Friday, June 18, 2010

Roger (E)bert (R)etry (F)ail

Roger Ebert claims video games cannot be art. He's clearly wrong. He followed it up with this twitter comment:
"Find me a person who would value any video game above "Huckleberry Finn," and I'll show you a fool.
via his iphone (an act which in itself already sort of invalidates everything he said) I respect Roger Ebert because he's a great movie reviewer. Even if I disagree with him, I respect his opinion enough because he's knowledgeable. He can still influence whether I see a movie just by why he doesn't like the movie. Or why he likes it. That said, Ebert knows nothing about video games, and even though I'm not a hardcore gamer, if I had to eliminate Huckleberry Finn from my life or the experience of playing Super Mario Bros 3 for the first to 9000th time, I'd eliminate the former. To Ebert's mind that makes me a fool. Sorry if I'm Canadian and I don't really feel much nostalgia for some trouble making orphan having adventures along the Mississippi. Maybe you have to be as old as Ebert to appreciate it more. I don't know. To me, Super Mario Bros 3 is a masterpiece that I'd visit again and again. Not to mention the fact the whole game is a stage show.

I wonder what Ebert will think of Scott Pilgrim vs the world, a movie based on a comicbook heavily inspired and influenced by video games. Will his brain explode? Will he pull an Armand White and despise it for no valid reason whatsoever? Or does the fact that its on celluloid mean it has transcended the realm of video games and comicbooks and ascended to true art. If true art is defined by pretentiousness, then maybe he has a point.

I think ultimately Roger Ebert is just so pissed off at the fact that 99% of video games made into movies have been so poorly made that he's just lashing out at the genre like its their fault somehow.

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