“Video games can never be art” – Roger Ebert

This guy… this guy?! Between his Kick-Ass review and the ridiculous statement above, I am quickly losing respect.

I’m not sure when he first made the statement, but recently, Kellee Santiago gave a talk at TED, using Roger Ebert’s quote to kick start things, to which he then responded.

I don’t really agree with her use of Chess as a comparison, and her examples weren’t the best, and well, you don’t even really need to watch that video if you don’t want to, but his statement and subsequent deconstruction of her talk in a ridiculously demeaning manner just reeks of assholeness. SOME WOULD ALMOST CALL IT CYBERBULLYING [there you go, @jymmysim, my contribution].

Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.

*vomit* Seriously?!

She says the most articulate definition of art she’s found is the one in Wikipedia: “Art is the process of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.” This is an intriguing definition, although as a chess player I might argue that my game fits the definition.

I love how he just straps himself on board that defintion of art. The couple that followed weren’t really much better in encompassing all of what art is. It got me thinking “What is art?”, and while I was trying to formulate something that sounded half-decent, the Wikipedia article on art did the job for me:

…a skill is being used to express the artist’s creativity, or to engage the audience’s aesthetic sensibilities

He’s really saying video games don’t do this? They do it on so many levels [pun not intended], and he can’t recognise one of them? MEH.

Why is he saying games can never be art anyway?

One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome.

I’m pretty sure there are forms of art out there that have, or were based on, rules, objectives and outcomes. So they may not have “points” [maybe they do? at the moment, sleep > research], but not all games do either, you jackass.

Why am I getting so offended by it? Is it because I consider video games a form of art? I’d like to think they are on some level, but more importantly, it’s something that a LOT of people find joy and meaning in, and something that deserves to be taken a lot more seriously, and to completely dismiss it, well, screw you, Ebert.


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