Should gamers have a say over video game storylines?

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Of course this questions comes over the huge, over the top, protest about the ending of Mass Effect 3. Now Eurogamer says this successful protest could pave the way for more game developers to listen to their fans. Is this a good thing?

I say no. Why? Because, let’s be honest, the general public are stupid. Great storytellers are rare and yes, the professionals don’t always get it right but if it was down to the public all the time, you’d get some really stupid ideas I’m sure. Listening to user feedback is always a good thing, it helps devs improve for next time but that’s not what we’re talking here. We’re talking about changing the entire ending to something or changing a character – core changes which I feel, should be left to the storytellers.

It’s a bit cruel to say the general public are generally stupid but have you been on Youtube? Have you read the comments on games websites and Metacritic? Exactly. Do you really want those people to be in charge of your favourites games? I didn’t think so. Plus would you expect film fans to protest to get an ending to a film changed? What about re-writing the ending of a novel? It simply wouldn’t happen and if we want video games to be seen as a special craft like other pieces of art, we should leave it to the artists.

Personally, I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 yet, let alone seen the ending so maybe I’m not the best judge. But if I didn’t like it? So fucking what? I wouldn’t care that much, it’s an insult to everyone who’s worked so hard on bringing a fantastic series to us – why would I criticise them? The ending to Rage was far worse, believe me, at least ME3 has an ending. I think people should remember and think: would I really be able to do a better job? If the answer is yes, go and write books or be a game developer. In the mean time, shut your bloody cake hole and get over it. It’s only a game.

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3 thoughts on “Should gamers have a say over video game storylines?

  1. What’s to stop the angry mob at video games? One of them will figure it worked for video games and they’ll want to try the same tactics on movies, art, books, and everything else. Suddenly nothing will be good enough for the general public and fires will burn and corpses will pile up.

    So paying taxes entitles me to amend laws in my country? Nope, I’m not a politician.

    So paying sixty dollars for a video game entitles me to change how the game is made? Yep, because the game companies fear losing a modest amount of money. Now they’ve compromised their credibility.

    Whoever caved in and decided to change the ending opened up Pandora’s Box. Just wait for Halo 4. If people don’t like that game watch out, it’s going to get ugly.

    Excellent post. I agree with most of it and was disgusted when I found out that Bioware caved in. What the hell were they thinking?

  2. Couldn’t agree more – I have an awful feeling we’re going to be looking back on this point in time in a few years and saying ‘thats where it all went downhill’.

    Great post.

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