(… or, Why I’m Not Getting Off Roger Ebert’s Lawn)
Roger Ebert, who posts on Twitter almost as often as Tila Tequila, still can’t help but seem like a bit of an old curmudgeon sometimes, and his crusty views never sound crustier than when it comes to his opinions on video games. A recent blog entry recently ignited fresh debate about whether video games can ever be art, and if it even matters.
Let me first deal with the pesky view that the whole debate is foolish. There are a lot of people who work on a lot of art, and, yes, it is insulting to tell them that what they are doing isn’t art. Such a claim brushes off their creations as inconsequential ephemera, and no one working hard at something wants to think that the finished work will be nothing more than tomorrow’s landfill filler. I wonder if it would bother Mr. Ebert to think of his reviews as little more than throwaway, parasitic advertisements, clinging to literary life like barnacles on the bottom of the more illustrious vessel of modern cinema. I wonder if he would take issue with the idea that what he does could never be art.
If I were him, I would definitely want to believe that movie reviews could be art, and I would do everything I could do to fight the perception that I was a vulture of the creative profession.