How is space magic an issue? (no spoilers)

#1 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

Some people are having issues with Mass Effect 3 and it's allegations of space magic. Do I need to remind everyone that all Sci-fi is space magic on some level? So instead of questioning the plausibility of how the hell Mass Effect fields work and how even Faster than Light Drive is possible by reducing the weight of an object to zero, you guys are stuck up criticizing the game's scientific implausibility as a criticism to either the premise of the whole game or its ending

I'll give you one example, the quantum entanglement device used for communication in Mass Effect 2, 3, which is when one particle on one side affects another particle on the other (therefore being entangled) allows real time communication across the galaxy. I'm sorry to say, but that's not how Quantum entanglement works, it does not allow communication to be faster than light.

All Sci-fi is space magic, just because it's explained to you in a science way, doesn't mean it's actually plausible or that's how it works.

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6967 posts) -

But when it sounds like it could work to me, then it is no longer magic to me.

#3 Posted by RVonE (4633 posts) -

One or more of the members of Shep's final squad is magically teleported back onboard a Normandy that is already speeding away even before Shepard makes the 'final choice'. I think that falls even outside of ME's own pseudo scientific lore.

#4 Posted by Harkat (1101 posts) -

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

#5 Posted by Deathmachine117 (377 posts) -

Well when the games combat can consist on basically using the force to levitate enemies or slow them down. I dont think hating on space magic can be an issue.

#6 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

You evaluate that how? There are two pieces of technology, both are equally impossible relative to real life because they are impossible. There isn't a less impossible piece of technology. It's either possible or impossible. If the impossible is possible in Mass Effect 3, then all technology is valid because there is some unexplainable "magic" that causes the impossible to be possible.

#7 Posted by DillonWerner (1526 posts) -

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

Exactly this, there isn't and precedent for this magical stuff until the very end of the last game.

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

I've never heard someone say this. But that is fucking crazy if someone is upset about this. Especially now. Where was this with ME 1 and 2?

#9 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1726 posts) -
@insanejedi said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

You evaluate that how? There are two pieces of technology, both are equally impossible relative to real life because they are impossible. There isn't a less impossible piece of technology. It's either possible or impossible. If the impossible is possible in Mass Effect 3, then all technology is valid because there is some unexplainable "magic" that causes the impossible to be possible.

Not a good argument. If I introduced a flying transvestite octopus monster into the game as a way of solving the geth/quarian issue, that wouldn't be consistent with the Mass Effect universe, and it would be fucking stupid. Just as spirit children and magic beams of energy are not consistent with the universe, and fucking stupid. 
#10 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@DillonWerner said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

Exactly this, there isn't and precedent for this magical stuff until the very end of the last game.

Nearly every piece of technology in Mass Effect, and in any science fiction series is "magical" because it's impossible.

#11 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@insanejedi said:

Some people are having issues with Mass Effect 3 and it's allegations of space magic. Do I need to remind everyone that all Sci-fi is space magic on some level? So instead of questioning the plausibility of how the hell Mass Effect fields work and how even Faster than Light Drive is possible by reducing the weight of an object to zero, you guys are stuck up criticizing the game's scientific implausibility as a criticism to either the premise of the whole game or its ending

I'll give you one example, the quantum entanglement device used for communication in Mass Effect 2, 3, which is when one particle on one side affects another particle on the other (therefore being entangled) allows real time communication across the galaxy. I'm sorry to say, but that's not how Quantum entanglement works, it does not allow communication to be faster than light.

All Sci-fi is space magic, just because it's explained to you in a science way, doesn't mean it's actually plausible or that's how it works.

WUT.  That's exactly how theoretical communication using Quantum Entanglement works.  Various authors have referred to it as different things; fatbeam, tightbeam, ftl, stargates and what have you but they all are basically QE and once you allow a character or object to move across more space more quickly than light can travel, you are allowing them to move faster than light.  The whole point of QE being used in hard science fiction is promote the idea that we have escaped the limits proposed by Einstein's theory of relativity.  Greg Bear did exactly that with Anvil of the Stars and that's all they do with this fiction too.
 
Regardless, even IF the science was bunk and thus magic that wouldn't magically make their broken character arcs and numerous plot holes excusable. 
#12 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@insanejedi said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

You evaluate that how? There are two pieces of technology, both are equally impossible relative to real life because they are impossible. There isn't a less impossible piece of technology. It's either possible or impossible. If the impossible is possible in Mass Effect 3, then all technology is valid because there is some unexplainable "magic" that causes the impossible to be possible.

Not a good argument. If I introduced a flying transvestite octopus monster into the game as a way of solving the geth/quarian issue, that wouldn't be consistent with the Mass Effect universe, and it would be fucking stupid. Just as spirit children and magic beams of energy are not consistent with the universe, and fucking stupid.

You are off-topic. I am addressing the criticism that Mass Effect 3 uses "space magic." If you want to argue the merits of what constitutes good story telling, go ahead, this topic isn't about that. What I am addressing here is people's criticisms of the game's "pesudo-science" when there was "pesudo-science" all along the entire series. If you want to say ME3's ending sucks then go ahead, but if you are going to say ME3's ending is unrealistic compared to the series, or the use of space magic is invalid, you are flat-out dead wrong.

#13 Posted by Harkat (1101 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

You evaluate that how? There are two pieces of technology, both are equally impossible relative to real life because they are impossible. There isn't a less impossible piece of technology. It's either possible or impossible. If the impossible is possible in Mass Effect 3, then all technology is valid because there is some unexplainable "magic" that causes the impossible to be possible.

I get that Mass Relays are no more improbable than, say, Harry Potter-spells, but Mass Relays, Biotic powers, etc are in from the start. They are established as within the rules of the story. These rules are, admittedly, often unwritten and vague. We can often just tell a rule has been broken because it feels wrong. It's just a quirk of the brain I guess. We have to know off the bat what to accept and not, in order to immerse ourselves.

#14 Posted by Shun_Akiyama (490 posts) -

The fact that there is not enough of it.

#15 Posted by Matiaz_Tapia (261 posts) -

Yes, you are right. It's not real...We know that. The game has implausible elements to it as a work of fiction, but it has consistency within that is understood by the players.

Yes, anything can happen . You can be fighting a dragon in a medieval world when suddenly, at the very end, a giant robot comes crashing down earth and destroys everything with no reference to that being a possibility. It's fiction, anything can happen, but it doesn't mean we have to like everything that happens.

Fiction it's made in service of a story you want to tell. The author sets the rules and the reader/player learns this rules in order to make the tale consistent, sometimes it allows to explain real situations from a different angle. You can break the rules! sure, but if it means you tell a worse story because of it, it doesn't mean that it stops being a worse story because it's fiction. It's a worse story because of it.

By all means, no fiction actually "matters". So if you want to argue that nobody should care, you can go ahead and be somewhat correct. But here you are arguing about something you probably shouldn't care to begin with, so why care about those who do to begin with?

My guess, you just want to feel smart for noticing something obvious. I could be wrong...

#16 Posted by Shun_Akiyama (490 posts) -
@DillonWerner said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

Exactly this, there isn't and precedent for this magical stuff until the very end of the last game.

Well you do know that planet joker crashes onto in the end is the dragon age planet, right.
#17 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@insanejedi said:

Some people are having issues with Mass Effect 3 and it's allegations of space magic. Do I need to remind everyone that all Sci-fi is space magic on some level? So instead of questioning the plausibility of how the hell Mass Effect fields work and how even Faster than Light Drive is possible by reducing the weight of an object to zero, you guys are stuck up criticizing the game's scientific implausibility as a criticism to either the premise of the whole game or its ending

I'll give you one example, the quantum entanglement device used for communication in Mass Effect 2, 3, which is when one particle on one side affects another particle on the other (therefore being entangled) allows real time communication across the galaxy. I'm sorry to say, but that's not how Quantum entanglement works, it does not allow communication to be faster than light.

All Sci-fi is space magic, just because it's explained to you in a science way, doesn't mean it's actually plausible or that's how it works.

WUT. That's exactly how theoretical communication using Quantum Entanglement works. Various authors have referred to it as different things; fatbeam, tightbeam, ftl, stargates and what have you but they all are basically QE and once you allow a character or object to move across more space more quickly than light can travel, you are allowing them to move faster than light. The whole point of QE being used in hard science fiction is promote the idea that we have escaped the limits proposed by Einstein's theory of relativity. Greg Bear did exactly that with Anvil of the Stars and that's all they do with this fiction too.

Regardless, even IF the science was bunk and thus magic that wouldn't magically make their broken character arcs and numerous plot holes excusable.

My brother has a degree in physics, and the professor he posed this question to has a PHD in one. And many other professors will tell you, you cannot use entanglement to transfer information FTL.

True fact: entangled photons generally do not interfere in a double slit apparatus (therefore FTL communication is impossible)

And if we have escaped the limits of Einstein's theory of relativity without explanation (because with explanation it would mean whatever is being described is possible) than any technology is just as realistic in that universe as any other technology.

#18 Posted by TheHT (11142 posts) -

@RVonE said:

One or more of the members of Shep's final squad is magically teleported back onboard a Normandy that is already speeding away even before Shepard makes the 'final choice'. I think that falls even outside of ME's own pseudo scientific lore.

That's not the case. Have you played the ending? That walk animation is slow as fuck. Gives plenty of time for the Normandy to pick up said squad. :P

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

If you're referring to the Catalyst and the Crucible's abilities, it absolutely fits with giant space insect living robots that shoots laser beams and are also whole nations of life and are ships you can ride in that live in dark space and wait for approximately 50,000 years before returning to kill all intelligent organic lifeforms.

Online
#19 Posted by DillonWerner (1526 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

@DillonWerner said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

Exactly this, there isn't and precedent for this magical stuff until the very end of the last game.

Nearly every piece of technology in Mass Effect, and in any science fiction series is "magical" because it's impossible.

Yeah but that fits in with the fiction that they created so in their universe it isn't considered magical, but having a squad mate that was with you not 15 minutes ago appear on the Normandy and be flying away from the explosion does not fit in with the fiction they created which is why it is magical.

#20 Posted by Doctorchimp (4074 posts) -

@insanejedi: The reason why everyone loves sci-fi is because it creates its own rules in the beginning and keeps itself within its own confines to promote drama and tension.

When you start tossing shit out left and right, what's the point?

#21 Edited by believer258 (11795 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

Regardless, even IF the science was bunk and thus magic that wouldn't magically make their broken character arcs and numerous plot holes excusable.

That.

Meanwhile, I don't have an issue with space magic. I have a problem Space Casper coming out of the motherfucking left field. Also, there's a trope you should read.

#22 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@Matiaz_Tapia said:

Yes, you are right. It's not real...We know that. The game has implausible elements to it as a work of fiction, but it has consistency within that is understood by the players.

Yes, anything can happen . You can be fighting a dragon in a medieval world when suddenly, at the very end, a giant robot comes crashing down earth and destroys everything with no reference to that being a possibility. It's fiction, anything can happen, but it doesn't mean we have to like everything that happens.

Fiction it's made in service of a story you want to tell. The author sets the rules and the reader/player learns this rules in order to make the tale consistent, sometimes it allows to explain real situations from a different angle. You can break the rules! sure, but if it means you tell a worse story because of it, it doesn't mean that it stops being a worse story because it's fiction. It's a worse story because of it.

By all means, no fiction actually "matters". So if you want to argue that nobody should care, you can go ahead and be somewhat correct. But here you are arguing about something you probably shouldn't care to begin with, so why care about those who do to begin with?

My guess, you just want to feel smart for noticing something obvious. I could be wrong...

I'm simply personally annoyed with people who believe that the use of "space magic" and the implausibility of the ending to be a valid, quantifiable, and objective criticism of ME3. Saying things like "They threw science out the window," when they already done so by the first game. All Sci-fi and fantasy has no rules, and no boarders as to what constitutes as "realistic" or valid, that's why they can present these concepts like FTL, and Artificial intelligence. Nothing is consistent, because if it all was, it either would be possible, or possible in another universe with different maths and laws of physics which they never established. You can argue that ME3 is a bad ending, but being unrealistic and using "magic" is not one of them.

#23 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

@insanejedi: The reason why everyone loves sci-fi is because it creates its own rules in the beginning and keeps itself within its own confines to promote drama and tension.

When you start tossing shit out left and right, what's the point?

What rules in ME3 states whatever the ending did was impossible in it's universe. And I mean specifically, that whatever your argument is, cannot be also explained by this invisible force that makes everything in the Mass Effect series possible.

#24 Edited by believer258 (11795 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

Nothing is consistent, because if it all was, it either would be possible, or possible in another universe with different maths and laws of physics which they never established.

At this point you've betrayed a complete misunderstanding of how fantasy and science fiction storytelling works. Remember that Magic A is Magic A, meaning that things must remain consistent to a reasonable point in order for willing suspension of disbelief to work.

#25 Edited by Doctorchimp (4074 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@insanejedi: The reason why everyone loves sci-fi is because it creates its own rules in the beginning and keeps itself within its own confines to promote drama and tension.

When you start tossing shit out left and right, what's the point?

What rules in ME3 states whatever the ending did was impossible in it's universe. And I mean specifically, that whatever your argument is, cannot be also explained by this invisible force that makes everything in the Mass Effect series possible.

Because it feels like they threw out their own logic out the window?

How much of an inane existence do you live where you don't believe that Mass Effect 3's ending seemed a little weak to people?

#26 Edited by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1726 posts) -
@insanejedi said:

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@insanejedi said:

@Harkat said:

The problem isn't that it doesn't fit with real life, the problem is that it doesn't fit with the rest of the game.

You evaluate that how? There are two pieces of technology, both are equally impossible relative to real life because they are impossible. There isn't a less impossible piece of technology. It's either possible or impossible. If the impossible is possible in Mass Effect 3, then all technology is valid because there is some unexplainable "magic" that causes the impossible to be possible.

Not a good argument. If I introduced a flying transvestite octopus monster into the game as a way of solving the geth/quarian issue, that wouldn't be consistent with the Mass Effect universe, and it would be fucking stupid. Just as spirit children and magic beams of energy are not consistent with the universe, and fucking stupid.

You are off-topic. I am addressing the criticism that Mass Effect 3 uses "space magic." If you want to argue the merits of what constitutes good story telling, go ahead, this topic isn't about that. What I am addressing here is people's criticisms of the game's "pesudo-science" when there was "pesudo-science" all along the entire series. If you want to say ME3's ending sucks then go ahead, but if you are going to say ME3's ending is unrealistic compared to the series, or the use of space magic is invalid, you are flat-out dead wrong.

Nooo, I'm saying that when a universe has established technology and lore over 2 main entries in the series as well as whatever novels, cartoons and ios games etc etc they released, that particular brand of 'implausible science' becomes accepted as the state of that universe - it is plausible.  That means that when something like a flying transvestite octopus monster is introduced, which is inconsistent with the established lore, it is seen as implausible.   
 
Mass relays and FTL travel etc do not seem implausible in the Mass Effect universe, because they have already been established as 'canon', they serve a story purpose outside of a deus ex machina, they are part of the speculative reality of that world, hence Bioware going to some lengths to at least partially address these established technologies in a codex. 
 
If you are judging the scientific content of a SCIENCE FICTION game relative to modern day technologies, rather than relative to that FICTION's established reality, you have nullified the entire point of the genre. This is not difficult to see. Or, alternatively, you have an issue with every sci-fi story with speculative technology ever conceived. 
#27 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

The phrase people are looking for is "internal consistency."

#28 Posted by DirtyEagles (274 posts) -
#29 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

@insanejedi said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@insanejedi: The reason why everyone loves sci-fi is because it creates its own rules in the beginning and keeps itself within its own confines to promote drama and tension.

When you start tossing shit out left and right, what's the point?

What rules in ME3 states whatever the ending did was impossible in it's universe. And I mean specifically, that whatever your argument is, cannot be also explained by this invisible force that makes everything in the Mass Effect series possible.

Because it feels like they threw out their own logic out the window?

How much of an inane existence do you live where you don't believe that Mass Effect 3's ending seemed a little weak to people?

What Logic? What mathematical formula(s) dictates that FTL drive and Quantum entanglement real time communication across the galaxy is possible, but the event in the end isn't. There is no reason why the technology used in the end is illogical, that cannot be also applied to nearly everything else in that universe.

I'm not arguing that the ending wasn't weak, I'm not arguing the ending was good. All I'm critiquing is this criticism that the ending isn't realistic or doesn't somehow fall into the scientific logic that the Mass Effect series has established.

Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

Nooo, I'm saying that when a universe has established technology and lore over 2 main entries in the series as well as whatever novels, cartoons and ios games etc etc they released, that particular brand of 'implausible science' becomes accepted as the state of that universe - it is plausible. That means that when something like a flying transvestite octopus monster is introduced, which is inconsistent with the established lore, it is seen as implausible.

Mass relays and FTL travel etc do not seem implausible in the Mass Effect universe, because they have already been established as 'canon', they serve a story purpose outside of a deus ex machina, they are part of the speculative reality of that world, hence Bioware going to some lengths to at least partially address these established technologies in a codex.

If you are judging the scientific content of a SCIENCE FICTION game relative to modern day technologies, rather than relative to that FICTION's established reality, you have nullified the entire point of the genre. This is not difficult to see. Or, alternatively, you have an issue with every sci-fi story with speculative technology ever conceived.

There is no reason why the technology used in the end is illogical, that cannot be also applied to nearly everything else in that universe.

Just because you used it for 90 hours, and the history of the game dictates it's been used for years, doesn't make it any more possible than the technology you use once at the end.

#30 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

This thread is awful and OP doesn't understand how writing works.  OP's brother is also probably a used car salesman.

#31 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -
#32 Posted by TobbRobb (4601 posts) -

I get a headache reading this. OP won't see the point the rest of you are trying to make, so just leave him in his bubble and be on your way. Someone who obviously refuses to accept any opinion other than his own is a motherfucking waste of time.

#33 Posted by pyrodactyl (1975 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

@DirtyEagles said:

@insanejedi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdzDS25c1nc

at 32:48 they explain how its possible

Well unfortunately the laws of physics takes over and it doesn't work. Reference

The OP is right, check wikipedia

@insanejedi said:

I'm simply personally annoyed with people who believe that the use of "space magic" and the implausibility of the ending to be a valid, quantifiable, and objective criticism of ME3. Saying things like "They threw science out the window," when they already done so by the first game. All Sci-fi and fantasy has no rules, and no boarders as to what constitutes as "realistic" or valid, that's why they can present these concepts like FTL, and Artificial intelligence. Nothing is consistent, because if it all was, it either would be possible, or possible in another universe with different maths and laws of physics which they never established. You can argue that ME3 is a bad ending, but being unrealistic and using "magic" is not one of them.

No one is using arguments like "They threw science out the window" and ''the ending isn't realistic''.

We just complain about the fact that the ending doesn't fit the ME fiction at all

#34 Posted by Jimbo (9800 posts) -

Because it's not established early enough in the fiction for the reader (viewer, player, whatever) to accept it as part of the universe.  It's not a case of being scientifically right or wrong, it's just plain bad writing.  If you want to introduce the reader to an important concept they won't be familiar with from IRL then you need to do it early, not two minutes from the end.  That's just going to make the reader feel cheated.
 

#35 Posted by AlisterCat (5532 posts) -

The game goes out of its way to explain everything, even its own space magic. Issues with the ending in terms of teleporting of your squad mates is not explained at all, and therefore not in line with the rest of the game.

#36 Posted by HellBrendy (994 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

Some people are having issues with Mass Effect 3 and it's allegations of space magic. Do I need to remind everyone that all Sci-fi is space magic on some level? So instead of questioning the plausibility of how the hell Mass Effect fields work and how even Faster than Light Drive is possible by reducing the weight of an object to zero, you guys are stuck up criticizing the game's scientific implausibility as a criticism to either the premise of the whole game or its ending

I'll give you one example, the quantum entanglement device used for communication in Mass Effect 2, 3, which is when one particle on one side affects another particle on the other (therefore being entangled) allows real time communication across the galaxy. I'm sorry to say, but that's not how Quantum entanglement works, it does not allow communication to be faster than light.

All Sci-fi is space magic, just because it's explained to you in a science way, doesn't mean it's actually plausible or that's how it works.

Yeah, but when you go ahead and explain me how stuff works I donæt care what bioWare tells me, but I care if they stick to their story. And in ME 3, they don't. Wich is why the ending sucks.

#37 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Because everything previously made sense within the context of the mass effect universe. At the end, you're teleported into a land of wackyness.

#38 Posted by SonicBoyster (350 posts) -

If your argument is that you can't personally distinguish between fantasy and science fiction settings, understand that the vast majority of people do actually make distinctions between the genres, and your argument is primarily an internal disconnect between styles of writing and presentation. In either genre you have to establish some basic understanding of the 'laws' and 'logic' of the setting you are providing. Approximately how far along is the technology we have? How safe is it? Does this magic come from within us or from nature? You establish the rules, either at the start of a story or along the first 'installment,' and then you follow those rules for the remainder of the story. If you want to perform a 'miracle' at the end of your story without it turning into a giant Deus Ex Machina you've got to plant information along the way that makes it feel plausible to us by the time we reach it. I'd argue they didn't do that. I think the reason people are calling it 'space magic' isn't so much in reference to it being actual 'magic' as that it feels out of place in the genre, and it is because it wasn't justified ahead of time.

We only learn about the crucible at the start of ME3, we learn nothing about who created it, we just get to pick which ridiculous thing it does at the end. The things it does are unlike anything else that has ever occurred in that story's universe, presumably never to happen again, and without any explanation, even in techno-babble, about how it would actually accomplish the things it does. The ending also makes some weird implications about transference of consciousness with one of the choices that comes across as being spiritual rather than intellectual, which also makes it feel off.

TL;DR -> If you end a game with a massive Deus Ex Machina and make no effort to rationalize it, it doesn't feel like it fits the setting, and people will call it "magic" because magic is an example of another property that wouldn't fit into the universe.

#39 Posted by Marz (5648 posts) -

think the reason why people are upset of the space magic is that it's unexplained... everything else in the Mass Effect universe is explained in detail in it's own fake science, indoctrination is even explained thoroughly.  Stuff that happened at the end of the game, just happened, with no fake explanation of why or how it was happening.

#40 Edited by pyrodactyl (1975 posts) -

guys... I think he/she got it

there's 30 posts basically saying the same thing

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