive by anybody. As far as I know, the edited version is no longer in print and the modern versions of the book that I've read included a forward written by Burgess describing everything I just said.

    It's also silly to act like an adaptation determines the definitive version of the work being adapted.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    It's also silly to act like an adaptation determines the definitive version of the work being adapted.

    I consider Peter Jackson's to be the definitive version of Lord of the Rings. ;)

    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.
  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    I liked Dark tower's ending, and I enjoyed all of the books. If King caved to fan pressure and significantly changed any of it, my enjoyment would be invalidated in favor of those who didn't enjoy the ending.

    I feel the same way about the end to Mass Effect.

    And again, because someone will do this: some people are demanding that the ending be radically altered. It doesn't mean it's you, and coming along and quoting me and saying "Well I think the ending ought to just be clarified" doesn't mean a damn thing.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    An analogy:

    How would you like it if the ending to Stephan King's Dark Tower series was written by another author, without any editing or review by King or his editors (any editors, actually) and completely ignored all of the plot progression that happened not only through the last novel, but all previous novels.

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    It's also silly to act like an adaptation determines the definitive version of the work being adapted.

    I consider Peter Jackson's to be the definitive version of Lord of the Rings. ;)

    Well that's silly for any number of reasons : P

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