Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And Destroying Art

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Nice to know someone also loves Alien 3, as much as I do. :)

J.d. Scott:

To be fair, what exactly do you expect to be a site's headlines - "Game Fans Present Reasoned Opinions for Game Edit" or "Game Fans Kick ME Writer's Teeth in on Twitter". It's the problem with a quiet reasoned opinion and a loud nasty one. Also, while there were a lot of reasoned opinions, there have been more then a few violators of the "John Gabriel Internet F***wad Theory" in the RME side.

I expect journalists to be somewhat objective. Failing that, I expect them to understand the situation on the side that they're critisizing. It's not a utopian expectation, there's no reason people can't be decent at times.

The issue with the cupcakes and the Child's Play is that it's hard to tell if something is an intentionally nice method of trying to get people's attention, or an intentionally nasty way of using a nice method to draw positive PR to one's side and negative attention to the other. I'm sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes with the best of intentions - to show Bioware how much they love them and the ME series while simultaneously drawing attention to their issues with the game. I'm also sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes as a method to place a "sugar-coating" (pun definitely intended) on their attempts to railroad a company to change their game.

You don't need to focus on either, just accept that there are good people along with the "bad" ones. That's all.

Nice going Yahtzee, I agree with the fat guy's opinion more than yours. You know, I should probably start watching this a little more.

Jim has provided a pretty good explanation as to why it's ok to change the ending, the fact that films occasionally change their ending and yet are still considering art is something. Also remember how Fallout 3 technically changed its ending...

Also a nice little inclusion of Killer 7, not sure quite what it was achieving, but great to see it none the less.

Smilomaniac:

J.d. Scott:

To be fair, what exactly do you expect to be a site's headlines - "Game Fans Present Reasoned Opinions for Game Edit" or "Game Fans Kick ME Writer's Teeth in on Twitter". It's the problem with a quiet reasoned opinion and a loud nasty one. Also, while there were a lot of reasoned opinions, there have been more then a few violators of the "John Gabriel Internet F***wad Theory" in the RME side.

I expect journalists to be somewhat objective. Failing that, I expect them to understand the situation on the side that they're critisizing. It's not a utopian expectation, there's no reason people can't be decent at times.

The issue with the cupcakes and the Child's Play is that it's hard to tell if something is an intentionally nice method of trying to get people's attention, or an intentionally nasty way of using a nice method to draw positive PR to one's side and negative attention to the other. I'm sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes with the best of intentions - to show Bioware how much they love them and the ME series while simultaneously drawing attention to their issues with the game. I'm also sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes as a method to place a "sugar-coating" (pun definitely intended) on their attempts to railroad a company to change their game.

You don't need to focus on either, just accept that there are good people along with the "bad" ones. That's all.

I still believe in a lot of ways that the if the community really has the best of intentions or wants to say it does, it really needs to have a proactive nature in policing some of the more ridiculous things that were done/said, or at least make an effort to distance the majority of the group from the people who took it to the point of ridicule. Otherwise, it's far too easy to view people who issued demands, or made violent, insulting or threatening tweets and facebook posts, or other bad things as a part of the group, instead of just some other people with a similar opinion.

Thank god for you, Jim.

No, really, that really sums it up. A group of people had an opinion you disagreed with so you went out of your way to educate yourself about the matter and see where they were coming from.

Thank god for you.

yea the Mass Effect protest is rather tame compared to others
there are a few retards(lets face it this is the internet)
but compared to failed boycotts i'll take cupcakes and charity drives any day

I don't always agree with Jim, but I really can't enjoy the Jimquisition. His voice is just... obnoxious, at least for my ears.

J.d. Scott:

I still believe in a lot of ways that the if the community really has the best of intentions or wants to say it does, it really needs to have a proactive nature in policing some of the more ridiculous things that were done/said, or at least make an effort to distance the majority of the group from the people who took it to the point of ridicule. Otherwise, it's far too easy to view people who issued demands, or made violent, insulting or threatening tweets and facebook posts, or other bad things as a part of the group, instead of just some other people with a similar opinion.

It's easy, just remind people when they're being douchebags. Keep doing it and it'll catch on, pretty soon you wont be able to state a heated comment without being bashed by twenty other posters :)

It's not ideal and hopefully it wont come to that, but it's better than things are now.

Some interesting points.
And the slow wait for the price to decrease continues.

Smilomaniac:

J.d. Scott:

I still believe in a lot of ways that the if the community really has the best of intentions or wants to say it does, it really needs to have a proactive nature in policing some of the more ridiculous things that were done/said, or at least make an effort to distance the majority of the group from the people who took it to the point of ridicule. Otherwise, it's far too easy to view people who issued demands, or made violent, insulting or threatening tweets and facebook posts, or other bad things as a part of the group, instead of just some other people with a similar opinion.

It's easy, just remind people when they're being douchebags. Keep doing it and it'll catch on, pretty soon you wont be able to state a heated comment without being bashed by twenty other posters :)

It's not ideal and hopefully it wont come to that, but it's better than things are now.

It is a lot better now, I have to admit. Although, I think a lot of it is that Bioware basically said they were redoing the ending, so a lot of the douchebags have declared "Mission Accomplished" in their little flight suits and faffed off, as douchebags are want to do.

I just hope that Bioware at least keeps some shreds of the old ending. There's some really interesting thoughts in there that shouldn't just (to steal a line from another cut and re-cut thing...) fade...like tears in rain.

J.d. Scott:

Smilomaniac:

J.d. Scott:

To be fair, what exactly do you expect to be a site's headlines - "Game Fans Present Reasoned Opinions for Game Edit" or "Game Fans Kick ME Writer's Teeth in on Twitter". It's the problem with a quiet reasoned opinion and a loud nasty one. Also, while there were a lot of reasoned opinions, there have been more then a few violators of the "John Gabriel Internet F***wad Theory" in the RME side.

I expect journalists to be somewhat objective. Failing that, I expect them to understand the situation on the side that they're critisizing. It's not a utopian expectation, there's no reason people can't be decent at times.

The issue with the cupcakes and the Child's Play is that it's hard to tell if something is an intentionally nice method of trying to get people's attention, or an intentionally nasty way of using a nice method to draw positive PR to one's side and negative attention to the other. I'm sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes with the best of intentions - to show Bioware how much they love them and the ME series while simultaneously drawing attention to their issues with the game. I'm also sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes as a method to place a "sugar-coating" (pun definitely intended) on their attempts to railroad a company to change their game.

You don't need to focus on either, just accept that there are good people along with the "bad" ones. That's all.

I still believe in a lot of ways that the if the community really has the best of intentions or wants to say it does, it really needs to have a proactive nature in policing some of the more ridiculous things that were done/said, or at least make an effort to distance the majority of the group from the people who took it to the point of ridicule. Otherwise, it's far too easy to view people who issued demands, or made violent, insulting or threatening tweets and facebook posts, or other bad things as a part of the group, instead of just some other people with a similar opinion.

I would agree with you largely but I think you have to apply this to the naysayers. Take people like MovieBob who do no research and shout "entitled crybabies" all the time. They should be shunned for behaving like that, and that self policing isn't happening. No side has an monopoly on the crazy here.

At large, great vid Jim. I was one of the people who really disliked your style and while I still have reservations they are mainly in style and taste and you have improved in leaps and bounds

Here's the problem:

All that Jim said about "showing that endings matter" would be a great lesson... but that's not what publishers or gamers are going to take away from this. The precedent that actually WILL be established is: "Publishers will change an established game to popular specification, if the fans scream loud enough!" That's the only lesson that's going to be learned from this.

And if the publishers start caving to THAT precedent, then no writer worth a damn will ever work for the big-name publishers. They're ALREADY incredibly risk-averse, and this will just make things even worse. They may churn out a lot of garbage now, but you would not believe the garbage they'll be knocking off if they think that their work can be tossed out at the whim of internet hatedoms.

There isn't going to be a happy ending to this mess, but this campaign is the ultimate in short-term self-gratification against long-term potential.

... wait... you... loved Alien 3!?, how dare you!??. I demand you to change your opinion with a useless and unnecessary poll.

I love your show Jim, ever since Extra Credits left the site (wich I still watch in PATV), you filled that gap.

And yes, I'm starting to get annoyed by this ME3 bullcrap, I'm glad that, along with Shamus and a few bloggers from Forbes, you're one of the few sane people with a decent opinion and indeed, thank God for you.

erttheking:
Nice going Yahtzee, I agree with the fat guy's opinion more than yours. You know, I should probably start watching this a little more.

I think Yahtzee's got a point. Bioware, I hope, will handle the ending with a scalpel instead of a chainsaw, because if this turns into ME3:Fanboy Wish Fulfillment, it's going to be both wildly depressing and terrible for the industry and the concept of game writing.

I do hope the next time this type of situation comes up, and it will, that the writers and creators show some cojones and defend their work. I think because Bioware caved so easily on this, it justifies every bad thing said about an ending that's not as bad as a lot of people think (at least to me).

While I have not played Mass Effect 3 (not really looking to because Mass Effect 2 bored the hell out of me such that I didn't even get half-way through), I have been reading some on this issue. I'll admit that I am not entirely clear on whether the problem is that the ending was non sequitur to the preceding events of the story or if it's because Shepard (as well as everyone else in the galaxy) dies at the end, in certain scenarios.

A good ending is very important because it brings a sense of conclusion and closure that serves as an ultimate reward for the completion of the effort. If it really was a case that Bioware just rushed out an ending for the sake of getting a game out the door, then I think that it would have been better for Bioware to have delayed the game in the first place to improve the ending. It's not like fans are going to refuse to buy the game just because the schedule slips a couple months. Take the time to do it right (or at least decently enough) the first time so you don't have to waste resources redoing it later.

From what I have heard, Bioware is planning to sell the redone ending as a DLC for $10. I think that's a horrible solution to the issue (I can only wonder if such a deal came under the direction of EA corporate rather than from the Bioware division). It sounds crooked, almost like a broken product was sold intentionally such to be able to sell the fix later.

Thank god... a level-headed opinion from a game pundit I can get behind.

Bladrunner was the first thing to come to my mind when I heard Bob bitching and crying because people were more interested in ME's ending than Mario people were getting Bioware to change their ending.

Inuprince:
Nice to know someone also loves Alien 3, as much as I do. :)

It used to be my favourite Alien film. I think the first one just trumps it now that I can appreciate all the tension-building and scene setting that the first hour of the film does.

I was just about to rip him a new one. I thought he was gonna defend ME3 ending for some reason. Fuck me I'm becoming cynical.

370999:

J.d. Scott:

Smilomaniac:

I expect journalists to be somewhat objective. Failing that, I expect them to understand the situation on the side that they're critisizing. It's not a utopian expectation, there's no reason people can't be decent at times.

You don't need to focus on either, just accept that there are good people along with the "bad" ones. That's all.

I still believe in a lot of ways that the if the community really has the best of intentions or wants to say it does, it really needs to have a proactive nature in policing some of the more ridiculous things that were done/said, or at least make an effort to distance the majority of the group from the people who took it to the point of ridicule. Otherwise, it's far too easy to view people who issued demands, or made violent, insulting or threatening tweets and facebook posts, or other bad things as a part of the group, instead of just some other people with a similar opinion.

I would agree with you largely but I think you have to apply this to the naysayers. Take people like MovieBob who do no research and shout "entitled crybabies" all the time. They should be shunned for behaving like that, and that self policing isn't happening. No side has an monopoly on the crazy here.

At large, great vid Jim. I was one of the people who really disliked your style and while I still have reservations they are mainly in style and taste and you have improved in leaps and bounds

Oddly enough, I concur with Moviebob (and actually took it a lot farther) on that particular point. A lot of people have acted like (and don't take this the wrong way - I'm quoting myself on this) "whiny entitled b***hes" on this.

People hemmed and hawed and felt that Bioware betrayed them on "From Ashes", even though they know that's an EA hardline policy, that Bioware's never shown a propensity to betray them before, and before they ever actually saw it. From Ashes is literally nothing. A character that was overpowered and unlikable, and an hour's worth of faffing about in some recycled mapping from ME2.

A lot of gamers have been really incredibly silly about the ending. The "demanding" or "retaking" baloney is just the first step, like you have any position to demand, or you ever had enough of the game to be able to "retake" it. There was a lot of pretention, and a lot of ego in some of the things that were said.

Part of it is Bioware's fault - Casey should have never lied in that interview - I just think he doesn't know how to properly "answer without answering" a question. It was stupid. He should have apologized already, and I think Bioware should have jumped on the issue way before now from a PR perspective.

I'm sure there's a bunch of you guys that had nice, nuanced opinions over there, but there's an incredible amount of ego and pretention and entitlement there too. I never even tried my hand at the Bioware Social boards, because literally, there were so many posts I disagreed with on so many levels that if I started, I'd never get out. The ratio of good post to bad post was not 1:1 and it leaned heavily the wrong way. Small sample size, maybe. I'm willing to admit I didn't give it more then about ninety minutes of hard reading.

And those gamers who are on the bad side of things really needed to be taken to task. If you really were one of those gamers who were polite and constructive, don't take Bob's words to heart (or mine for that matter) - I personally, though I have a tendency for broad generalization (mostly for effect), certainly am not speaking about every one who commented to Bioware, but to you "whiny entitled b***hes" - you know who you are.

Adam Jensen:
I was just about to rip him a new one. I thought he was gonna defend ME3 ending for some reason. Fuck me I'm becoming cynical.

Why couldn't he? I liked the ending. You'd be amazed the defense I can build for that ending. In fact, I'm trying to convince Jim to rewatch the endings objectively and reconsider his position that they were "s**t".

Wow, this video was pretty balanced and well thought out. I don't feel offended I feel... enlightened. Good show.

I haven't played ME3 or any of them, but I have been following the storm as it moved across the tubes. I'm more interested in the idea of art, and I liked some of the ideas brought up. Especially my conclusion of "lets not put any art up on a pedestal, it makes it pretentious."

Jim says in this video what I've been trying to say on here better than I can say it. If bioware feels they can imporve the ending, they should go right ahead, but also that the audience shouldn't be able to force them to change the ending if they had truly decided to stick behind it.

Mikeyfell:
Who would have guessed, Jim is right again.

So we have Jim and MovieBob with polar opposite opinions, what ever happened to Extra Consideration?

Stopped being a thing not long after Extra Credits stopped being a part of this site, sadly.
I really wish they had continued it.

In any case, Jim does make a fair point here, and I tend to agree. I mean a while back I thought it was going to be potentially bad that they're going to change the ending, but after a while it occurred to me, that they wouldn't have caved so easily if they themselves hadn't been dissatisfied with the ending(though I still find it possible that this was all a huge marketing thing to basically get more attention at ME3 and so on and so forth). And Jim said prettymuch that as well.

For me, there's a distinction between changing and expanding the ending. Changing the ending would just be throwing out everything that happened in the last ten minutes or so and putting in something new. That, to me, would be a bad move because it's doubtful Bioware will be able to quell the rage with it and it would piss people off who liked parts of the ending. I personally liked some of the ideas behind it, and believe the concepts were there. Bioware just completely screwed them over and put out a half-arsed PoS. But I would still be annoyed if the ending was changed because I did like some parts of it and think it could have been made into something much better given more focus. Instead we got a 5-minute cutscene at best and something that was completely pointless after the credits to serve as obvious DLC-bait.

Now, expanding the ending is another story. Going into more detail on what actually happened, addressing some issues like the massive plot holes, the supposed lore inconsistancies (I say supposed because some, like the relays, can be fairly easily explained), and what the hell happened to anyone would be compromising, not giving in. And that's an important distinction to make. Now, that'll mean some people, such as myself, will end up disapointed. There are people who have their own interpretation of what happened and will be sad to see it proved wrong. I know mine will be because the way I saw it wouldn't work for DLC at all for the Synergy ending. But it can be a forgiven disappointment if we're given something good instead.

I do agree with the arguement that simply saying 'games are aren't and therefore can't be changed' is stupid. But at the same time I think that it should be changed by the people who made it for the betterment of the artwork, not because people don't like it. It's entirely possible that Bioware is actually happy to be able to work on the ending to make it better. But I also think that some people have acted incredibly childish during the whole ordeal and made the entire movement less respectable. I suppose you get those types in everything though.

There is one major point of the video I disagree with though. And that is that Bioware obviously had no faith in their own ending if they were willing to change it 'so easily.' It's easy to look at them just suddenly saying that they'll do it from the outside and think they put up no sort of fight. But I doubt that was the case. It's just that the fight was more likely internal. Bioware likely knew that taking the fight to it's fans would not only be horrible PR, but also be an attack against fans that care about their games. That would only make things so much worse for them.

So instead they likely internalized the decision. And with the MASSIVE fan backlash they got, it's not hard to see why they chose to do it. Jim talked about listening to people and improving his show. That's not a bad thing to do. But Bioware was being attacked very harshly by a lot of people. And that's not also including the preassure put on by things like the charity drive which, while better, likely did put some good ol' guilt in them. This would be the equivalant of about a quarter to half of Jim's viewers standing up and saying 'YOUR SHOW IS SHIT BECAUSE OF THE ENDING' over and over again. Viewers who before that were saying it was wonderful and amazing. I can honestly see how such a backlash could be crushing to those who made the game.

There is always the chance this was all part of their plan though. And if so... well, Bioware is dead to me. But there's no way to know either way and simply assuming that it was is both unfair and rude to the company. Did they perhaps put out an ending they weren't happy with to get the game out? It's possible and perhaps even likely. Did they sit behind a desk and say "Let's make a shit ending then pump out DLC for it?" It's possible, but there's no real proof to say it's the case.

Do any of you guys know Sherlock Holmes?
Of course you do.

He stems from a series of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Do you know that Sherlock Holmes died once, because Doyle had lost interest in the absurdly popular character and wanted to move on? Holmes fell down some freaking huge waterfalls.

Doyle wrote another book in which he retconned that stuff, several years later, since he admittedly wanted to make money. (They have documents to prove that was his intention) So Doyle changed his Art to cash in on some more Holmes stories.

The point of this little story is that art changes in demand of fans since there is art. The whole idea of independent art, of different streams is all centered around the demand of the consumers.

Granted, most of the time you don't see movements to change a given piece of art that has already been finished.

But in most artistic projects, that seek to turn a profit, the interests of the consumers come up during the production. To the point where it very well might compromise the artistic vision (whatever that might be).

TL;DR:
If we want lots of art of high quality, we need commercialized industries to produce art. For these industries to be profitable, they have to listen to their consumers. So while it might not be desireable to compromise artistic vision in favor of fan demands, it is a neccesary evil to maintain this level of quality.

I agree with you Jim, but that still does not change my view that the entire controversy is rather asinine, kind of whiny, and very "first-world problems". Still, if it convinces game devs to actually make good endings, at least some good will come out of it. I just hope that they don't get the wrong message from this, that one must cater to the fanbases every whim in order to be successful, among other awful lessons that could be gleaned from this. :/

Also, does anyone else hate the venom this controversy has stirred up against gaming journalists? Seriously, it is way out of hand when someone who disagrees with the prevailing opinion gets a pile of hateful comments/responses.

Gotta say, I'm impressed. I REALLY thought it would be jim calling those who wanted to change the ending all kinds of bad things and simply slamming them.

But no, ge actually acknowledge the opposite view, studied and learned. Saw their points and compares with his, and came out with good conclusions.

Very nice work Jim.

As the episode started I thought I was probably going to end up agreeing with Jim's opinion. Not surprised when I ended up agreeing with his opinion.

The fans can fuck off. I played Me1 and ME2 5 times each, Me3 2 times. Yes the ending was a disappointment. But the build up was huge. Thing is your choices had no differences, in ME2 the choices in ME1were shown as emails in ME2. Then in ME3 the choices matter even less. In ME1 the choice to kill the Rachni Queen doesnt matter...there is a Rachni Queen in ME3 regardless. Get over the game. The game isnt god and move on two something else. A new ending wont matter. If Bioware say that Grunt opened a flower store would you accept it? Just keep you own imagination of what happened and you will be far more happier.

I did hate your videos at first. You have improved over the months and I have also read a few of your articles form across the web (the one on gay characters in Fallout was great.) I'm happy to say the Jimquisition isn't shit anymore. Still come on Alien 3 sucks.

On topic I generally agree with the points made. All I really want is a small epilouge thing to show what happened to the characters and factions. In fact I would have been really disappointed if the game didn't have a bittersweet or downer ending.

Exterminas:
Do any of you guys know Sherlock Holmes?
Of course you do.

He stems from a series of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Do you know that Sherlock Holmes died once, because Doyle had lost interest in the absurdly popular character and wanted to move on? Holmes fell down some freaking huge waterfalls.

Doyle wrote another book in which he retconned that stuff, several years later, since he admittedly wanted to make money. (They have documents to prove that was his intention) So Doyle changed his Art to cash in on some more Holmes stories.

The point of this little story is that art changes in demand of fans since there is art. The whole idea of independent art, of different streams is all centered around the demand of the consumers.

Granted, most of the time you don't see movements to change a given piece of art that has already been finished.

But in most artistic projects, that seek to turn a profit, the interests of the consumers come up during the production. To the point where it very well might compromise the artistic vision (whatever that might be).

TL;DR:
If we want lots of art of high quality, we need commercialized industries to produce art. For these industries to be profitable, they have to listen to their consumers. So while it might not be desireable to compromise artistic vision in favor of fan demands, it is a neccesary evil to maintain this level of quality.

I don't think one example justifies another. Just because say Dickens edited Great Expectations because his first reader said the ending was too bleak, or Han/Greedo shooting first, or a recut/reshoot of a movie that got a poor test audience doesn't make that a rule or a justification. Each artist gets to make their own choice. I'm sure there's hundreds of times where an artist has told their editor or test audience that it's going out this way, and it worked out best for the artist.

And there's situations where it backfired. Bethesda altered their admittedly terrible ending to Fallout 3, to a slightly different but still just as terrible ending to justify adding the Broken Steel DLC. A lot of Bethesda fans lost their minds, mostly because the only change to their terrible illogical ending was to wedge in DLC. A lot of people didn't buy it. I haven't bought a Bethesda product since. In this case, it didn't work as expected.

More importantly, I don't think an artist should cater to the whims of the public in order to create popular art. That's actually, against the point of really good art, which is to present new perspectives and new ideas and challenge the consumer. If artists cater to the masses too much, they'll end up creating art that only caters to the lowest common denominator, since that will appeal to the most people. Do you really want all your games to be a string of mediocre thoughtless sequels, like so many VH1 Reality Shows, Stephanie Meyer novels, SumBlink18241 records and Modern Warfare games?

Don Reba:
I don't watch this. The illustration alone is annoying enough.

so why did you commet at all?

OT: can you give us the number for your "mass effect" hotline? id like a better ending :P
also i agree that its not so bad if they change the ending for the fans however the fact that they published a prodact that they didnt believe in enogh to stand behind is a bad thing... but what ya gonna do?

Gee Jim, taking notes from Bob now in that you have to drag your liberal politics into the episode? You want to talk unwelcome protesters of whatever and you drag out the Tea Party; why not the rapist, public defecating, anarchist infested Occupy movement?

Leave the politics to MSNBC and Fox, Jim. This IS a gaming site last I checked.

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