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

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  • Praetorian MagePraetorian Mage Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    What's wrong with wanting a happy ending?

    When ME3's defenders say "You're just pissed because you wanted a happy ending", the only response I've seen is "No, we just want something that makes sense and is internally consistent". I definitely agree with those points, but I haven't seen anyone say "Yeah, I do want a happy ending. Deal with it." I'm not saying it has to be happy no matter what you do, but that it should be a possibility if you do well enough.

    I've posted this elsewhere, but here are my personal ending ideas:
    1. "Perfect" ending. Total victory, minimal casualties (relatively speaking for a conflict of this size). Shepard saves the galaxy and flies off into the stars with his/her chosen love interest, if any. And by all means, make me work for it. Make it so I have to make smart decisions. Make it so that I have to invest a lot into the game and be dedicated to the plot. I wouldn't even have been too upset if you could only get this ending with an imported save that had a strong showing, like getting everyone through the Suicide Mission alive. It could be a way of rewarding people's loyalty to the series and of following through on the idea that your choices have a major impact.

    2. "Good-But-Not-Perfect" ending. You win, but there is a cost. Significant enough that you feel it, not so bad that it sends the universe into upheaval. This would be what you get if you make a few mistakes, but generally did pretty well.

    3. "Pyrrhic Victory" ending. You still win overall, but the cost was extreme. Homeworlds lost, civilizations destroyed, whatever. Probably even contrive a way for the love interest to die, no matter which one of them it is. Shepard is left alone and the galaxy might eventually recover, but not without a long period of darkness. This is what you get if you fuck up a lot or don't take the time to build your war assets or whatever.

    4. "Abject Failure" ending. Pretty self-explanatory. The Reapers win and everyone dies. You'd probably have to go out of your way to get this ending, like in ME2.

    The idea here is that there's a continuum of endings that result from your choices, successes, and failures through the series, which is what BioWare said they would do. They did this with the Suicide Mission in ME2, and it seemed like ME3 would take that concept to a larger scale. Apparently they didn't do that, and all of this ending controversy has been enough to turn me away from buying the game, even though I had fully intended to do so.

    Here's a possible scenario I had in mind, just for SPECULATION. Probably not a spoiler, but just in case:
    I thought it might come back to that dark energy thing they mentioned in ME2. Tali's mission told us that it was killing a star. I figured that maybe you'd have to somehow lure all of the Reapers into one system and then use dark energy to make the star go supernova and kill them all in one fell swoop. Of course, for this to have any drama, you'd probably end up having to do it to one of the home systems. Maybe you'd spend the game trying to build the supernova device while rallying allies to buy you time and find a way to evacuate as many people as possible before you enact the plan. In this case, the "perfect" ending would mean you saved all or nearly all of the population.


    Praetorian Mage on
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    I would have preferred a "happier" ending personally but I don't think it needed to have one. I'm okay with an ending that is more bittersweet. The only tone I would be unwilling to accept would be an ending that made everything futile. It would be neat to have a "fail" ending like ME2, but if that was just the ending straight-up, Reapers win better luck next cycle, then I would be mad about it. I'm okay with the tone that we got.

    I think there's a difference between hoping for a super-happy ending leading to feelings of disappointment, and saying that it needed to be that way. We got what we got, it's okay to have wanted something more. But I feel like the actual complaints to Bioware should be about the execution of the ending they chose. What they gave us was sloppy and unsatisfying, and it doesn't have to be. That's the real issue at hand, and if we're going to push for a "fix" then that's the fix we should be looking for.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The problem I have with the "you just wanted a happy ending" is that it's pretty much True Art is Angsty (WARNING: TV Tropes).

    I mean, why shouldn't the end of a war be celebrated? We all know this picture:
    the_kiss.jpg

    I find it a bit...insufferable in the sense that a lot of the complaint is "the player doesn't suffer, all those millions who die off-screen don't count" - partly because, well, I think failing to convey the significance of that is very much a story-failing.

    It is not at all unreasonable to ask whether say, killing off Shepard, actually makes sense storywise - the "realism" argument is garbage because if we wanted to tell a "realistic" story then it's being one of the guys who gets blown away in a gameplay level.

    electricitylikesme on
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    The entire game is filled with a sense of dread and loss, so yeah, the ending doesn't need to avoid being happy to have weight to the climax of the war.

    The ending doesn't need to be super happy but it also didn't need to be not that way.

  • KingofMadCowsKingofMadCows Registered User regular
    Mass Effect is a great franchise but it is a very straightforward series with a lot of fan service. The franchise is all about fantasy fulfillment for the audience. The story is written to play out the way that the fans want.

    It's not Planescape: Torment or Knights of the Old Republic 2. It's not written with a lot of nuance or intrigue with plots, themes, characters, and intentions that are layered or obscured and open to interpretation.

    That's why the ending and the indoctrination "theory" don't work. Nothing in the game is open to anything close to that amount of interpretation. It's not like Blade Runner where there are clues and evidence that point to multiple interpretations of character intentions and plot elements, with almost all possibilities having the potential to be either true or false and no obvious answer to any question.

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

    I think we disagree about what "art" is. Specifically, I think we'd disagree about what the application of the label "art" to X does to X. My understanding of art as art-as-art makes "art" an exclusive label. Art applies to art-as-art, and everything else is everything else. A consumer product would be "everything else" and, so, not art.


    I think we can agree that ME3 is a consumer product. And we would probably agree about what it means for a thing to be a consumer product.

    But when we call something "art"...well...what would change if we stopped calling ME3 "art"?

    It doesn't seem like we could stop calling ME3 a consumer product, but we could, conceivably, stop calling ME3 art.

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    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.

    I think we disagree about what "art" is. Specifically, I think we'd disagree about what the application of the label "art" to X does to X. My understanding of art as art-as-art makes "art" an exclusive label. Art applies to art-as-art, and everything else is everything else. A consumer product would be "everything else" and, so, not art.


    I think we can agree that ME3 is a consumer product. And we would probably agree about what it means for a thing to be a consumer product.

    But when we call something "art"...well...what would change if we stopped calling ME3 "art"?

    It doesn't seem like we could stop calling ME3 a consumer product, but we could, conceivably, stop calling ME3 art.

    I pose this is because you occasionally display oddly binary reasoning.

    Something does not have to be either a consumer product or art.

    Things can fit into two different definitions at the same time

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2012
    Nothing's wrong with a happy ending, but saying that there should be one that's happy goes from criticising the ending Bioware gave you to writing it for them. They definitely should have given you better ending, but if they give you that better ending and it's kinda bleak then tough shit. I thought the whole point was to give Mass Effect a fitting ending, not one that pandered to the player who wants everyone to make it out ok. Maybe it's happy, maybe it's not. The only thing that matters is that it's good.

    Bogart on
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    Some of the best stories end in bittersweet or downer endings. Sure, everybody likes happy endings. It makes them... well happy. But you can easily have people liking sad and depressing endings. You can end your story with the good guys dead, the bad guys winning, and the entire universe exploding. It just needs that one magic ingredient: Consistency.

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065/NNID: the_wolfman64
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The entire game is filled with a sense of dread and loss, so yeah, the ending doesn't need to avoid being happy to have weight to the climax of the war.

    The ending doesn't need to be super happy but it also didn't need to be not that way.

    I'm of the mind that it should have had a full spectrum of happy/sad/bad and even variations of "happy" based on renegade or paragon, based on your war assets.

    Also we should see the assets. Where were my elcor tanks? Krogan clans? Blood pack, eclipse, blue sun? Where was Zaeed's band of expendables? Where were the Batarian and Volus fleets?

    I wanted to see STG infiltrators planting incredibly big bombs on reapers, I wanted to see YMIRs fighting Brutes, you get the picture

    override367 on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    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.

    I think we disagree about what "art" is. Specifically, I think we'd disagree about what the application of the label "art" to X does to X. My understanding of art as art-as-art makes "art" an exclusive label. Art applies to art-as-art, and everything else is everything else. A consumer product would be "everything else" and, so, not art.


    I think we can agree that ME3 is a consumer product. And we would probably agree about what it means for a thing to be a consumer product.

    But when we call something "art"...well...what would change if we stopped calling ME3 "art"?

    It doesn't seem like we could stop calling ME3 a consumer product, but we could, conceivably, stop calling ME3 art.

    I pose this is because you occasionally display oddly binary reasoning.

    Something does not have to be either a consumer product or art.

    Things can fit into two different definitions at the same time

    This. Exactly what I was going to say.

    _J_, would you ever walk into a small independent art gallery, look at the paintings and sculptures for sale, then go up to the artist and say "those are nice consumer products, but where is your artwork?"

    sig.gif
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    Since I'm not in the mood to wade into the "are we not art? we are commercial products!" debate, some thoughts on the whole ME3 happy ending/sad ending thing.

    Spoilers, including those for ME3's ending and major ME3 plot points:
    While I get while some Mass Effect fans wanted a Big Goddamn Heroes ending (even if it was difficult to achieve) since that's been the tone for most of the first two games, I do think that BioWare should stick with their decision to make ME3 grimmer and darker.

    It's just that the endings, as they are now, are almost devoid of any real emotional impact (I mean, in a good way, not in a "holy fuckballs, that ending sucked!" way). Robbing the player of any serious sense of agency might be a defensible artistic choice, but as has been mentioned already none of the endings do a good job of showing the player the consequences of their final choice, let alone all of the choices they've made in the past three games. Which is especially jarring since the 99% of the game leading up to the very ending is all about showing the player in great detail and with great specificity the consequences of their choices.

    It's also not like ME3 doesn't have examples of big choices having depressing endings. For most players, Tuchanka ends with the death of Mordin, one of the most likable characters from ME2. His death can either be a heroic sacrifice or a tragic failure based on player choices, but either way that final choice has a major emotional impact. On the other hand, the ending, where everyone on the Citadel is dead and you can change the destiny of the entire galaxy including by committing genocide on at least two entire races and kill off another important ME2/ME3 character, has much less emotional impact because it just presumes the player will fill in all those blanks themselves. I doubt that BioWare really wanted the ending of ME3 to be confusing and emotionally barren, but that's the reaction from if not the majority of the ME fan base at least those fans most emotionally invested in the series. So if the folks at BioWare think that the vanilla endings for ME3 have failed, why shouldn't they change them?

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    Art and Consumer Product are not opposing forces. Purchasing the Venus de Milo from the Louvre (or any other famous and treasured piece of art, if that particular example doesn't work for you) would probably cost millions and millions of dollars, but that doesn't mean its suddenly not-art because its expensive.

    Three NInjas Knuckle Up didn't become more legitimate as art when it went to the bargain bin.

    Is "The Expendables" a Consumer Product unless you pirate it, in which case its now Art?

    I think there's a legitimate concern in the potential conflict of interest between "this product should be meaningful to the consumer" (art) and "this product should be a commercial successful" (product), they are not opposing forces but it is possible to pursue one at the cost of the other, and that's something which merits concern.

    However, that's not really what has been discussed so far. The idea that "Art" is somehow incompatible with a commercial product or a successful product is flagrant hipster elitism. You might as well just come out and say "I liked it before they made it popular."

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote:
    "The one thing to say about art is that it is one thing. Art is art-as-art and everything else is everything else. Art-as-art is nothing but art. Art is not what is not art."
    - Ad Reinhardt
    _J_ wrote: »
    My understanding of art as art-as-art makes "art" an exclusive label. Art applies to art-as-art, and everything else is everything else. A consumer product would be "everything else" and, so, not art.

    Your definition wouldn't leave us with any art, because every piece of art is also something else. The Mona Lisa is art, but it is also a painting, a piece of canvas, a roughly rectangular object, a financial investment, a tourist attraction, and many other things. I think a more sensible interpretation of that quote is that the "art" aspect of a work is independent of its other attributes. A movie can be entertaining, and also art, but whether it is entertaining or not has no bearing on whether it is art. The artistic value of a painting is independent of its decorative value, and so on. Art is art, and all other qualities, such as aesthetics, craftsmanship and authorial intent, are tangential.

    MSL59.jpg
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    "Art is art-as-art and everything else is everything else" is a silly statement containing a tautological definition of art with no merit and an illogically exclusive definition of "everything else" which neither promotes the understanding of art or provides any meaningful description of "everything else."

    I was kind of hoping the quote was used the same way a detective novel might introduce a cynical bit of faux-wisdom in the prologue, something meant to sound neat but never revisited and never treated as more than a statement which sounds neat when you first read it. Any other qualities it possesses would be pure coincidence, like discovering Jesus burnt into your toast, an unintentional byproduct completely unnecessary for the quotes purpose.

    However, if anyone is actually using that Reinhardt quote as some kind of working definition of art, all I have to say is: Ha, ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, HAHAHAHA, ha, ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, no.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Almost Every successful piece of art has been so because it's commercially viable.

    Don't forget, being an artist is still a job.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Almost Every successful piece of art has been so because it's commercially viable.

    Don't forget, being an artist is still a job.


    /facepalm

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Something does not have to be either a consumer product or art.

    Things can fit into two different definitions at the same time

    Provided that the two definitions are not mutually exclusive, sure. So, let's look at some randomly selected definitions from wikipedia.
    The United States Consumer Product Safety Act has an extensive definition of consumer product, which begins:

    CONSUMER PRODUCT.--The term ‘‘consumer product’’ means any article, or component part thereof, produced or distributed (i) for sale to a consumer for use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or otherwise, or (ii) for the personal use, consumption or enjoyment of a consumer in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or otherwise; but such term does not include— (A) any article which is not customarily produced or distributed for sale to, or use or consumption by, or enjoyment of, a consumer.

    Simply, a consumer product is "an item sold for use".
    Britannica Online defines art as "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others."

    If we apply this to the object, rather than the process, we could say that a work of art is an "aesthetic object".

    When we smash these two definitions together, we could say that ME3 is an artwork-consumer-product since it is an aesthetic object sold for use as entertainment. But if we take other definitions, say the art-as-art definition, then we find a situation within which art and consumer product are mutually exclusive.

    So, the question is what "gamers" typically take these terms to mean in their arguments regarding video games as works of art. Do the above definitions adequately address the sentiments of these arguments? Or do the definitions fail to fully grasp the sentiments utilized in particular arguments?
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    I think a more sensible interpretation of that quote is that the "art" aspect of a work is independent of its other attributes.

    X has attributes Y and Q.
    Attribute Y expresses "art".
    Attribute Q expresses "not-art".

    That still maintains the problematic contradiction / tension that I eluded to in the OP. We can't avoid the problem by separating a thing from its attributes, or considering different attributes independent of the others. Eventually we have to recognize that each attribute is instantiated in the same thing, and so a contradiction would result.

    If art and consumer product are mutually exclusive, separating attributes doesn't solve the problem. If they aren't mutually exclusive, separating attributes is unnecessary.
    Richy wrote: »
    _J_, would you ever walk into a small independent art gallery, look at the paintings and sculptures for sale, then go up to the artist and say "those are nice consumer products, but where is your artwork?"

    Sure. I'd be fine embracing a definition of art such that "If X is sold, then X is not art." I can't conceive of a problem with that. It places strict limitations on what can be art, but I don't think that is problematic.

    But this seems to lead into a conversation about subjective attributes, such that X can be "art" for me, but X isn't "art" for you. That doesn't seem helpful. We can't resolve the problem by saying "Art and consumer product are mutually exclusive for Player-A, but not mutually exclusive for Player-B." because we can then ask, "Ok, but is Player-A or Player-B correct?"

    If people don't think that "art" and "consumer product" are mutually exclusive, then that's fine. But over the years as I've watched the "video games are art" argument, it seems like the current sentiments expressed with regard to ME3 are in tension with past attitudes towards other games. And I think it's problematic to maintain that ME3 is a work of artistic expression, but then ignore the artistic freedoms of Bioware by seeking legal action to force a change.

    Maybe that's a better question. Rather than compare "art" and "consumer product", assess the role of "artistic freedom" in video game development.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Almost Every successful piece of art has been so because it's commercially viable.

    Don't forget, being an artist is still a job.


    /facepalm

    How exactly am I wrong?

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Sure. I'd be fine embracing a definition of art such that "If X is sold, then X is not art." I can't conceive of a problem with that. It places strict limitations on what can be art, but I don't think that is problematic.

    You can't conceive of a problem with that?

    You really can't?

    You just casually defined that any artwork that was ever sold to someone else is no longer art. You just defined that every artwork to ever go through an art auction is no longer art. You just defined that commissioned work, where an artist is paid to produce work, is no longer art. You just defined away pretty much all the works of the greatest artistic masters of Medieval and Renaissance eras. You just defined that the paintings of the Sistine Chapel are not art. You just defined that every book every written and sold is not art.

    You just defined that a piece of art can stop being art, not because any intrinsic feature of it changed, but because an individual gave another individual money to move the art from one place to another. You just defined that something completely external to and independent of an object is the key difference between whether or not that object is art.

    You just created a massive grey zone in what is art that has nothing to do with the work itself but has to do with the history of the piece after its creation. Take a statue from the Renaissance for which our records are incomplete, so we don't know whether or not it was ever sold, can we still consider it art? What about artwork that was stolen and sold illegally on the black market; does the legality of the sale affect its status as artwork? What about something that is put up for sale but never sold, does it remain art or does it lose its status as art the moment you slap a price tag on it? What about artwork that people are not paying to buy but paying to see (aka everything in museums and galleries), should they lose their status because people are paying with respect to them or is the art-defining transaction limited to the one where you acquire the artwork?

    Do you still not see any problems with your definition?

    sig.gif
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Almost Every successful piece of art has been so because it's commercially viable.

    Don't forget, being an artist is still a job.


    /facepalm

    How exactly am I wrong?


    You want me to list off all the artists who had to work a full-time jobs because their art wasn't "commercially viable" yet still successful? Or how about you do some critical thinking yourself.

    Think about what you wrote for a second because it's pretty offensive. Any art that is "successful" (successful in what, exactly?) is "commercially viable".



    Lilnoobs on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    He said almost every

    almost

    This does not mean "Any art that is successful is commercially viable"

    override367 on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    I guess I should also have qualified that as the ones that aren't commercially viable are not through the artist's lack of trying to sell their work. But yes, what override said as well.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Sure. I'd be fine embracing a definition of art such that "If X is sold, then X is not art." I can't conceive of a problem with that. It places strict limitations on what can be art, but I don't think that is problematic.


    I just want to be clear: With this definition, you are saying that the works of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, the Dutch Masters, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Kubric, Hitchcock, Poe, and a massive list of others are not art.

    And you don't think that is problematic?

    Please name some works you consider to be art, and be sure to include evidence that they were not commissioned, paid for, or ever intended to be sold.

    _J_ wrote: »
    But this seems to lead into a conversation about subjective attributes, such that X can be "art" for me, but X isn't "art" for you. That doesn't seem helpful. We can't resolve the problem by saying "Art and consumer product are mutually exclusive for Player-A, but not mutually exclusive for Player-B." because we can then ask, "Ok, but is Player-A or Player-B correct?"

    If people don't think that "art" and "consumer product" are mutually exclusive, then that's fine. But over the years as I've watched the "video games are art" argument, it seems like the current sentiments expressed with regard to ME3 are in tension with past attitudes towards other games. And I think it's problematic to maintain that ME3 is a work of artistic expression, but then ignore the artistic freedoms of Bioware by seeking legal action to force a change.

    Maybe that's a better question. Rather than compare "art" and "consumer product", assess the role of "artistic freedom" in video game development.

    If you think that making changes to a product based on consumer feedback makes that product not art, then you have already declared Mass Effect 2 and 3 to not be art. Both had extensive changes made to systems and narrative based on player feedback from earlier games, so your entire premise about such considerations making a game not art are completely meaningless when it comes to the possibility of changing endings. It's already been ruined. It came pre-ruined.

    It would also mean that comedy could never be art, because the refinement of comedy is iteration based on feedback. You tell a joke, and if the audience doesn't laugh, you change the joke. You tell it again and again until the audience laughs a little, and then you change it more until they laugh uproariously. Even comedy, which is often the most soul-barring of arts, can never be art under your insane strictures. Also, according to you, comedians have absolutely no artistic freedom, because the value of their art is based on the reaction of people experienced it. They are shackled by the fact that what they produce has to be funny, and thus are robbed of artistic creativity.

    If it isn't clear here, I'm employing irony. I think stand-up and other varieties of comedy are a great art,

    When it comes to Mass Effect 3's ending, it is the video game narrative version of a joke that most people didn't laugh at. They presented a scenario and it did not work for the majority of people responding to it.

    Iterating a piece of material so that it better evokes the response you're looking for isn't anathema to art; indeed, it is the central core of learning to make great art.

    Buttoneer, Brigadeer, and Keeper of the Book of Wil Wheaton.
    Triwizard Drinking Tournament - '09 !Hufflepuff unofficial conscript, '10 !Gryffindor
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  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    That "joke" analogy was pretty excellent, CGG.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I guess I should also have qualified that as the ones that aren't commercially viable are not through the artist's lack of trying to sell their work. But yes, what override said as well.

    You're still missing the entire point. Not only is your view of art horribly skewed to modern business practices, but also to western civilization, capitalism, and modern industrialization/reproduction (one could argue that's the same as capitalism). It's a ridiculous claim asserting that the "success" of art relies devastatingly on its commercial power. What commercial power did the Mona Lisa have? What commercial success did Dickinson's poems have? David? I guess I should ask, what is the purpose of art to you? Because from what I'm reading it's to make $$$, and that's a modern, western concept, not a human concept.

    I don't care if you qualify it with "almost" because you are not even "almost" correct. It has nothing to do with the "artists lack of trying" and more to with what you think "success" is. To you, I'm reading success means $$$. That's art, huh?


    edit: Furthermore, "almost" doesn't cover your goosery because it implies the vast majority of, which if we are to take into account art worldwide and historically, what do you think would happen? "Some" is a better qualify. "Few" is even better. "Almost" implies a general rule, which is simply not the case.

    Lilnoobs on
  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    The Mass Effect ending wasn't even a downer. It was just there.

    It's so out of left field and bizarre, that I don't think "You just want a happy ending" applies.

    The ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion makes more internal sense.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I guess I should also have qualified that as the ones that aren't commercially viable are not through the artist's lack of trying to sell their work. But yes, what override said as well.

    You're still missing the entire point. Not only is your view of art horribly skewed to modern business practices, but also to western civilization, capitalism, and modern industrialization/reproduction (one could argue that's the same as capitalism). It's a ridiculous claim asserting that the "success" of art relies devastatingly on its commercial power. What commercial power did the Mona Lisa have? What commercial success did Dickinson's poems have? David? I guess I should ask, what is the purpose of art to you? Because from what I'm reading it's to make $$$, and that's a modern, western concept, not a human concept.

    I don't care if you qualify it with "almost" because you are not even "almost" correct. It has nothing to do with the "artists lack of trying" and more to with what you think "success" is. To you, I'm reading success means $$$. That's art, huh?


    edit: Furthermore, "almost" doesn't cover your goosery because it implies the vast majority of, which if we are to take into account art worldwide and historically, what do you think would happen? "Some" is a better qualify. "Few" is even better. "Almost" implies a general rule, which is simply not the case.

    ...Da Vinci was selling his work. Michelangelo was directly working for the Pope when he did the Sistine Chapel. They were being paid for their work. Most artists are.

    Have you ever heard of a publishing house? An Editor? An Art Gallery? What the hells do you think the Renaissance was? Do you know what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was doing with his Holmes stories? Poe? I talk about Western artists because I am infinitely more familiar with them, but if Eastern artists did not gain their livelihood from their art, I would be extremely surprised.

    I guess I should ask, even if I already know the answer, do you know anything about art history? Have you even heard of the Medicis?

    Fencingsax on
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  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    But over the years as I've watched the "video games are art" argument, it seems like the current sentiments expressed with regard to ME3 are in tension with past attitudes towards other games.

    No, they're really not. Pretty much all of the sentiments expressed about ME3's ending have been expressed before about other video games and other types of media. None of them invalidate the idea that video games can be "art".
    _J_ wrote: »
    And I think it's problematic to maintain that ME3 is a work of artistic expression, but then ignore the artistic freedoms of Bioware by seeking legal action to force a change.

    Maybe that's a better question. Rather than compare "art" and "consumer product", assess the role of "artistic freedom" in video game development.

    Fun fact: Guess how many people have attempted to seek legal action against BioWare in regards to ME3's ending?

    Two.

    They're both idiots, and I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of the folks who are hoping BioWare changes or expands ME3's ending aren't suggesting that legal action be taken.

  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I guess I should also have qualified that as the ones that aren't commercially viable are not through the artist's lack of trying to sell their work. But yes, what override said as well.

    You're still missing the entire point. Not only is your view of art horribly skewed to modern business practices, but also to western civilization, capitalism, and modern industrialization/reproduction (one could argue that's the same as capitalism). It's a ridiculous claim asserting that the "success" of art relies devastatingly on its commercial power. What commercial power did the Mona Lisa have? What commercial success did Dickinson's poems have? David? I guess I should ask, what is the purpose of art to you? Because from what I'm reading it's to make $$$, and that's a modern, western concept, not a human concept.

    I don't care if you qualify it with "almost" because you are not even "almost" correct. It has nothing to do with the "artists lack of trying" and more to with what you think "success" is. To you, I'm reading success means $$$. That's art, huh?


    edit: Furthermore, "almost" doesn't cover your goosery because it implies the vast majority of, which if we are to take into account art worldwide and historically, what do you think would happen? "Some" is a better qualify. "Few" is even better. "Almost" implies a general rule, which is simply not the case.

    If that's a reference to Michaelangelo's David, that was commissioned by the government of Florence. He even competed with Da Vinci for the contract to do it.

    The process of commissioning, of wealthy families directly funding artists, is absolutely central to the entire Renaissance period. Almost every "great work" of the time was commissioned by one family or another, arguably most often by the Medici family. The commissioning of art was a careful strategy by their lineage to increase their public prestige, and through that, their civic influence (which is, yes, a form of propaganda).

    Art and money are very closely linked throughout history. To say it's a modern invention is asanine.

  • ibageibage Registered User new member
    Invisible wrote: »
    The Mass Effect ending wasn't even a downer. It was just there.

    It's so out of left field and bizarre, that I don't think "You just want a happy ending" applies.

    The ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion makes more internal sense.
    You know, I frequently find myself comparing EoE to the ME3 ending we got. Neither leave you with true closure and both have the the underlying need for civilization to be rebuilt. However, I was never offended with Evangelion's ending despite being miles more um, "interesting". The feeling you get at the final scene is a result of build up over the series to that point. Despite the ending not making a whole lot of sense, it made perfect sense. It all flowed that way. Mass Effect however was always about overcoming the odds. If a piece didn't fit in somewhere, you made it fit. The ending just didn't flow but you got that idea rather early on in the game on Mars. Deus ex machina rarely fits in when people use it and ME3 is a prime example of how not to use to clear up the plot.

    I realize art is a completely subjective topic but even some of the most bizarre works for the most part share the sense of flowing in one direction. If the Monna Lisa had a mustache thrown on there at the end, you can bet it wouldn't have been as well known as it is. Some would have even considered it a ruined piece of work. And that's what the ending of Mass Effect 3 is now; the Monna Lisa's mustache.

    Without a doubt in my mind, video games are art. However, some of the most prominent artists understood how important criticism was from the public. I don't see this as the artist caving into the public demands but as the chance to better understand their audience and improve themselves as writers.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Let's be reasonable: Eva's original ending, with all of it's issues, didn't involve...
    ...hitting a switch in a Deus Ex-style ending dispenser.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Praetorian MagePraetorian Mage Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Some of the best stories end in bittersweet or downer endings. Sure, everybody likes happy endings. It makes them... well happy. But you can easily have people liking sad and depressing endings. You can end your story with the good guys dead, the bad guys winning, and the entire universe exploding.

    Maybe, but are those stories good because of their downer endings, or in spite of them? Could it really be more about what kind of statement the story makes along the way, rather than the fact that it ends horribly? I'm just having a hard time picturing someone walking out of a movie and saying "I'm glad that all those characters I liked died at the end and then the universe exploded."
    It just needs that one magic ingredient: Consistency.

    I think the argument could be made that Mass Effect has consistently been about Shepard and his/her allies defying the odds and doing the impossible. I mean, the man/woman literally came back from the dead.
    Nothing's wrong with a happy ending, but saying that there should be one that's happy goes from criticising the ending Bioware gave you to writing it for them. They definitely should have given you better ending, but if they give you that better ending and it's kinda bleak then tough shit. I thought the whole point was to give Mass Effect a fitting ending, not one that pandered to the player who wants everyone to make it out ok. Maybe it's happy, maybe it's not. The only thing that matters is that it's good.

    Who's to say that everyone making it out ok isn't a "fitting" ending? Should we "pander" to those who want everyone to die instead? I think the scenario I posted earlier is fairly bleak - it results in the inevitable destruction of at least one homeworld, but there's still a chance to get the people out alive. I would have been okay enough with that. In fact, I was fairly confident in that theory. When they did the foreshadowing with dark energy and stars, I remember thinking "This could very well be the writers giving us a plausible way to win in ME3."

    It's also important to consider that ME3's ending was the only part of the script that wasn't subject to peer review. Hudson and Walters pulled rank and kept it a secret from everyone else until it was too late to change it. For all we know, the rest of the writing team wanted Ice Cream Reapers.

    Praetorian Mage on
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Almost Every successful piece of art has been so because it's commercially viable.

    Don't forget, being an artist is still a job.


    /facepalm

    Well, he's not wrong. Art takes dedication and work. Whether or not an artist gets to a place where their dedication and work can actually solely sustain them is another issue altogether, but I would argue that in many cases, it's more work to be an artist and have a day job than if your day job is being an artist.

    Not that every artist wants to be doing what they do, but for money. Some of them are just happy to have their own thing that no one else in the world can intrude in on with their expectations or what have you. It's a very real concern that the thing you love to do could become the thing you hate.

    But yes. Art takes dedication and work. Maybe that doesn't make it a job in the traditional sense, I'm not sure who's call that really is.

  • ThejakemanThejakeman Registered User
    So we've moved on in this discussion towards revealing a very western consumerist concept of art-as-product. Can we make this statement then: In western culture all art is also a product to be consumed, and some products are also art?

    Where does the corollary "The government should regulate consumer products to keep people safe and healthy" come in?

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I guess I should also have qualified that as the ones that aren't commercially viable are not through the artist's lack of trying to sell their work. But yes, what override said as well.

    You're still missing the entire point. Not only is your view of art horribly skewed to modern business practices, but also to western civilization, capitalism, and modern industrialization/reproduction (one could argue that's the same as capitalism). It's a ridiculous claim asserting that the "success" of art relies devastatingly on its commercial power. What commercial power did the Mona Lisa have? What commercial success did Dickinson's poems have? David? I guess I should ask, what is the purpose of art to you? Because from what I'm reading it's to make $$$, and that's a modern, western concept, not a human concept.

    I don't care if you qualify it with "almost" because you are not even "almost" correct. It has nothing to do with the "artists lack of trying" and more to with what you think "success" is. To you, I'm reading success means $$$. That's art, huh?


    edit: Furthermore, "almost" doesn't cover your goosery because it implies the vast majority of, which if we are to take into account art worldwide and historically, what do you think would happen? "Some" is a better qualify. "Few" is even better. "Almost" implies a general rule, which is simply not the case.

    I suggest you immediately rethink the frothing, combative tone you've adopted here.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I guess I should also have qualified that as the ones that aren't commercially viable are not through the artist's lack of trying to sell their work. But yes, what override said as well.

    You're still missing the entire point. Not only is your view of art horribly skewed to modern business practices, but also to western civilization, capitalism, and modern industrialization/reproduction (one could argue that's the same as capitalism). It's a ridiculous claim asserting that the "success" of art relies devastatingly on its commercial power. What commercial power did the Mona Lisa have? What commercial success did Dickinson's poems have? David? I guess I should ask, what is the purpose of art to you? Because from what I'm reading it's to make $$$, and that's a modern, western concept, not a human concept.

    I don't care if you qualify it with "almost" because you are not even "almost" correct. It has nothing to do with the "artists lack of trying" and more to with what you think "success" is. To you, I'm reading success means $$$. That's art, huh?


    edit: Furthermore, "almost" doesn't cover your goosery because it implies the vast majority of, which if we are to take into account art worldwide and historically, what do you think would happen? "Some" is a better qualify. "Few" is even better. "Almost" implies a general rule, which is simply not the case.

    I suggest you immediately rethink the frothing, combative tone you've adopted here.

    Can I add a passive aggressive jab that not being wrong would also help?

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
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