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"Video games can never be art" -Roger Ebert

"Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to enlarge upon it or defend it. That seemed to be a fool's errand, especially given the volume of messages I receive urging me to play this game or that and recant the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art. Perhaps it is foolish of me to say "never," because never, as Rick Wakeman informs us, is a long, long time. Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form." Roger Ebert

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Mucudadada3140d ago

Both sides actually give good reasons for their views. As for me, I still think that you cannot define art. It is all in the eye of the beholder.

qface643140d ago

i really don't see video games as art never have and i really never will

ill always just see video games as just video games
doesn't matter how a game looks or plays a video game is a video game
that's just me though

MaximusPaynicus3140d ago (Edited 3140d ago )

...is that there is no definite answer. What one person may consider art, another may consider pointless tripe. Furthermore, neither side is going to convince the other that they're wrong no matter how much shrieking and self-serving diatribes both sides put forward.

It's not that Roger Ebert is wrong. It's that ANYONE, on EITHER SIDE who puts forth an argument based on the absolute principle that something IS or ISN'T "art" is wrong. Period.

And N4G really needs italics.

cry from the sky3140d ago (Edited 3140d ago )

MAJOR MAJOR toothpalm,and throatfist, just look at uncharted 2.

lokiroo4203140d ago

Art: the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.

-Alpha3140d ago (Edited 3140d ago )

They may not have started off that way but the way thoughts, beliefs, ideas, philosophy, emotion, story, and fun is evoked in a game is, by the very definition, a means of artistic communication.

Art: the products of human creativity.

Gaming is art, or at the very least, a form of entertainment. The scope is huge and not all games are art, but some are. Truthfully I don't care to prove it to Ebert, he's entitled to his cultural perceptions but I think he's too old to understand. Technophobe :P

Ugly Bob3139d ago

Personally, she did a piss poor job with her presentation. Especially that last bit about how she wants to bring together Finance, Publishing, Marketing, Executives, Developers and Education so that they can make it art. That alone practically made her argument null and void which Ebert points out.

LastDance3139d ago

Shadow Of The Colossus... Better art than any c*cks**er can churn in the film industry.

mastiffchild3139d ago

Making games is a creative endeavor that spans the borders of many artforms while keeping it's own ID, imo. Who is anyone to say that a well made screenshot can't ever be art, that a filmic game cannot be art or that a game cannot have a story just as worthy of being dubbed art as any other writing forms around today?

I just think it's a very luddite attitude to insist that games can't be art or, at least cannot at the moment.Many other mediums have made the jump from merely serving their purpose to being regarded as artforms in their own right like movies or pop music managed in the twentieth century. As there are so many "artistic" elements in the game making process I'd suggest that decrying the artistic merit of all games is just as unwise as those were who doubted that a film could ever compete with the fine , or high, arts and make it's own imprint myself.

People will find, or not find, art wherever they feel, imo, but cultural acceptance of games as art will prolly jst take a little time like it has for every newer medium.

bnaked3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

lol it's just his opinion.

I can tell you my opinion! I think, after games like Uncharted 2, videogames are art! F*ck I stood on the roof top ^^!
And for me, all the people creating the levels and characters and whatever, are artists.. Same with David Cage as a director for example.

And holy sh!t yes! "Art: the products of human creativity."

Oner3139d ago

@ lokiroo420 ~ Exactly. That cannot be argued and Ebert is DEAD wrong.

Here are some examples that I would like to throw out there on this discussion/topic ~

Say Uncharted 1/2, MGS (especially 4's ending) or even the God Of War Series (which in my opinion is WAAAAAY better than the Clash of the Titans Remake) were made almost exactly as they are into movies and become box office smash hits (hell they don't even have to be honestly)...does that then make them art because the stigma of "Video Games" is removed and they are now "Stories" in motion on a medium Ebert views as "proper"?

Seriously ~ who the F does he think he is to say what is art and what isn't anyway? That kind of CLEAR bias against something is exactly what makes him wrong even before he opens his mouth about the subject. I don't see how anymore simplistic it can be to explain...

A story is a story no matter WHAT medium/form it is in. On a wall in a Cave, written on parchment, paper or a book, on the internet or an ebook reader, and even from memory when telling a child a bed time story and right on fully through to the big and small screen INCLUDING disc based formats like CD, DVD & BD when they get transfered...so why can't a story in the form of a game be art?

Ebert is an absolutely blind idiot who is just...simply...OLD...and it affects his ability to grasp the concept of gaming. He cannot relate nor WANTS to even playcate the idea because of his inability to experience another medium that is "in the now". Which is correlated directly & specifically to his age. He is happily disconnected, wants to stay as such and goes as far as to stand up on his little soap box and profess it to others as if it holds credibility or some sort of weight...and that is down right sad!

Because it sure as hell sucks to be him, to not be able to enjoy utterly amazing stories which are ART to HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF GAMERS from little children to older men/women of all ages.

I will end this rant by adding a question ~ What would happen when the reverse is true? Does that take away the Movie's "art" connection? Because it would only be fair using his biased outlook in return back at him now wouldn't it?

Darkstorn3139d ago

I think video games are art. I also think that unfortunately video games choose to be derivative instead of being progressive. We have a truly amazing and adaptable medium on our hands and all we're doing is making the next FPS or the next Madden? Come on.

Video games will not be taken seriously as art until publishers realize that gamers want variety. I want my little philosophical treatises like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Bioshock. Take risks, dammit!

ThanatosDMC3139d ago

I disagree with this guy... though it's still beyond me why people actually listen him or his reviews on movies.

Anyway, it's his opinion and we have hours however different they may be from each other.

Highatus3139d ago

I agree with you.

It boils down to who is involved in the process.

Is the Artist there to make his/her expression known through their work? Or is it just a job/career where redundancy has ruined the vision?

Is the Composer there to express his/her self through music and to add to the broader vision and emotion that was set as a goal?
Or are they just a musician that is just looking for work and has no internal tie to the job at hand?

Is the Writer there to take people on a journey, to keep the audience hooked and wanting more from a tale only he/she could unravel?
Or again, is it just a job where the passion and creativity have been long washed away by corporate greed, and political jargon?

Same could be said about the programmers and designers, even the testers. The ones that bring everything together for their ultimate goal?

Is there passion within each of these forms and collaborations of 'ART'?

In some games i've witnessed it, where they all came together and made the 'Work of Art' And i'm sure some of you have too. Where everything feels right, you don't want to stop playing and you become immersed in the world they've created, you even hum the music to yourself at work. That's what i would call a form of 'Art'.

Strip away the end product and you do have many forms of art working on the final piece. However i feel that if that if even one of those parts does not have the same passion as the others, the end product will falter and not sync with the rest of the product.

Art to me is passion and expression or passion through expression.
Can a game be Art? "It is all in the eye of the beholder."

HolyOrangeCows3139d ago

Talk about ignorance. Art is a form of expression. I have seen plenty of expression, especially in story heavy games.

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Serjikal_Strike3140d ago

is a art masterpiece that came to my TV:)

Gandalf3140d ago

In the words of Fumito Ueda:

"...I regard not only games but also anything that expresses something - be it films, novels or manga - as forms of art."

booni33140d ago

you have to be a complete idiot to say something like this not having played games. Games like Flower, Mirrors Edge, and okami can be considered art in more ways than one. How closed minded must you be to say that none of us will ever see games as art. This guy just wanted some controversy, not as though he needed it, hes a complete idiot. Can movies be considered art? can music? can books? can paintings? this man is an idiot, and yes, art is in the eye of the beholder. Its hard to consider a game "A" work of art, because theyre interactive, but without doubt there is art in video games. and BTW caviar will never be a delicacy even though i've never eaten it. see how little sense that makes? Who is this guy again and why is his old, ugly, dumb ass spreading his worthless and clearly myopic opinion?

Ugly Bob3139d ago

He's played a game, you can see it here:

Therealspy033139d ago

Maybe the most embarrassing thing i've ever seen. no wonder he doesn't like gaming.

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl3140d ago (Edited 3140d ago )

By almost every definition, video games in GENERAL is "ART".

Wikipedia - Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics. (I know Wikipedia is refutable by most, but who can disagree with the above submission?)

So again I sit, arguing this stale topic. And just like the last essay of mine, I'll declared video games as the HIGHEST form of art, because they combine everything learned over human history into one single medium. Hard to grasp at first, but with the amount of combined effort put into video games not just in the past, but this YEAR. Have surpassed a LOT of so-called "Art" found in any New York museum.

(I haven't read this article yet, I plan to, this post is just a response to Ebert's quote)

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