The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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dsheinem
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Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by dsheinem Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:47 am

This morning I read about Obsidian changing a small part of Pillars of Eternity because of some online backlash about what was understood to be a derogatory "joke" about a sexual an encounter with a transgendered woman:

http://kotaku.com/pillars-of-eternity-f ... 1695608446

Probably the best know example of a developer creating or changing content to respond to player outrage is Bioware's addition to the Mass Effect 3 ending:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/26/mass ... t-out-now/

Obviously these two examples are very different, but what they have in common is that the changes were A) about a part of the story of the game [as opposed to mechanics or bugs, etc.] and B) in direct response to negative player feedback.

So, the question I have for folks is: Do you think this kind of thing is ever a good idea? Is it reasonable/acceptable in certain circumstances but not in others? Are there other examples can you throw into the mix that provide some further complications for us to consider? What are your thoughts?
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Ack
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by Ack Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:17 am

Hotline Miami 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 both come to mind, as they were both criticized for plot elements that they then made into optional content.
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dsheinem
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by dsheinem Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:21 am

Ack wrote:Hotline Miami 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 both come to mind, as they were both criticized for plot elements that they then made into optional content.


in both cases that was before release, right?
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Ack
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by Ack Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:38 am

Yes, I believe so. This isn't like Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas, where the material was hidden on the disc but found with a cheat device and was later removed.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by samsonlonghair Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:08 am

I am deeply offended by the content of this game. I publicly demand that the creators of the game change its content for everyone because I personally take offense.
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There. That ought to fix things.
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by flojocabron Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:09 am

I do believe grand theft auto has a history of offending someone.

Vice city offended the Haitian community.

They were depicted as violent gangster types. And it didn't help that in the game you were supposed to "kill all the Haitians"

I do believe that Rockstar changed the content of that mission on future releases.
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noiseredux
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by noiseredux Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:10 am

dsheinem wrote:Changing plot content of games based on player outrage... What are your thoughts?


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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by AppleQueso Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:22 am

It isn't "my fee fees are hurt" it's about how shit like this adds more to cultural baggage of cissexism in society. It's basically a 'deceptive transsexual' trope, which reinforces the notion that by living and asserting our identities, we're deceitful liars.

Apparently 'accidentally' sleeping with us is worth killing yourself over, and apparently this happening is hilarious. Har har such a funny joke, he accidentally slept with someone like me.

I mean it's not like trans women themselves aren't frequently murdered over exactly this sort of 'hilarious' scenario, right?

The response from the community to the trans woman who brought this shit up in the first place is pretty telling too. Intentional deadnaming and misgendering out the wazoo. Totally no transphobia here.

Then naturally they replace the joke with one that mocks the people who were bothered by it. Classy.
Last edited by AppleQueso on Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MrPopo
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by MrPopo Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:33 am

One thing that separates this from every other example you might bring up is this piece of content was a backer submitted message to be put on an in-game tombstone that collects a bunch of backer messages. The stuff there isn't actually integrated into the game story in any way, and in fact I recall seeing a loading screen tip that tombstone messages might break the fourth wall.
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Re: Changing plot content of games based on player outrage

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:13 am

This type of thing is a non-issue, honestly.

It's smart for developers to listen to their fans. Just like certain bugs and glitches are ironed out due to fan feedback, so to can plot elements.

And to be frank, the vast majority of video game stories/dialogue aren't particularly compelling, so I don't see alterations as any sort of compromise of artistic integrity.
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