Saturday, April 17, 2010

Roger Ebert Is At It Again

Criticizing games for not being art. Unfortunately this seems to lie in a very outdated way of interacting with art, ie. not at all. As a passive viewer, forbidden to cross the line between creator and audience, Ebert happily and resolutely implies that games cannot be art:
"No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists and poets." To which I could have added painters, composers, and so on, but my point is clear.
Maybe a game of chess is not art. Nor a football game. But in a virtual environment where you can create anything, how could games be preordained to forever aspire to some forbidden plane to which it can never achieve? This entire argument is so replete of broadcast and push media based analysis that it clearly skews his argument. Perhaps there are no games that are worthy of comparison to the greatest works of art, but since when is that a requirement for inclusion into the field of artistic endeavor? Maybe if Ebert was sitting in a darkened theater with a joystick in hand he might change his mind.


Armanus said...

I would say his point is indeed clear. If a painting isn't comparable to a painting by Picasso or Michelangelo, it's not art. Anyone who sculpts, writes, films, performs music, etc. should immediately be aware that unless they achieve that exceedingly rare status of master, that they are not artists.

I find it interesting that anyone would find what Ebert has to say to be relevant in this day and age. As my daughter would say, "he is so 20th century" :)

bllius said...

I often find what he has to say about cinema relevant and interesting. But that is all.

Anonymous said...

Artists usefully illuminate some aspect of the human condition that is either a new part of contemporary experience or a part of life that has been neglected by other artists. It seems to me that our new interactive medium(s) will be well-suited to making such a meaningful commentary on our current way of life. However, as the champions of the modernist/idological white-walled gallery art of the 20th century realise that they are to be (largely) consigned to the dustbin of history by the coming generation, I guess we have to expect some backlash.