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

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  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    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.

    Since Casey Hudson and Mac Whatsisface were the lead writers on the whole game I think this analogy isn't a very good analogy. It's more like King writing the ending over a weekend and not letting his editors near it than another writer coming in to finish it.

  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    But that doesn't describe how I felt about the ending to Mass effect at all, nor is it even accurate as the ending is entirely affected by your plot progression as measured by the war assets bar.

    Some people were expecting a different ending, which I think is silly because the point is not to expect what happens in a story, but to read what happens in a story and think about it.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    No, it isn't. It doesn't matter in the slightest where war assets come from, and after a certain point getting more doesn't make the slightest cosmetic difference. All you need is the number, and in the last five minutes how you got it is completely irrelevant, as is everything else you did up to that point because Walters and Hudson wanted lots of speculation.

  • AutomaticzenAutomaticzen Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    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.

    This, consequently is why developers have PR people who stop them from answering certain questions.

    Depending on how the case goes, they'll just clam up a little more because game development is not a point A to Point B process. Hell, most projects aren't.

    http://www.usgamer.net/
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/
    I write about video games and stuff. It is fun. Sometimes.
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    Some people were expecting a different ending, which I think is silly because the point is not to expect what happens in a story, but to read what happens in a story and think about it.

    My understanding isn't that people were expecting a different ending. Rather, they were expecting the ending to have certain features - namely that it would be thematically consistent with the rest of the series and that the decisions they had made throughout the series would have an impact on it. It's the fact these features were abscent the ending that upset people.

    There is a fundamental difference between "the ending featured a wizard and I wanted a scientist" and "the ending featured a wizard yet everything in the story was scientifically explained and there was never any magic involved". The first is people complaining that they wanted a different ending, which can be petty. The second is people complaining that the ending is inconsistent with the rest of the story, which is a legitimate (and dare I say 'artisitc') complain. It is also exacerbated by the fact the game was basically advertised as having "a totally scientific ending with no wizards whatsoever, we promise!"

    sig.gif
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    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.

    The thing is in a video game you could have both endings, a branching path right befor the old one that gives the player a chance to see a different one. Hell they could keep going and patch in 20 new ones.

    Jeedan on
  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    No, it isn't. It doesn't matter in the slightest where war assets come from, and after a certain point getting more doesn't make the slightest cosmetic difference. All you need is the number, and in the last five minutes how you got it is completely irrelevant, as is everything else you did up to that point because Walters and Hudson wanted lots of speculation.
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    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.

    ___________
    Richy wrote: »
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    Some people were expecting a different ending, which I think is silly because the point is not to expect what happens in a story, but to read what happens in a story and think about it.

    My understanding isn't that people were expecting a different ending. Rather, they were expecting the ending to have certain features - namely that it would be thematically consistent with the rest of the series and that the decisions they had made throughout the series would have an impact on it. It's the fact these features were absent the ending that upset people.

    There is a fundamental difference between "the ending featured a wizard and I wanted a scientist" and "the ending featured a wizard yet everything in the story was scientifically explained and there was never any magic involved". The first is people complaining that they wanted a different ending, which can be petty. The second is people complaining that the ending is inconsistent with the rest of the story, which is a legitimate (and dare I say 'artistic') complain. It is also exacerbated by the fact the game was basically advertised as having "a totally scientific ending with no wizards whatsoever, we promise!"
    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

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    But that doesn't describe how I felt about the ending to Mass effect at all, nor is it even accurate as the ending is entirely affected by your plot progression as measured by the war assets bar.

    Some people were expecting a different ending, which I think is silly because the point is not to expect what happens in a story, but to read what happens in a story and think about it.

    This does not apply to the stories in those video games that invite the player to make choices based on their expectations as to the consequences of those choices.

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

    Wait.

    Really?

    Your enjoyment would be...invalidated? You would feel like it was taken away and didn't happen?

    This is confusing to me.

  • 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
    Bogart wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    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.

    Since Casey Hudson and Mac Whatsisface were the lead writers on the whole game I think this analogy isn't a very good analogy. It's more like King writing the ending over a weekend and not letting his editors near it than another writer coming in to finish it.

    DarkPrimus is probably referring to the authorial changes between Mass Effect games. Lead writer on ME1 was Drew Karpyshyn; ME2 was written by Drew Karpyshyn and Mac Walters; ME3 was written by Mac Walters and Casey Hudson.

    The implication here is that if they had just kept Drew Karpyshyn on the whole thing, the ending might have been better. That's entirely possible. That's also only tangentially relevant to the broad questions being discussed in this thread; it's only interesting in the light of this one specific example. I don't know that we can draw any particular conclusions from authorial changes - if art is properly understood as the product of a single creative mind, then sure these kinds of authorial changes make art less... artistic. But there's plenty of art that is collaborative (any video game or movie or TV show; lots of comic books; some novels), for which this attitude is problematic. I also think it's problematic to view the author in that light (see: Roland Barthes). It's just as possible for a new creative mind to pick up an old tired work and turn it into something amazing as it is to ruin it; just because the most recent author to touch a property isn't the first one doesn't automatically invalidate his contributions.

    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.
  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    edited March 2012
    My enjoyment would mean nothing to the people who wanted a different ending. Indeed, that someone can enjoy the ending is already tacitly denied under guise of proving the ending "objectively" bad.

    Invalidate != taken away.

    Art is interpretative, and if video games are art, then the ending is just as interpretative.

    Thejakeman on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    I think the thread title should be changed to better reflect the intended discussion: Are video games always art, or can they simply be consumer products?

    They're consumer products, first. Art comes second.

    QlBGc.jpg
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    My enjoyment would mean nothing to the people who wanted a different ending. Indeed, that someone can enjoy the ending is already tacitly denied under guise of proving the ending "objectively" bad.

    Invalidate != taken away.

    Art is interpretative, and if video games are art, then the ending is just as interpretative.

    There's a fine line between "interpretative" and "the author couldn't be bothered to create a proper ending so he just dumped the responsibility on the reader". That's beside the point though. I submit that having to argue about "the" ending is the root of the entire problem here. We were supposed to get multiple possible endings, plural, but instead we got one ending in three different colors. If you happen to like that ending, good for you, but the fact remains that you, too, were deprived of what was advertised. Many other people are pissed off because not only did they effectively get only one ending, the ending they got was (in their opinion) of poor quality.

    Having said that, I don't think _J_'s purpose was to start yet another argument about the merits (or lack thereof) of the ME3 ending. Maybe we should consider those games that are art but not consumer products. Take Dwarf Fortress, for example. It's not a collaborative effort, it's free (although the developer gets decent donations), and it has one definitive author who develops the game for his own amusement. Yet people keep making demands, occasionally in a pretty aggressive manner, for stuff like UI improvements, bug fixes, and support for 3rd party applications. Are we, the players, within our rights to do that? Is it more reasonable to demand changes from Bioware than from Toady One (the developer of DF)? My tentative opinion is that it's perfectly reasonable to try and demand improvements to your gaming experience regardless of whether you paid for it or not. You just have more leverage against Bioware than Toady One, because Bioware depends on you buying their future products.

    Bliss 101 on
    MSL59.jpg
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Sheep wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    I think the thread title should be changed to better reflect the intended discussion: Are video games always art, or can they simply be consumer products?

    They're consumer products, first. Art comes second.

    Then they have absolutely no artistic license and should be regulated for content by the government.

    What is this I don't even.
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    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.

    Since Casey Hudson and Mac Whatsisface were the lead writers on the whole game I think this analogy isn't a very good analogy. It's more like King writing the ending over a weekend and not letting his editors near it than another writer coming in to finish it.

    No, Mac Walters was "Lead Writer", which means he's manager for the writing staff in addition to writing stuff. Casey Hudson was the Director, which is a nebulous term in game design.

    As credited on IMDb, there were five writers for Mass Effect 3, including Mac Walters. Each of the other four writers for the game contributed as much to the game as Mac Walters did, if not more - we don't have an explicit breakdown of what every writer wrote, but they worked in collaboration with each other so that, even if one writer was writing the scenario and dialogue for a certain mission, the person who wrote a certain squadmate would still be assisting in that character's writing. Example: John Dombrow wrote the section of the game on Tuchanka, but Patrick Weekes helped him draft Mordin's dialogue throughout and they fully collaborated on the finale (trying to keep this spoiler-free-ish). The writing of the game was a collaborative effort with everyone working together, except for the final moments of the game.

    Unlike a lot of people out there, I'm not frothing at the mouth and shouting about how terrible BioWare is. I have no qualms about the people who made Mass Effect 3 in general, my disappointment lies solely with Hudson and Walters, who broke their own system of game writing because they thought they knew better than everyone else.

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  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    I think the thread title should be changed to better reflect the intended discussion: Are video games always art, or can they simply be consumer products?

    They're consumer products, first. Art comes second.

    Then they have absolutely no artistic license and should be regulated for content by the government.

    That's a bit of a non-sequitur, isn't it? If a company hires a consulting firm to do market research, the report on the results is a consumer product with no artistic license, but it wouldn't be regulated for content by the government either.

  • 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
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Take Dwarf Fortress, for example. It's not a collaborative effort, it's free (although the developer gets decent donations), and it has one definitive author who develops the game for his own amusement. Yet people keep making demands, occasionally in a pretty aggressive manner, for stuff like UI improvements, bug fixes, and support for 3rd party applications. Are we, the players, within our rights to do that? Is it more reasonable to demand changes from Bioware than from Toady One (the developer of DF)? My tentative opinion is that it's perfectly reasonable to try and demand improvements to your gaming experience regardless of whether you paid for it or not. You just have more leverage against Bioware than Toady One, because Bioware depends on you buying their future products.

    That's a good example.

    And it depends on what you mean by 'demand.'

    Do the fans have any legal or financial recourse to back their feature-requests? Not without some really bizarre confluence of circumstances (eg, Dwarf Fortress releases a version containing a trojan that erases peoples' hard drives.) In that sense, fans might "demand" new features but their demands don't really carry much weight.

    Do they have the right to request new features or to criticize free products? Yes, of course they do. Why wouldn't they? Toady One isn't infallible; and we can presume that he has at least some small desire for people to play and enjoy his game, so it would be silly to say that there is no room at all for fan feedback. I think that sometimes what I consider a request or a criticism or a suggestion, other people would call a demand. "Dear free roguelike developer, you should add an assassin class to your game, and here's why..." Is that a demand? I don't think so. I think it's a polite suggestion. Even if I don't necessary say "please." But I can see how other people might consider it a demand.

    None of this justifies people being strident or insulting, of course - that's a different issue entirely.

    That's a bit of a non-sequitur, isn't it?

    Yeah, I was also thinking that it was a nonsequitur.

    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.
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    As someone who has seen how the video-game-writing sausage is made, trotting out the Lead Writers' names and only the Lead Writers' names, and giving them complete "creative ownership" of the product, like you would give to George Lucas or Stephen King, makes me very sad.

    It's very possible that many of the things that endeared me to Mass Effect (the bits that weren't borrowed from the Uplift Trilogy anyway, and holy crap how did I not know about that series until now?) were created by someone else, some slogging keyboard monkey down in the cube farm - in the same way that it turns out that we may have Lucas's collaborators to thank for many excellent things about Star Wars.

    The more people involved in the creation of a project, the more hesitant I am to grant complete creative ownership of the soul of that project to a single person. A book? Yes, the writer owns that creatively. A comic? Writer and artist share. A TV show... hmm. How much of that is the lead writer?

    Look at Supernatural: I trust Ben Edlund (the guy who created the Tick and writes/produces on Supernatural) a lot more than I trust Eric Kripke (the guy who created Supernatural). Both work on many of the episodes, and it's impossible to tell who wrote a given line, yet I think Ben is more directly responsible for much of the joy I got out of that show than Eric is. But Eric is the creator, so must I honor his ideas about the show as inviolate? I say no... as soon as you are creating in a collaborative atmosphere, you surrender some of your control and some of your credit to others.

    I'm not so much saying "Bioware, change your ending," rather I'm saying "I'd like to see what endings we would get if other writers on your staff got a crack at it."

    The following is a huge ending spoiler, outlining a minor change that I feel would have massively changed how I feel about the ending.
    Every other ending to a Mass Effect game, when it came time to make my final choice, I had members of my squad with me. Friends, loved ones, people who were with me to the end. Losing their input for the last moments of the game may have been intended to be poignant, but instead it left me feeling empty. I would have liked to hear what Garrus, or Liara, or Edi had to say.

    And while every other crew member has something to do, somewhere to go, somewhere they should be instead... if there were one person I was going to ask to explode consciousnesses and become the singularity with me, it is Garrus Vakarian.

    I actually felt like it was almost a violation of his established character that he wasn't there. If there's one person I'd expect to make it through the beam with me and throw himself into a universe of all-consuming, life altering light with me, it's him.

    And that is, to some extent, one of the problems here. Everyone has a different character who is most important to them, and in order to make endings that were generic enough for everyone to see, they had to eliminate my favorite part of the game from the ending: the opinions, thoughts, and character development of squadmates.

    I feel like Mass Effect 3 was a chorus of harmonious writerly voices until the ending, at which point it was pinched down, cut to a small handful singing in unison, and became less than it was before.

    Cultural Geek Girl on
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  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    I think the thread title should be changed to better reflect the intended discussion: Are video games always art, or can they simply be consumer products?

    They're consumer products, first. Art comes second.

    Then they have absolutely no artistic license and should be regulated for content by the government.

    That's a bit of a non-sequitur, isn't it? If a company hires a consulting firm to do market research, the report on the results is a consumer product with no artistic license, but it wouldn't be regulated for content by the government either.

    Given that the argument for video games as art was surrounding whether or not the government can regulate their content, it's 100% germane to the topic here. The audience for a marketing report is wildly different than the audience for a video game (or a movie or a novel).

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2012
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    I think the thread title should be changed to better reflect the intended discussion: Are video games always art, or can they simply be consumer products?

    They're consumer products, first. Art comes second.

    Then they have absolutely no artistic license and should be regulated for content by the government.

    That's a bit of a non-sequitur, isn't it? If a company hires a consulting firm to do market research, the report on the results is a consumer product with no artistic license, but it wouldn't be regulated for content by the government either.

    Given that the argument for video games as art was surrounding whether or not the government can regulate their content, it's 100% germane to the topic here. The audience for a marketing report is wildly different than the audience for a video game (or a movie or a novel).

    So maybe games don't need to be art to be free from government regulation? I thought the United States was supposed to be the land of the free, where the First Amendment stands as a bulwark against the tide of government regulation that would erode the speech beach.

    Sorry, I got a little carried away there.

    Anyway. The idea that all games have to be art to be protected speech strikes me as kind of ridiculous.

    Grid System 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
    Maybe games don't need to be art to be free from government regulation?

    They don't need to be 'art' to be covered by the First Amendment, they just need to be expression. And even if they're expression, that doesn't make them completely free from government regulation, it just puts tight restrictions on how they can be regulated and why and by whom, and doesn't mean that the commercial transactions associated with that expression can't be regulated distinctly from the expression itself. The equivocation between California's video game labeling law and customer complaints is bizarre and spurious and Richy was completely correct when he took a big ol' shit on it upthread.

    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.
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.

    I'm not sure about the vocal minority thing. So far, in conversation with friends and relations, It's been a roughly 45/55 ratio or so of "thought it was OK" vs "actively disliked it." So far I haven't met a single person in real life who really likes the ending. Now, granted, my sample is skewed towards people who care about things like literary themes and character development, and people who have read a lot of science fiction.

    But anyway, the great thing about games, the thing that makes them more interesting to me as an artistic medium than pretty much any other medium, is that things can change while they also stay the same.

    I would prefer it if Bioware does not change the existing endings, but rather adds means by which other endings, or variations on the same ending, are possible. The ending as it exists should exist, pristine. But the artistic strength video games have over all other forms of art is the flexibility and interactivity. It is possible to add an ending to Mass Effect while keeping the original one completely intact.

    Imagine, if you will, having two cuts of a movie: one in which a particular person shoots first, one in which they do not. In the medium of film, one of these is "canonical" and one is not. In games, they can exist simultaneously, imbued with equal validity, until the end of time, and everyone is happy.

    To say "adding additional content to a game that provides additional interactivity after release makes that game not art" seems completely illogical to me. It completely discounts an artistic strength it has that separates it from all other existing popular media.

    Cultural Geek Girl on
    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
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  • KelzorKelzor Registered User regular
    I don't know about art, but I'm getting a fairly heavy amount of false advertising here.
    If I bought a bike that was advertised as eighteen speeds but instead had three gears that were the same speed but different colors, I'd be getting my money back.

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Kelzor wrote: »
    I don't know about art, but I'm getting a fairly heavy amount of false advertising here.
    If I bought a bike that was advertised as eighteen speeds but instead had three gears that were the same speed but different colors, I'd be getting my money back.

    The game isn't just the ending.

    Also, Jesus Christ awful analogies all up ins.

  • 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
    Imagine, if you will, having two cuts of a movie: one in which a particular person shoots first, one in which they do not. In the medium of film, one of these is "canonical" and one is not. In games, they can exist simultaneously, imbued with equal validity, until the end of time, and everyone is happy.

    Just personally speaking, my objection towards Lucas isn't that he changed his films - I'm okay with him changing his films, and I'm okay with most of the changes he made. It's that he took the original versions off the shelves and resisted releasing the theatrical versions on DVD for several years. (And he was facilitated in doing so by draconian modern copyright law.) I like choices. I think choices are good. If our copyright law was still using the original 28-year standard, then an independent video company could have released a remastered theatrical transfer of A New Hope as early as 2005.

    If Bioware did something similar where they forced out a patch that changed every single online copy of ME3 to have a different ending, I'd probably be slightly annoyed. Even if I thought the new ending was unilaterally inarguably better, I still think that forcing content changes on people is an underhanded move.

    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
    Also...
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.

    I'm not sure about the vocal minority thing. So far, in conversation with friends and relations, It's been a roughly 45/55 ratio or so of "thought it was OK" vs "actively disliked it." So far I haven't met a single person in real life who really likes the ending. Now, granted, my sample is skewed towards people who care about things like literary themes and character development, and people who have read a lot of science fiction.

    I'm not sure if it matters much how many people want a changed ending. Does it change the situation if 51% of people want a new ending? 99%? One person?

    It matters as far as Bioware's business model is concerned, but as a matter of artistic integrity? How relevant is, really, outside of populist dick-waving?

    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.
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    And it depends on what you mean by 'demand.'

    Yeah, we need some kind of a definition to make this a productive discussion. Are we talking about legal demands, moral demands, strongly worded requests, or something else?

    I'm pretty sure this was never supposed to be a purely legal discussion. Let's look at morality/ethics/whatever instead (I'm completely ignorant of the appropriate terminology, but hopefully I can make my point somewhat clear). My take on the whole ME3 ending debacle is that a significant number of people have been emotionally invested in the story of their Shepard, and after finishing the game they felt betrayed. Not because of how her story ended, but because the author didn't seem to respect her story as much as the player did.

    In the end the "demand" has nothing to do with a commercial transaction. It's more like the kind of a demand you make to your loved ones. Maybe the premise of the OP is completely wrong; maybe we're making these demands because ME3 is art, irrespective of whether it is also a commercial product.

    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
    edited March 2012
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    And it depends on what you mean by 'demand.'

    Yeah, we need some kind of a definition to make this a productive discussion. Are we talking about legal demands, moral demands, strongly worded requests, or something else?

    I'm pretty sure this was never supposed to be a purely legal discussion. Let's look at morality/ethics/whatever instead (I'm completely ignorant of the appropriate terminology, but hopefully I can make my point somewhat clear). My take on the whole ME3 ending debacle is that a significant number of people have been emotionally invested in the story of their Shepard, and after finishing the game they felt betrayed. Not because of how her story ended, but because the author didn't seem to respect her story as much as the player did.

    In the end the "demand" has nothing to do with a commercial transaction. It's more like the kind of a demand you make to your loved ones. Maybe the premise of the OP is completely wrong; maybe we're making these demands because ME3 is art, irrespective of whether it is also a commercial product.

    Somebody in another thread (I don't remember where, we have like seventeen threads on this topic now) compared it to an intervention. "Bioware, please, put down the bottle. We love you."

    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.
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Also...
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.

    I'm not sure about the vocal minority thing. So far, in conversation with friends and relations, It's been a roughly 45/55 ratio or so of "thought it was OK" vs "actively disliked it." So far I haven't met a single person in real life who really likes the ending. Now, granted, my sample is skewed towards people who care about things like literary themes and character development, and people who have read a lot of science fiction.

    I'm not sure if it matters much how many people want a changed ending. Does it change the situation if 51% of people want a new ending? 99%? One person?

    It matters as far as Bioware's business model is concerned, but as a matter of artistic integrity? How relevant is, really, outside of populist dick-waving?

    I simply was objecting to the term "vocal minority." I'd be fine with the statement that it's impossible to know what percentage of people are unhappy with the ending (I agree with that statement), but I've seen no proof either way, and my (purely illustrative) anecdotal evidence suggests the opposite. Calling a group a "vocal minority" based on no evidence whatsoever just irks me, because it is a common rhetorical tactic used to devalue an opinion.

    I would like to reiterate that right now we have no idea what percentage of people who have finished ME3 dislike the ending, so we can't call them a minority or a majority yet.

    At the same time, the tradition of the "test audience" is quite old. I mean, Lando and the Millennium Falcon received their pardon based on test audience reactions, and I don't think that damages the artistic validity of that film.

    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
    Triwizard Drinking Tournament - '09 !Hufflepuff unofficial conscript, '10 !Gryffindor
    Nerd blog at culturalgeekgirl.com
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    I simply was objecting to the term "vocal minority." I'd be fine with the statement that it's impossible to know what percentage of people are unhappy with the ending (I agree with that statement), but I've seen no proof either way, and my (purely illustrative) anecdotal evidence suggests the opposite. Calling a group a "vocal minority" based on no evidence whatsoever just irks me, because it is a common rhetorical tactic used to devalue an opinion.

    I would like to reiterate that right now we have no idea what percentage of people who have finished ME3 dislike the ending, so we can't call them a minority or a majority yet.

    At the same time, the tradition of the "test audience" is quite old. I mean, Lando and the Millennium Falcon received their pardon based on test audience reactions, and I don't think that damages the artistic validity of that film.

    Oh, yeah, that's all true, and I think those are good points.

    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.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The reaction from the press has been more offensive and demanding than many of the people on the other side.
    http://twitter.com/#!/alex_navarro
    Alex Navarro Alex Navarro ‏ @alex_navarro

    @JimSterling It's a hell of a lot easier to get noticed when you're pandering to the insulting masses. Hence, Forbes guy.
    "The insulting masses." WTF?

    The reaction from people who are actually making game has been much more sane than the gaming press.

    Couscous on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    The reaction from the press has been more offensive and demanding than many of the people on the other side.
    http://twitter.com/#!/alex_navarro
    Alex Navarro Alex Navarro ‏ @alex_navarro

    @JimSterling It's a hell of a lot easier to get noticed when you're pandering to the insulting masses. Hence, Forbes guy.
    "The insulting masses." WTF?

    The reaction from people who are actually making game has been much more sane than the gaming press.

    Pretty much. The press release from Ray Muzyka was pitch-perfect. I liked the Forbes articles. Navarro's tweet is just facepalm-worthy.

    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
    Regarding Ray Muzyka, I love this paragraph:
    Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example - has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.

    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
    Feral wrote: »
    Also...
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.

    I'm not sure about the vocal minority thing. So far, in conversation with friends and relations, It's been a roughly 45/55 ratio or so of "thought it was OK" vs "actively disliked it." So far I haven't met a single person in real life who really likes the ending. Now, granted, my sample is skewed towards people who care about things like literary themes and character development, and people who have read a lot of science fiction.

    I'm not sure if it matters much how many people want a changed ending. Does it change the situation if 51% of people want a new ending? 99%? One person?

    It matters as far as Bioware's business model is concerned, but as a matter of artistic integrity? How relevant is, really, outside of populist dick-waving?

    I simply was objecting to the term "vocal minority." I'd be fine with the statement that it's impossible to know what percentage of people are unhappy with the ending (I agree with that statement), but I've seen no proof either way, and my (purely illustrative) anecdotal evidence suggests the opposite. Calling a group a "vocal minority" based on no evidence whatsoever just irks me, because it is a common rhetorical tactic used to devalue an opinion.

    I would like to reiterate that right now we have no idea what percentage of people who have finished ME3 dislike the ending, so we can't call them a minority or a majority yet.

    At the same time, the tradition of the "test audience" is quite old. I mean, Lando and the Millennium Falcon received their pardon based on test audience reactions, and I don't think that damages the artistic validity of that film.

    Regardless, saying that "90% of players want a new ending" is just as unhelpful. Numbers-wise we're looking at 800,000+ people who bought the game. Based on the previous game in the series, half of those people will never finish the game, so their opinion is moot. What that means is that the remaining half who will/have finished the game would have to agree 100% that they want a new ending to make up a slim majority. You and I know people anecdotally who were fine with the ending, so there's no consensus on it anyway.

    However, the people who do want the ending changed are flooding every discussion outlet available to them and donating to charity to the tune of about $200 per head in demand of a change. I'd say that qualifies as a vocal minority.

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2012
    The complaints about the ending come off the back of a large amount of unbelievable bullshit slung Bioware's way. Masses of people have been insulting Bioware, and they've been doing it for months for incredibly poxy reasons. Complaints about the ending are valid and have been well-argued. Most other complaints about the game, not so much.

    Bogart on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/23/mass-effect-3-ending-what-do-game-writers-think/
    Compare most of these to the "goddamn entitled fans who only want a goddamn happy ending" journalists.
    Chris Avellone

    Avellone is Obsidian’s Creative Director, Chief Creative Officer and a co-owner at the studio. His game credits include Fallout 2, Icewind Dale II, Star Wars: KOTOR II, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, and F:NV’s DLC.

    “Games should take advantage of feedback and using it for DLC changes and sequel changes. I feel BioWare does this from game to game already, and it’s the reason that some companions have achieved the prominence and romance options in the games that they do because the players strongly responded to those characters—and I’ll be blunt, we as narrative designers have no idea how a character’s going to be received, and “breakout” characters we envision may end up not being that at all once the game is released into the wild.

    Most importantly, game development is an iterative process. Our goal is to entertain our players. No one knows more about what they consider “fun” than the player themselves. While you can’t please everyone, there are iterations that make sense to do in DLC content and sequels. As a case study, the DLC process from Fallout: New Vegas allowed us to collate all the weapon feedback from FNV and adjust it, and it also allowed us to take a long look at what gameplay elements and mods people were making for New Vegas and incorporate that into the narrative and quest lines. The best example is we noticed that people were making a LOT of homebase mods. So, we designed a good chunk of Old World Blues to specifically revolve on you making a new homebase in New Vegas with all the improvements people were pointing out. Even better, we were able to make it part of the story and the characters. Everybody wins, and people seemed to really enjoy it based on the fan (and press) response—but the catch is, we never would have thought to do that without analyzing the fan response and taking that into account.”

    http://www.g4tv.com/videos/48225/Face-Time-With-Todd-Howard/
    Basically Bethesda admitted it messed up the ending of Fallout 3 and changed it in in order to improve it instead of standing their ground.

    Video games have always changed shit in futre installments based on fan feedback. This modern world is just allowing it to be done through patches and DLC rather than waiting to implement the changes in the next game.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    The reaction from the press has been more offensive and demanding than many of the people on the other side.
    http://twitter.com/#!/alex_navarro
    Alex Navarro Alex Navarro ‏ @alex_navarro

    @JimSterling It's a hell of a lot easier to get noticed when you're pandering to the insulting masses. Hence, Forbes guy.
    "The insulting masses." WTF?

    The reaction from people who are actually making game has been much more sane than the gaming press.

    Pretty much. The press release from Ray Muzyka was pitch-perfect. I liked the Forbes articles. Navarro's tweet is just facepalm-worthy.

    I've generally found that there are very intelligent rationales being provided by both the "preserve the ending" viewpoint and "change the ending" viewpoint, but the most idiotic and vitriolic commentary is coming from either internet trolls or video game reviewers. The former believing they are entitled to get anything they want, the latter believing they are entitled to tell everyone else what to think. I enjoy the "Mass Effect 3 ending is shit but gamers asking for it to be changed are whiny babies" duality I see from a few reviewers in particular, how great it must be to present an obnoxious elitist attitude on two fronts simultaneously.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Also...
    Thejakeman wrote: »
    And your demand that the ending be left unchanged demonstrates how the enjoyment of the other 90% of people who beat the game means nothing to you.

    Except you are not 90%, you're a nebulous number of users echoing through a feedback loop and misrepresenting yourselves to seem more significant than you really are. You're the "vocal minority."

    Perspective, man.

    I'm not sure about the vocal minority thing. So far, in conversation with friends and relations, It's been a roughly 45/55 ratio or so of "thought it was OK" vs "actively disliked it." So far I haven't met a single person in real life who really likes the ending. Now, granted, my sample is skewed towards people who care about things like literary themes and character development, and people who have read a lot of science fiction.

    I'm not sure if it matters much how many people want a changed ending. Does it change the situation if 51% of people want a new ending? 99%? One person?

    It matters as far as Bioware's business model is concerned, but as a matter of artistic integrity? How relevant is, really, outside of populist dick-waving?

    I simply was objecting to the term "vocal minority." I'd be fine with the statement that it's impossible to know what percentage of people are unhappy with the ending (I agree with that statement), but I've seen no proof either way, and my (purely illustrative) anecdotal evidence suggests the opposite. Calling a group a "vocal minority" based on no evidence whatsoever just irks me, because it is a common rhetorical tactic used to devalue an opinion.

    I would like to reiterate that right now we have no idea what percentage of people who have finished ME3 dislike the ending, so we can't call them a minority or a majority yet.

    At the same time, the tradition of the "test audience" is quite old. I mean, Lando and the Millennium Falcon received their pardon based on test audience reactions, and I don't think that damages the artistic validity of that film.

    Regardless, saying that "90% of players want a new ending" is just as unhelpful. Numbers-wise we're looking at 800,000+ people who bought the game. Based on the previous game in the series, half of those people will never finish the game, so their opinion is moot. What that means is that the remaining half who will/have finished the game would have to agree 100% that they want a new ending to make up a slim majority. You and I know people anecdotally who were fine with the ending, so there's no consensus on it anyway.

    However, the people who do want the ending changed are flooding every discussion outlet available to them and donating to charity to the tune of about $200 per head in demand of a change. I'd say that qualifies as a vocal minority.

    You kind of present your argument in a dishonest way by including people who have not finished the game. Of course they don't have an opinion about the ending, they can't have one. When speaking of majorty or minority, we're obviously going to be talking about the people who have actually experienced the ending.

    Can we conclusively, deductively say that the majority of people disliked the ending? No. But you can't deny that this is probably the biggest, most overwhelming public negative reaction to a game ending in the history of the industry. Every single place you look, from polls to social media to forums to a friggin charity drive, it's the same. The amount of people unsatisfied with the ending is significant, and to dismiss it as a small minority of people existing in some echo chamber is to be in denial. The sample we have says a lot about the situation. It's big. Very big. The very fact that Bioware is taking it as seriously as they are shows that this is a meaningful issue.

    LockedOnTarget on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Like I said, you must not read much.

    In otherwords, you don't have an argument, and you can list any 'serious, non-commercial' authors.

    I'll accept this as a concession that are you both wrong and ignorant.

    With Love and Courage
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