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Why I don't think Bioware should change the ending of Mass Effect 3. (spoilers)

the first bit of this is a response to this article, and the rest is a bit more rambling and general.

Yeah, I think the "ending" was shitty, but that doesn't make me think i deserve to have a say in the matter. I think criticism of games and the storytelling therein is important, but i think that the line should be drawn at criticism and Bioware absolutely should not start re-tooling their game because everyone is upset about it. The only reason Sean Kingston changed the lyrics of his song was that the people who distribute his work ceased to do so unless he made those changes. Microsoft and Sony aren't refusing to run ME3 discs until the ending is better. It had nothing to do with artistic vision. The EVE Online example is a poor one as well. EVE Online is a game that has a monthly fee, and has an in-game economy that is run entirely by the players. People have invested hundreds, even thousands of dollars into the game. The decision there was a financial one between two parties engaged in an active monetary relationship. I can't be sure, but I doubt those meetings and decisions had anything to do with people not liking the story or art design of the expansion. Both of these decisions were made at least partially because of money. Comparing decisions about money to decisions about art doesn't make any sense, to me. Now that brings me to my main (perhaps overly sentimental) point.

I don't feel that my decisions were not taken into account. The entire third game is what should be considered the "Ending" of Mass Effect, because expecting the final 10 minutes of a story of over 100 hours to touch on everything you did leading up to it is outrageous. I saw what I had done to the universe, to the people I (meaning Shepard) loved, and I felt the weight of my decisions the entire time. I think the game succeeded in that regard. If any change was made to the ending, I think it should have ended sooner than it did. I felt all the closure I needed when Shepard and Anderson are sitting together looking down at the earth they somehow managed to save.

Mass Effect, for all its galactic war and politics, was a very personal story. It was about a small group of people drawn together by their circumstances, and bonded by friendship as they hurled themselves toward almost certain death. It was about sacrifice. It was about making tough decisions and dealing with the consequences. What it wasn't (or shouldn't have been) about was what happens ten thousand years after the end of the game. That's some other crew's story. I could care less about the implications of my actions in the far-flung future. I care about whether or not Tali will be able to finally settle down and build her house on her homeworld and if Wrex can restore his people from the brink of extinction. i care about Cortez being able to finally forgive himself and find closure about the death of his husband. i care about Joker and EDI and whether or not she can forgive me for being too weak to give the Geth another chance. I cared about my crew in Mass Effect. probably more than i ever have about other characters in a video game. I felt for them and I worried and for better or for worse I knew that what I did made a difference to them. That is how Mass Effect really ended for me. I don't think Bioware has any obligation to do anything about their ending, because the great thing about fiction is that its up to the person reading or watching or playing it to take away from it what they want regardless of the intent of its creator. what i took away from Mass Effect was pretty incredible, and something that no new forced ending could ever hope to improve on.
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About DougCLone of us since 4:54 PM on 07.31.2009

22. Boston. keeping it fake.
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