Now on to some of the good talk in the thread itself. Bolding the part I'm dealing with of your post Kat, but not cutting as this was a bit upthread and I want to leave full context.
@Matt: I have seen all the endings and videos pertaining to the outrage against the ending. At this point, I believe we have reached an impasse. I respectfully and completely disagree with what you're saying. In my past posts I've explained how this ending, abstract as it may be, still is as satisfying an ending for the trilogy as I could have hoped for, to a certain extent. It ends Shepard's story in a few different, interesting ways and it allowed me to say goodbye to all the characters I had come to care deeply about. For me, it respects the idea of The Reapers enough not to just piss away the mystery of what has been set up. If The Reapers were killed or controlled or not killed at all, all these particular avenues still allowed for a satisfying, moving and thought provoking ending. Yes, the series has been about choices but it has also been an amazing, arguably one of the best science-fiction narratives in a while and I'm happy to have made my own choices in this story but in the end it is still a story being told by someone else and I can respect that... and I have even come to agree with that. Art is not about the receiver, ultimately it is ALWAYS about the creator. There will always be a massive disconnect between the author and the reader, thats just the way subjective reality is constructed. You may have issues with that but that is ART and you may have legitimate issues by saying then art is hugely flawed and I would agree with that but it is still ART. Art is about the transmission of one's inner most essence to another. When you start caring about who is receiving it, it becomes a business... which isn't a bad thing... its just not as pure an art as it should be then. its still art, just not very good and rather spineless.
If any part of the ending disappointed me its that it wasn't weird enough. And, the fact that people are now using the whole "take the ending at face value" argument with the hopes of disproving the indoctrination theory is just silly. THAT'S exactly what people are doing with the indoctrination ending... we're taking the images that have been presented to us, the context and background at face value and the indoctrination theory is as simple and logical a conclusion that we can come up with. This isn't like seeing Jesus in a pile of hay. This is about certain things that are presented to us that logically lead to something resembling an indoctrination. Again, I am open to being proved wrong but what I analyze from the images and sounds that are presented to me "at face value" logically leads me to an indoctrination theory. I don't understand the weird outrage against this theory. The podcast got heated in a manner like as if Ron had just admitted to being a racist homophobe who kicks puppies in his spare time. Comparing it to the arguments of a "born again Christian" or whatever was said in the podcast is just ridiculous.
I take a huge amount of issue with this statement, I feel it misses a great deal of any message to just focus on the transmitter and also to make any absolute statement, especially when it comes to a topic like art, seems very narrow. Art is the creator trying to express a message, to share something with the receiver. Artist intent is very important with art, but one cannot totally ignore viewer interpretation. To only focus on the sender's intent and ignore the message and the receiver's translation of the message is to look at a only a slice. Once you have put art out there, once it is no longer inside your head but actually out there people will view it and they will come to it from their own personal place in the world. Where they are in their beliefs, and their past experiences, all the things that makes them them and different from the artist can come into play when they are interacting with the art. They can pull something the artist did not intend out of the art, but that is totally supported by the text. And this is a totally valid thing. The artist's voice is important, but it does not exist in a void.
And with interactive art, with anything that blurs the line between creator and passive receiver, I would say the viewer becomes more important. Because you are not a passive viewer at that point, you become an active participant even if it's in a limited function. This is no longer a movie you are watching, a picture you are viewing. Bioware is engaging you throughout the Mass Effect series to help it create how the fiction goes. My tale of the Shepard is not yours, nor should it be as this interaction is part of the heart of what makes video games different from other mediums. So for Bioware the storyteller to demote the player to a more passive audience position in those final moments, to either have Shepard act in a manner that is out of character in how passive Shepard is with accepting what the Star Child says, or to leave us with a unfinished ending with the Indoctrination theory where I feel I was still not given the end of Shepard's story. Even if Shepard is not directly involved in that killing blow of defeating the Reapers, to have the story go nowhere but Shepard taking a single breath after being indoctrination if the Indoctrination theory is true is for Bioware to leave off reading the final pages of Shepard's final chapter. They are cutting off not just before the epilogue, but in the middle of the falling action.