Ebert’s Error

Some games are art in the same way that some movies are art.  Roger Ebert disagrees.  You’ve all heard the controversy, so I’ll skip that and go right to the rebuttal: The problem here is that Ebert has never played a game.  You can’t watch a game and understand it like someone who has played it. It’s not the same experience. Who here has played mass effect 2 for 10+ hours?  Did you form a connection with any of the characters? Who has watched a friend play it for 10+ hours?  It’s not the same experience.  Roger Ebert is more than capable of telling you whether a movie pushed artistic boundaries or not, but he’s not capable of telling you anything meaningful about a game from the perspective of a player because he, as far as I know, refuses to play one.  Even then, playing a single game tells him only about that particular game (though I will grant that if the game involves shooting Nazis, he can make meaningful statements about more than half of modern first person shooters).  I can criticize games because I play them.  Bioshock 2 was unnecessary.  Call of duty has been going downhill lately (we’ll see about black ops, COD, we’ll see…) Ebert comes off as an old codger who dislikes games simply because they are a new means of expression.  So he’s backpedaled.  They can’t be “high art” as  he understands art.  Come on Eberto, man up.  You were wrong.