The Mirrorball Man wrote:
Actually, the Earth of Mass Effect IS a fictional place and it is not the home of everyone we know.
That's a fallacy. Of course every place in every piece of fiction is by definition fictional. Of course even real people become fictional when they're used as characters in a novel or a movie. In a way, the Earth of Mass Effect
is not anymore "the real Earth" than the Earth of Sense and Sensibility
is. But the attachment, the feelings of compassion, those that make it possible to feel any connection to fictional characters, are real. The Earth of Mass Effect is
a fictional place, that's true, but it is also
Earth, and we feel a connection to it - except our psychopathic friends - because Earth is everything we know.
No, it's one or the other. I don't know anyone on Mass Effect's Earth. Maria Shepard may not have even VISITED Earth before the tribunal. It's stupid to expect people to care about Earth because "I LIV THER FOR REEL!!!!!!!"
It's a cheap cop-out used by hack writers. Obviously I know that I live here and all my family and friends do, but I'm no more a psychopath for not connecting to a fictional version with none of those people in it and absolutely no context to make me connect to anyone or anything else.
The fiction provides me no reason to care. That's the heart of the matter. Expecting me to because of outside influence, no matter how basic, only betrays a weakness in the work itself. Star:Trek First Contact? That made me care. Lilly and Zefram were a real, tangible connection. Obviously you *appreciate* the Borg threat, but they give you a very real, personal context. That's an example of that scenario done well. Not that that approach would've necessarily worked well here, but that's not the point.
If a work of fiction cannot stand up on its own merits and expects you to care about its locations and people without providing any reason or context, then that's a bad work of fiction.