The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And Destroying Art

April 2, 2012 -

The latest edition of The Escapist's The Jimquisition tackles BioWare's decision to make changes to the ending of Mass Effect 3 after fans applied public pressure on the company through petitions and general Internet rabble rousing. The latest episode of Jim Sterling's video show is called "Changing A Game's Ending And Destroying Art," and you can probably guess where he is going with it.

Here's the tease from the official site:

"Does changing the ending to a videogame destroy it as a creative endeavor? Does altering a videogame to cater to fan demand set interactive art back a decade? How much influence should an audience have over a creator, and are gamers entitled to their opinions? In this spoiler-free video, Jim Sterling tackles Mass Effect 3 for the final time. Yes, it's the FINAL time. No more. Finito. Done. Thank Christ."

Check out the latest episode to your left or catch it on The Escapist.

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Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

"The latest episode of Jim Sterling's video show is called "Changing A Game's Ending And Destroying Art," and you can probably guess where he is going with it."

Don't guess too much though. He has a different position than what he previously held AND argue a pretty good case anyway without touching much on ME3.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

Well what happened was that Mass Effect was a choose your own adventure book except the final choice left you with a half a blank page.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

Edit: Moved my reply where it belonged.

What you need to ask here is, is the game a commercial product, or a piece of art?

It's not always cut and dry, but the reality is that most games are one or the other. Bioware is totally entitled to change their game to make more money; films do it all the time, in test screenings and then moving to DVD. Director's cuts, originals, extended. What makes games unique in this respect?

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

It's both.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

There are several versions of Leonardo's DaVinci's Mona Lisa underneath what we see today, beneath layers of paint. Was DaVinci guilty of destroying art when he dared to be unsatisfied with what he had produced?

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

While you are on the right track, the Mona Lisa is a very poor example to use here.

The best example would be The Capitoline Wolf in this case. It is a bronze sculpture made by Etruscans, but the Roman twins were added on much later by another different sculptor. The date is now being contested about the piece, but it was also known that the bronze naked babies would be covered up with cloth diapers (early censorship!) during major events. But it's not unusual for another artist to come along and change someone else' work. It's often a mystery case of figuring out who did what and who should be really be credited for the work.

The thing with some paintings is that special tech must be used in order to know if something has been re-done over it. It's only recently that we now know that certain early painters re-did their work or covered up other pieces with something else to hide stuff.

Also I really hate the idea that I shouldn't change my work after it seems like I'm done with it. Many of my art teachers would go on that you could change a piece if you wanted to if you weren't satisfied with it yourself (even years later). How is this not comparable to game remakes? Where voice acting is added or the graphics changed/updated to a much older game?

And god forbid graphic designing: I'm often requested to change my artwork many times over depending on the art director. And yeah, sometimes I hate it, but you got to suck it up and deal with it.

Also the phrase, "destroying art"? BWAHAHA!! There are artists that work with 'temporary' art that is meant to be destroyed or not seen again. Food stylists, Cake decorators, Performance artists, etc.

As a gamer really into art and art history, I just find developers now complaining about their control over their 'art' because of this Mass Effect 3 kerfuffle to be really hilarious. It's like people either forgotten their art history classes or never learned/'read a book' about it. It's just as bad as Ebert telling me games can't be art because they are interactive: And I'll point him to some local stage theaters and interactive art displays in art museums.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

Well, technically... yeah.  But he certainly wasn't wrong to do so.

Rather different scenario here though.  Far as I know, Leo didn't repaint the Mona Lisa due to fan pressure.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

Actually, countless artists, possibly even including him, corrected, altered or destroyed pieces based on their patrons' opinion. Others did so based on their students opinions, their subjects opinions or the public opinions. That is basically having the publisher, the game designer, the artists (including coders and such) or the clients be the source of the change if you translate it to the video game industry. So that's pretty much business as usual. Is it wrong? That's something else. But it's the same.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

"Actually, countless artists, possibly even including him, corrected, altered or destroyed pieces based on their patrons' opinion."

Something I say make you assume that I thought that no artist in the history of human kind has ever altered his or her work due to pressure from an external source?

"Others did so based on their students opinions, their subjects opinions or the public opinions. That is basically having the publisher, the game designer, the artists (including coders and such) or the clients be the source of the change if you translate it to the video game industry."

Students, subjects, and public?  No, I don't agree that they equate to publisher, designer or other artists; I'd say they translate only to the clients (or rather, customers).

Honestly, I've no idea what point you're trying to argue here.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

Not much arguing. Just pointing out that while the example itself given might have been wrong, the line of thought was valid.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

And I never suggested otherwise.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

true, but what if people at Bioware were dissatisfied with the ending too and the upset fans just edged them to announce this DLC early?

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

Here are my thoughts on the matter: http://www.ign.com/blogs/andreweisen/2012/03/23/in-support-of-bioware-ch...

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

I couldn't agree more.

And a few games have had director's cuts, such as Resident Evil and the Metal Gear Solid series.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

It used to be stores and games were designed to appeal to the gamers. Now certain studios have lost touch with reality and no longer see themselves is pleasing the core audience the customers. You can try to appease the share holders all you want you lost your customers the share holders will leave. 

However many bloggers and gay rights supporters are supporting Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 3 because of the forced gay themes.  A year ago before Dragon Age 2 and as it was happening you couldn't help but read about Bioware's bad customer service. Now it seems that narrative has been silenced because their political beliefs are being invested into Mass Effect 3. 

 

Mass Effect 3 is art yes but its also a product designed to appeal to consumers. The moment you forget about that you bring about a situation Bioware is in now. Let's not forget no matter how big Bioware is EA will not think twice about dissolving the studio. Their digital service Origin is just a reminder that you can be popular but in the end once you fail to make a buck you're gone.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

You are a vile individual and your comments seem worse every time. Please, enough. How about, for your next post, you try to not discuss sexual orientation, politic, citizenship, sex or ethnicity? Let's see what grand new way you can find to breach all logic and go into the crazy side of the pool. But seriously, try and stick to backed by evidence facts and personal opinions (aka, your liking, not how you perceive the world to be.) Let's see if you make more sense then.

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

I'm curious. Every time there is a heterosexual relationship in a game, mandatory or otherwise, is this a forced straight theme?

Re: The Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And ...

However many bloggers and gay rights supporters are supporting Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 3 because of the forced gay themes.


... What? Are you seriously positing that Dragon Age and Mass Effect are artificially popular because of pressure exerted by ​the Gay Agenda​? And haven't both series had optional gay content in every game? What content counts as a 'forced gay theme'? Is there a Mass Effect scene where Sheppard must Tap A to repeal DADT that I somehow didn't hear about?

 
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