Arkadium game designer Matt Plotecher has published an article on GamesIndustryInternational where he argues that the much publicised and controversial Mass Effect 3 ending saga is a “watershed moment” for the overall growth of the medium.
Plotecher explains how gamers across the globe lashed out at BioWare’s choice of ending for Mass Effect 3 and the fact that it does not reflect player’s input throughout the trilogy. This resulted in BioWare acknowledging gamer’s discontent over the ending and offering a forthcoming solution in the form of DLC which will supposedly provide more closure.
The game designer explains how he perceives that there is a “larger underlying issue” with the subject that was best brought to the spotlight by Mass Effect 3, and that this reaction is one common with other media like movies, and television.
“What should one do when an ending fails to resonate with the audience? While many would grant the creators the right to finish the story as they see fit, many creators have also changed their mind about the original ending they made.
“That is where I think the real story to this whole saga lies. The loudest complaint relating to the endings is: “My choices didn’t matter,” states Plotecher.
Plotecher concludes that the controversy around Mass Effect 3’s ending and its “lack of acknowledgement to the choices the player made throughout the trilogy,” reflects a higher standard for video games from the players.
“Video games are already at the point where you can have thought-provoking fun, and robust games where the interactivity is part and parcel of the emotional investment. Once the majority of players start thinking about video games in this manner, the general public is likely not far behind.
“It’s one thing to talk about video games being as valid forms of art and expression as other media. But when we start having the same discussions that these other media forms are having about artistic integrity, author hubris and fan expectations, that’s when we need to stop talking and start showing,” concludes Plotecher.