Forums - General Discussion - "Greatest Critic Of All Time" Said Video Games Can't Be Art

Came across this article and was extremely annoyed with what I read. The sheer ignorance and outdated mindset of this guy is astounding. 

Who is this guy? Roger Ebert, the Greatest Critic Of All Time. What an ass.

Article was 8 years ago though. Do you think Mister Super Critic Badass would have a different opinion today? 

Here's the article in question. https://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/video-games-can-never-be-art

Last edited by alternine - on 20 August 2018

"Say what you want about Americans but we understand Capitalism.You buy yourself a product and you Get What You Pay For."  

- Max Payne 3

Around the Network
alternine said:

Came across this article and was extremely annoyed with what I read. The sheer ignorance and outdated mindset of this guy is astounding. 

Who is this guy? Roger Ebert, the Greatest Critic Of All Time. What an ass.

Article was 8 years ago though. Do you think a Mister Super Critic Badass would have a different opinion today? 

Here's the article in question. https://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/video-games-can-never-be-art

 

Read most of it years ago, it's a joke and shows why academic critics 1) are despised by most artists and art historians and 2) why critics should not cross into mediums they have no knowledge of.

 

It is not helped by the person he took guidance from listing freaking Braid, Flower, and that other game as prime examples.  Talk about Chrono Trigger and its many plot elements that mary gameplay and narrative that makes it not only art but a kind of art that can only be a game.  Talk about Bioshock.  Talk about Metroid Prime and it's use of exploration as almost the sole means of conveying narrative.  Don't turn your nose up at such examples.



He's a movie critic, why would he know what's art? Or good.

Also, I kinda thought he died years ago.



If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.

I'm not mad at him. I don't think we should be mad at him.

Yeah, he was a great film critic, but he was also a person with opinions of his own. He just expressed his opinion (yes, a very ignorant and outdated opinion, but still his opinion) on his personal blog. As he's not known as a great video game critic, no one cared. That doesn't make him a bad film critic, and it shouldn't affect us as gamers. I mean, who cares if that guy thought that games couldn't be art?

I profoundly respect Roger Ebert for his legacy in the film industry, but in this article, he failed to acknowledge two things:
1) The passage of time: George Melies' works, as he mentions as an example of art, were not viewed as art when they were first made. They were viewed as entertainment. People went to see his films because it was something that they'd never seen, special effects. It takes time for a medium to be valued as art.
2) A video game is defined as an audiovisual interactive experience: When he says "Santiago might cite an immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game", he's objectively wrong. A game doesn't need to have points or rules to be a game. It just needs to be an audiovisual interactive experience.

Not to mention that "art" is an almost impossible concept to define.

He was clearly someone old (he was 67 at the time) who hadn't played any games and who only knew about the mainstream ones and didn't bother to do his research before getting to his conclusion. It's basically like watching Transformers and saying that movies can never be art or reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid and saying that books can never be art. But I'm not mad at him. It's normal for people to reject something that threatens them. He probably thought gaming was going to make the film industry crash.



G O O D B O I

Art is that what you want to be art. Everything is art, yet also nothing is art.



Around the Network
S.Peelman said:
Art is that what you want to be art. Everything is art, yet also nothing is art.

Not really... You can't say that an individual car, being assembled by machines, is art. You can, though, say that the design of that car is art, since it was made by an intelligent being. You can also argue that it isn't.

Anyway, art is indeed very hard to define, but it isn't broad to the point that you can say that everything is art.



G O O D B O I

Ebert's a smart guy but he was wrong on this.

Games literally require hundreds of artists to work on them, not to mention musicians too lol.

If architecture/buildings can be art, video games certainly can belong in the same category. They are designed just like an architect designs a building and there is talent required to design game play.



Never heard of this so called "greatest critic". But that sounds good as far as I'm concerned. In my experience anything that has ever been called "art" has been complete and utter garbage, so if video games stay away from that then it's a very good thing!



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

"What an ass"

What? He's a movie critic ... not the greatest critic of all media ever made. His specialty is film. I honestly find it more offensive that developers try to justify games as art in very pretentious ways.



vivster said:

He's a movie critic, why would he know what's art? Or good.

Also, I kinda thought he died years ago.

He did, in 2013.

 

OT: In Spain, there's an exhibition or art pieces (all for sale) called ARCO. In 2016 one of those pieces was a half empy/half full glass of water. That's it. It was sold for 20,000 €.

There's an "artist" that sells its own crap, literally, in jars. And people buy it because it's art.

I've lost count of the times I've seen or read an article saying that in a museum or gallery, one of the cleaning staff members destroyed a piece of art because it was confused with a pile of garbage. And boy they did look the same.

So, if all of that is considered art, there's no excuse to not see videogames as art too.



Please excuse my bad English.

Currently gaming on a PC with an i5-4670k@stock (for now), 16Gb RAM 1600 MHz and a GTX 1070

Steam / Live / NNID : jonxiquet    Add me if you want, but I'm a single player gamer.