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If games are art, then you cannot complain about Mass Effect 3.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Remember how mad people got over the ending of Mass Effect 3? Why was that? It was because people felt that their choices in the other games did not amount to much. Personally I don't see what the big fuss was all about, if they had a few more cutscenes then that might have been nice, but Shepard had to make the hard decisions nonetheless. They could not have had a massive battle where the humans and aliens brought the fight to the reapers and just pounded them because they are good guys and good guys always win in the end. Shepard had to Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
die
because it was the logical way to end the story, IMO.

But if you want to call video games art, then you cannot complain when the story goes into a direction that you do not approve of. If other form of art were anything like a video game, then all art would be subject to approval by the fans. Don't like a song? Tell the musician to change it. Don't like a painting? get a brush and change it, or at least demand that the painter change it.

Now, if the game is too hard or complicated for you to access, then there is a legitimate complaint there. If you cannot walk into the art museum to admire the art, then you have a legitimate complaint.

But if you want to play the "video games are art" card then you cannot complain about the direction that the game takes because then it would not be art, it would be an ongoing process of making "improvements" to satisfy "fans." Art is not supposed to care whether or not you like the art. The purpose of art is to impact the viewer or listener.

Art can be viewed in a positive way or a negative way, but an artist is not supposed to change their art based on community feedback. If you complained about Mass Effect 3's ending and were happy when they added the extended content, then you have to concede that you did not view Mass Effect 3 as an artistic work, but rather something that needed to be improved until you were happy.

My personal opinion is that games as a whole are not art, just like movies and music as a whole are not art. There are games, movies, and songs that are art, but simply being a game, movie, or song doesn't qualify it as art. There seems to be a theme in which people either say video games as a whole are art or they are not.

There can be artistic qualities to games, but not every game has artistic qualities. Games that I view as non-art are games that do not change anything. For example, Call of Duty Ghosts is not art. If I created a painting that looked like the Mona Lisa but in high definition, then I am not making art. COD Ghosts was just a spiritual extension of Modern Warfare. I also do not consider multiplayer games like Titanfall art. Titanfall's main purpose is not to tell a narrative but rather to be a competitive multiplayer game. Would you call Baseball or Football art? Multiplayer games like Titanfall, Battlefield, and Counter-strike are not art. I decide whether or not a game is art if, after completing the game, I reminisce on it in the same way that a viewer reminisces on a painting or a listener reminisces on a song. Not liking a piece of art is no cause for me to demand that it change, otherwise it is not art, but a popularity contest.

EDIT: And something being fun does not make it art. Just because we like video games and we like the concept of art doesn't automatically mean they go together.

EDIT: Whether or not you like a piece of art doesn't mean it is or isn't art. I like Counter Strike, but I don't think it's art. I do not like Assassin's Creed, but I would still consider that a piece of art.
Edited by Thready - 4/7/14 at 4:06pm
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post #2 of 27
Sorry, I didn't read your entire post, but I read the first few paragraphs and I agree. People should have known ME3 was always going to have a set ending. Honestly, I only expected 1 ending the whole time through initially, I figured we'd destroy the reapers. Instead they gave us 3 other options.

In the end it all boils down to player entitlement. Because ME had given them choices in the past, they expected every little bit to come back and affect the ending somehow, which is completely implausible and would have made it pretty damn stupid because 90% of the things you did throughout the 3 games wouldn't have an affect on the ending, or if they did, likely wouldn't be something you could visualize.
ME3's ending was very good, mainly with the extended cut. It was really incredible after replaying it with the extended cut DLC, I finally felt closure and it was just a very powerful ending.

It's either that or the player wanted a happy ending with Liara, but that shouldn't be taken seriously.
post #3 of 27
There's a lot of truth in that post, though I assume that most of the people who complained about it's ending don't view the Mass Effect franchise (or any game) as art in the first place. thumb.gif
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post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredgunner View Post

There's a lot of truth in that post, though I assume that most of the people who complained about it's ending don't view the Mass Effect franchise (or any game) as art in the first place. thumb.gif

TBH, I am not immune to this. Sometimes I feel bad after a game doesn't go my way. In The Last of Us, I wished that the game's ending took a different turn. But, the fact that the game could make me wish something about it says a lot about the artistic value of the game.

In Mass Effect 3, I kind of wish the one guy didn't have to make the choice that he made (the main guy who I will not spoil). But the game ended the way it did and I decided that it was satisfactory for me. But whether or not I liked it doesn't make it any more or less artistic.
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post #5 of 27
I agree, Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
everyone's story ends with their death. And what a way to go. It was epic, I think a good 80% of the people who raged about it didn't even play the end, they read the reviews and watched the 5 minute videos on youtube, without actually playing through the gauntlet to get there.

The pep talk you get from Javik before the end? How can anything get more epic in scope than this.

People complained, "my choices didn't matter in the end", well yes they did, all those choices were the choices that led to that end, and it drastically changed the journey. No matter what choices anyone ever makes, your story will always end with your inevitable death. Better to go out with a bang than to save the day and keep living, just to be forgotten 20 years from then when the rest of the world is saying "Shephard who?".
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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by End3R View Post

I think a good 80% of the people who raged about it didn't even play the end, they read the reviews and watched the 5 minute videos on youtube, without actually playing through the gauntlet to get there.

And of those who actually did play the ending, most never revisited it with Extended Cut. Most of it really is just bandwagon hate. ME3 also caused a new trend, it's now cool to get together and complain about video game endings. I see it for every popular single player game now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by End3R View Post


People complained, "my choices didn't matter in the end", well yes they did, all those choices were the choices that led to that end, and it drastically changed the journey.

This is why it seems like most of those people played blindfolded. Or do they only play for the ending? The choices you make throughout all three games really change up the experience in many ways prior to the ending. Decisions in Mass Effect cause chain reactions. I suppose people are used to seeing choices only change ending slides, they really need to pay attention and play the series several times to see how significant the choices really are.
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post #7 of 27
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I love that you guys came to my thread and helped in the discussion, but what do you guys think about video games as art even without the ME3 reference? I wanted to make that the overall topic and I just used Mass Effect 3 as an example.
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post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thready View Post

I love that you guys came to my thread and helped in the discussion, but what do you guys think about video games as art even without the ME3 reference? I wanted to make that the overall topic and I just used Mass Effect 3 as an example.

I think it's like you say: some games are art, but simply being a video game doesn't make it art. Call of Duty isn't art, it's just a casual multiplayer shooter. On the other hand, Anna: Extended Edition really strikes me as art, the game is like a brilliant expression of insanity.
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post #9 of 27
When you got half way through Mass Effect 2, you could tell that there was not gonna be a happy ending for Mass Effect 3. The story just reflected it to be that way. Shepard dieing is no different to any other game where your character happens to die at the end of it, No one was happy when Aeris died, and there still are fans infuriated about that one thing in Final Fantasy 7. Shepard died knowing it was the right thing to do, whether it was for good intention or bad, it had to be done.
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saq View Post

When you got half way through Mass Effect 2, you could tell that there was not gonna be a happy ending for Mass Effect 3. The story just reflected it to be that way. Shepard dieing is no different to any other game where your character happens to die at the end of it, No one was happy when Aeris died, and there still are fans infuriated about that one thing in Final Fantasy 7. Shepard died knowing it was the right thing to do, whether it was for good intention or bad, it had to be done.

And that goes back to my main point. If we are to call video games art, then we have no right to criticize the artist. We can have positive and negative feelings about the art itself, sure, but art is not to be criticized based on how you feel about it. Would you criticize Leonardo da Vinci and put his talent into question because you think the Last Supper should have included a dogfight between Reaper fighters and Alliance fighters? No. You can say that you do not like the Last Supper due to its lack of aerial space fights, but that is the artist's decision and not yours, mine, or anybody else's. The whole essence of art is to view what the artist created. We have no say in the creative process. They say that art is in the eye of the beholder. To me, this means that I will interpret a piece of art my own way. If I think that "Sympathy for the Devil" speaks to my dislike of our two faced foreign policies, then that is my choice. But I cannot legitimately say that the Rolling Stones SHOULD have played the song a different way. That is the wrong way to view art.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Video Games › PC Gaming › If games are art, then you cannot complain about Mass Effect 3.