MovieBob's thoughts on the ME3 ending controversy

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Phlakes:

HalfTangible:
If somebody tells me they're going to paint a beach, and they hand me a painting of blue water with some white canvas, am i holding the medium of painting back by asking for him to add the sand on the beach? (Keeping in mind that there is still white on the canvas for him to add the sand)

That would also be a clever analogy if the game didn't have an ending, but it obviously did, you just didn't like it. If they painted a beach and then you demanded that he repaint it because you want it to be different to suit your opinions, then you'd be on the right track.

You're way off base here. The point, as I reiterated several times, is not about subjective preference for the ending.

A more accurate analogy would be if somebody told HalfTangible they were going to paint a busy beach full of people, and the resulting painting was of an empty paddling pool next to a gravel pit. Because this quote is pretty undeniable:

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.

We got the exact opposite of this.

Zhukov:
This just in:

Script changes based on test screenings setting the medium of film back decades.

This. Also, many of our old art treasures (like, you know, Mona Lisa, most of what Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner etc. wrote, almost all of Raphael's and Michelangelo's sculptures and paintings and so on into infinity) were commission jobs. That means someone paid the artist to make the final product just like the commissioner wanted. If the buyer wasn't happy with how Mona Lisa smiled or how Eine Kleine Nachtmusik sounded, then Da Vinci and Mozart had to go back and change it up. If the church wasn't happy with the ceiling decoration in the sistine chapel, Michelangelo had to go back up there and make adjustments.

This notion that "true art is never changed because of criticism" and the idea that "true art is an uninterrupted personal process" are both fairly recent inventions and most of what we consider classical art would not fall within either category. Artists throughout the ages have been very pragmatical and have altered their masterpieces to fit their client, because even they had to eat.

So really, the eventual alteration of ME3's ending is not the killing blow to the concept of games as art.

Phlakes:

Zhukov:
This just in:

Script changes based on test screenings setting the medium of film back decades.

That would be a clever analogy if test screenings for a movie and a released game weren't very different things, considering the entire purpose of a test screening is to see if changes need to be made.

Zen Toombs:
Yes and... Thankye kindly for reminding me of that Penny Arcade strip! That one needs to be posted in all threads someone says "don't change ME3 because it's AAWRRT!".

because such views are silly, you see.

Yes, they are silly, which is exactly why people aren't saying that (outside of hyperbole in arguments against people who defend the ending).

HalfTangible:
If somebody tells me they're going to paint a beach, and they hand me a painting of blue water with some white canvas, am i holding the medium of painting back by asking for him to add the sand on the beach? (Keeping in mind that there is still white on the canvas for him to add the sand)

That would also be a clever analogy if the game didn't have an ending, but it obviously did, you just didn't like it. If they painted a beach and then you demanded that he repaint it because you want it to be different to suit your opinions, then you'd be on the right track.

A) We were told we wouldn't have an A B or C ending and all our choices would play out in the final conflict. They did not, and we did get an ABC ending. So... I guess a more apt analogy would be if the water were pink and i asked him to make it blue and add a beach.

B) it's perfectly plausible to just add to what you already have with a game with DLC - there's little need to rewrite the entierty of the Catalyst ending (though we'd like them to). In fact, that's one theory about what will be done: we'll get some scenes to show our war assets play out. The catalyst was crap but he would've been excuseable if we had seen our war assets play out ( i wanna see a Geth fighting with Quarians, dangit! xP ) which we did not.

C) with DLC, this is much, MUCH easier to fix than a sliced canvas or a pink ocean =P

(The missing beach in this case would be war assets playing out in the final conflict - the pink ocean would be the ending as is, which has a complete lack of closure.)

I don't feel like getting into a huge debate right now, but I do wanna say this: it's hard to make an intelligent argument when you're limited to 140 characters.

You're responding to something he said on Twitter, and you're using more than 140 characters--that's kind of unfair. :P I don't think Twitter should be used for anything other than telling people what food you just ate. Point is, don't take what he said TOO seriously. Not because he doesn't mean it, but because he was forced to say it in 140 characters. If you wanna get into an argument with him, maybe wait until he does an article about it. Or email him or something?

Or, you know, respond to him on Twitter. A debate about art on Twitter--that is something I would pay money to see.

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

Sorry, not possible. Between Metroid Other M and Duke Nukem Forever, we're already back before suffrage, and there wasn't any video games back then.

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

*Blinks.* Okay, I admit the fanboy agonizing from both sides has been silly. But that? That's pure fanboy right there. That's what I heard from the Trekkies-that-other-Trekkies-avoid when that last TNG-era movie sucked. And it was just as stupid then. It's a space opera. It had a lame ending. It sucks for the fans who are disappointed, and the debate's been... interesting... but it's not the end of the world. Screaming nonsensically at Bioware about the ending is as stupid as... well, screaming nonsensically at Bioware about the ending!

image

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

Please tell me I'm not the only one imaging Bob dragging a couch onscreen to throw himself on.

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

...

...

I'm sorry, could someone explain that sentence to me? I can't snark it if I can't understand it.

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

Art as product ain't art? Ever hear of "patronage", which is art in exchange for money or board or something else and the basis for most of "fine art"? So the entire Sistine Chapel isn't art, because Michelangelo only did it under the patronage of the Pope?

Bob Chipman:
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."

Not Ebert again. Can we stop beating that particular dead horse? The man's as relevant to video games as Henry Kissinger. Demanding he take games seriously was stupid then, it's stupid now, and NOT for that reason.

And a medium can produce both. Funny that a movie critic would forget that Citizen Kane, Ernest Scared Stupid and Debbie Does Dallas are all parts of the same medium.

Gods, I've been getting more and more annoyed with MovieBob lately but this is it. I'm sorry, the man's a loon.

Zhukov:

Phlakes:

Zhukov:
This just in:

Script changes based on test screenings setting the medium of film back decades.

That would be a clever analogy if test screenings for a movie and a released game weren't very different things, considering the entire purpose of a test screening is to see if changes need to be made.

Irrelevant.

My point is that they improve their product by making changes based on audience reaction, by "caving in" to the "crybabies". Yet somehow they aren't setting their medium back DECADES by doing so.

No, it is relevant. You can't deny that there's a difference between showing something for the sake of finding things to improve and releasing something as a complete, finished product and then changing it. I'm not saying Movie Bob is right, just that test screenings are much different territory.

This coming from the guy that claims Other M made Samus a "deep and sympathetic character" ignoring how stereo typically bland she actually was. Art my ass. Journey is art. Mass Effect was based on CAUSE AND EFFECT. Hence the title. I love how these critics and game designers are missing the point on why fans are upset. It has nothing to do with art, or tragedy. It's about a developer promising one thing and doing a 180 turn off a fucking cliff.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
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.

... While forcing myself to read this opinion, I am curious as to how little you know about MovieBob.

You do know he has another weekly web show, right? It's on Screwattack.com. It's called 'The Game Over Thinker'.

Also from what I can understand about the ending debacle, is that it's not that the endings were bad, but more nonsensical. I understand where people get those opinions and I was confused by some of them, but it wasn't THAT bad. It could've been a lot worse.

(Clap...clap...clap!) That was so beautiful MovieBob. I totally agree with you, really with all this, how can people looking at us from the outside take us seriously...they can't because as you said, "crybabies".

There have been times I didn't agree with MovieBob, but this is just pure gold and I couldn't agree more.

Sonic Doctor:
(Clap...clap...clap!) That was so beautiful MovieBob. I totally agree with you, really with all this, how can people looking at us from the outside take us seriously...they can't because as you said, "crybabies".

There have been times I didn't agree with MovieBob, but this is just pure gold and I couldn't agree more.

Yeah, just like how movies had a tough time being considered art because of all the crybabies (including good ole bob here) who watched and complained about the SW prequels eh?

And all those entitled readers who pressured sir Arthur Conan Doyle to ret-con holmes back into existence, man, those guys almost destroyed books as an art form, we almost only have picture books for YEARS.

There are many valid arguments for not changing the ME3 ending.

This is not one of them.

When you make your own damn game you can end it however you want, simple as that. The fact that "art" cannot be divorced from the economics (there would be no game without paying customers) doesn't mean those paying customers get to backseat develop. If mob mentality ruled artistic vision, why bother have artists at all? We could just crowd source the game and add in whatever people say they want. Course, this would make for horribly bland and repetitive games, cause people don't know shit.

Bob is absolutely right! Art should never undergo revision for any reason! Movies never change their endings based on test audience reactions to the material! It's not like video games ever add new content after release to add to or build upon a story; nope, what's shipped on launch day is the finished product and nothing can change the immutable work of art the creators produced!

And who cares what the fans think about an interactive medium? Hey, it's not like they're input matters in a game that's touted to be built around choice! And how dare they say the ending was subpar! It's art! Honestly, people, if you don't grow up, Uncle Ebert might not call us up to sit at the Big Kid's table where we can talk about "post-modernism" and use the term "avant-garde" unironically. That's what gaming is all about after all; getting legitimized by an arbitrary and imaginary committee as "art."

Bravo, Bob! You're knowledge of movies has well equipped you to comment on a completely different medium and I wait in joyful hope for any future wisdom you can dispense upon us hapless, ill-bred, peons

I don't recall gaming being set back as an art form when they made Cole more like his Infamous 1 self for Infamous 2 after fans complained.

Or when Bethesda released Broken Steel which made so you didn't die at the end.

Lost points with me Bob. Not for disagreeing with my point of view, you are more than welcome to, but for insulting and belittling something you clearly haven't taken any time to try to understand from the other person's perspective. Shame on you.

Eric Ekman:
When you make your own damn game you can end it however you want, simple as that. The fact that "art" cannot be divorced from the economics (there would be no game without paying customers) doesn't mean those paying customers get to backseat develop. If mob mentality ruled artistic vision, why bother have artists at all? We could just crowd source the game and add in whatever people say they want. Course, this would make for horribly bland and repetitive games, cause people don't know shit.

I think you're missing the point. Bioware and EA games didn't create ME3 to express their selves. They created it to cash in.

Why do you think they are changing the ending? because they give a shit? NO!! Because their money is being threatened. If it was art, this shit wouldn't happen.

By the way sir, we already have horribly bland and repetitive games, you can thank fucking super corporation EA games for that.

VoidWanderer:
Also from what I can understand about the ending debacle, is that it's not that the endings were bad, but more nonsensical. I understand where people get those opinions and I was confused by some of them, but it wasn't THAT bad. It could've been a lot worse.

How in the world could it have been a lot worse? What else could it possibly have screwed up?

Darkmantle:

Sonic Doctor:
(Clap...clap...clap!) That was so beautiful MovieBob. I totally agree with you, really with all this, how can people looking at us from the outside take us seriously...they can't because as you said, "crybabies".

There have been times I didn't agree with MovieBob, but this is just pure gold and I couldn't agree more.

Yeah, just like how movies had a tough time being considered art because of all the crybabies (including good ole bob here) who watched and complained about the SW prequels eh?

And all those entitled readers who pressured sir Arthur Conan Doyle to ret-con holmes back into existence, man, those guys almost destroyed books as an art form, we almost only have picture books for YEARS.

There are many valid arguments for not changing the ME3 ending.

This is not one of them.

Don't forget Shakespeare was forced to rewrite Romeo and Juliet so that Juliet woke up just in time. Both versions are still told today. Theatre is no longer an art either. Darn it.

Captcha: labour of love

Darkmantle:

Sonic Doctor:
(Clap...clap...clap!) That was so beautiful MovieBob. I totally agree with you, really with all this, how can people looking at us from the outside take us seriously...they can't because as you said, "crybabies".

There have been times I didn't agree with MovieBob, but this is just pure gold and I couldn't agree more.

Yeah, just like how movies had a tough time being considered art because of all the crybabies (including good ole bob here) who watched and complained about the SW prequels eh?

And all those entitled readers who pressured sir Arthur Conan Doyle to ret-con holmes back into existence, man, those guys almost destroyed books as an art form, we almost only have picture books for YEARS.

There are many valid arguments for not changing the ME3 ending.

This is not one of them.

It's 100% valid, if people just can't see it I guess their minds aren't clear and can't see it. I'm done with this argument, because it just seems there is too much unresolved anger for the opposition to see properly, or people just don't understand how a game like ME3 is art, and that is sad.

Zeel:

Eric Ekman:
When you make your own damn game you can end it however you want, simple as that. The fact that "art" cannot be divorced from the economics (there would be no game without paying customers) doesn't mean those paying customers get to backseat develop. If mob mentality ruled artistic vision, why bother have artists at all? We could just crowd source the game and add in whatever people say they want. Course, this would make for horribly bland and repetitive games, cause people don't know shit.

I think you're missing the point. Bioware and EA games didn't create ME3 to express their selves. They created it to cash in.

Why do you think they are changing the ending? because they give a shit? NO!! Because their money is being threatened. If it was art, this shit wouldn't happen.

By the way sir, we already have horribly bland and repetitive games, you can thank fucking super corporation EA games for that.

I'm hesitant to agree with Zeel but in this case I do.

I'm on Bob's side, no I don't think the ending was that great. But the amount of cry baby fanboy bitches did set us all back. Learn to live with what life gives you.

Mylinkay Asdara:
Lost points with me Bob. Not for disagreeing with my point of view, you are more than welcome to, but for insulting and belittling something you clearly haven't taken any time to try to understand from the other person's perspective. Shame on you.

Same here, it hurts to see someone you respect like MovieBob insulting people to that extent. Not because he disagrees with me (or the majority) over how we handle Bioware's stand on ME3's ending but the fact he actually calls the fans "crybabies" and other names.

You're an open minded movie critic Bob, you have a reputation. Now I know we're not all perfect since I have goofed up once or twice.. but I mean I could say the same thing about how you handled the Transformers movies. You made two videos on it, complaining about how they were made and what should be changed so.. to me, this was hypocritical of you to do Bob.

That's funny, I didn't think video games as a medium needed to be validated by Ebert and his ilk.

And I suppose that cutting out the Javik character and selling him at an extra $7 was a completely artistic move on Bioware's part, right?
Including a major review site's employee in the game itself?
And actually making the last words of the series be "get more downloadable content!"

Why is everyone in mainstream gaming media either only half informing themselves on the issue or just being a hypocritical asshole?

All we heard about was how "Bioware is a business at the end of the day...." during the DLC controversy, and now during THIS one, all we're getting is "They're ARTISTS! Leave them Aloooooone!"

The ending isn't some deep artistic statement.
It wasn't set up, foreshadowed, nor does it fit the themes of the series.
This isn't some kind of Metal Gear Solid 2.
It isn't 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It's not even Evangelion.

It's just something Mac Walters threw together in the last week of development he had left, and he didn't consult anyone else.
I wouldn't be surprised if word came from EA, and that the hope was to get people to have to re-buy the "real" ending, but who knows honestly.

Check this article out:

One of the other writers lost his composer and posted this gem about what was happening in the Bioware offices near the end of development.
http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/5695/article/mass-effect-3-writer-allegedly-slams-controversial-ending/

I normally listen to what Chipman has to say in good faith because he, at least in my view, backs up his arguments with some sort of logical/evidentiary framework. It's not great, but it is better than most internet denizens. This is for movies and the like - I never really gave his arguments much weight in the realm of video games. He really likes Nintendo and older generation games, and that is cool - just not really my thing.

Here, I really can't get on board with him. I think of myself as a pretty level headed gamer, but, when I finished ME3, I had the same reaction a lot of you did: "WTF?" I was pretty shocked/dissatisfied, and went to the internet to see if anyone was talking about it. Lo and behold - the internet was ablaze.

Here is the thing - Chipman wants to wave the flag of "videogames are art", which is cool - in a sense, video games can be and are art. But, as a lot of people have noted here, "art" is a very subjective label, and further, I am really not sure one could consider ME1, 2, or 3 art. The following illustrates my point pretty well:

"Don't talk to me about artistic integrity when you can have sex with an IGN employee, buy a major lore based character for $10 and end your game with a "Buy DLC screen"."

It's a little glib, but, I think it's illustrates the point well. ME3 is a money grab. A really, really awesome moneygrab (I liked 99% of the game), but still a moneygrab. How the hell else could you explain the on disk Day 1 DLC, the ending that, to my mind, clearly sets the stage for some epilogue DLC (check out the AngryJoe video on the Indoctrination Ending - It's really insightful and makes a good argument for "ending" DLC coming down the pipe), and then even ENDS the game with a "make sure to buy your DLC kids" message.

I really think the "Bioware is cheapening the medium by caving into a vocal minority" argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense when applied to a game that, for all intents and purposes, has attempted at every juncture to wring as much money out of it's playerbase as it can. They gave up the "art for art's sake" when they stripped a lore-centric character out of the game to make another $10. Further, if the "Indoctrination Theory" is true (which I happen to think is likely), Bioware is basically the greatest troll ever and has fooled all of us into buying a game without an ending. Any pretense of "art for art's sake" was flushed down the toilet before this argument ever came up.

Anyway, I am not surprised as to Bob's reaction. He does not like (dare I say, hates) modern gaming. He dislikes first person shooters, dislikes the fanbase, and dislikes the AAA paradigm. Anything he can do to voice his opinion that "those young punks and their AAA games are ruining it for me and my Nintendo body pillow", he will take. He's welcome to his opinion.

Doesn't make him any less of an asshole though. Flinging hyperbole around and scolding people with valid criticism simply because he can doesn't help anyone and makes him look like a douchebag.

Mylinkay Asdara:
Lost points with me Bob. Not for disagreeing with my point of view, you are more than welcome to, but for insulting and belittling something you clearly haven't taken any time to try to understand from the other person's perspective. Shame on you.

He does this ALL THE TIME! This should not surprise anybody. Whether he talks about movies, games (which he clearly lacks knowledge of. Yes I know about game overthinker, and it's one of the worst things I have ever seen. It's like watching a Ijustine let's play), or his big picture.

Sentox6:

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?

Thank you! Thank you, a thousand times, thank you.

Yes, the majority of anger that I have seen isn't that the ending was simply bad (although it was, and I have seen a lot of angry posts about that) The anger comes from the fact that the ending is directly contradictory to explicit promises made. We were promised 32 flavors and all we got were chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

I appreciate that Mass Effect 3 is Bioware's product, I can no more expect or demand them to change it than I could expect James Cameron to reedit the Titanic so it's just constant shots of naked Kate Winslet and Lionardo Dicaprio drowning just because I asked nicely.

Bioware has already caved on another product that went out with their seal of approval, or have we forgotten about Mass Effect Deception? It was so poorly received that they're rewriting it.

Even if you look at this from a further perspective, artists have been whores for centuries. Almost the entirety of the renaissance was funded by the church, and you bet your ass they'd make revisions if a cardinal or a pope told them to. Frankly art has been a product for a long time, it's a means through which an artist can sustain themselves, from simple digital commissions to the damn Sistine Chapel, the art was bought, paid for, and then approved.

Movie Bob, you need to calm your tits. Yes, I see why you would be upset, but you're behaving as badly as those hardcore fans who freaked out and made hundreds of angry non-sensical posts as soon as they beat the game.

I'll be honest, I wasn't as ANGRY about the ending as many people were, dissapointed? put out? let down? yes, I was, but not angry. The only thing that really PISSED ME OFF about the ending was the fact that it ended with an advertisement to buy more DLC. I found that nothing short of insulting.

...Yeah, let me just say: the idea that this somehow invalidates the game's artistry is not a leg this argument can stand on. Heck, this isn't even a new phenomenon (though it is far more in the public eye than most other instances). Games have long been and continue to be subjective to a variety of criteria not under the devs' control, hindering what may well be their 'artistic vision' as some might call it. Heck, the devs in this case even acknowledged as much when they point to how they had to cut content because they couldn't make the required gameplay mechanics work. And fan input ruining artistic integrety? Yeah, right. The phrase 'test audience' is kinda the elephant in the room in that regard, as their primary function is to check for the exact reaction we're seeing here so that the production team can make changes if needed. And let's not forget, this is hardly a new concept for the storytelling medium in general. Ever hear of "The Adventures of the Empty House", by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Or perhaps any of the subsequent works involving Holmes after "The Final Solution"? Doyle quite literally brought Holmes back from the dead (having originally killed him off so he could focus on other works) due to public demand.

Furthermore, I'd argue that the very premise is anathema to artistry in general as it implies that an artist should be loathe to accept criticism, which should truthfully be the lifeblood of any form of artists as it forces them to adapt and eliminate their flaws. The ability to take criticism and adapt to it is not a flaw.

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."

Moviebob... Stick with your name. You are a movie critic, not a game critic, and this is one of the most poignant examples of this fact that I have seen to date. The fact remains that this event is not the first, nor will it be the last of a video game company catering its product (note: product, not art) to serve the fans/consumers. The belief that anything can be 'art' or 'product' and that the two are inherently differentiated is biased and untrue by all regards.Art can be a product, and a product can be art. Games, to my mind, are actually one of the truest mediums for expressing this. All games are product, from the first person shooters to the RPGs. At the same time, many games are art, as well. Mass Effect is a good example of this. Throughout the series, it has provided one of the deepest and most touching stories I've experienced in any medium, including books or movies.

And have we not seen that public opinion can change other mediums as well? At the outset, J.K. Rowling had decided on Harry dying at the end of the Harry Potter series, lending increasing amounts of foreshadowing that suggested at a mutual end to both Voldemort and the protagonist. After seeing fan reaction to the series, however, she eventually decided to make this fact not happen.

Mass Effect, from what I've seen, has followed a similar path. Throughout the series, the emphasis has been on player choice shaping the experience, changing the outset of the games. How is this protest any different? In truth, this may just be the most widespread example of 'player choice' that this medium has ever seen. Bioware should be proud of the Mass Effect series, not just because of the fascinating world and capturing characters that they have created, but also because of their fans complete and utter dedication to not only the series itself, but also the spirit of choice behind the series. Be proud, Bioware. Your fans are among the most dedicated and true I have ever seen to your games.

Savagezion:

VoidWanderer:
Also from what I can understand about the ending debacle, is that it's not that the endings were bad, but more nonsensical. I understand where people get those opinions and I was confused by some of them, but it wasn't THAT bad. It could've been a lot worse.

How in the world could it have been a lot worse? What else could it possibly have screwed up?

Darkmantle:

Sonic Doctor:
(Clap...clap...clap!) That was so beautiful MovieBob. I totally agree with you, really with all this, how can people looking at us from the outside take us seriously...they can't because as you said, "crybabies".

There have been times I didn't agree with MovieBob, but this is just pure gold and I couldn't agree more.

Yeah, just like how movies had a tough time being considered art because of all the crybabies (including good ole bob here) who watched and complained about the SW prequels eh?

And all those entitled readers who pressured sir Arthur Conan Doyle to ret-con holmes back into existence, man, those guys almost destroyed books as an art form, we almost only have picture books for YEARS.

There are many valid arguments for not changing the ME3 ending.

This is not one of them.

Don't forget Shakespeare was forced to rewrite Romeo and Juliet so that Juliet woke up just in time. Both versions are still told today. Theatre is no longer an art either. Darn it.

Captcha: labour of love

damn! even Shakespeare isn't art! what has this world come to????

Indecipherable:

Zeel:

Eric Ekman:
When you make your own damn game you can end it however you want, simple as that. The fact that "art" cannot be divorced from the economics (there would be no game without paying customers) doesn't mean those paying customers get to backseat develop. If mob mentality ruled artistic vision, why bother have artists at all? We could just crowd source the game and add in whatever people say they want. Course, this would make for horribly bland and repetitive games, cause people don't know shit.

I think you're missing the point. Bioware and EA games didn't create ME3 to express their selves. They created it to cash in.

Why do you think they are changing the ending? because they give a shit? NO!! Because their money is being threatened. If it was art, this shit wouldn't happen.

By the way sir, we already have horribly bland and repetitive games, you can thank fucking super corporation EA games for that.

I'm hesitant to agree with Zeel but in this case I do.

See how reasonable I am when I'm not dealing with fanboys? No insults either. Am I not merciful?

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

You're spot on with Sherlock Holmes, although that isn't generally considered high art.

And, I'll admit I don't know enough about Clockwork Orange. I've seen the movie. **shrug**

But I don't get your point about Hamlet. Shakespeare didn't change the ending - he just had an "extended version" and several "edited versions" for different audiences. He wrote them all in advance, and never changed things based on fan response. He wrote them because he knew that the King wanted to see different stuff than the commoners in the penny 'seats', so he made sure the play was ready to appeal to either crowd, or both, at need.

That's just good planning/marketing. Shakespeare knew how to handle fans. Bioware seems to be having trouble there lately. Obviously they could take a lesson from the Bard.

After this I have honestly lost all respect for Movie Bob. He is going out of his way to insult people because they do not share the same view as him, and that is not something I can respect at all.

Firstly, the art defence. BS. First, lest assume it is art. Have you ever heard of commissioned art? If you are commissioned to paint a pony, but instead paint a Ferris Wheel, is it wrong for the commissioner to ask for their money back, or for you to paint a new picture?
No. They paid for the piece, and you made it for them. We paid for Mass Effect, and Mass Effect was made for us. Bioware was free to go about things as they would, but if we weren't satisfied we were going to demand changes, or not give Bioware any business at all. They did not create the commissioned piece they promised, and we want that fixed.
Second, lets take this at face value: Mass Effect 3 is a product. It is what it was created for, and everyone expected it to be. It was financed not to look pretty, but to move sales and earn revenue. If Bioware had funded this 100% themselves, and not cared whether they got sales or not, THEN I could understand the art defence - they didn't make it for you, they made it either for themselves, or for art's sake. Instead, they made it with EA's funding for EA customers to buy. Thereby, we have a right to say that what was delivered was not what was promised.

Finally, consider this:
What has actually happened here?
Movements have been made asking Bioware to change the ending.
An FTC complaint has been filed because Bioware did not stay true to what they said pre-release.

Is either of these wrong in any way?
No.
If you say that us telling Bioware we'll take our business elsewhere is strongarming them into changing their ending, what do you expect us to do? Keep buying Bioware games even though we've started to hate them? That's stupid. Bioware is not entitled to our sales. They have to earn them.
You may disagree that the FTC complaint was necessary, but it is being taken somewhat seriously. It IS within the FTC jurisdiction, and they have to decide whether the statements are specific enough to warrant advertising. Personally, I don't see how you can get more specific than basically saying 'No ending A, B or C', but W/E. The way the group presented it even I don't like - they complain that it doesn't have a happy ending, which is a BS complaint IMO, but the fact that Bioware did not keep true to what it was saying pre release is some cause for concern.

Movie Bob, simply because you disagree with us does not mean you should insult us. All respect lost. It is possible to have a nice, proper discussion.

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

I'm gonna say something that either gonna comfort you or make you even more scared: I feel completely the same way.

Maybe not counting Bob's view, specifically, (I like the guy and all, but I feel that he's not too much in touch with the gaming scene right now) but I feel that the people who say that things have gone too far are right... but only to a certain extent.

I don't think there's going to be a "right side" at the end of all of this controversy. Both parties will look bad. EA/Bioware is gonna look bad for the lack of promises they kept and for the inevitable over priced DLC. But gamers are also gonna look bad for raging, incoherently yelling, and, hell, even accusing of reviewers of being bribed. That... that's just too far, guys. That's not okay.

*spoilers*

You know what Movie Bob is wrong, I hope they change the ending but I hope they do it in a way that that shows you all that this whole your choices don't matter BS is idiotic. I hope it is a 50 second video that flat out tells you what happened to the galaxy so that you all realise that just because your decisions don't effect the cinematic doesn't mean they don't matter.

I hope it includes such pearls of wisdom as "the krogan go extinct if you don't cure the genophage" or "the quarians remain dead if the geth kill them" or "the reapers don't wipe out humanity".

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