Should we be fixing art? What Stranger Things teaches us about editing flaws in works

Flaws are what makes art worthwhile.

1 min read
Stranger Things Art Video

Something that’s been going on with Stranger Things in the past week has a deep relevance to video games. The creators of that series has been going back to old episodes to “fix” plot holes.

But should they be doing that? And – and this is the link to games – should we be patching flaws in the game’s artistry (as opposed to technical flaws)?

In this video, I would argue not. Let me know your own thoughts!


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Matt S. is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of DDNet. He's been writing about games for over 20 years, including a book, but is perhaps best-known for being the high priest of the Church of Hatsune Miku.

  • Interesting topic. Granted, there are George Lucas’ mutilations of the Star Wars movies, so I do understand the con view. Ultimately, I think it’s difficult to issue a one-and-done rule; I do think there are times when fixing flaws beyond technical problems is a good thing. Blade Runner and Brazil were both heavily edited by their movie studios, with happy endings tacked on. Blade Runner fans had to wait 10 years to see Ridley Scott’s director’s cut, which was when the movie started to gain wide recognition as something truly remarkable. Universal was publicly shamed into releasing something close to what Terry Gilliam wanted after his cut of Brazil was awarded best picture, screenplay, and director by the L.A. Film Critics Association over Universal’s intended award contender Out of Africa. (The studio later got its petty revenge by releasing its cut on TV.)

    • Yes, there are times where studio control gets in the way of an art work, and we should be glad when the director is finally able to deliver on their vision. Even then though I would prefer that the best answer be to have the two versions exist in accessible parallel. Firstly, so we can compare, and secondly, so that nothing about art is lost. Even the misfires and things that rightfully drew criticism.

  • Completely agree. The social justice warrier danger is too real to ignore. Make new art based on the old one if you want, but don’t change the original. Otherwise we will lose part of our culture as if it never existed.

    I would however argue that this is exactly what happened with No Man’s Sky. The original game is still for sale on PS4 blue-ray, next to the new version, preserved for future generations.

    • I don’t think you can play the original No Man’s Sky? Didn’t that game require an online connection, and therefore you needed to play the most recent patched version, which means that original game, is no longer accessible?

      • On a PS4 you can play No Man’s Sky offline just fine, in fact many people do, but only if you buy it on blue-ray because the DRM is on the disc.

  • Hey, Matt, Did you catch this weekend’s Asobu Indie Showcase? If not, check out Usag Shima – the minute I saw it, I thought of you! Enjoy!! 😸 🐇

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