“Games = Art?” revisited

Yesterday Roger Ebert posted an article in reply to the one that he wrote a couple of months ago, in which he argued that video games can never be art. You can read my reply from April here.

The change in his attitude is immediately evident. It looks like a few thousand intelligent replies and comments arguing the opposite, and pointing out the flaws in his conclusions undermined his confidence. He seems to have realised that he shouldn’t have claimed something is true on purely theoretical grounds, and confesses that he has no desire to play video games in order to experience them and validate his assertions. I can only applaud his honesty and willingness to admit his mistake. Although a certain stance can still be seen, especially when he writes that video games might in future be great art. In that paragraph he announces that one of the mistakes he made was claiming that “video games could not in principle be Art” — which is probably a foolish position to defend in most arguments about art — and goes on saying “particularly as it seemed to apply to the entire unseen future of games”. For me the implication of the paragraph is that he doesn’t consider games to be art yet, but they may become that in the future. Surely, some games already are great art in the eyes of gamers. Why would someone exclude that possibility in the same article he admits he isn’t qualified to judge that?

That pretty much exhausts everything there is to say about the whole ordeal. Unless you want to argue on the nature of art, which I consider to be inane.


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