Never Satisfied

“Maybe you’re just like my mother,” a great man once sang, “she’s never satisfied.” It is a truth universally acknowledged that gamers, like the fictional mother of The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, find satisfaction an elusive prize. Ours is a subculture plagued, if not defined, by complaining. There is always something missing from our experiences, some intangible omitted element that, if the designers had only had the sense to include it, would have alchemized the game from lead into gold. Complaining is so ingrained in us that opening an article by complaining about complaining is a viable tactic.

Alright, I’m kidding. But only a little.

Few things have put me in mind of Prince’s figurative progenitor as much as the recent controversy over Mass Effect 3’s ending. The issue — which mutated from Minor Kerfuffle into Full Boondoggle in record time — revolves around a petition created by dissatisfied fans asking developer BioWare to patch in alternative closing sequences. “Whereas,” the petition begins in deepest sincerity, the ending fails on at least four different levels, the petitioners “respectfully request” that additional closing sequences be added to the game. Instead of signatures, the petition asks supporters to make a donation to Child’s Play, the charity founded by Penny Arcade.

I haven’t played Mass Effect 3, much less finished it. For all I know the final cutscene could feature Commander Shepard forgoing saving the galaxy to open her own pancake restaurant. But regardless of the ending’s narrative consistency or emotional impact, there’s a key misunderstanding happening here: This ain’t our story. By demanding the creators change it to suit our preferences, we’re breaking an unstated contract. Not between designer and player, but between magician and audience.

Video games are magic acts in any number of ways, but mostly because they create illusions. Narrative-heavy games like BioWare’s are vehicles for fantasy, for immersing ourselves in other worlds. But they also fool us into thinking their stories are our stories, that we players are in control of our experience. We’re not. We’re merely choosing from options presented to us. The results of those choices — a poignant cutscene, a new mission opportunity — can be rewarding in and of themselves. But just as rewarding is the process of choosing, of engaging in the fantasy not that we are intergalactic heroes, but that we are actually authors of our own story. It's the same feeling we get when a magician convinces us, if only for a second, that by saying Abracadabra we really did make our card disappear. The illusion of agency can be just as exciting as the illusion of magic.

The greatest trick game designers ever pulled is convincing the player they didn’t exist, some might say. But marketing plays a role as well. In the case of BioWare, design and marketing are aligned in a way that’s more effective than in perhaps any other major studio. Fans truly feel ownership of their experiences, despite the games being story-focused, transparently authored products. This speaks to the superb quality of the authorship, but also to a design ethic and marketing strategy that work together effectively to further the illusion of player authority, of being in control. "Our choices matter," the design and the marketing tell us. And because of the complexity and elegance of their interaction design and the depth of their fiction, BioWare can pull it off. They are, in other words, excellent magicians. Brian Taylor’s brilliant analysis links this trend to fan culture and speculates why BioWare fans feel so comfortable petitioning for a new ending and filing false advertising complaints with the Better Business Bureau:

BioWare games exploit these participatory aspects of fan culture in their game design. The company knows that fans like to ask ‘what if?’, to maneuver characters into romantic relationships, and so they build in the options. They appear responsive to the desires of their fans and so it’s not really surprising that rather than use older forms of remixing like fan fiction [...] the fans go to the company itself. Maybe it’s a desire for validation, or some kind of misguided creative impulse.

And this is where the unspoken contract is violated. When you go to a magic show, you understand that you will see a series of illusions, that your senses and your mind will be fooled, and you’re content to plunk down your money for the pleasure of being tricked. If you're lucky, the magician may call you up to the stage as a volunteer, having you enact some minor portion of a trick — usually to distract you and the audience from the real action. This is what narrative-focused video games do: They give you a few moments on stage with the magician, a brief span in the spotlight. But you, the audience participant, aren't the one in control of the performance. So you play along. You don't demand the lovely assistant be sawed in thirds instead of halves, because you are not the one performing the trick.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t subject games to thoughtful critique. As a reviewer, I obviously find a lot of value in that process. If we don’t demand more from games, they won’t get better. If we think something sucks, it can be worthwhile to talk about why it sucks, about how we think it could be improved. But players are not creators, and consumers are not designers. We do not have ultimate say over what the game includes or does not include, despite the convincing responsiveness of corporate social media and the panacea of the almighty patch.

Some argue otherwise, that because games are more malleable than other media, consumers should be encouraged to have a more “participatory” relationship with creators. But applying that logic to a series like Mass Effect, which is decidedly not a playground for collaborative storytelling like Sleep is Death, seems misguided. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of how a story-driven game works, miscasting creative choices as bugs to be fixed. Of course, viewed through a more cynical lens, you can imagine the DLC Alternate Ending taking off as the next monetization trend.

Money, it turns out, is central to this controversy. According to their website, the ME3 petitioners have raised more than $78,000 as of press time for Child’s Play since March 13, an absolutely astounding total that could help a lot of sick children. Yet as a Gamer whose Job is With a charity, I’m conflicted about this. Funding is desperately needed in the nonprofit sector, and as long as it comes from legal sources, it’s hard to turn down money. But linking the petition to charity has the effect of diluting the petition's message. If the petitioners felt they were in the right in the first place, why bother with the charitable campaign? On some level, the creators of the petition had to realize they’d come under fire for their “request” to BioWare, so they couched it in philanthropy. They also must have realized how petty their request would seem, so they latched on to charitable giving to lend it an air of respectability. Their “win-win” argument — join together to fix this video game AND help some sick kids! — encourages people to support their position without resorting to too much critical thought. Nevermind the actual charity itself or the mission it pursues. You can feel satisfied knowing your outrage is going to a good cause. Giving to charity to insulate yourself from criticism is a time-honored tactic of the terminally disingenuous. One hopes that's not the case here.

Yet clearly, BioWare believes in the petitioners' sincerity. In a supremely ironic twist, I had to change the ending of this article after yesterday's announcement from BioWare's Dr. Ray Muzyka that ME3 developers are now working on "game content initiatives" which, if they aren't new endings, will at least "provide more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey." I don't even want to begin to parse Dr. Ray's statement or speculate about what BioWare's reaction to this controversy signifies. There have already been arguments on both sides, some calling it a blatant cash grab and some calling it a new standard for studio responsiveness. My gut feeling is that no matter what this new content ends up being, a good number of the petitioners still won't be satisfied. Eventually, they'll realize they'll never be — until they're the magicians on stage pulling rabbits out of hats.

Comments

ElCapitanBSC wrote:
Maybe I'm being too zen or hippie or something, but I think that the collective obsession with the end and endings of things is to our detriment. Instead of seeing a TED talk about bad endings ruining things for most people, my first instinct is to try and not be like most people and experience a work as a whole instead of allowing it to be marred by the last 10 minutes of a 40 hour game (10/2400 * 100% = 0.42% of the experience to put it in perspective).

That's good for you. But the point of that talk is that this is not a conscious decision people make. This is how brains work and if your job is to make and sell experiences it's important to understand this so you can give your audience a good experience. Not necessarily a happy experience, or a experience where everything is explained, but an experience that will make them buy your things in the future.

Hast wrote:
That's good for you. But the point of that talk is that this is not a conscious decision people make. This is how brains work and if your job is to make and sell experiences it's important to understand this so you can give your audience a good experience. Not necessarily a happy experience, or a experience where everything is explained, but an experience that will make them buy your things in the future.

Well, maybe. From a corporate standpoint, yes, that's EA's job. As a corporation they are bound by law to ensure that they make money for their shareholders. In that respect it's a no-brainer. It's their obligation to just please the audience.

As writers and storytellers it is not Bioware's obligation at all to make something pleasing, pleasant, fun, good, explained, or anything at all. Their obligation is to make and produce the exact story that they want to make. Whether or not they think of the audience is a bonus. It's certainly not their obligation to listen to the audience either.

I'm a huge fan of people like Hideo Kojima who make things like Metal Gear Solid 2, the biggest "f*ck you" in video games history. Oh, do you want to be Solid Snake? I'm gonna make you this whiny pansy who can only aspire to be Snake. Even worse, Snake will be around you the entire game being awesome and all you can do is watch. Brilliant. Lotta people were mad then too. I wonder if the technology existed would they have tried to force Kojima to make Snake the main character?

Hast wrote:
it's important to understand this so you can give your audience a good experience. Not necessarily a happy experience, or a experience where everything is explained, but an experience that will make them buy your things in the future.
I was right with you until that last bit.

Maybe I'm more hippie like El Capitan here, but it's about the experience for me, and what I can take away from it. It's not about the *ahem* climax. This is not by any means the first creative work where I expected but did not experience an orgasmic emotional "payoff" at the end, but I feel like there's deeper work available than feeling "cheated," "robbed" or otherwise deprived. I tend to move on quickly to ask whether it was right for me to expect such an ending, and what it means about me that I wanted it to the point of being so upset that I didn't receive it.

Hast wrote:

That's good for you. But the point of that talk is that this is not a conscious decision people make. This is how brains work and if your job is to make and sell experiences it's important to understand this so you can give your audience a good experience. Not necessarily a happy experience, or a experience where everything is explained, but an experience that will make them buy your things in the future.

The brain also works by seeking out information that validates your opinions and beliefs, and disparaging and discounting information that doesn't. A lot of people called for Jeff Gerstmann's head because he was rating games too low. Was Gamespot justified in firing him, appeasing those vocal dissenters who consume the media and the advertisers who financially support it at the same time? If not, where do we draw the line regarding making sure media hits enough people's endorphin flow?

No, because they were attacking his opinion, not the actual content he produced.

My point is that I don't think saying the ending should be different because "our brains are wired that way" makes a compelling argument.

*Legion* wrote:
I think what sets people off in this particular case is that BioWare pitched the meaningfulness of your choices as a hook to spend your money on, and invest your time in, not only one, but three games.

Then, they find that, at the conclusion of this three-game arc, your choices make essentially no impact on how the story ends, flying right in the face of what BioWare was happy to pitch you in order to get your $60 x 3.

I think demanding BioWare change things is over the top. But fans are absolutely valid in feeling like they've been let down. Possibly they should express that feeling by not buying the next game BioWare tries to sell them.

I haven't agreed with you so much since you last made fun of Tebow. So, like, probably five minutes ago.

I think the petition is weird and the FCC complaint is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of, but I'm quite disappointed. Now, am I demanding they change the ending? Nope. That being said, I probably won't buy any DLC for the game, just because I don't want to revisit it again. When I played ME2, I finished it, started it again and finished it, and then started it again, and finished it. Three consecutive playthroughs. Loved that game. For ME3, it was one of the greatest games I think I'd ever played right up to the end. I loved loads of the moments and was genuinely touched by a bunch of the moments. The end just set me off, because it didn't "feel" right. It didn't "fit".

So, my "protest", as it were, is that I'm really not interested in any of the single-player DLC, just because the ending left such a bad taste in my mouth. That doesn't mean I *demand* a new ending or anything. I don't. I'm not consciously holding Bioware hostage by saying "I'm not buying DLC" as some form of petty protest; I just genuinely don't want to revisit the universe after how off-putting I found that ending to be.

I'd love the happy ending, but if they want to kill of Shepard in some way that feels even vaguely internally consistent, I'd be fine. The last 10 minutes of the game simply took what was a really impressively built universe and kicked it over and threw on some weird, nonsensical set of semi-choices.

trichy wrote:

I've discussed this in the spoiler thread, so I'll keep my thoughts brief. But the idea of any creative individual or team being forced to alter their work to satisfy the public is abhorrent to me. You have the right to dislike the ending to the game. You have a right to be so angry about the choices Bioware made that you never purchase anything associated with the company again.

But I don't believe that anyone has the right to force them into changes that they don't agree with. We would be livid if EA announced that they were putting pressure financially on Bioware to change the ending to fit what they, as a publisher, want. But here we are, howling for Bioware to change the ending to fit what we, as fans, want.


Sure. But there is no forcing here. Fans are asking - demanding, if you will, but it's all the same in the end. Bioware can give their fans what they want or not as they see fit. You can't blame fans if EA pressures Bioware into doing it, as Bioware *IS* EA now. If they wanted full creative control, they shouldn't have sold to EA.

As to entitlement? Fans were promised, verbatim, that the ending wouldn't just be "choose one of three endings" like Dues Ex, by the lead director before release. Then, guess what? Dues Ex multiple-choice ending. How is being upset at the entitlement?

Anyways, the important thing to keep in mind here is this:

Mass Effect isn't a book. It isn't a movie. This is in no way related to fans asking for a movie or book to be changed (That said: I'd happily pay to forget Matrix:Revolutions ever happened and have a do-over, it was terrible!).

Mass Effect was *specifically* designed to have new content added. New content, DLC, has already been added to each of the three games, and more will be added. Fans, then, are just asking a certain type of content to be added: Either new endings (no need to remove the old ones, just add more options in the game), or extending the existing ones with an epilogue that actually details what happens to everyone. Adding content, not changing anything that already exists.

TL:DR summary:Mass Effect is designed around adding content in the form of DLC. Fans expect it - even if they find the idea obnoxious - and Bioware is absolutely going to do it. How then is asking for specific content unreasonable? Nobody is forcing anybody, there is no gun to Bioware's head aside from the risk of alienating fans and losing future customers, but that risk is there no matter what. DLC gives Bioware the option of dodging that bullet, without doing anything they wouldn't have done anyways - an option other forms of media don't have.

Remember, games - even story based ones - are an evolving art form. They are not books, nor movies, as they are directly interactive. You don't just passively consume a game like you do a book or movie, you are actively involved, and this makes the entire experience and thus the expectations of the players an entirely different kettle of fish.

kyrieee wrote:

Of course no one has the right to demand any changes, but there's a difference between demanding and requesting. If BioWare came out and said "this is ending represents our vision and we stand by it" then I'm convinced that most of the people requesting a new ending would accept their statement.

I think this is a great point. Right now, I want a new ending. I want them to change or add to the current game so that when I play this game next year, or five years down the line, or 10 years down the line I will be able to play from start to finish and feel like it was one of the greatest games ever. If Bioware comes out and says "This is it. We're sorry you don't like it, but we are not changing it because we believe in what our writers are saying." Then I will stop talking about it and requesting/demanding a different ending.

Everyone I have heard/spoken with loved this game up until the end (some still love it). I truly believe people are arguing and requesting for change because they love this game minus one really big part that sours the rest of the game. It is like someone running a marathon and right before the end, with the finish line in sight says "Nah, I'm done." Everyone would say how great an accomplishment for going so far already, but everyone there would encourage that person to get to the end because they want them to finish it.

Findaer wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Of course no one has the right to demand any changes, but there's a difference between demanding and requesting. If BioWare came out and said "this is ending represents our vision and we stand by it" then I'm convinced that most of the people requesting a new ending would accept their statement.

I think this is a great point. Right now, I want a new ending. I want them to change or add to the current game so that when I play this game next year, or five years down the line, or 10 years down the line I will be able to play from start to finish and feel like it was one of the greatest games ever. If Bioware comes out and says "This is it. We're sorry you don't like it, but we are not changing it because we believe in what our writers are saying." Then I will stop talking about it and requesting/demanding a different ending.


And I think part of the problem is that BioWare is refusing to say anything specific one way or another. If they came out and actually stated that they are or aren't going to change the ending, some of the outrage would definitely die down. Instead, they keep releasing statements like this:


But we also recognize that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories—and these comments are equally valid. Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series.

...

So where do we go from here? Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content. And we’ll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you’ll hear of Commander Shepard.

And this:

Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received.

If they wanted this to end, they wouldn't keep drawing people back into the discussion with vague promises. Are fans overreacting? Sure. But it seems to me that BioWare is at least a little responsible for encouraging that behaviour.

Nothing says "artistic integrity" like "game content initiatives".

This nonsense about the Official Rules of Artist-Audience Interaction kills me. I've never seen that kind of opinion in art school, but maybe it's different in content creator college?

I'd love a new ending. Hell yeah, I've signed some petitions and made demands. So what? Is that a sin against art? Artists who cannot handle the mob should become hermits and paint for themselves. The moment you bring your work into the light and ask the audience to engage is the moment you give up the right to act like Elysium. (Who would lose control if forced to participate in this thread!) Bioware sought out an audience and tried to cultivate the feeling of deep involvement and now they're reaping (HAHAHA OH MY GOD GET IT?) what they sowed.

Welcome to the world of participatory art! The artist-audience relationship is far more intimate than in a gallery or cinema scenario. That intimacy is the whole point, and now Bioware's discovered the difference between a casual friend and a jilted lover. If Bioware didn't want people to get so emotionally involved they shouldn't have spent the past half decade asking people to purchase work advertised as participatory. We're talking about a developer whose calling card is character dynamics and narrative DESIGNED TO CREATE AN EMOTIONAL REACTION. Nobody would give a sh*t if Mass Effect was Doom-style gunwank.

Bioware doesn't "owe" anyone anything, but they are fools if they didn't see this coming. As ex-Bioware designer Brent Knowles said, "Entitlement is really a right, for the gamer, because they have participated, actively, in the game itself." (Source: the comments of: http://blog.brentknowles.com/2012/03...)

(I don't agree that we are "entitled" to anything, but anyone creating interactive art had better consider the audience carefully.)

It is silly to compare Mass Effect, an interactive piece of art, with television shows or magic shows. A better comparison would be dice-rolling tabletop roleplaying games like... the stuff that got Bioware started in the first place. They should've know better. The "dungeon master" can't pull an ending like this and not expect some demands for closure or clarity from the players at the table. I've been the DM in that very position, and instead of claiming to be a CONTENT CREATOR all I did was set aside another night for an epilogue session. Wow, my artistic integrity never recovered from that! To declare, after years of playing with these people, that the whole thing was my singular vision... would be delusional arrogance on a grand scale. Did I make up the story? Yes. But it was for them to participate in. Like Bioware, I kept track of their likes and dislikes and actively sought their participation. Sure, I could tell them to screw off, but then I shouldn't be surprised when they get all pissed about it.

You know we're talking about Bioware, right? The first thing they show after the end credits is "BUY DLC". If they're going to be trying to sell me DLC, why can't I use the terrifying terrorism of an internet petition to ask that one of these DLC things be an epilogue?

There is so much silly "artistic integrity" crap being flung around by journalists and commentators and developers who are, for some reason, afraid that this will set a "dangerous precedent". Uh, I'm pretty sure at the dawn of time there was a cave painter suffering through all the other proto-humans yelling crap about how the animals were painted wrong.

If we want to talk about childishness, it would be the people who are still worried about "artistic integrity" and "street cred" and "realness". You get over that sh*t the moment you crack open your first art history textbook.

Wow, that was long. Thanks a lot, white wine!

Vin wrote:
This nonsense about the Official Rules of Artist-Audience Interaction kills me. I've never seen that kind of opinion in art school, but maybe it's different in content creator college?

(...and a good deal more)

This. A thousand times this. This is the most perceptive comment I've seen here or anywhere else on this topic, and I want to add my 100% endorsement to everything Vin said.

Memo to Bioware, and to every other "creator" who gets huffy about fan reactions: if you set out to create something people will get emotionally involved in, you are in no position to complain when people get, y'know, emotional about it.

Bioware's not complaining, I think. The wall there stops where it's about consumers having the right to demand additional free stuff from content creators.

LarryC wrote:
Bioware's not complaining, I think. The wall there stops where it's about consumers having the right to demand additional free stuff from content creators.
that's not it, though. While of course some will ask for free stuff, that's not the push of the"movement" overall. From what I've seen in various polls and comments while everyone would like free (who doesn't?) most are perfectly willing to purchase DLC that delivers this.

Pointing out just those who demand free is like picking out just those who pushed the FCC stupidity. Obviously Bioware isn't going to do it for free. That's the same arguement as the day one DLC stuff, though, and neither here nor there.

Customers have *eery* right to ask/plead/beg/demand more content, and their choice of content. As I said above, Bioware is in now way forced to give them what they want, but they are a business. With, what, 50,000 customers on that Bioware poll alone saying they'd buy ending-fixing DLC, clearly there is a demand for their product.

So, it's up to Bioware now. Make new ending DLC or not, make it free or not. But if the fans didn't make their desires known, I pretty much guarantee Bioware would keep shoveling out DLC that clearly wasn't what the customers wanted. This feedback is important, even of its hard to hear.

We're interpreting "demand" differently. I got no beef with feedback or fans saying the ending is bad for whatever reasons they want to imagine. I see it as fans mistakenly thinking that they have the right to force Bioware to act according to their wishes, whether or not Bioware wants to do so.

This is, again, one of the times where I agree with LarryC. Those of us (on these boards anyway) who take issue with the "movement" aren't decrying vocal fans who are disappointed. We're decrying the people who have framed the arguments in terms of "demands" as though they're coming from a sense of entitlement.

And many of us are uncomfortable with the means by which they shrouded their request in the Child's Play charity (of which even the Child's Play people are uncomfortable).

I don't think many here would disagree that fans and consumers should have a voice, and IF a developer wishes to respond by editing their own work - great. But the shrill cries of "FOUL!" and the throwing around of terms such as "promise" and "contract" and whatnot seem ridiculous.

Finally, I am curious to see how this plays out in the coming years with respect to authorial work. I see both sides of the argument, but I admit to being uncomfortable with the certainty that many are framing their side of the fence. All in all, I agree largely with JP's well written article here, and I share the same worries.

I can't say I agree with your worries, man. The key difference, as LarryC pointed out, is the interpretation of "demand" here so I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree. I see it as a poorly worded request for more DLC because those framing the demands have no power whatsoever; Bioware/EA isn't and won't be "forced" into creating a new ending because no one has the ability to force them to do anything.

I agree demanding a new ending is a bit ridiculous, but so is framing those demanding a new ending as terrorists out to force unwanted change upon an innocent developer. This isn't a mugger holding a gun while demanding money, this is an annoying homeless guy jingling a tin can at you while demanding money. Just walk past.

Vin wrote:
This nonsense about the Official Rules of Artist-Audience Interaction kills me. I've never seen that kind of opinion in art school, but maybe it's different in content creator college?
...

Word magic!
You put it much better than I could.

Vin wrote:
This nonsense about the Official Rules of Artist-Audience Interaction kills me. I've never seen that kind of opinion in art school, but maybe it's different in content creator college?

I guess where I differ from you is that I think the mob is generally full of people not qualified to tell me that I am wrong for liking something as presented. Do I care what Joe Sixpack thinks of the ending? Absolutely not. Does Joe Sixpack want a different ending than the one I do? Yes. Is it fundamentally selfish of both of us to demand that Bioware change the ending (or leave it be) to suit our wants/desires? Absolutely.

There's no real answer here. Just because a loud group thinks that they know better than the people who I actually pay money to hear from wants something different doesn't mean that they should get what they want at the expense of people who are fine with taking the game (or art in general) as it is. Why is the participatory mob group allowed to want something more than the "leave art as it is" group is allowed to want something?

I don't mean to suggest that bioware is forced to do anything. What I take issue with is the tone and tenor of [i]some[/] of the complainers. Not all, and not even the premise of the "movement." it's the very people that Muzyka calls out in his own email. Those shrill shrieking bastards.

I don't know why I am writing on this thread so much 'cause in the end I don't care all that much (beyond the misuse of Child's Play). Maybe cause we all feel like we're being misinterpreted with following new response and quote, and I am a lover of clarity after all.

Oh well. I'm done with the thing.

I really dislike how people are placing their personal politics into this idea of the "misuse" of Child's Play. This is just a group of passionate fans that want to show how much they dislike an ending to a videogame. At least they did something good and raised money for children in need. People always tell consumers to speak with their wallets and they are doing it more in by being more active with it rather than passive (ie not purchasing Bioware's next title). Which is problematic anyways cause there is no certainty that the Mass Effect team is working on Bioware's release.

If the fans of the Last Airbender donated to charities or organizations for Asian Americans because the main characters are being white washed by Caucasian actors they are also pushing an agenda similar to these Mass Effect fans. But because we agree with their politics its acceptable. Complaining these fans are using a charity just because we disagree with them its stupid. Stupid mainly because this issue shouldn't be this huge division of ideology. Seriously, give me a break.

A charity as the right to turn down the money, but I honestly don't think this petition is some travesty. The more this idiotic controversy goes on the more heated the rhetoric becomes. Seriously, very rarely am I encountered sensible arguments of criticism and defense for the ending. It is more name calling, derision, invalidation, and attacks against people at opposing sides.

demonicmurry wrote:
I really dislike how people are placing their personal politics into this idea of the "misuse" of Child's Play. This is just a group of passionate fans that want to show how much they dislike an ending to a videogame. At least they did something good and raised money for children in need. People always tell consumers to speak with their wallets and they are doing it more in by being more active with it rather than passive (ie not purchasing Bioware's next title). Which is problematic anyways cause there is no certainty that the Mass Effect team is working on Bioware's release.

If the fans of the Last Airbender donated to charities or organizations for Asian Americans because the main characters are being white washed by Caucasian actors they are also pushing an agenda similar to these Mass Effect fans. But because we agree with their politics its acceptable. Complaining these fans are using a charity just because we disagree with them its stupid. Stupid mainly because this issue shouldn't be this huge division of ideology. Seriously, give me a break.

A charity as the right to turn down the money, but I honestly don't think this petition is some travesty. The more this idiotic controversy goes on the more heated the rhetoric becomes. Seriously, very rarely am I encountered sensible arguments of criticism and defense for the ending. It is more name calling, derision, invalidation, and attacks against people at opposing sides.

I think people are right to point it out since Tycho himself said:

"Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child’s Play must be the Cause." (http://penny-arcade.com/2012/03/21/c...)

In direct response to what he perceives as misuse of the charity.

demonicmurry wrote:
I really dislike how people are placing their personal politics into this idea of the "misuse" of Child's Play.

it has precisely zero to do with personal politics, though that may factor in for some people, and can be reprehensible based on the connection alone (though I don't think that's the case here). As someone who came from a non-profit myself, and as Child's Play themselves have said: donating to Child's Play should be the end itself.

Go ahead and have a fund raiser whose explicit aim is to raise money. Don't tie a petition to raising money when those two activities have NOTHING to do with each other. THAT'S the problem.

TANNHAUSERED by El Capitan! Well said!

"Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child’s Play must be the Cause." (http://penny-arcade.com/2012/03/21/c...)
In direct response to what he perceives as misuse of the charity.

That's his prerogative and he has that right. Maybe they should've found an organization that supports participatory culture that helps collective new media artists or an organization that promotes the expansion of copyright law to provide sanctions for fan activities like remix culture and open information.

HedgeWizard wrote:
demonicmurry wrote:
I really dislike how people are placing their personal politics into this idea of the "misuse" of Child's Play.

Go ahead and have a fund raiser whose explicit aim is to raise money. Don't tie a petition to raising money when those two activities have NOTHING to do with each other. THAT'S the problem.

TANNHAUSERED by El Capitan! Well said!

But this happens all the time with Child's Play. Some industry party has a cross donation deal with the charity for people to attend to have the option to donate. What the hell do gaming marathons have anything to do with Child's Play when it's clear some website wants to promote traffic to its site. If you're drawing a line here it's cause your placing a personal stake because you disagree with these people.

This article is apologism at its worst.

I'm not going to ask Bioware to change the ending, but hell if I won't say what an enormous pile of sh*t that ending was, and hell if I don't say how low Bioware has fallen between broken promises (yeah, lots of endings depending on the decissions we made in the three games), unacceptable DLC (if you really believe the Ashes DLC wasn't ripped off the main game I have a pretty silver bridge to sell you) and unacceptable DRM (Origin), amongst other reasons.

For me, the only consequence is that I will never again buy a Bioware game.

Oh, and Dr. Muzyka can go to hell with his condescending apology. At least be a man and admit you f*cked up!.

demonicmurry wrote:
HedgeWizard wrote:
demonicmurry wrote:
I really dislike how people are placing their personal politics into this idea of the "misuse" of Child's Play.

Go ahead and have a fund raiser whose explicit aim is to raise money. Don't tie a petition to raising money when those two activities have NOTHING to do with each other. THAT'S the problem.

TANNHAUSERED by El Capitan! Well said!

But this happens all the time with Child's Play. Some industry party has a cross donation deal with the charity for people to attend to have the option to donate. What the hell do gaming marathons have anything to do with Child's Play when it's clear some website wants to promote traffic to its site. If you're drawing a line here it's cause your placing a personal stake because you disagree with these people.

It's a more discreet line to say, "We're raising money for a charity by providing you with a marathon to watch (which will conveniently raise traffic to our site)" than to say "We're raising money for a charity and want something unrelated to the charity to change as a result"

It's like donating to a cause about cancer research in the hope that an information freedom group will acquiesce to your demands. It mixes the message and is only happening so people feel guilty about calling them out or not supporting the new ending. "Oh, you don't want to donate to a new ending? I guess you hate children AND 'good' endings."

Vin wrote:
This nonsense about the Official Rules of Artist-Audience Interaction kills me. I've never seen that kind of opinion in art school, but maybe it's different in content creator college?

I've been to galleries where someone besides a classmate or instructor said out loud that a painting was "bad" and went on with "What the artist needs to do is ... ." These are no more the people you want at your show than the "My six year old could do this!" folks.