While I understand it's the lot of the video game critic to think about the medium more deeply than the average consumer, I can't imagine what it must be like to wring my hands over quandaries this trivial.
It's often very useful to understand the "artistic intent" behind certain decisions, but you as a player are under no obligation to experience a game the way its creators feel you should. If you might enjoy The Evil Within more without those black bars, get 'em the hell outta there! And if you want to console command yourself into invulnerability, you can do that too!
I was about to jump in here and say I disagreed with you, but now I'm not too sure. I will say that I don't think it's a trivial thing though. It seems like there are more and more games which seem to be aiming to get across an artistic vision so I think we need to have this sort of conversation. Maybe the questions need to be about what can and can't be used for artistic intent in games? If the player controls it, such as the camera, can the artist use it to say something? Should their vision be limited to the story?
Personally, I feel like artistic intent should be respected, but I don't know if that means players shouldn't have the option? I keep wanting to compare it to film but it's really not the same thing. Games are all about interactivity and player choice, I suppose the question is 'Does player choice only apply within the game world?' I watched a horror film tonight. I didn't watch it in the dark alone, I watched it with friends, joking around the whole way though. Was that the scenario the filmmakers had in mind when they made the film? Probably not. Is that the same as changing the aspect ratio of a game? I've no idea. I know I wouldn't expect anyone to watch 'The grand budapest hotel' and think 'I don't like that this is in 4:3, I'm gonna change that'. I know that modding etc. has always been a big part of gaming, so I'm sure that'll need to be taken into account.