Friday, March 23, 2012

Mass Effect fan boys and unwilling bedfellows

This is insane.

The level of entitlement present here puts even the people bitching about the locked characters on the Street Fighter X Tekken disc to shame. Think about it: Bioware has provided at the very least ninety hours of entertainment over three games, has allowed a player to use one character through the entire saga, provided meaningful choices throughout that effect subsequent events, and because some people don't like their ending(s) they decide to not only start a petition bitching at Bioware to give them a 'happy ending,' but also attach their selfish cause to a pre-existing charitable organization without said charities knowledge?

There are distinct levels of bull shit here that need to be called out individually.

First off, it is okay to not like the ending of Mass Effect 3.

It is not okay to demand that a creative work be changed to fit your idea of how it should have ended. This is Bioware's production, this is how they wanted it to end, and since it is their story they get to do that. This entitlement is a byproduct of growing attached to characters, I get that, but as much as I called my Shepard 'mine' he really isn't. He was one of many different possible Shepards, all of whom Bioware had accounted for in one way or another. All of these paths were brought back together for one of three possible endings, none of which included Shepard riding off into the sunset with Tali on one side and Liara on the other. What they did have was Joker and Edi (and various other members of the crew) surviving and several million aliens all stranded in the Sol system with nothing to eat.

A bitter-sweet ending, to say the least, but it is the ending that Bioware intended. Don't like it? Fine, go write some slash fiction about the unrequited love between Wrex and Garrus, but don't go piggy backing your silly 'cause' on a charity their neither wants nor needs your help. This is the second bit of bull shit here. Child's Play provides money and toys to critically ill children. It is not a weapon to wield again video game developers when they put out a game that you don't like. To Penny Arcade's credit, they had nothing to do with it and have in fact put a stop to it, but seriously fuck whoever it was who decided that his was a good idea.

In summary: don't like the Mass Effect ending? Fine, let's have a nice civil discussion about it, but fuck everyone out there on the virtual picket lines lobbying Bioware to alter the game to fir within their limited idea of 'good.' Fuck the guys piggy backing on Child's Play, and finally fuck Bioware. Why?

Because it looks like they might cave.


  1. How about this for a theory: Bioware dangles "choice" in front of its loyal fanboys like a carrot on a stick, and in the end, they pull back the veil. Guess what, suckers? Choice is an illusion in video games. We mapped out every possible outcome, you bought into it, and in the end, basically everybody dies, because that's what we wanted to happen. Valuable lessons have been learned all around.

    I didn't hear about the charity tie-in. That's goddamn despicable. Anyway, if Bioware ultimately caves, remind me to hit up the surviving members of Monty Python so I can get them to fix the ending to Holy Grail. That always bugged me.

  2. You buy tickets to see shakespeare, you show up and a production of hairspray or grease or some other shitty musical is playing. You wouldn't ask for you're money back? I don't give a shit whether bioware changes the ending or not, but I can 100% sympathize with pissed off fans after all the ridiculous promises they made about choice and not having "a,b,c" endings. also last time I checked the argument was less about the contents of the story and more about the fact that you essentially have to do a thought experiment to get anything from the ending. People don't generally play video games because they want to write a story. They play them to experience one.

  3. I recall no such promises about the ending.

    You pay the money, you take the ride.