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@Those using the "It's Art" defense about the ending...


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#1
Dhraconus

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That makes the ending WORSE.  In fact if we claim it is art then Bioware is... well read on.

For the purposes of this post I'm going to assume the following:

1) The Mass Effect trilogy is art and Bioware are artists.
2) Art is a form of expression.
3) Expression is a form of communication, or sending a message.
4) Communication, or sending a message, has meaning.  Without meaning there is no message.

(I know I'm making some simplifications and assumptions above but I really don't want to get in to debates around "What is Art?" ; "The meaning of meaning?" ; "Where does the meaning come from?" ; "What sort of message is being sent by the Mona Lisa?" ; etc....  Although if someone really wants to debate these issues we can, but if you are not willing to write and read post-grad level philosophical papers on the issues I suggest we skip that)

Given those things Bioware is and artist expressing itself and sending a message to the players.  So what is that message?

Well in Mass Effect YOU are Commander Shepard.  You spend 3 games fighting to protect the galaxy and the diversity within it.  You broker peace between many different races and unite them together to stop the genocidal Reapers.  Then at the end it falls apart.  You even have a conversation with the prothean about how the diversity in the galaxy is the reason this cycle might succeed.

Starting with the the moment the Magical Space Brat starts talking Bioware clarifies the message of their artistic endeavour, and here it is:

Different societies are incapable of coexisting.  As long as different
cultures and peoples exist there will be war.  The only ways to bring
about peace are Genocide, Homogenization, or ruling with an unstoppable
army of Reapers like an evil dictator (or Prothean).  Difference is
bad.  You're either like me or you're evil.  Your children will always
turn on you and attempt to destroy you and everything you've built.


Let that sink in.

Here's another forum poster talking about basically the same thing:
http://social.biowar.../index/10036548


So why is that the message?  Because YOU are Commander Shepard.  You are not allowed to proceed unless you accept everything the Magical Space Brat tells you.  You are not allowed to refute these ideas.  You cannot question them.  There isn't even a good logical basis for them given.  They are just presented as absolute truths that you must accept.  It's made worse by everything that came before.  They promote and encourage the idea that difference is good.  In the end though it was building you up and getting you thinking about it only to smack it down to really drive home how horribly WRONG you are in believing that.

Bioware is saying in no uncertain terms:  The Space Brat is right.  You cannot save the galaxy and bring about peace without wiping out difference or ruling with an iron fist.  If you reject these premises you fail.  Game Over.  Please hit Alt-F4 to disagree.  Reapers win, they are right.

I really hope you don't need this part to understand why the above is a problem but here goes:
A game which espouses genocide (cultural or otherwise), homogenization, and intolerance towards difference is abhorent and should not be sold or produced.  It most definitely should NOT be praised and given scores like 10/10.  If someone was to produce a game which celebrated the holocaust as "the solution" with the only alternative being ruling with an ironfist it wouldn't even make it on the shelves.  Yet someone just because Mass Effect is only analogous and uses AI instead it's acceptable.  Never mind the fact that prior to the Space Brat the game makes it very clear that the Geth and EDI are ALIVE, intelligent, "feeling," and "have souls" (more or less).  They make sure there is no question that they are more than "just machines."

I cannot and will not EVER support a company which promotes this sort of ideology and attempts to pursuade large segments of the population that this ideology is in fact correct and irrefutable through "art."

I want to believe this message was completely accidental but it IS the current message they are delivering through their "art."


Edit: This thread is really worth reading as well.  The OP is long and saying something slightly different but regardless I think it is worth a read.  It talks about the betrayal of hope which was partly what I was trying to say here but failing miserably compared to Sainta117.  No idea if he/she agrees with what I've said but I do agree with what he/she said.


Edit 2: Indoctrination theory also serves to negate this message (I suspect that's why so many love it) because it puts this negative message in the context of "Reaper belief" and not "fact from the mouth of god."  It could even be argued that the synthetic genocide and impossibility of peace isn't fact but merely something the space brat claim to try to disuade Shepard from persisting in his/her endeavour to destroy the Reapers.

Edited by Dhraconus, 21 March 2012 - 10:46 PM.


#2
Dhraconus

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Oh and I forgot to mention that they are also indirectly suggesting segregation is necessary for "lasting peace" through the destruction of the mass relays being a requirement.

#3
Dhraconus

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Not even so much as a "nuh uh"?

I'm more than willing to entertain alternate messages Bioware is trying to express.

#4
IntuitionJo

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Alright, I'll bite.

I agree that this would be the message sent. Unfortunately, it falls flat when you realize that it was explicitly stated by Walters that this ending is PURELY to generate speculation. Thus entailing a complete lack of thought out meaning.

That said, it was a nice read, and sure helps.

#5
pomrink

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good read

#6
Strange Aeons

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Yes, it's almost awe-inspiring how completely the ending fails on every conceivable level.

#7
ibogre

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IntuitionJo wrote...

Alright, I'll bite.

I agree that this would be the message sent. Unfortunately, it falls flat when you realize that it was explicitly stated by Walters that this ending is PURELY to generate speculation. Thus entailing a complete lack of thought out meaning.

That said, it was a nice read, and sure helps.


Mein Kampf caused a lot of vile discussion and debate. Yeah I went there.

The ending has actually got me thinking though. The whole "Yo Dawg" synthetics thing is accurate in that the motivations for the reapers is flimsy at best and downright idiotic at worst. The true motivation? I would like to think it is that they harvest to reproduce and therefore keep the lesser, non-space faring  organics alive. But also by pruning back the organics, they keep organics from generating synthetics that might be strong enough to challenge the reapers. Then you have genocide based around fear an paranoia of the "other" and what they can potentially do.

I think it "humanizes" the Reapers in one of the scariest ways possible.

Edited by ibogre, 19 March 2012 - 05:38 AM.


#8
jules_vern18

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Once art enters the marketplace it becomes a commodity and is therefore driven by demand. Gamespot compared ME3 to Monet's "Water Lilies"...which would be fine if Monet had promised water lilies but had instead sold thousands of paintings of raw beef sight unseen to all of his fans.

Good analogy is good.

#9
fig182

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Watching the ending unfold i very much had a Deus ex machina moment.

After all my attempts to bring the galaxy together, god was comming and telling me "nope, doesn't matter, nothing you did mattered..."

I am starting to believe the endings were crap on purpose to sell and expansion or DLC down the road.

#10
RShara

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ibogre wrote...

IntuitionJo wrote...

Alright, I'll bite.

I agree that this would be the message sent. Unfortunately, it falls flat when you realize that it was explicitly stated by Walters that this ending is PURELY to generate speculation. Thus entailing a complete lack of thought out meaning.

That said, it was a nice read, and sure helps.


Mein Kampf caused a lot of vile discussion and debate. Yeah I went there.

The ending has actually got me thinking though. The whole "Yo Dawg" synthetics thing is accurate in that the motivations for the reapers is flimsy at best and downright idiotic at worst. The true motivation? I would like to think it is that they harvest to reproduce and therefore keep the lesser, non-space faring  organics alive. But also by pruning back the organics, they keep organics from generating synthetics that might be strong enough to challenge the reapers. Then you have genocide based around fear an paranoia of the "other" and what they can potentially do.

I think it "humanizes" the Reapers in one of the scariest ways possible.


This is one of the things I thought their motivations could be too.  Though I had Reproduction, and Eliminate emerging threats as two separate ones.  And yes, those two would both make sense and be reaaaallllly freaky.

#11
Giga Drill BREAKER

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not art its a product

even if it was art, there are ample cases in which artists choose to change there work, for example J.R.R Tolkien

#12
Dhraconus

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ibogre wrote...
So was Mein Kampf to begin with. Yeah I went there.

The ending has actually got me thinking though. The whole "Yo Dawg" synthetics thing is accurate in that the motivations for the reapers is flimsy at best and downright idiotic at worst. The true motivation? I would like to think it is that they harvest to reproduce and therefore keep the lesser, non-space faring  organics alive. But also by pruning back the organics, they keep organics from generating synthetics that might be strong enough to challenge the reapers. Then you have genocide based around fear an paranoia of the "other" and what they can potentially do.

I think it "humanizes" the Reapers in one of the scariest ways possible.


That was honestly where I thought they were going all through ME1, ME2 and ME3.  The Reapers were just another "species" that unfortunately needed to harvest other living things to survive.  Which would be an amazing analogy for humans and the way we treat our planet and other species (and sometimes each other) because of the "other" and the way we view/treat "In-groups" and "out-groups".  Unfortunately it took a sharp left turn at the Space Brat.

ME being about choice I have no problem with accepting the Reapers logic being a possibility.  But without the ability to reject that ideology it comes across as an absolute statement of fact.

Actually when I first read about indoctrination theory I thought it sounded like a reasonable solution (still kind of do).  It gives a moment to see thigns from the Reapers perspective and a chance to reject it (as long as rejection is an option the ideology of the Reapers can be as terrible, prejudice, and genocidal as they want it to be).  Shepard then awakens after successfully fighting indoctrination by remaining true to his/her beliefs that Reapers are wrong and need to be destroyed (TIM was indoctrinated and wanted to control so presumably that is acceptable to the Reapers for some reason).  The game can then proceed to a conclusion based around the rejection of the Reapers ideology.

I still wish they had continued along the path of the Reapers being an analogy of humans and their treatment of the galaxy being similar to our treatment of everything on earth, but apparently that wasn't in the cards.

#13
Legendaryred

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You can call everything art these days, i can go draw something up and call it art too. however ME3 is a product for commercial purposes and we paid good money for it. If we had received it free then i would've shut my mouth long ago.

#14
kalamity116

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If it has to be explained to the beholder, it's bad.

#15
Venturisection

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If a real artist had done the ending it would keep changing untill someone told them to stop or the artist needed money

#16
Mr. Gogeta34

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Art with plot holes is bad art. And yes, there is such a thing as bad art...

#17
Zine2

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ME3's ending was not art. It was an unwitting attempt to force an ideology of hatred upon the player base.

#18
Leafs43

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"It's art" is just a cop out of a rushed, poorly written product.

#19
Lexagg

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"Can't change art" is a silly defence that can apply to every situation (considering that everything can be called "art" these days). Your burger is undercooked? Can't change art. Your car doesn't work? Can't change art. Program crashed? Can't change art.

#20
tsd16

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I just finsihed 3, and I would like to thank everyone for hating on the endings, because I was expecting it to be so bad, that it was actually better than I went into it, thinking it would be.

I dont like the fact you dont get at least a bit of an epilogue about what became of many of the characters. Its definitely a bitter sweet ending but overall I didnt think it was as incomprehensibly horrid as people make it out to be. I think I am more emotionally taxed that its simply over and not a "happy" ending so to speak. The reaper threat was eliminated mission accomplished, but I think the "cost" of that is too much for many players to stomache, and then end was a little too open ended.

I definitely feel the pain of many players on the ending, but on the same token, I dont on the otherhand feel it "ruins the series" in any way as many fans do. I for sure see myself playing through the series again some time.

I think the thing that bums me out the most, is no matter what ending Bioware deems "canon" its going to be a difficult thing to create future titles for the series considering the lack of inter system travel and I would prefer not to play prequels.

#21
Impulse and Compulse

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Wait, people actually listened to their argument?

What happened to that joke about modern art being a pile of solid waste excrement?

#22
Joe920

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Legendaryred wrote...

You can call everything art these days, i can go draw something up and call it art too. however ME3 is a product for commercial purposes and we paid good money for it. If we had received it free then i would've shut my mouth long ago.



I had a salad the other day, and when finished, the near-empty plate consisting of a half-eaten tomato slice, some olive oil reside, and a bit of a translucent lettuce-like substance remained...BOOM...I had created art. Posted Image

ME3 is a consumer product and the consumer has a right to complain if they believe they have been wronged or mislead.

Edited by Joe920, 19 March 2012 - 06:18 AM.


#23
ticklefist

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Dhraconus wrote...

Oh and I forgot to mention that they are also indirectly suggesting segregation is necessary for "lasting peace" through the destruction of the mass relays being a requirement.


Won't lie, I caught myself thinking this after my first play through, still trying to rationalize what I'd just seen. "Oh yeah, herp derp, people need to be kept away from each other so they can rebuild without galactic politics distracting them herp."

#24
TheContenderKid

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If Leonardo da Vinci didn't paint a face on the Mona Lisa and told everyone to fill in that blank themselves, then said that he meant it to "polarize" or create debate. Then later he says he is listening to how people want the face done and he'll paint on a face if they pay him more. Do you think anyone would have given him benefit of the doubt? An incomplete work is not art. Anyone who uses the "It will mess with the artist intention plan." argument should take that artsy argument back to their local starbucks, hipster.

#25
rwilli80

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The only problem is for the most part throughout human history Bioware is correct. When two totally different cultures meet they usually go to war. The son generally turns on the father for no other reason then to take his control and authority (not so much in the modern day, but history is full of sons killing fathers and fathers killing sons for just that reason, look at the story of Zeus and the Titans). Granted their doom and clum outlook doesn't really fit with what you are doing and trying to do in the game.