Links roundup for 2 April 2012

Here's a roundup of stories on what fans want that might be of interest to fans:

  • The Anime News Network recently posted a multi-part series looking at the anime economy. "Anime has always appealed to the nerdy, the intellectually curious, and the technically savvy, and from the earliest days of American anime fandom we've used the internet to congregate, to exchange information, and as soon as the technology allowed, trade anime. It's only in the last few years that the industry has caught up, competing with fansubs and largely meeting the fans where they're at, and going to quite some expense to do so." Focusing on the changing delivery and monetization system for anime, the article concludes that "if the internet and the impact of piracy has taught us anything over the last few years, it's that consumers have choices, and don't need DVDs or legal websites to watch the shows they want. Not everyone will want to contribute to the shows they love, but many people have that sense of goodwill. . . The future of the anime market, and the entertainment market in general, is in building a relationship with fans, an emotional connection that they get something out of."
  • While it's common to find fans upset about the ending to storylines in their fandoms, "an unsatisfying ending to Mass Effect 3" has caused a particularly notable reaction, in which ME3 fans are "going a step further, actively demanding that BioWare change the ending as it's currently constructed." The post at Ars Technica cites a campaign for change on Facebook and Twitter and a plan to protest at a upcoming con game panel. "For many, the lack of direct player control over some rather massive story threads seems to be the main sticking point. After investing dozens of hours into a story where every decision seems to matter, Mass Effect 3 players 'reach the ending of ME3 and realize that everything you have done means nothing,' as the Facebook protest group puts it." The poster has some sympathy for the complaint, noting that "it's as if the creators at Bioware have let players build an elaborate, twisting ant colony over a span of years, then came along and blasted that colony away with a leaf blower at the last second just to prove that they could (and to make a point about how the universe works)." The fan reaction prompted Bioware co-founder Ray Muzyka to release a statement on the matter, which said "that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds, and who have the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism" and that the team was reviewing feedback from numerous online sites to see how they could address player concerns.
  • The Christian Science Monitor also wonders, "Is TV Paying Too Much Attention to Fans?" but decides that a viewer's role is ultimately limited. As "Chuck" writer/producer Phil Klemmer explains, "'I don't think there's room for fans' voices in a writers' room. There [are] already so many voices trying to reach a consensus, inviting the whole world into a writers' room is more chaos than it can bear.' Klemmer also points out a more pragmatic reason that fans can't influence plot and character to any great extent – the lag between when a show is written and when it airs." However, as the article's author concludes, "In the future, the line between commercial production and fan-created content may blur, especially for a show like 'My Little Pony,' where the production tools, such as Adobe Flash, are readily available. ['My Little Pony' supervising director Jayson] Thiessen says that he has seen fan-created content that approaches the level of quality seen in the show, and is intrigued by the idea of shows crowdsourcing part of their production. 'It's so new that it's kind of unprecedented. So who knows?'"

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