Art & Critics

So, I began this with video games and I have been encouraged to continue to do so. By encouraged I mean heavily implied that's what I am going to do.

But, but, but!

My freedom of choice!

How can I be creative with the yoke of oppression on me?  

I am joking, mostly.  In video games this has become a serious issue. It’s one that has led to death threats, promises of violence, and terrible behavior on the part of gamers.

Mass Effect 3 had a wobbly ending.

There are those who will give you a wall of text on the ins and outs with precisely all the minuscule aspects of this ending.  More so, that they felt that it was a travesty, a crime against nature, and God. They bombarded BioWare with these messages.  More that, the company put out a "fix" to address many of the dominant issues gamers had.

I only had one problem with it.  How the hell did the ground team get on the ship after you saw them smacked around like ping pong balls?

The answer to this amazing feat, I felt they addressed admirably. I am a sucker for the happy ending and it was nice to get closure with all the NPC characters. Everything else folks wanted superfluous.  I have you know, I also didn't send death threats or walls of texts to BioWare.

I’ve just brought up a very serious topic and we as gamers need to talk about this.  How do threats and abuse effect one’s creativity? Who would want to make something or fix something for someone who called them names or threated their lives?

This is the sticky bits because this tends to get people flamed or even doxed. 

It's like cooking a giant multi course meal and having it thrown at you because you didn't give them the right dessert. Yet, BioWare didn't balk outwardly, they took in what was said and remade the ending for their fans. In no way are they obligated to do this no matter what rabid fans will say. In the end, they are a company and can do what they want, but they stepped up and provided another alternative.

The obligation to fans is to entertain them with a game, sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss. That isn't the point I am debating.  To redo the entire ending was a large complicated and costly uptake.  It was also one of unprecedented of it size.

So, would you, oh reader, as an artist do the same thing?

Man, I took the long way around to get here huh? Artists have critics, wanted and certainly unwanted. How do they affect your art and should they? Where is the line, or is there one? A simple question with layered answers.

I can be positively bubbly here and say you should let it inspire you (which you totally should.) For example, I made an amazing still life in school through a wall of anger because I didn't want to work on that at all. There will always be critics, hopefully constructive ones.  And, I just want to point out that death threats and the like aren’t criticism. 

How critics affect you is up to you. Sometimes they should be ignored, but sometimes they can share a perspective with you that's fresh and stimulating. I have never felt that others should dictate your art to you.  But, they can open your eyes to new possibilities and avenues you couldn't see previously.