Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Very Late to the Party

Over the weekend a friend inquired what I thought about the highly publicized comments that Roger Ebert had in regards to video games not being art. I never read his actual comments and didn't really entertain a thought that they were relevant because:
  1. Ebert strikes me as the kind of guy who has either never played a video game, or has only ever played Solitare/Tetris (no Minesweeper though, too much pressure!), and...
  2. I figured Ebert's opinions on video games weren't going to be any better than his comments on movies. We're talking about a guy whose idea of good cinema begins and ends with something being subtitled and filmed with black and white film stock.

In (very mild) fairness to Ebert, 'video games as art' adherents usually trot out the same two or three titles to defend their point of view (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, which were both made by the same team, and occasionally Flower is cited as well, though there's some debate if Flower is an actual game). There are other examples to be sure (including video games in general in my opinion), but I guess it's easiest to point out the flaws in Ebert's argument by pointing out the most obvious examples of where it fails.

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