and why us fans are so hurt
I'll start this blog off with a science lesson about the human brain and I'll make this as simple as I can so bear with me.. The human brain is made up of three distinct layers, but we're only going to talk about the very first layer. The first layer is the deepest layer of the brain. It encompasses our brains library of experiences. We all have a little librarian and this little librarian keeps track of all our positive and negative experiences we ever had. I'll use an example to hopefully make this clearer. When you we're a kid you touched a hot stove and you got burned your little librarian wrote down a little note about how hot stoves burn you so you shouldn't touch it.
The next time you came around to that same hot stove your librarian raced to that note that it wrote however long ago and it said, "Don't touch that stove! It will hurt you!" Hopefully you listened to your brains librarian. If you didn't listen, well I'm not gonna even gonna go there. How does this tie into Mass Effect? I'll tell you.
When we engage in an activity that we deem as entertaining or pleasurable our little librarian puts a happy sticker on that little note and the longer we engage in that specific activity the bigger the happy sticker. Now lets attach this whole thing to Mass Effect. We spent hundreds of hours playing Mass Effect our little librarian put lots and lots of happy stickers on our Mass Effect note. Our librarian put so many stickers on our Mass Effect note that it was completely covered. I can only think of a couple sad stickers on mine and that's if I'm really picky (I'm leaving out the ending to ME3 of course).
So along came ME3's ending. Our librarian saw Mass Effect and it said, "This is a great thing. I mean this is spectacular. You can't go wrong." This triggered us to completely lower any mental defenses because we've never had a huge negative experience that made our little librarian say, "Be careful. This could go sour." Then as the ending occurred our librarian frantically looked through all our Mass Effect memories to find ANYTHING that could make sense. Finally our librarian just gave up because there was nothing on what was happening. Through our whole life, our entire Mass Effect experience we have never experienced the level of confusion that was happening now. Then the knock out punch came when you got the 'breath' scene. This completely knocked out your little librarian and sent your brain into a tail spin downwards. Memories flew everywhere as we struggled to connect anything that ever happened in our LIVES to this and when we failed we we're deeply deeply hurt. Some of us still can't comprehend how something so positive could turn around and kick you right in the groin so hard it makes you see stars.
That's the scientific approach of why we're hurt. The real, human reason we are so hurt is because when Bioware introduced us to the Mass Effect universe, we got to craft Shepard in our own image and in that process Shepard became a part of us. When we watched Shepard get blown up, jump off the diving board of doom, or just get turned into dust a part of us died. My theory is quite simple actually. I don't think us fans are mad. We're shocked, we feel betrayed, and we're deeply hurt. We still love Bioware but it's gonna take a big band-aid to stop the bleeding from their loving fans.
Lets hope Bioware understands this and delivers on their extended cut DLC.
What made Mass Effect so special
Blog entry posted by Thunderbuck, Jun 8, 2012.