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View Full Version : Roger Ebert: My response.


Jae Brav
04-21-2010, 07:23 AM
Like many gamers I take offense when someone who knows nothing about video games bashes them. Roger Ebert has said that video games are not art and has sparked some serious debates of late as to if Ebert even has the creditability to be a "video game" critic. Long story short: If you read his journal and read his responses to some of the angry people posting comments on his site, you can clearly see that Ebert knows nothing about video games nor has he played them. I just want to take this time to submit an open picture (nope, not letter like most the other video game blogs are doing) for Mr. Roger Ebert.

Oh, and to see what all the fuss is about you can read up on it here: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html

I face-palm for you Ebert. I face-palm hard.

http://www.ellezdee.com/image/ebertpunch.jpg

Thank you. Now die.

VladimirK
04-21-2010, 07:35 AM
Usually I would like to complain and moan about somerthing like this, but I actually like this guy.
I've found that he's the only film critic that is right in almost every case. (Well, that I agree with, there isn't really a right or wrong).

And this is just opinion, at least he isn't sort of people who whinge on about violence in games when he doesn't play them.
There's a slight difference between them and people who don't think it's art.

Jae Brav
04-21-2010, 07:42 AM
Usually I would like to complain and moan about somerthing like this, but I actually like this guy.
I've found that he's the only film critic that is right in almost every case. (Well, that I agree with, there isn't really a right or wrong).

And this is just opinion, at least he isn't sort of people who whinge on about violence in games when he doesn't play them.
There's a slight difference between them and people who don't think it's art.

He would be a good person to defend violence in video games if he would expand his knowledge on the subject. I'm sure that since he has seen countless amounts of movies he would be able to compare the two, even if he just picked up and played a title that is in the spotlight at the time (Like GTA) and tell people that the violence in video games is less realistic than that found in most violent movies.

I've always thought it was stupid to even complain about the violence in video games anyway because most things that you see violent in video games today you can see being done in movies with real people and more realistic. Maybe because the more real it seems the less people think that it's real? I never understood it. But good point. I do respect Ebert as a film critic, but to bash on a different genre when not educated in such seems juvenile to me.

ApochWeiss
04-21-2010, 09:19 AM
I'm not all that concerned about what Ebert happens to think about video games. It's as you said, the guy clearly knows nothing about them. He's a movie buff, and has been around before (I assume) video games even started their rise to fame back in the day. Let him be and spout off. Do you honestly think this guy would have any pull in either direction? Yes, he knows about movies, but that's his thing! Anyone who listens to this guy on video games, which is NOT his thing, needs a lobotomy and swift kick to the crown jewels for severe mental retardation.

Look at it this way: it's like listening to an American from the deepest confederate regions of the south go off about Italy. It's like, first of all, you live in a shack with an outhouse, how the fuck did you go to Italy. And second, you called my friend the n word and shot at him, and have two inbred children. I'm just gonna ignore you nazi skin head white supremacist and go hang out with the cool non-nazi skin head white supremists down the road.

Skillet
04-21-2010, 09:30 AM
You know, he wouldn't even really have to play some games to be immersed in them.

He could always watch someone play a game like Mass Effect, a game that in it's design, is very cinematic.

I wouldn't say all games are art. But I think there are far more games coming closer to art than Mr. Ebert gives the industry credit for. I honestly don't understand what he's comparing video games to though. Over half of the paragraphs in that blog entry were talking about cave paintings. It would seem as though he's talking out of his ass about a subject he sees as inferior to his favorite medium. As lot of people do. The problem is that he's so sure of himself about it that he's unwilling to see an understand another person's views n the subject.

I guess I just don't really GET IT. I don't understand how a movie, which was created by a group of people for you to view can be an art... yet a video game which is created by a group of people for you to experience will never be held at that high of a level.

It's like those people who say "I believe parts of video games, the music, the graphics, and story, can be art.... but the final video game will never be art."

Wait... what!?

golobayj
04-21-2010, 09:45 AM
Video games are definitely art. Of course they all vary in quality and in terms of their artistic direction, but art nonetheless. Developers put great thought into the visuals depicting scenes and environments in ways that can only be imagined. Clearly Roger Ebert is an old dog who can't learn a new trick.

Skillet
04-21-2010, 10:04 AM
Alrighty... here's my official viewpoint. I actually submitted this as a comment to his little blog there. If anybody cares, here's what I posted...

I guess I just don't really get where you're coming from here.

I don't understand how a movie which is created by a group of people for you to view can be considered art, and yet somehow, a video game which is created by a group of people for you to experience can never acquire the same status that a movie holds.

Also... in one of your comments, you state and I quote:

"Ebert: I do not believe collaborative art cannot be art. I cite cathedrals and tribal dances as collaborative works of art. But they begin with an auteur with an original vision -- whether that be a king, an architect, or a choreographer. The film director usually has the original vision."

That is a TERRIBLY bad comparison considering video games have that exact same thing. You completely invalidated your point with that one. Shigeru Miyamoto is the lead designer behind the Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong video games produced by Nintendo. And while he worked with other people, the games themselves are his idea.

Cliff Blezinski created the Gears of War franchise. He was the "auteur" as you put it behind that series of games.

The Halo series was originally conceived by a man named Jason Jones.

I could go on all day. But it just goes to prove that video games aren't conceived by all of the developers sitting in a large circle bouncing ideas off of each other until they come up with something they like. There IS an original vision or idea beforehand.

But in the grand scheme of things, I'm still wondering why video games can't be considered art? You never really seem to get a straight answer out of anyone about that. Is it because the graphics aren't photorealistic yet? Or because some of the stories aren't worthy of film? Which... can be contested... I've played some games that have had far better stories than a lot of movies or books.

The only real constant is that it seems video games simply CANNOT be art... because of player interaction. A movie is meant to be watched, a book meant to be read, and a game meant to be played.

But if you think about it, video games may still be a little ahead of their time. While a movie can only be watched and the viewer can only contemplate what the director or writer wanted to convey about the story and feel of the film, a video game is meant to be experienced. In a lot of cases, the player gets to choose their own path through he story and see how it affects the characters around them. I could use The Elder Scrolls series and Mass Effect as examples. And in MY opinion... I think allowing the player to shape and mold the experience and the story their own way is a purer form of art. A higher standard for art that movies, paintings, and even books could ever even HOPE to achieve.

TheDeadspace
04-21-2010, 02:49 PM
I'd be interested to see what the response to your comment will be Skillet, assuming that it isn't just ignored completely.

I fully agree with you by the way. Saying that a medium can never be art is incredibly narrow minded. I'm sure there were people saying the same thing when video technology was first emerging, and look where we are now.

Opiate42
04-21-2010, 08:14 PM
Full and completely agree with you Skillet. Like really, what are the criteria to be considered an art form? If he was to list them I'm sure games will fit all of those criteria and more, so the only real difference is his experience and bias.

Friends will sit and watch as myself or another play Mass Effect, Bioshock or even more so Assassin's Creed. They get drawn in to the story and visuals, which are absolutely stunning and want to see where the road takes them. When I beat a game or even just a particularly troublesome boss fight, and they're there, we share that success.

I've had more "holy mother of trout bloody hell wasn't expecting that" moments from games with good stories and twists than most movies I've seen in recent years. Hell, just the Intro's alone to Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2 left me drop-jawed.

The talent and effort that goes into most games now, for art direction, story, character development and dialogue is becoming leaps and bounds beyond what hollywood is willing or evidently capable of producing currently.

If he wants to bash something he should be looking internally to hollywood (his bread and butter of course so he won't). Using European made films and the video game industry as particular examples of how hollywood has fallen behind, it has stopped taking the risks that once made films interesting. Relying instead on predictable models and patterns.

He lacks that introspection to make a fair objective judgment on games. I normally agree with his opinions and respect them but this whole topic smacks of a certain desperate disdain for the unknown. Games are taking away moviegoers (like me!) so he feels obliged to go on the offensive preemptively to defend his industry. Rather ill-informed and infantile from a man who's opinion once mattered.

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril. ~ Sun Tzu

sak7395
04-21-2010, 09:21 PM
hes really ugly

KillerBEA
04-21-2010, 09:32 PM
Alrighty... here's my official viewpoint. I actually submitted this as a comment to his little blog there. If anybody cares, here's what I posted... I really liked what you said since none of it was a direct attack as far I could tell and you made some really good points. I sir commend you on a job well done.

andami
04-21-2010, 09:33 PM
Look at it this way: it's like listening to an American from the deepest confederate regions of the south go off about Italy. It's like, first of all, you live in a shack with an outhouse, how the fuck did you go to Italy. And second, you called my friend the n word and shot at him, and have two inbred children. I'm just gonna ignore you nazi skin head white supremacist and go hang out with the cool non-nazi skin head white supremists down the road.
Now that IS offensive! You aren't serious are you? The south is nothing like that! :mad:

TerrorOps
04-22-2010, 12:48 AM
Personally I see him like said already as just being plain foolish and juvenile commenting on something he's isn't educated about nor exposed to. Like a child I will simply ignore him. I do enjoy his movie reviews and what not, but this is one of the slips of the mouth many people who have fame make. They jump to conclusion that because they have a large fan base people will side with them.

KillerBEA
04-22-2010, 01:26 AM
Now that IS offensive! You aren't serious are you? The south is nothing like that! :mad: He means deep south like where the hillbilles live. Iam from texas and i found what he said funny, then again born in the north:cool:

DemonATX
04-22-2010, 03:05 AM
I wonder if art was a required curriculum 100 years ago and, AND he studied it. If so then I might be willing to listen to him.