That Damn Art Argument; The Ebert Opinion

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Once again the award winning film critic Roger Ebert has weighed in on the "video games as art" topic. He has made it clear again that video games are not art under his definition of what art should be. There have been many opinions given and arguments made by notable people involved in the gaming industry over the 5 years since Ebert first voiced this opinion on his blog.

I respect Roger Ebert very much. Even though I do not always agree with him; I can't help but respect a man who is able to articulate his opinions in such a clear manner. I admire his obvious love and respect for movies. I wish very much to see the quality of his reviews carried over to the gaming world but his like has not emerged yet into the video game industry.

Video games are still very young. Like movies or rock and roll in it's youth they are viewed with much criticism and even fear about their influence on society. This is just the way of things. Previous generations find it hard to acknowledge new cultural advances into their own long established world view. Penny Arcade addressed this quite well in their recent strip.

Fellow gamers, it is very important to note that Roger Ebert (as Brian Ashcraft stated in his open letter) is a critic of the cinema. This has been his life. And though there are many who feel that video games are just another breed of movie, they are very wrong. Though the two may have some similar qualities they have very fundamental differences. Mr. Ebert is not equipped with the lifetime of involvement so many of us have, that has endeared us to this medium.

The take-away from this whole brouhaha should be - Mr. Ebert's opinion is not something to get angry about. His opinion is his own, that is all. As a community we have endured worse criticism and slander than a respectable gentleman not understanding how video games are in fact art. His singular opinion does not negate ours, nor our love of gaming. Let it go, we are many and our attentions can be pointed to more important things.