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.