Ebert Re-Emphasizes That Games Will Never Be Art

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At this point, I don't really care what he thinks. He has no expertise on the subject--he didn't even play the games he was so dismissive of in his article, just watched some gameplay clips. It'd be like if I, a gamer, were to write an article stating that Transformers 2 contained some striking social commentary and was one of the most intriguing films of the decade (I do not in any way, shape, or form believe this). Actual film critics would be incensed and think the idea was ludicrous.

When it comes to film, he's the famed Roger Ebert, reviewer extraordinaire. When it comes to games, he's just some old guy pretentiously flapping his lips for attention. His opinion does not matter at all.

I don't even care what Ebert says. I never have, never will.

More importantly, what the fucking hell was that video at the end? My ears almost tore themselves off my head to get away from the torture.

I just wanna make a point here.

Ebert here is a film critic. He has no business with criticizing games. End of story.

Hope he gets pwned one way or the other in the nearest future so that he'll shut up about this.

He needs to reinforce his house, because now I'm coming for him. And I'm bringing my fists, named Heavy Rain, and Braid.

This is a pointless arguement because it completly depends on your personal connotation of the words "Videogame" and "Art".

Most "modern" art nowadays makes absolutely no sense (jeans stapled to ceilings, poorly constructed furniture, etc) so going "this doesn't qualify as art", is the same as saying "I don't get it".

P.S.) why in the hell does this guy's opinion matter, everything that comes out of this guys mouth nowadays has a forum devoted to it! (in my opinion this guys rates the same as a forum troll on my opinion-meter)

If that's Ebert's definition of "Art", then I would argue that, while games may not be art, they certainly do contain art. For example, Aeris's death in Final Fantasy VII, or the little splicer asides in Bioshock, you can't 'win' those specific circumstances...

You know what? Fuck it. I stopped caring before I could finish my paragraph. Maybe that's why games will never be art; because my attention span is too damn short.

Newsflash. Art is one of the most subjective elements of culture. No one can define what is art and what is not. As it was once said one mans trash is another mans treasure.

He, like so many others, is talking about something that he knows jack-sqat about. I bet he hasen't taken the time to play a good game to the end and think about it.

I always thought that games were more artistic because a movie just needs one 1.5-2 hr plot while a video game needs a 10+ (or in Army of Two 5+) hour plot and some sub-plots

All of this is predicated on giving a fuck what Ebert thinks, and so I have to wonder why I should. He isn't an academic, he isn't even all that impressive as a critic anymore, even if he did win a Pulizer.

Sure he is a big name, but so what? As a gamer, I'm not all that insecure in calling games art for a number of reasons and if he or anyone else doesn't think so, so be it. I'm willing to not give a damn about some critic who seems out of touch and stuffy.

In conclusion, who cares?

Ebert seems to be just another manifestation of the misinformed public opinion on video games.
That song is badass.

Someone should give Ebert a controller and a few titles.
I'm thinking Okami, Jet Set Radio Future, Shadows o the Colossus, and Ocarina of Time would suffice. Anyone else have suggestions?

I'm inclined to sort of agree with him. I personally consider a lot of what goes into games to be art, namely the character, prop and level design, as well as writing and music. That said, it probably was more applicable back when games didn't have to be uber realistic, and as a result would have been partially or largely hand drawn. The artist would bring their own style and preferences to the table and what resulted was art. The game itself, which is really just code with the art superimposed on it, isn't art.

I think the examples should have been more encompassing, including games like Metal Gear Solid 4 which have elements of cinema in them. Just my opinion..

Mass Effect (the series) and BioShock are more qualified to be are than 99% of movies that I've ever seen!

If I Spit On Your Grave is a bad movie, and bad movies count as art, and this is is better than a bad movie:

Does that make games better than art? Because a movie is like pizza, even when it's bad, it's art. Do you agree, Dan? Do you think games like your's are art?

I define art as a piece of non-essential work (ie, something you spend time on but people have clearly lived without before electricity, canvas, etc. Music, paint, etc are not vital to living, despite their ingraination into all cultures) that has the effect of challenging the human mind in matters of social, political, cultural, or philosophical state. In English, that means it's something that makes people think but isn't vital to life.

Ebert is clearly misguided.

A apicture can become a book, a book can become a movie, a movie can become a game, each of them emphasizing an artistic point.

So Ebert is wrong. And Einstein is still right. Relativity and energy in all forms.

That song is annoying... great, now I hate video games... well done song, hope you are happy! ;(

If a signed toilet can be art then anything can, tell that Ebert chap to go screw... him and his stupid face... and opinions. :D

This just in: No one is surprised that Ebert remains a pretentious moron.

Onyx Oblivion:
So, let's see...the shittiest movie in the world is still art?

You can beat a game, but movies actually end.

And what does that make stuff like Okami, Psychonauts, Cave Story, Braid, Flower, Flow, Heavy Rain, and even Bayonetta?

According to Roger Ebert, not art.

"Art" is whatever it means to you or me or them. Seriously, applying a definition to art is pretty redundant as many artists free themselves from such definitions as to not hinder their creative prowess in the first place. Sure you can apply your opinions on what is genuine to you, but that is just that, an opinion, not a factual statement. With that said, IMO, I don't think "Art" itself is physical, I think it is any emotional or mental feeling provoked by any physical medium which is only a means for an artist to express. We often say there are "logical" and "artistic" sides to our brain and if we are going as far as to separate ART from LOGIC, than one can conclude it is impossible to define "ART" via "LOGICAL" means. It would seem this is beyond even Mr. Roger Ebert. Although I respect him highly in regards to his position and our shared love for cinema is something we have in common. He is no philosopher.

Newsflash. Art is one of the most subjective elements of culture. No one can define what is art and what is not. As it was once said one mans trash is another mans treasure.

this^ seriously, respect just went waaaay up for this guy... All of you defending games/ attacking cinema or vice versa are no better than Ebert.

(quoted the wrong guy at first T_T")

Art: 1) the products of human creativity
2) the creation of beautiful or significant things

I respect his right to an opinion, but I've played plenty of games that have had just as much of a profound effect on me as any movie(Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain, Fable)

I can honestly say, that when playing these games, the last thing I was thinking about was winning, I was simply there. I don't remember winning level X by shooting enemy X, I remember pulling my sons limp body from rainwater, I remember knowing that me and my friends may very well be left adrift in the vast vacuums of space, I remember escaping the jaws of imprisonment to take vengeance on the man who single-handily woke me from my perfect dream and thrust me into a world of violence

Gaming has evolved passed the general definition of a "game"

In a way, video games aren't "games" at all, they are, as you say, experiences

I honestly urge this git to play Killer7.

Puddle Jumper:
THat's his opinion. A very wrong opinion, but still an opinion.

Is it your opinion that that's his opinion?

Roger, there was a time that film wasn't concidered art. Consider that my way of saying "you don't know what the hell you're talking about, shut up."

Erbert's intitled to his opinion on games not being art. I disagree with him as do many. Games can surpass the traditional ideas of aesthetics and surprise you. Just look at Shadow of the Colossus or ICO or Ôkami. All great games with incredible class

There were those who said that movies could never be art.

It is moronic to claim that "X is not art", for any value of X.

A toaster is art. A spoon is art. Transformers 2 is art. Tom Clancy's HAWX is art. The da Vinci Code is art. Roger Ebert is art.

One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome. Santiago might cite an immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film. Those are things you cannot win; you can only experience them.

Conversely then, taking a novel, play, dance or film and introducing a goal state* for the audience must necessarily turn it into something that is, by Ebert's definition, not art.

It's never a good idea to try to prove an illogical argument using logic.

And if you find yourself trying to define what art is and what it is not, it might be time to take a good long look at where your life went wrong.

* "Having a goal state" is a way of saying "you can win".

What a dickbag.

Who is this Ebert guy anyways, And why should i care what he thinks? Isnt he the guy that gives movies 2 thumbs up with his friend roeper? I dont even like movies, i cant stand to sit around and just watch unless I'm laughing.

If Wikipedia is right, "Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions". I'm going to go with the website that has helped me for years, not some "famous" man i never heard of outside of movie commercials for his thumbs.

but i could edit that and say video games are not art. your trust in wikipedia misleads you, friend. also, as about 500 other people must have said, ebert is a film critic. who cares what he thinks? and who cares if video games are not art? they're video games, don't be so smug. play the damn game, move on. yeah, innovative things! intriguing plot points! these all go into a movie too. if bioshock had been a film before a game, people would have left the theater dazed and bemused by the imminent awesome they had just witnessed.

tl;dr - ebert, smug videogamers, all critics can eat a dick. its called an opinion.

The only time I remember Roger Ebert saying he played video games was when he admitted to beating the 1st Level of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES). That game was definately not a piece of art.

I don't get why Ebert treats every other form of art as experiances and games not. Clearly games are an experiance, but what makes it better than other forms of art is that you are in control.

So by his definition, is Dwarf Fortress not a game?

Tom's right, there are plenty of indie games that are scattered around the Internet that could be considered art like Don't Look Back. But it's all subjective I guess.

I <3 don't look back. Best flash game of all time IMO.

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