Roger Ebert Takes it Back, Explains Why His Argument Was Weak

By Jon Ireson

July 1, 2010

In another one of his epic rants for the Sun-Times, Roger Ebert has revealed a not so stunning revelation to the gaming world. He describes how he should not have mentioned video games in his “Video Games Can Never Be Art” article which caused nearly every gamer in the world to respond in some form or another with the belief that Video Games are indeed art. After hearing all of the world’s arguments, he admits he was wrong to argue due to his inexperience with the medium and seemingly takes some of what he said back, although he still refuses to pick up a controller and see how far gaming has come.

Cosmology of Kyoto circa 1995

He gives such examples as Myst and Cosmology of Kyoto (find his review here) for games he has tried in the past and says he did have fun playing them but his experience did not cause him to desire playing anything outside of the graphic adventure genre. He says that after he wrote the article against games being art he received countless offers for game systems and games to try such as PlayStation 3 and Flower from Sony Computer Entertainment. Other gamers, like Kellee Santiago, Producer of Flower, offered to give him even more selections of games and still Ebert decided not to jump in.

Myst circa 1993

Ebert goes through, in analytical detail, the reasons why his argument against video games being art was weak in today’s “Okay Kids Play On My Lawn” article. Among his reasoning for no longer supporting his reasoning, Ebert recounts his inexperience with games and pure theoretical nature of his argument as the fundamental flaws he is at fault for. In addition, Ebert explains how he devised his argument in the first place while still he was struggling to put a definition to art that didn’t fundamentally include Video Games. He admits flat-out that his forward-looking statement was inappropriate and implied eternal damnation of gaming/gamers who believe their favorite titles are art. Using various examples of games vs. art the film critic admits he still doesn’t “get it” and that his argument was indeed a failure.


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Jon Ireson

Jon is a gamer above all else. He plays all types of games. You can find him mostly in War games. He is very passionate and a hard worker and it shows through his writing. Favorite Games: Warhawk, Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix, Final Fantasy 6

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