It’s been said that the journey is more important than the destination. Apparently if you’re a gamer, that saying means nothing because the ending of a video game can cause a million collective virgins to get their panties in a twist. I am, of course, talking about the ending of Mass Effect 3. Yes, I am taking time out of my life to talk about how sad people are for going completely ape-poop over the ending of a video game. Let’s explore this concept.
A bit of background for those readers who do not follow the angry rants of gamers with an Internet connection and a lack of plans on any given Friday night. Mass Effect 3 ties up the trilogy of highly successful games by Bioware, but some feel that the ending does not effectively reflect the choices made by players. Yep, it doesn’t matter if you were a Renegade who bedded Miranda or a Paragon who stayed loyal to the Citadel Council, the ending pretty much wrapped up along the same basic lines. Ok, see how this leads to mass outrage? No? Oh, you must not be completely detached from reality.
I could argue that this would be akin to writing letters to Christopher Nolan for ending The Dark Knight with the death of Two Face and how it completely destroys the entire Batman mythos. But gamers are not taking it that way. You see, people have taken ownership over the choices they’ve made in the past games of the trilogy and now Bioware has to give them the ending they’ve decided they wanted. To put it quite simply, all those people who are upset are no different than someone who hated the ending of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. It’s the exact same concept; you made a series of choices to reach a predefined conclusion. Those books and Mass Effect 3 are two sides of the same coin.
This entire concept of entitlement or thinking you have some say in how Mass Effect should end is completely backwards. Mass Effect 3 is a product – just like a movie, book, CD, granola bar is a product. You own the game like you own the latest Simple Plan album (I have no music qualifications). You did not participate in the creation of the product, you chose how you consumed the art, but at no time did you actively ALTER the structure of the product. You didn’t write to Bioware (maybe you did…that’s sad) to tell them your ideas for why canonical Fem Shep should be brunette, though at no point did Bioware ask for your input. Nope, you purchased a product, and now you’ve consumed it. The end. If it left a bitter aftertaste or you think your Shepard should have become High Lord of the Reapers, that’s your bag. It’s not on Bioware to alter their product to ease your complaints.
This entire issue brings up an embarrassing side to the gaming community. We’ve been hit with stories of sexism, homophobia, and entitlement in the community, more now than ever before. What I find interesting is that gamers will accept broken games (Skyrim), dummied out features (Fable, Diabalo 3), and the same game regurgitated over and over (Call of Duty), but if the storyline of a game doesn’t end how you think it should, that is cause for all hell to break loose. That’s not the only thing that drives gamers crazy. Lest we forget Dante’s makeover in the Devil May Cry reboot had gamers wetting themselves with anger. Really, guys? If we ever expect to be treated as more than an embarrassment to the larger Geek Community, we have to stop acting like seven year olds who hate that we got shafted out of a Rainbow Dark Dragon in our latest pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards.