Videogames As Art - The Battle Continues
While it doubtlessly remains an integral fragment of my life, at times I
derive it increasingly difficult to defend the gaming community. Let me
A while ago, film critic Roger Ebert stated that video games could never
be art, and typically a sea of mad gamers swelled up, giant and menacing,
to demonstrate him the error of his ways.
Recently, Ebert reiterated his point, noteworthy to the horror of the
countless individuals who partook in the assault against him the first
time around; and in his latest blog, he reverts serve (albeit briefly)
to the very same matter.
This brings me to my exclaim, and I'm directing this towards a very
specific demographic; namely, those who opposed Ebert's argument and took
a rather vocal, insulting and/or patronising advance to telling him so.
The thunder I squawk of, for want of a better word, is simply ignorance.
There is a measurable dissimilarity between disagreeing with someone and
trying to discredit their plan based on your fill. Opinions are
inherently subjective -- inevitably, one's standpoint on any topic will
dissimilarity with another's; this is the nature of free-thinking.
Presenting arguments for and against a particular viewpoint is the
natural design of going about these things. Conversely, telling a person
they are tainted, without any apt backing, is ignorance.
Unfortunately, a sizeable fragment of those who disagreed with Ebert's
statement took the ignorant near to letting him know, most trying to
either undermine his credibility or personally insult him, alongside a
selection of the more arrogant individuals who took to offering
patronizing affectations along the lines of "he fair doesn't understand".
Personally, I don't agree with his status, but I respect it and wouldn't
dream of telling him he was putrid. There are others who section my
understanding and similarly my map of expressing it; I witness these
people offering up thoughtful arguments, provoking knowing debate and it
reasserts my faith in the community. Then I watch someone attempt another
fruitless attack at Ebert's intelligence and once again I lose a itsy-
bitsy hope for the medium of video games progressing as an art perform.
Art doesn't have a singular, determined definition, and what does or does
not qualify as artistic is constantly subject to interpretation. As such,
there is never going to be a consensus on the whole "video games as art"
debate, so the whole thing seems slightly pointless.
What bugs me is that the people who will argue to the waste of the Earth
and attend again do not understand the opinion that their attitude speaks
of their acquire insecurity more than anything else.
Should the view of one man really bother you that noteworthy? As I
implied earlier, I strongly acquire that video games are a original and
bewitching invent of art, and that puts me in thunder opposition to
Ebert's view. Does that nettle me or upset me? No, it doesn't, and
likewise it shouldn't spoil anyone else's day either.
It's worth remembering that Roger Ebert's expertise lie in cinema, and as
such his views on the gaming world really shouldn't fetch to you. His
being a relatively renowned figure doesn't contribute to the validity of
his claim, it merely succeeds in drawing a greater amount of attention to
In theory, that's a clear thing -- gaming should always be captivating
forwards and reaching a wider audience. The Nintendo Wii has proved that
people who previously had no interest in vide ogames can actually be
entertained by them, with so-called "casual" gaming being that much-
needed starting point for people weird with the medium. What's to
discontinuance a fan of modern and creative art being enticed in mighty
the same plot? People are a cramped too quick to criticise Ebert for his
apparent ignorance, without stopping to deem of how he may have done the
gaming world a favour.
The thing that endears me most to Roger Ebert is the very thing that
seems to have everybody else so damage up, and that's how he can grasp
his state based on very shrimp precise gaming experience. He's perfectly
launch about that fact, which means that he is forming his understanding
solely on what he sees as "art", rather than any predetermined
understanding he may have about video games. Again, that's a determined
thing, because it implies he could well change his manner of thinking
should he spent sufficient time actually interacting with a video game,
rather than merely watching footage.
Speaking of the footage he was shown, even for me it was rather
unconvincing. The games Kellee Santiago cited as "art" were at best
questionable and at worst totally un-artistic, with the possible
exception of Braid. Had I given the presentation myself, I would have
opted to show games like Shadow of the Colossus and Okami, which are both
decidedly more concurrent with pre-conceived artistic conventions. As it
turned out, it appears Kellee grabbed the ghastly demolish of entirely
the substandard stick, and displayed indie games that leant grand more
towards thematic indulgence than artistic expression, leading to a
relatively conventional explain.
I unruffled assume it's fairly likely that at some point in the reach
future someone is going to introduce Roger Ebert to a video game console.
I couldn't possibly say how he will react afterward, but perhaps if
handed the right titles we may have yet another sceptic being made a
We can only hope.