"I should not have written that entry without being more familiar with the actual experience of video games."

This is straight from Roger Ebert's blog and although he doesn't concede that video games can be considered art, he does admit she should've known more about the subject at hand, and even admits gaming could be become art at some point in the future. He's obviously reluctant to say so and he honestly doesn't believe it but you know, the admission is enough for us.

Our biggest problem with this whole fiasco was the fact that Ebert seemed to have a lot to say about an entertainment venue with which he wasn't very familiar. And when we say "very familiar," we're being kind; it's unlikely he fully understands just how far we've come since the days of Pong . And you know, TV commercials don't help; unless you actually sit there and pick up the controller, you won't fully comprehend the appeal and – in our opinion – artistic nature of the interactive entertainment medium. We further appreciate this:

"My error in the first place was to think I could make a convincing argument on purely theoretical grounds. What I was saying is that video games could not in principle be Art. That was a foolish position to take, particularly as it seemed to apply to the entire unseen future of games. This was pointed out to me maybe hundreds of times. How could I disagree? It is quite possible a game could someday be great Art."

Remember when Ebert first made his controversial statements, and gamers immediately responded with examples like Heavy Rain and Flower ? Well, thatgamecompany's Kellee Santiago offered Ebert a chance to play Flower and although it seems he has yet to play it, he continues to add that "art" may indeed be subjective and that games might be "art" to those who partake of the hobby. The blog post in question really is excellent and he makes a lot of concessions, all the while providing us with plenty of interesting insight concerning his own observations and thoughts, and his reactions to our reactions.

Come on guys, in all honesty, we shouldn't ask for more. It takes a big man to do that, doesn't it? We forgive you, Roger. And please, when you do get around to playing some very artistic games, we'd be interested to know what you think…

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Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Why do people make comments like this in the first place. We all know video games are an art form in themselves. Is Uncharted 2, GoW III, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy etc not art?

…not to mention that typically developers actually have large art departments!

Epic fail Ebert!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

*Currently in SinCity, Singapore


Last edited by Qubex on 7/2/2010 9:58:25 PM

nilos95
nilos95
10 years ago

GoW3 is art? Come on, it just kills greek mythology despite offering a great experience. It is worth a 10, but calling it art is a bit too much(we have to decide on a universally approved definition of the word art). The other examples are definitely art though

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

whether or not GoWIII is art or not nilos95 is right. The term art can have a broad range of interpretations.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Well, I think GoWIII is art from a technical perspective… I mean it is a beautiful looking game… the artwork is incredible in it, so is the modeling and texturing… so for me, the game is a piece of moving art work…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

*Currently in SinCity, Singapore

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
10 years ago

All games start in the same place that every other art form begins. In the imagination. I would take it as far to say that all games are art because of them starting as thoughts brought to life. Just like in the world of books, poems, paintings or music there are a lot of bad ones out there. Bad or not, it's someone's expression.

Zorigo
Zorigo
10 years ago

nilos, you're wrong there, the way it takes on greek mythology is excellent. the whole pandora's box thing was epic in it's own right.
They wrote their own story and made it fit nicely in with greek mythology but still their own. it was very artful.

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
10 years ago

Well an artist once said Art is emotion. GOW brims with it.

Axe99
Axe99
10 years ago

Aye – killing a certain topic doesn't disqualify it for being art. The LOTR trilogy was definitely art, but there were parts of those movies that I'm sure had Tolkien turning in his grave! Same can be said about many movies, paintings, books, you-name-it.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

Regardless of the "perspective" even in the stage of creating videogames you're utilizing aspects of what it takes to "create art".

Just about everything is art even writing. Its actually harder to find something that is not art. For instance drinking water is something that I would not consider art but hey maybe someone can prove me wrong.

djduke316
djduke316
10 years ago

"he does admit she should've known more about the subject at hand"

HA!

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
10 years ago

"and even admits gaming could be become art"

same sentence farther down. Ben must have been pretty tired when writing this =P

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Realized your mistake and I forgive.

Nothing more to be said.

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

Well he said what he said and was not obligued in any way to apoligise, no matter how ill informed an opinion it was.
So I say fair dues to him for at least been man enough to admit being wrong. He needs to just stick to his movie reviews and the balance of the universe will be maintained.

SixSpeedKing
SixSpeedKing
10 years ago

Yeah I feel he shouldn't have made those comments in the first place but at least now he has realised his mistake and admitted he was wrong.
A bit of an aside here but I strongly believe that many games are of great artistic value and are indeed art. Nobody can take that away from the truly deserving titles no matter who they are or what they say.


Last edited by SixSpeedKing on 7/2/2010 10:17:22 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

it's nice to see him at least consider our position on the subject. Not something I'm used to seeing him do when expressing his views.


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/2/2010 11:22:00 PM

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
10 years ago

He did the exact samething with Blade Runner. On release he said it was a shallow fair. He since has said he was completely wrong, it's a visonary work.

I have a great deal of respect for the man simply for this ability. Not many so called "critics" have the capacity to say they were mistaken.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

Well, I don't accept false spin-doctoring from him, just as I don't accept obama's either!

I can see right through Ebert's "so called" semi-apology, and he hasn't apologized even one little bit.

Go ahead, read Ebert's own blog, he's only saying that he just should have kept his thoughts & comments to himself.
And he also states that games still aren't art, just by his comment that "MAYBE IN THE FUTURE, GAME MAY BECOME ART".

And even though he's been given a chance by someone in Sony offering to deliver a PS3 to him, plus the game "Flower, and a bunch of other artistic games, he's deliberately nixed the deal by pussy-footing all around the deal

So where's this apology????

Ebert is just a stubborn mule that will never get it because he REFUSES to get it!

There IS thing I can feel for Ebert though, and that is…..pity.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

ew! politics! lol.

But seriously though, why not show a little heart? He has his philosophy, and I'm sure most people have philosophies that are tremendously flawed that lay on grounds we would never be willing to recant. To me, this is "good enough". Afterall, only the sith deal in absolutes!

I'm currently working on a bonafide research study presented in a sort of blog format (for the inclusion of media) about video games and art. I currently have lots and lots of references footnoted, and I hope it's something that can contribute to our point of view. I'd love to share it with you all when I'm done!

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

It does kind of seem like one of those "non-apologies."

"Sorry if you misunderstood me." kinda deals.

ha.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

politics……gaming. lets keep them separate, already get enough of the former as it is, last thing we need is for it to invade articles about games

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

Flow.

'Nuff said.

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
10 years ago

no, more flow. I mean Flower.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Actually, both…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

*Currently in SinCity, Singapore

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

I've never played flower so i can't comment.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

I think those expecting more from Ebert are expecting too much, its as good of an apology as we will get from him.

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
10 years ago

How old is this guy? Surely by this age he should have learned that it's not right to just give an opinion about a topic without actually having required knowledge about said topic.

At least he admitted his mistake.

Him
Him
10 years ago

I don't think this guy even knows what art is. I think he's failed to realize that art is everywhere we look, even your computer is art. Its run using software architecture and architecture is art. I could go on and on about this but i think you get the point.

ART lacks a satisfactory definition. It is easier to describe it as the way something is done — "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others" (Britannica Online) — rather than what it is.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I don't think anyone in Holly-Weird knows what art is anymore. They turn out garbage year after year. They've seen video games surpass their mega status so naturally they are bitter.

Fane1024
Fane1024
10 years ago

"Art" is a poorly defined term for sure.

Technically, it just means "skill"; the ability to do something or the practice of doing it (e.g., The Art Of War).

The word is, however, most often used to reflect some ineffable quality which makes some creations "special", more than utilitarian. That is, no doubt, the context of Ebert's comments. Nonetheless, he is wrong, even using such a restricted definition.

Personally, I prefer a wider usage, even less tied to aesthetics than the one Him quoted.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 7/3/2010 5:39:18 PM

A2K78
A2K78
10 years ago

until pornography is also deemed art, then video game are NOT art.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

You're daft.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

That's the dumbest thing i heard all year.

JMO_INDY
JMO_INDY
10 years ago

and to think Roger Ebert had been commenting among us fellow gamers all this time….weird

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

I think every one has an opinion and they are welcome to it. It doesn't really matter if he thinks it's art or not, it's only his opinion.

Whether I agree with him or not, I don't think he really needs to apologize anyway, his thoughts may be heard by lots of people, but that doesn't mean they are right, just that lots of people happen to know who he is.

Let him think video games aren't art, I know how I feel and he's not changing my opinion regardless of what he says.

Axe99
Axe99
10 years ago

Agree he's entitled to an opinion, but as a public figure with influence, that critiques art, there is also some responsibility to back it up. As someone who'd played two games in his life, in both cases many years ago, and then _refused_ to play another when he wouldn't have even had to leave his house to do so, is pretty poor in my opinion. It's like he was saying "I've stuck my head in the sand, and it's staying there" – now, for a published critic who has spoken out on the topic to do that is arrogant and makes him look pretty pig-headed.

Fane1024
Fane1024
10 years ago

Axe is right. Critics should be held to a higher standard.

FatherSun
FatherSun
10 years ago

I would respect someone more if they make a decision and stand by it. Heck, even if they change position that is ok with me. Everyone has a right to change their mind. He did none of the above. He just addressed the issue in a way that leaves him more open to comment on the subject at hand without being bashed. This tells me that he is more concerned with the opinions of his audience than that of his own character.


Last edited by FatherSun on 7/3/2010 6:24:31 PM

JackC8
JackC8
10 years ago

Yawn. Just some daft old fool trying to act intelligent and failing. He hasn't got the tools necessary to have any insight into anything. Hell, having a basic understanding of something would be a pretty proud accomplishment for Roger.

Just stick to sitting on your fat a** and commenting on the latest Hollywood dreck Mr. Ebert.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

You might actually want to read his post.

You can dislike him all you want; I know enough about him to know he's pretty darn intelligent.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Yea Jack, it's not intelligence Ebert lacks, it's wisdom.

JackC8
JackC8
10 years ago

I read his article. He says "I declared as an axiom that video games can never be Art. I still believe this"

I'm actually quite familiar with Ebert. I've been a movie buff for many years and have read quite a few of his blog entries over that time. He states his opinion and, when challenged, immediately resorts to excuses instead of reason (precisely as he's doing here – I wasn't wrong, I just expressed myself incorrectly). When he feels threatened, he can phrase his sentences in a way that draws attention to the fact that he did, in fact, receive a passing grade in his college English classes.

I'm terribly sorry, but that stuff quit impressing me about 15 years ago. It's not intelligence, it's just meh.

amzngskillz
amzngskillz
10 years ago

@bikersaint – it good to have place to dialog about gaming. To try and poison it with politics and hatred is not cool you dumb ass.

Anyway, Ebert really didn't apologize. He's just another old guy who see's gaming getting bigger and bigger and he's mad because he hasn't been in on the fun so he's basically bashing. If you really think about it the really good games like uncharted are more than just art. If you can watch a movie and call it art, then what do you call something you can watch and interact with like Uncharted? That's more than art. You'd figure his old dumb ass would've figured that out already.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Hey, hey now. BikerSaint has been around here along time. He's not a dumba**.

Besides, he only made a comparison. He went no further. The comment was harmless.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

As if 2 plus you people gave you a thumbs up for calling BikerSaint a dumba$$…

Even if amzngskillz had a good point somewhere in his post, why would anyone encourage downtalking a regular to this site. If I call someone a name or the like, I fully expect to get downvoted, and I hope people do.

My first time through this log, I didn't even read the rest of your post after what you called him. To me, it invalidates any points you make.

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
10 years ago

I still think he's a self centered douche, if only for thinking that he has the right to decide what is and isn't art. F'em.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

A lot of these Holly-Weird Elites are self centered douches. It comes with the territory.

fstop
fstop
10 years ago

The very first (and best) example of video game as art is, Ico.
From each scenery right down to the emotion portrayed by Ico and Yorda.
I swear the first time I played, Ico, it was as if I stood in front of a painting and started to imagining I could control the characters movements.

The problem is Ebert sees the like of Halo, Call of Duty, Resistance, God of War and he gets put back by all the violence in them. His mind then shuts down (as most peoples do) and then begin to think of nothing but disgust.

What he needs to do is sit down with a game like Ico, play it in its entirety then move to other forms of games that are similar.
From there he should be able to see the statement of video games as art holds truth.

tridon
tridon
10 years ago

"She." Hahaha. That made my day.

CharlesD
CharlesD
10 years ago

Every video game is art. I have trouble seeing where people don't understand this. If you do not have some form of artist ability you cannot create a video game. The characters must be designed by artists, the environments must be created and designed by artists. The stories and personalities must be crafted by writers, writers are artists. Texture, color, depth, emotion, story, all of it requires art to create and a literal team of artists.

I am glad that he has seen the light, well kinda seen the light as he not played any great games himself. Oh, and if you've never played Heavy Rain and are making comments like video games can never be art… don't make the comment. I am very glad he reassessed his obviously incorrect statement.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I wouldn't call games like Saints Row or Manhunt art.