MovieBob's thoughts on the ME3 ending controversy

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So, I wanted to share my thoughts (for what they're worth) on MovieBob's tweets regarding the ME3 ending controversy:

Bob Chipman:
Congratulations, "Mass Effect" crybabies. You've officially set the entire medium back a DECADE as an art form

Also, Bioware? SHAME on you for caving. You've chosen to make coloring books instead of The Mona Lisa.

This is the WORST thing that has happened to gaming since Sega abandoned consoles.

How many more times do I need to explain that this has NOTHING to do with whether or not you "liked" the ending?

if your going to accept a game as ONLY a "product" then yes. But that means we CANNOT ask anyone to take gaming "seriously."

Look, a medium can produce ART or it can produce PRODUCT. If games can be changed at the whims of fanboys, then they are just product and we have no right to demand that Ebert etc take them (or US) "seriously."

To be blunt, I wrote the first three tweets off largely as hyperbole. I'm not saying that invalidates the underlying viewpoint, but it's very hard to build any sort of reasonable discussion from them. Let's say they release a new Fast and Furious movie, and fans hate the ending so much they release a new cut with different footage. Has the medium been set back 10 years? Can it no longer be called art in any context? Clearly not (I would hope).

The next point, I agree with. It's not about whether you liked the ending or not. Subjective dissatisfaction with narrative content is not really a compelling reason for a change to that content. It's perfectly reasonable to assert that you don't like the content - there's nothing wrong with fan feedback - but it's not really a campaign platform.

It's the final two quotes that I really take issue with. They're a surprisingly binary perspective (they seem to imply that a game can be either art or a product, with no middle ground), and frankly, they strike me as a little naive. Part of the issue is clarifying exactly what Bob feels subverts the artistic integrity (if you will) of a game. I can see two possible interpretations:

1) Changing the content of a game as a result of external criticism by financially contributing parties is a betrayal of artistic integrity. If this is the intended meaning, then games are already lost as art. There is no way that publishers (especially since BioWare is now a division of its publisher) and investors (and therefore consumers, albeit indirectly) don't have an impact on the creative direction and development of the game. Mass Effect 3 was a commercial project developed by commercial artists in order to generate revenue. Art or not, the decision-making process undoubtedly involved concerns relating to product sales.

2) Changing the content of a game as a result of external criticism subsequent to release is a betrayal of artistic integrity. I don't find this line of reasoning convincing at all (so financial and fan interests can dictate the development of art, but not any amendment of it?). Either way, though, the existence of the Broken Steel DLC renders this interpretation irrelevant. The 'damage' is already done; the precedent is set. There's nothing new to see here.

Returning back to the point that it's not about one's subjective preference for the ending, the real problem in my mind is that - whether you call it art or a product - gamers did not receive what they were lead to believe they would. Here is one pre-release quote (of many in the same theme):

Casey Hudson:
This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.....The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.

Anyone who has experienced the endings of ME3 can attest that this is the exact opposite of the actual content we received. The importance of "artistic integrity" should not be used as a shield to avoid this. Clear statements were made about the type of ending players would receive, and those statements were not adhered to. Is moral integrity worth less than a concept of artistic integrity? Is artistic integrity a defence against simple bad business?

Whether or not you want games to be considered art instead of products (if indeed those two concepts are entirely mutually exclusive), the fact remains that this game was sold as a product, and many indications of the content of that product were given. Those indications turned out to be patent falsehoods, and consequently some consumers are upset. Apparently they can't have the product they were lead to believe they would receive, though, because that would violate "art".

I'm gonna do something crazy and say...I understand both points of view and am pretty conflicted about it myself.

The endings have to have artistic integrity in the first place for it to be betrayed or violated.

I'd rather have awesome, enjoyable games than have some stuck up artsy douchebag take shitty games "seriously"

Also I'd like to hear his opinions on comic books as art, since you know he did multiple episodes about how fans changed Green Lantern, and the world did not implode once that happened.

I look forward to The Big Picture episode where he gets on his soapbox and starts hurling insults at us.

wow, movie bob can be very near sighted sometimes.

Yeah, this is why I generally stray away from MovieBob. His opinions are laughable and simply not worth giving attention to. That goes for both his thoughts on games and movies.

Sentox6:

Bob Chipman:
Congratulations, "Mass Effect" crybabies. You've officially set the entire medium back a DECADE as an art form

Also, Bioware? SHAME on you for caving. You've chosen to make coloring books instead of The Mona Lisa.

This is the WORST thing that has happened to gaming since Sega abandoned consoles.

How many more times do I need to explain that this has NOTHING to do with whether or not you "liked" the ending?

if your going to accept a game as ONLY a "product" then yes. But that means we CANNOT ask anyone to take gaming "seriously."

Look, a medium can produce ART or it can produce PRODUCT. If games can be changed at the whims of fanboys, then they are just product and we have no right to demand that Ebert etc take them (or US) "seriously."

Yeah, because we all know Bioware and EA are dedicated to making art first and money later, right?

And asking someone to take gaming seriously? What does taking gaming seriously even mean? That some random people who will never play a video game in their life look at them and say "Oh, yeah, this is impressive art and totally legit and I love it and hurrrr"? OH MY GOD, A FILM CRITIC DOESNT KNOW SHIT ABOUT GAMES??? WHATEVER SHALL WE DO??? OF COURSE HE DOESNT, HES A FUCKING FILM CRITIC!!! FILM!!!! Maybe just not care since it doesnt fucking matter? I mean, people swear random piles of dirt can be classified as deep and meaningful art, but when I look at it I say "Yep, its dirt". Funnily enough, none of the people into that kind of stuff seem to care. Why? Because I have no interest in it, no knowledge of it, and am thus neither qualified to talk about it nor worth listening to. And that does not hinder their enjoyment of said piles of dirt. Unlike MovieBob, however, there are some other things I know a bit about.

Heres a question for all you artsy geniuses out there, what is more immature:

1) A community complaining about a stories ending in a rather rabid fashion or

2) Spending every waking moment lecturing other people on your personal interests because you cannot, you just CANNOT enjoy something without knowing a majority of people are no longer indifferent on the subject?

If you are so fucking concerned about immaturity you should take a look in the mirror. A long, hard one. People like MovieBob are acting like children and then insulting others.

So MovieBob, I hope you are reading this. Maybe it will finally hammer some sense into your head, although I doubt it, since you are so far gone the way back has been lost. If gaming wants to be a big boy its needs to distance itself from people like you, because you make the lot look of us like a bunch of whiny cunts begging for the approval of the horde. And as we all know, that is rather childish behavior. Having strong feelings is not.

I'm going to agree with Bob in a different way and say; Who cares? The games are still sweet as hell, If they were considered art it wouldn't make publishers try harder because making a mediocre experience sells like hot cakes and investing more time and resources aren't going to bolster sales, and honestly it isn't like games are part of some "Not Art" club. barely anybody thinks movies or music are art anymore either. Yes they are crafted and yes they are sometimes moving but not many people care. All of these things are just entertainment, and not calling them art isn't suddenly going to make them bad for the same reason that calling them art doesn't suddenly make them better.

To be fair though about everyone at this point should take Bob "I champion woman's rights Piranha 3-D is a fantastic movie because it has boobies" Chimpman's opinions with a grain of salt anyway. Also again they already did literally this exact same scenario only a slightly smaller scale with Metal Gear Solid 4:

Casey Hudson:
This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.....The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.

You see this, Chipman? THIS is the issue.

We were promised one thing, and subsequently given THE EXACT THING THEY PROMISED NOT TO GIVE US.

Could you, you know, consider this fact first before you start throwing insults willy-nilly?

To put it simply, Movie Bob is...well, wrong.

Mass Effect stopped being art the moment it's creators decided to screw up the ending with all those plot holes and inconsistencies.

And just because Mass Effect might not be art doesn't disqualify video games as an art form. Some games are art, some are just products. Same with everything else. Not all movies are art, not all books, paintings, sculptures etc. are art.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Heres a question for all you artsy geniuses out there, what is more immature:

1) A community spending every waking moment foaming at the mouth about a stories ending, review bombing, dismissing everything Bioware's ever done, constantly whining, clinging onto the words of someone who is not a source of reliable info and more.

2) Spending every waking moment lecturing other people on your personal interests because you cannot, you just CANNOT enjoy something without knowing a majority of people are no longer indifferent on the subject?

While I don't disagree with what you said, you do realize that the examples above (which I fixed) are incredibly biased, right? The former could have been done in a more mature way, but right now, both groups have been acting in an equally childish manner.

'It's art!' is the most pathetic defence for anything ever. So what? Just because it's 'art' doesn't mean it's not open to criticism or challenge or God forbid revision. I guess Charles Dickens rewriting the ending to Great Expectations threw literature back a decade too? Jesus Christ. The word 'art' is the most transparent shield imaginable.

Also consider this, apparently Hudson and Walter completely disregarded the artistic view of the rest of the writers so that they could put in the ending THEY wanted, where is the artistic integrity in that?

As a general rule I tend to disagree with Movie Bob whenever he talks about video games, this is no exception.

I have not played Mass Effect 3, nor will I likely any time soon for various reasons, but that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to what's going on around me. Hell, one of my best friends wouldn't and still hasn't shut up about how much he hates the ending for that game and how it 'ruined his experience' and whatnot. Disappointing considering how till he reached the end he'd had nothing but good things to say about the game. Now however? It's difficult to get anything but bitterness and complaints out of him when it comes to the series.

And you know what? That's fine. People should voice their concerns, if they didn't nothing would ever be done about it. My understanding of it is that Bioware, for lack of better words, broke the trust and failed to deliver on their promises. If that's the case they should be held accountable for it. Game developers and publishers aren't god-like monolith exempt from criticism after all.

It's perfectly reasonable.

On a side note I also find it hilarious when as I recall one of the first video of his I was ever linked was a lengthy rant about how SEGA screwed up Sonic and how he thought it could be salvaged and fixed. Unless there's something I'm missing, I can't help but find his actions now a bit hypocritical.

I'll post here what I posted in another thread responding to Bob's comments

Bunch of horseshit is what it is. Any artist who's primary income comes from his art, and who extensively advertises said art beforehand, lying about it while doing so, cannot then whine about their lies and ineptitude coming back to bite them in the ass. Thus is the situation with Mass Effect 3.

The vast majority of art does not fall into the category of art for art's sake. This applies to music, movies, and even paintings. Yet these things are still very much art. The bullshit idea that art cannot be a product is entirely a manufactured status within the last 100-150 years.

Look, Bioware can change or leave the ending as far as I care. I'd personally prefer that they pull a mulligan, though by no means do I consider it to be a necessity. But by no means would changing the ending somehow set games back as an artistic medium. For starters, this wouldn't exactly be unprecedented. Bethesda altered the ending of Fallout 3 to make it more logical in some areas, and were met with a modest degree of praise for doing so, because the new ending was seen as superior. Valve retconned the happy ending of the original Portal so the progression to Portal 2 would make more sense. In both cases, the altered product was seen by some, particularly the developers, as being the superior version.

One of the unfortunate facts about art for commercial purposes is that, in some cases, the original artists retain control over the product even after it has been published, and have the liberty to make alterations should they see fit. George Lucas is an unfortunate side effect of this policy, but the fact of the matter is that artistic expression as a whole would be severely limited if not for the sort of liberties granted to him. So long as the original ending is still around for the curious to witness, I see no reason why changing the ending would be an inherently bad thing.

boag:
Also consider this, apparently Hudson and Walter completely disregarded the artistic view of the rest of the writers so that they could put in the ending THEY wanted, where is the artistic integrity in that?

Do you have some kind of source for this?

SpaceBat:

boag:
Also consider this, apparently Hudson and Walter completely disregarded the artistic view of the rest of the writers so that they could put in the ending THEY wanted, where is the artistic integrity in that?

Do you have some kind of source for this?

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/5695/article/mass-effect-3-writer-allegedly-slams-controversial-ending/

Considering that his defense of Other M basically boiled down to:

image

...I tend to take whatever he has to say about video game controversies with a grain of salt.

SpaceBat:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Heres a question for all you artsy geniuses out there, what is more immature:

1) A community spending every waking moment foaming at the mouth about a stories ending, review bombing, dismissing everything Bioware's ever done, constantly whining, clinging onto the words of someone who is not a source of reliable info and more.

2) Spending every waking moment lecturing other people on your personal interests because you cannot, you just CANNOT enjoy something without knowing a majority of people are no longer indifferent on the subject?

While I don't disagree with what you said, you do realize that the examples above (which I fixed) are incredibly biased, right? The former could have been done in a more mature way, but right now, both groups have been acting in an equally childish manner.

Im not even going to bother discussing this was anyone, I will just leave these 2 videos here.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5139-Taking-Videogames-Seriously

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/3799-Fight-in-the-Name-of-Childishness

Sentox6:

Bob Chipman:

This is the WORST thing that has happened to gaming since Sega abandoned consoles.

Well, at least that explains why he isn't GamerBob.

Me and him disagree most of the time, so its no surprise I think he is wrong yet again. I don't care about a poor movie critics view on the subject. It isn't shocking he has nothing new to add to the discussion, just recycled statements of gaming site articles playing up to Bioware's PR that coincidentally have motive to protect their ad space.

So...does that mean that Star Wars is no longer art, and it's set film back...uh, how many times has Lucas changed stuff? I think we may be back an entire century. Yet I seem to recall he told us it wasn't worth getting upset about the changes because the original is still out there. So...you can still play the original ending to Mass Effect 3 I'm sure. Just don't download the new ending.

I still don't believe a new ending is happening. I won't believe it until I actually see it. If it does happen, I'll be happy.

Please. Nothing artistic about that heap of shit game. I've seen fine art students scribble down crap for 5 minutes that had more artistic expression than Mass Effect 3. The point of the abysmal ending was to "create controversy" not to "Further the gaming medium"

So this MOVIEBOB can just go home.

Sentox6:
Let's say they release a new Fast and Furious movie, and fans hate the ending so much they release a new cut with different footage? Has the medium been set back 10 years? Can it no longer be called art in any context? Clearly not (I would hope).

What's hilarous is this does happen in film. It happens all the time - they just do it in focus groups so the changes are made before the general public sees it.

I think I mentioned it in a different thread, but Dodgeball is a classic example. Originally it had a downer ending where the team loses, but that ending went over really badly with the test audiences so the studio made them go back and reshoot the happy Hollywood ending, complete with the deus ex machina treasure chest.

DustyDrB:
I'm gonna do something crazy and say...I understand both points of view and am pretty conflicted about it myself.

There is no reason to be conflicted. Bob is totally ignorant on this subject I'm guessing.

All arguements about artistic integrity do not apply to the ME3 ending contreversy since the problem more or less comes down to EA wanting to turn this into a franchise instead of ending the trilogy properly. The more they can hold back for later games, the better from a business perspective. Basically, any artistic integrity present in this already went out the door before the fan reaction. Indeed if anything the fan reaction is due to them already sacrificing artistic integrity and putting an ending onto the work that does not belong there.

It's also about far more than just the ME3 ending, which is something I believe the industry wants to pretend it's ignorant of to avoid having to address. This is about the entire relationship between the industry and the users, and with Bioware it's a continuation with a fight they picked when they released "Dragon Age 2" in the state it was in.

I'm also guessing Bob is unaware of the whole $3 app EA wanted to make that was all about the ending, information from which has been floating around the internet. Part of the issue here is that EA/Bioware said flat out that this installment was going to wrap things up and answer all the questions. In the interviews from that source the guys doing the writing are quite frank about saying that they created the ending to be ambigious and not to give the answers people wanted. Given that the company was saying one thing, and deciding intentionally to do another means that they were out to defraud the customer base, and it happens to have backfired.

I understand where Bob is coming from, but he's probably ignorant, if he knew the details I'd imagine he'd be on our side more than he is.

Bob also seems to miss the point entirely that there is good art, and bad art, it's not all equal and being artistic does not justify something not being called a piece of crap. The thing is that with most media if it sucks to the point of outraging the vast majority of people exposed to it, they are going to be refunded their money. People have stormed ticket booths at movie theaters, gotten refunds from artshows and performances, and other things. With something like Mass Effect 3, part of the rage is that people spent $60 for this installment alone, and $200 or more in some cases for the whole series before it got to that ending which ruined the entire thing. EA/Bioware isn't exactly offering refunds.

Bob's attitude is more defensible when it comes to things like TV shows because the TV show doesn't really cost the person viewing it anything other than their time. If the finale of say "Lost" doesn't float your boat, it's not like you paid J.J. Abrams anything for the honor of watching it only to see it end that way. This is an entirely differant situation.

As I've said before, if you were say watching the original Star Wars triology, and it was like you know except for the end of RoJ... when Luke walks into the Emperor's throne room instead of the whole ending that clinched the series with the redemption of Vader and the destruction of the second Death Star, your treated to the screen whiting out into a 70s style light swirl of the type intended to simulate an acid trip, while a rainbow hued cartoon platypus appears in the middle of the screen and introduces itself as a manifestation of the force. The platypus rambles on about the light side and dark side, and what has happened in the series so far, and about what might happen from this point on, but cautions you that whatever might happen might only SEEM to happen because it could all be illusion like Luke's experiences in the cave on Degobah. Then the credits roll... aftr the credits you see some little old guy walking along with a young boy begging for another story about "The Skywalker".

If that happened, you'd be saying Star Wars was crap, you'd be demanding a refund, and there would be no prequels since nobody would have cared after that. The style of ending described might work for some stories, but not for "Star Wars". That ending would destroy the entire series, nobody would care how great it was before that, because none of that mattered anymore now that you knew where it was going.

You might think I'm joking but the above description is actually a pretty good analogy to what happened at the end of ME3, and why Bob is simply wrong. I think he's jumping on his artistic defense bandwagon without really being aware of all the facts that apply to this.

I'd probably agree with Bob if EA/Bioware offered to buy back all the Mass Effect games (the whole series) and associated products they have sold at full initial retail value, much like a ticket being refunded at a theater.... but that's not what's happening.

Overall them creating a proper ending that fits with the rest of the series, and isn't a giant franchise cash grab is the right thing to do under the circumstances. Indeed if they want to be taken seriously ever again, it's their only real viable option because I'm not even sure if EA could afford to buy back all the Mass Effect stuff they sold.

Casey Hudson:
This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.....The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.

erm, wow, I haven't even played ME3 or seen the ending and I still know that's the opposite of how the game ended (it's REALLY hard to be on the internet without at least learning that much). If that's what Hudson said, then yeah, the ending is not art, it's part of an iso file that they shat out to meet a deadline. Art would have meant realizing that goal and actually achieving a successful and fitting climax and denounment to the series, like any respectable film or book would.

I'm not even sure that "iso file that they shat out" is a proper term for it, as the parent version of that phrase was coined by Penny Arcade to describe their own work, which actually is art.

McMullen:

Casey Hudson:
This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.....The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.

erm, wow, I haven't even played ME3 or seen the ending and I still know that's the opposite of how the game ended (it's REALLY hard to be on the internet without at least learning that much). If that's what Hudson said, then yeah, the ending is not art, it's part of an iso file that they shat out to meet a deadline. Art would have meant realizing that goal and actually achieving a successful and fitting climax and denounment to the series, like any respectable film or book would.

I find it kind of hilarious that what Casey is saying sounds a lot like their hype for the ending in saying how it would tie everything up. In the end of the game (potential spoiler from here on), all surrealism aside, you literally wind up with a choice of "A, B, or C" in the form of a branching path and which one you walk down.

Incidently that's one of the reasons some people are sueing them, they are on record as saying that was NOT how the game was going to end, and then it ended in exactly the way they said it wouldn't... almost to the letter. With that, and the writer team (revealed here on the thread about the $3 app) saying they intentionally decided not to give the promised answers or a clear conclusion, but to be ambigious to "get people talking", there is some evidence here of what amounts to them lying to the customers... a pretty clear cut case of false advertising and fraud.

I guess he's never heard of "A Clockwork Orange" or Sherlock Holmes or "Hamlet."

How does Bob marry his oldfag love of retrogression and new age hipsterdom that demands "the respect for the artform?"

His argument is crap. This situation has been occurring for a bajillion years in games, novels, blowjobs & all of the other arts.

I wonder what this guy would do with the chance to alter Micheal Bay's "vision."

DustyDrB:
I'm gonna do something crazy and say...I understand both points of view and am pretty conflicted about it myself.

No honestly this is no crazy at all, it is in fact the most same point you can make. Bowing down to fans and changing your mind is NOT in any way owning up to a mistake.

It is kind of like when a dearly love charter dies in a story, no matter how much you hate it it can be forgiven because they made a plan and stuck to it no matter how mad it made people. It is still why i hope the "expanded DLC" does not so much change but rather explain the ending even though I hate the ending.

When did he start riding the Biodick?

This crap is popping up in the most unlikely places.

I have no idea why, the onus is on the fans for setting the medium back a decade (if we assume this is the case). Bioware are perfectly entitled, (as a separate entity) to ignore the fan's vitriol and stick to their 'artistic' guns, everyone's already bought the game, and as far as I'm concerned one mistake doesn't doom every project the company will ever attempt, so I'll probably still buy their stuff.

So Bioware could just have ignored the criticism, if they believed this was their 'Magnum Opus'/'Mona Lisa'. But they didn't, they must have seen at least some room for improvement, or possibly EA simply insisted on the basis that all the people complaining are essentially potential customers. So either they just accepted the criticism as constructive or have proved they are actually a company, and like many companies, will make use of opportunities to make money from their product. Neither of which I see a massive problem with, the latter option wouldn't make me feel great, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Even so I can't see Bioware providing most people with what they actually want, - which as far as I can gather (and is certainly what I would want) - is a complete revision of the ending, removing the crazy god-child moments. Possibly with the inclusion of some tangible effect from the war assets you spend the whole game accumulating. This would require excessive effort, time and money (though I'd be willing to pay a very exorbitant price) on the part of Bioware/EA.

What we'll probably get, is epilogue, which Bioware were probably planning anyway and if they weren't EA are clearly growing soft on us, or are possibly even more nefarious than we could ever have imagined.

Also, as far as 'gaming as an art form' goes, I'm not entirely sure what will happen when gaming is taken seriously as an art form, or who we are trying to get to take it seriously?

If anyone continues to disregard any form of expression, as an art form, simply because of connotations in the medium, or some 'non-artistic' example that doesn't conform to some arbitrary definition of art, then we shouldn't allow our own enjoyment of the medium to be cheapened by such people.

Is music disregarded as an 'art form' because of money-grabbing unimaginative 'pop-singles', (I am in no way suggesting 'pop' is bad, there are only bad examples) does this reduce the beauty of a Tchaikovsky? No, this is nonsense!

Even if we accept that changing the ending of a game reduces the value of a game as 'art'. I never saw Mass Effect as a series trying to push the boundaries of how games can be viewed as art. What I felt it did was demonstrate that a game, was as valid a medium to tell a story and elicit emotions from it's 'participants' (for want of a better word). This is in no way effected by Bioware changing the ending, at its best this is an acceptance that a no work of art is perfection, and to better achieve a desired effect on an audience; sometimes changes must be made. Preferably during game testing though.

Personally I'm hoping for this all to have been an indoctrination all along, which would be great. But if it was planned all along should have been an almost instant consequence of completing the game, and not an optional DLC which just cheapens what would be a fairly clever twist.

I thought people wrote his opinions on gaming off as bat-shit crazy ages ago. Bob's the only guy I know about that creams himself at any mention of the tanooki suit.

Therumancer:

DustyDrB:
I'm gonna do something crazy and say...I understand both points of view and am pretty conflicted about it myself.

Bob also seems to miss the point entirely that there is good art, and bad art, it's not all equal and being artistic does not justify something not being called a piece of crap. The thing is that with most media if it sucks to the point of outraging the vast majority of people exposed to it, they are going to be refunded their money. People have stormed ticket booths at movie theaters, gotten refunds from artshows and performances, and other things. With something like Mass Effect 3, part of the rage is that people spent $60 for this installment alone, and $200 or more in some cases for the whole series before it got to that ending which ruined the entire thing. EA/Bioware isn't exactly offering refunds.

Bob's attitude is more defensible when it comes to things like TV shows because the TV show doesn't really cost the person viewing it anything other than their time. If the finale of say "Lost" doesn't float your boat, it's not like you paid J.J. Abrams anything for the honor of watching it only to see it end that way. This is an entirely differant situation.

As I've said before, if you were say watching the original Star Wars triology, and it was like you know except for the end of RoJ... when Luke walks into the Emperor's throne room instead of the whole ending that clinched the series with the redemption of Vader and the destruction of the second Death Star, your treated to the screen whiting out into a 70s style light swirl of the type intended to simulate an acid trip, while a rainbow hued cartoon platypus appears in the middle of the screen and introduces itself as a manifestation of the force. The platypus rambles on about the light side and dark side, and what has happened in the series so far, and about what might happen from this point on, but cautions you that whatever might happen might only SEEM to happen because it could all be illusion like Luke's experiences in the cave on Degobah. Then the credits roll... aftr the credits you see some little old guy walking along with a young boy begging for another story about "The Skywalker".

If that happened, you'd be saying Star Wars was crap, you'd be demanding a refund, and there would be no prequels since nobody would have cared after that. The style of ending described might work for some stories, but not for "Star Wars". That ending would destroy the entire series, nobody would care how great it was before that, because none of that mattered anymore now that you knew where it was going.

You might think I'm joking but the above description is actually a pretty good analogy to what happened at the end of ME3, and why Bob is simply wrong. I think he's jumping on his artistic defense bandwagon without really being aware of all the facts that apply to this.

I'd probably agree with Bob if EA/Bioware offered to buy back all the Mass Effect games (the whole series) and associated products they have sold at full initial retail value, much like a ticket being refunded at a theater.... but that's not what's happening.

Overall them creating a proper ending that fits with the rest of the series, and isn't a giant franchise cash grab is the right thing to do under the circumstances. Indeed if they want to be taken seriously ever again, it's their only real viable option because I'm not even sure if EA could afford to buy back all the Mass Effect stuff they sold.

I agree absolutely.

Where part of your art is to please a certain group of people; if the vast majority of people vehemently deride your work you art has failed, in it's most basic essence.

As far as I was concerned Mass Effect was intended to entertain me first and then, make any artistic/philosophical statements it wished. Both of these can certainly contribute to entertainment value.

Edit: Repeated Post

Edit: Repeated Post

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