Asked by Anonymous
No, but it is as much a responsibility and intentionally crafted decision as the author filling in those details.
Because you know you can only fill in so much as a creator, what do you decide should be left out? It’s a decision to leave something out. Or ignorance or carelessness.
In Demon’s Souls, the game asks the player to make connections and interpret based on evidence scattered around a world. The game expects you to do work if you want to understand it, but you don’t have to, and it gives you everything you need.
Someone isn’t necessarily going to imagine anything close to what you expect them to imagine, unless you set up context and expectations to guide that unknown part of the setting. That, I think, is the most responsible move.
Because why should I imagine anything? Is the narrative or setting interesting or suggestive enough that I would want to spend any time or energy at all thinking about it? The worst thing you can do, maybe, is assume the player will want to fill in the narrative themself. So ‘expecting’ the player to fill it in only okay if the world has been set up so that the expectation is reasonable.
I see this expectation sometime accompanied with a certain snideness to the audience, like “you’re not worthy of my art unless you’re smart enough to do the work yourself.” But why should they care in the first place. Good art can be difficult and demanding or even antagonistic but it can never be presumptuous or entitled. It’s never so special I can’t find something just as worthwhile that respects me, you know?