A couple of months ago, famed movie critic Roger Ebert posted an article on the status of video games as art. To give you the general idea without having to click the link, the article was titled “Video games can never be art.” Obviously, Ebert’s article gained the ire of the gaming community, with thousands of comments debating his post.
Now, it wasn’t so much that he offered a negative opinion on video games; it’s the language that he used. To claim that video games will never reach the level of art offended many gamers, especially those that consider video games to have already reached the level of art. As the old saying goes, “Never say never.”
Ebert posted something of a retraction earlier today, to my surprise. In this particular article, he agreed with what most gamers had said in response to his assertion that video games can never be art. That is, “I should not have written that entry without being more familiar with the actual experience of video games.” Gamers across the world can appreciate that statement.
However, the end of the article points to this not really being much of an apology. “I had to be prepared to agree that gamers can have an experience that, for them, is Art,” Ebert says. Just a few lines down, Ebert ends the article by saying, “I was a fool for mentioning video games in the first place.” Apparently Ebert thinks that he just should have kept his opinion to himself. Personally, I disagree. All opinions are valid, but when they come from such an esteemed critic as Roger Ebert, a much more informed opinion is expected.