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Ebert Claims Video Games can Never be "Art"

Location: All Movie Forums / Video Games, Music, Books, and Other Media / Ebert Claims Video Games can Never be "Art"
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  Chris Kavan
Chris Kavan
Moderator /ebert/2010/04/video_game s_can_never_be_art.html

As and avid video game player and an avid movie fan (and I would like to think, decent critic) I spend a lot of time on both mediums.

There has been a lot of talk about Ebert and this article. What it comes down to is that since YOU control a video game yourself (much like a sporting event) that the change you bring automatically makes it something you complete,  you win, you beat - you don't experience a game like you would a book or movie because you are part of that game and hence, not art.

I see the value in Ebert's argument, certainly, but I can also say I 100% don't agree. There are certain games I have played that have had a huge impact on me: Final Fantasy VI and VII are two prime examples of games that have a sprawling story and character that you come to care about. Just because I happen to be controlling them doesn't mean I don't care about them.

In terms of fear, The Silent Hill and Fatal Frame series are just as scary as any horror film - maybe even more so because you are part of the experience.

Recently the PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain brought a new level of gaming. Yes, you still pressed buttons, but it honestly felt like an interactive film - flaws and all.

I'm sure other games can come up with their own memories and experiences that have left just as lasting impression as a great film or novel. I'm not an expert, but if that doesn't constitute are, then I don't what else would.
11:15 am CT

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There are a ton of amazing video games, but there are not any video game movies that are worth a crap. Cheap up and coming directors are usually at the helms and the usually fail. 04/21/2010
1:01 am CT

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  Chris Kavan
Chris Kavan
True - but movies based on video games aren't the issue, it's the games themselves. The fact that directors are choosing to make movies based on games at all is another reason to think that the games themselves are worthy of being called art.

And the reverse isl also usually true - games based on movies fail just as much as movies based off games - but the medium itself shouldn't be criticized for that. Just like not every film is great, neither is every game - but there are some truly spectacular ones to find if you take the time to look.
1:03 pm CT

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Movie Star og/why-ebert-is-wrong-in- defense-of-games-as-art/

That just about sums up what I think about this topic. I respect Ebert tremendously, as he was a major influence in getting me into film criticism and taking a deeper look at movies, but as mentioned in the article, I just think he's too immersed in one medium to appreciate another.
4:50 pm CT

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Rising Star
Ebert = fail. As a burgeoning video game programmer, I can tell you passion and love go into many, many games. 05/22/2011
1:37 am CT

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