After Mass Effect fans demanded that Bioware change the ending to ME3, a torrent of derogatory comments and overuse of the word “entitlement” have brought out adversarial relationships between games press, game fans, and game developers, with the fans on one side, alone. Who is right? To figure out, I decided to evaluate the acidic word that blows up Twitter feeds and forum boards even as I type.
What does it mean?
It is the belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges, according to the dictionary.
What are we entitled to?
When we buy a game (new), we are entitled to a good game. But if it isn’t good, or just doesn’t tickle our particular fancy, then we just learn our lesson. We get more critical about future purchases and we move forward, because that particular game didn’t meet our expectations. If we don’t like it, we should simply move on. To mindlessly bitch is unhealthy. Criticize, of course, but do it constructively.
The important thing is that quality is a matter of opinion.
Should they patch Mass Effect 3’s story?
No. Mass Effect 3’s story may be unsatisfactory (I haven’t finished it, yet, but that’s not the point), but that doesn’t mean it should be changed. It’s much different from patching a technical issue. A patch to fix matchmaking or a glitch should happen because that was unintentional. The story, whether you like it or not, is an artistic expression. It should be left to be what it is, and to change it because you don’t like it, is effectively censorship. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censor)
If you consider video games as an artistic medium, you would understand this. If it’s just a service and soulless product, then you won’t.
Criticizing constructively should be the route taken, because a young, enterprising writer, or a seasoned veteran, could take well-reasoned criticism to heart and make future stories better.
Alternatively, think if you wrote a story that people felt had a lackluster ending. You mulled over it for weeks and felt that is the appropriate ending for your story. You published it, they bought it.Should you change it? Fuck no! It’s your story, not theirs. You made it for them, maybe, but it is still your story, that you thought out. Shepherd’s story in Mass Effect may be influenced by the player, and feel personal, but it is also the artistic expression of Bioware’s writers that made it possible.
There is also a difference between marketing and honesty; when they market a game, they hype it up and deliver hyperbole. They can defend this by saying “these were our goals” or “this is our opinion.” It’s not a fact. It’s also not a fact that the game sucked.
You can’t petition filmmakers to change endings. You can’t petition author’s or TV writers, either. Why should games get this treatment?
It’s immature, and it is the feeling that you are entitled to the game ending the way you want it to, which you aren’t. Neither am I. Nobody is. If you don’t like it, that’s unfortunate. It sucks that you feel let down, but maybe you need to stop worrying about it so much. You got other shit in your life to occupy that feeling. Let it go.