Roger Ebert "Video Games Can Never Be Art" Pt 2

demonbox:

It may be plausible. Most gamers who would be prone to posting inane nonsense wouldn't care about what Ebert thinks, one way or another. Also, they tend to post on Gamespot and similar such sites.

I think that it's more than just a useless action. At the point where you're using spurious logic to defend a position, you must concede that the position is indefensible - aka, "I was wrong." He just didn't have the stomach to say it that bluntly.

LarryC wrote:

I think that it's more than just a useless action. At the point where you're using spurious logic to defend a position, you must concede that the position is indefensible - aka, "I was wrong." He just didn't have the stomach to say it that bluntly.

He didn't have the lack of style to say it bluntly. It's pretty clear that he is belittling his impulse to define art in such a way as to exclude video games. He's doing so because it's anti-intellectual and ineffective. That's both the point of the entire article, to admit this selfish impulse and to admit that it doesn't help the discussion.

That you noticed that he made a specious argument is not a coincidence, it's kinda the point of the article.

demonbox wrote:

That you noticed that he made a specious argument is not a coincidence, it's kinda the point of the article.

It's a strange article that way. Sort of an "I'm wrong and choose to continue being wrong."

wordsmythe wrote:
demonbox wrote:

That you noticed that he made a specious argument is not a coincidence, it's kinda the point of the article.

It's a strange article that way. Sort of an "I'm wrong and choose to continue being wrong."

It is, but in a weird way I respect that.

I respect the first part of it. The second part makes me want to rename him something vulgar and then say, "I know that's not your name, but I'm going to keep calling you that anyway."

Actually, it reads more like a long-winded, well-articulated version of "I'm never going to call games art and you can't make me, so there!" I would have expected a little more grace from a man his age.

LarryC wrote:

Actually, it reads more like a long-winded, well-articulated version of "I'm never going to call games art and you can't make me, so there!" I would have expected a little more grace from a man his age.

Ummm.....dude.....I think he wants you to get off his lawn.

Grace from an old person? I think Larry knows a different class of old person. The ones I know are cranky and unrepentant.

Well, first we were bitching about his opinion, now we're bitching that his apology and retraction aren't satisfactory, I think he's quite wise to say he's wrong, his opinion is invalid, but he doesn't have much interest in changing it.

See, I say that if you're going to apologize, then apologize. Don't pretend you're going to apologize and then not apologize.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

See, I say that if you're going to apologize, then apologize. Don't pretend you're going to apologize and then not apologize.

But what if the goal was to get gamers to continue to look silly for caring what Ebert thinks about video games. Because people that play video games already understand why they are art. People that don't play video games view the internet banter from gamers as more evidence that they are silly and inconsequential. Ebert just solidified his base.

I say this as a big fan of Ebert's movie reviews. It has confused me why anyone cares what he thinks of video games.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

See, I say that if you're going to apologize, then apologize. Don't pretend you're going to apologize and then not apologize.

This is why I think even less of Ebert after his response.

I've never paid much attention to Ebert since I'm not really into movies but if his writing style is to reshape reality to fit his definitions to prove he's right and call it an apology I'm glad I never knew much about him.

He even ends the article on a smug note that has no merit:

I allow Sangtiago the last word. Toward the end of her presentation, she shows a visual with six circles, which represent, I gather, the components now forming for her brave new world of video games as art. The circles are labeled: Development, Finance, Publishing, Marketing, Education, and Executive Management. I rest my case.

What, Movies don't have Development, Finance, Publishing, Marketing, Education or Executive Management? Die in a fire Ebert, you're wasting our time.

This isn't directed specifically at anyone, just an observation from watching the internet as a whole react to this: I think that if you need one of (or the only one of) your hobbies to be validated in order for you to feel validated, you are probably just as pathetic a person as your perception of the guy whose opinion you resent. I hope that makes sense. I'm amazed at the spectacle of all of this.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

See, I say that if you're going to apologize, then apologize. Don't pretend you're going to apologize and then not apologize.

I agree.

I think it was really lowhanded to engage in baseless questioning of Flower (is it scored? What the christ does that matter?), and really hilghlights how different his approach to the medium is.

In particular, phrases like this

Art seeks to lead you to an inevitable conclusion, not a smorgasbord of choices. If next time I have Romeo and Juliet go through the story naked and standing on their hands, would that be way cool, or what?

really, really show what a waste of everyone's time this whole kerfluffle is about.

Evo wrote:

I think that if you need one of (or the only one of) your hobbies to be validated in order for you to feel validated, you are probably just as pathetic a person as your perception of the guy whose opinion you resent. I hope that makes sense. I'm amazed at the spectacle of all of this.

I get that, but there are shades to the whole mess.

I agree that anyone shouting "Well just play Game X! Play it and you'll see how gripping it is! Go do it now! What you don't want to? That's cuz you're old and don't GET IT" was barking up the wrong tree.

But there was some really specious reasoning throughout, and I can see why so many were quick to try to correct that. I think that if you're making such a public pronouncement, you at least owe it to everyone to be intellectually honest. I can say "Acting isn't really a job. You just dress up and read some stuff you memorized the night before," and personally be in the right, but I'm not giving the craft a fair assessment.

And if I do so on the Evening News, I'll probably raise a bit of ire in the process.

Not that we need the validation so much as maybe there's annoyance at the poor logical framework behind the opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, the only thing to come out of this whole mess is a renewed understanding of why I shouldn't care what Ebert thinks about art. That is, art is subjective, and there's no accounting for taste.