Oh, so that's why. He's denouncing his former ways, and believes games to be far too dangerous to be "art."

It was one of 2010's biggest stories: film critic Roger Ebert came out and said video games could never be considered art. After the comment, just about every gamer alive jumped on his back, and many game designers also took offense; some contacted him directly and asked him to play an "artful" game like Flower . It also sparked some articles here at PSXE, including one of our own pro-gaming pieces . However, Ebert soon recanted and explained his comment in a more reasonable fashion, which led to us forgiving him .

There's a bit more to the back story, though: as noted by Kotaku , Ebert once got a little hooked on the NES and that experience made a lasting impression. During a "Siskel & Ebert" holiday gift guide in 1989, the two critics tried to play Tecmo Bowl and afterward, Ebert revealed the following:

"I got one of these sets (NES) at home, and I started playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with it. And after a while, after a week of this, I'd find that every time I had a spare moment and every time I came home, I was in front of the set playing with these mutant turtles.

It got to the point where it was making me quite unhappy, because I was so obsessed with it, and I finally unplugged the machine and said, 'That's it for Nintendo.'"

He finished by saying something so hypnotic couldn't possibly be good for his mental health, and that was that. Okay, so it seems Ebert may have an addictive personality of sorts, which may have led to his aversion to interactive entertainment. We just hope he doesn't believe TMNT had that same effect on everyone…I remember playing it. Never stopped me from playing football or doing something else outside after school but…whatever.

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Amazingskillz
Amazingskillz
9 years ago

As the hours count down on 2010 I'd like to reflect that there have been a lot of fights, attacks, and ego assaults on this sight amongst users over the past year and most of them have been VERY ENTERTAINING! At the same time there have been some highly intelligent engages and an excellent display of technical and gaming knowledge that has kept me coming to this sight everday just to see whats going on.

The quality and amount of information and news put forth on this sight in the past year has been outstanding.

Lastly, hats off to Mr. Shepard and Mr. Dutka for the amount of effort,love and intriguing commentary they have put into the site. Its appreciated, Great job guys. Happy New Year!

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FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

A lover scorned!

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

Aha! So Ebert felt the draw of video games over 20 years ago and still has a sense of scorn towards them. What else would have incited his ignorant comment towards video games?

Mind you, sooner or later, everyone puts down a Nintendo.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

HA.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
9 years ago

Blasphemy!

Xombito
Xombito
9 years ago

"so it seems Ebert may have an addictive personality of sorts". Well, I saw a biography on him and it was noted that he was an alchoholic at one point. Maybe he was afraid he would fall into a dark hole of another addiction?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Still, it's interesting that he ever picked up a game at all, let alone got addicted.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Hmmm,

After reading that, yeah I think he's probably ADD too, & still in denial with it by placing the blame elsewhere, same as he was with his earlier drinking problem too.

And if so, I certainly hope he's on meds for it now.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
9 years ago

He slipped into tmnt? Ok, dude, relax. Maybe it was his otherwise mundane lifestyle that was his issue or something, but real gaming addicts would've ventured into the castlevania series or at least some Zelda!

I personally think he should have kept playing. At least I wouldn't think he's an entire waste..

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

He was kinda those WoW players…funny has heck!

NonProphet
NonProphet
9 years ago

That picture is hilarious, it looks so late eighties-early nineties.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Games not art?

Ha, Ebert probably just got pissed that his character "Michelangelo", was named after such a master artist.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Damn man, I had that same problem, but only with that game because it was SO damn frustrating! When I come up against a challenge like that I get obsessed with completing it. That first game was a killer, I can't play it any more. No wonder the fat man got upset.

piratedrunk
piratedrunk
9 years ago

underwater bombs. thats all I have to say about it.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
9 years ago

That tiny gap in the ceiling.

Jed
Jed
9 years ago

That explains a lot.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
9 years ago

Dudes, the only game that was ART was Mario Paint. When I played it. Because I'm artistical and whatnot. And maybe Art Academy. But I never played that one.

Also, the AVGN's review of TMNT on NES is pretty damn accurate. That game was full of "ARRGH WTF!"


Last edited by Rings0fUranus on 12/31/2010 9:10:21 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Mario Paint the only game that has art? Either you missed your sarc marks or you have a flimsy grasp on what constitutes art.

Superman915
Superman915
9 years ago

anyone who read ebert for a long time like I have knew this already.

Kevin555
Kevin555
9 years ago

The old gimp plays Nintendo & wonders why gaming shouldn't be considered art?

Plant a copy of Heavy Rain or Uncharted 2 (A game with acting & production values that would make Hollywood almost sh!t themselves)into his wrinkly mitts & lets see what his opinion is then.

Probably the same opinion, the old fellow seems pretty backwards.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Kevin5

Ebert so far, has refused a ton of FREE offers from individual gamers, gaming magazines & gaming sites, and even from developers, who have stated that they are ALL willing to give him a free 360, a free PS2 & a free PS3, along with the games, Limbo, Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, Flow, Flower, Okami, Indigo Prophecy and a ton of other "free" games to boot, just so he can see what real art is in Video Games.

But the old coot steadfastly refuses to budges or except the facts.

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ahgtoy
9 years ago

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laxpro2001
laxpro2001
9 years ago

I never forgave his fat ass..

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
9 years ago

I never forgave his fat ass..