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Industry Execs Respond To Ebert's "Games Aren't Art"

Remember when Roger Ebert said games aren't art? That not only set off a flurry of reactionary activity in forums and other online game communities, but those who make our games also took umbrage.

Fast Company has a great assembly of responses to Ebert's comment, all from major players in the industry. Some, like Ubisoft boss Laurent Detoc, actually agrees and says he isn't sure if even Hideo Kojima would consider video games to be "art." But others are on the side of most gamers. Here's what Joseph Olin, President of the the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences had to say:

"I honestly thought that he might respond to Flower or Flow in some way, based upon his much publicized remarks--but he obviously did not pick up a game pad and play; basing his argument on Kellee Santiago's presentation from a TedX conference. I would have to say that Clover Studio's Okami would be my suggestion (although many arguments could be made for Metal Gear Solid 3). Okami was Hideki Kamiya's game based upon classical Japanese history (somewhat filtered) whose story was about Ameratsu, the sun goddess embodied as a white wolf and Issun, a self absorbed artist who ultimately forge a deep relationship while trying to restore life and color to black and barren land that was cursed by 8-headed dragon Orochi."

And what about some of the biggest accomplishments we've ever seen? What about certain games that have pushed the boundaries of both technical and artistic achievement? Nick Earl, Senior VP and Group GM, Electronic Arts:

"I think Uncharted 2 is one of the most incredible, flawless entertainment experiences that I have played in my entire career. If he played that game, he would be able to get through it as a non-gamer, because you can't help but get through it. It is just so beautifully delivered--the dialogue, the story, the acting is world class. It will match up against any movie, in my opinion. I give them tremendous credit for what they did in that game. To me that is a beacon of hope for the industry, especially my group. I think it is art. It is absolutely art."

For our part, we're going to ask the same question we asked when we first heard of Ebert's comment: if the likes of music composition, drawing/artistry, animation, performance art (i.e., acting), writing, character development, etc. is all considered "art" - and by themselves, we're certain Ebert would indeed say that music, paintings and sculpture, and literature are all art - how can a product that includes all such facets not be art? ...we're just confused.

Related Game(s): Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Tags: roger ebert, games aren''t art, responses

6/22/2010 8:49:15 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (84 posts)

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 9:00:06 PM
Reply

By the way, let's not have the Comment section explode with Ebert hate. Be more thoughtful than that.

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kevinater321
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 9:45:41 PM

As much as i hate that guy i agree, we are better than that here.

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FatherSun
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:53:43 PM

What if Michealangelo were transported to this time. I can only wonder what he would create with the tools of present day. What kind of GAME would he manifest? Would it be considered ART? Or any other past, present or future fanous artist for that matter.

Last edited by FatherSun on 6/22/2010 11:57:25 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:47:36 AM

If Michelangelo were transported to this time, he'd promptly take his own life.

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FatherSun
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:11:05 AM

@BEN. I had to log back in just to reply to your comment. I literally laughed out loud. Poor Michealangelo.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:34:28 AM

Definitely have to agree with Ben here. The modern day is tragic.

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 9:47:12 PM
Reply

Unfortunately, this is just the standard opinion of the older generation. Its something they dont like or understand, so it must be wrong or sub-par. Its been that way since the dawn of time. Remember when Elvis was gaining popularity (i know, nobody here is old enough to 'remember' this, but you get it) and parents/grandparents everywhere wanted to stop this out of control rock-and-roll? Its the same thing now, just with video games.

I bet that 40-50 years from now when my grandchildren start going on about the next new big thing i'll dismiss it as unimportant and marginal, just as Ebert does with gaming.

Nobody is to blame, we all cant be the "cool" grandparents on the block, but when Ebert refuses to keep up with the times then he as made himself obsolete and irrelevant to the (entertainment) industry as a whole.


Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 6/22/2010 9:48:33 PM

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 9:56:55 PM
Reply

just another older generation refusing to accept what has replaced what they grew up with. Like parents refusing to accept rock and roll, and hippies refusing to accept rap. I seriously hope that my generation doesn't grow up hating the next thing.

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Zorigo
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:47:37 AM

but it probably will.
how old are you? teens? then we have no hope, most teens on the streets hate each other already....


is it me or has this comments section just started talking about how sh** life is these days...

in other news, summer's here...

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BTNwarrior
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 6:59:32 AM

21 right now, but I have so far loved everything new that has come out so I am having a hard time thinking of something that could come out that I would hate

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hellish_devil
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 9:59:04 PM
Reply

Ok, so most gamers will agree that Uncharted 2 was great. But I think I might be in the little, VERY little group of people that liked the first one more than the second one.

Yeah, I just said that I think Uncarted: Drake's Fortune is better than Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and no, I'm not drunk.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:07:44 PM

Oh how dare you. -.-

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:16:23 PM

Erm, which stuff was better?

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Temjin001
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:38:30 PM

Yes, a very very small group of people.............................

Perhaps not even a group.............




Maybe you stand alone my friend.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:40:15 AM

Although I dont agree 100%, I do agree that despite the technical leaps, UC2 has over UC:DF. The first game was in my eyes what the Second is now! I always like the first of anything better. And while its easy for me to say the second is a better production, the first has a more significant place in me.

I personally liked the way the story progressed in the first better though. I have a soft spot for history and treasure and the first seemed I dont know more Interesting, what with the relationship to Francis Drake, and his zombified crew! EPIC! Now thats not taking anything away from UC2, gosh that game is amazing and Its definitely the best game of the generation, heck I think in my eyes all things considered theres not really a better game out there. As I said the first to me, is what UC2 is now, and because its the first in the series, it gets the nudge where it stands in my game shelf.

Its kind of hard to explain lol, I just really enjoy both! The 2 best games I've played hands down.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 6/23/2010 12:41:05 AM

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 3:02:33 AM

Uncharted Drakes Fortune would have got a similar average score to GTAIV had UC1 been what UC2 was.

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Godslim
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:34:26 AM

the first one did have a great twist in it....tbh i like them both equally

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tridon
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:45:59 AM

Looks like you're not standing alone on that one. I love Uncharted 2, but I still prefer over the sequel any day.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 9:15:23 AM

snaaaake-

Personally I think GTA4 got the scores it did cus of hype. To this day I cant understand why it scored so high. Maybe its fun factor I dont know, cus I enjoyed the game, I really did. But For ME to Say it was a better experience than playing UC:DF, well, I'd be lying flat out. Thats all I'm saying. It's all about how much I, enjoyed the game.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:06:18 PM
Reply

Yea I don't know how people can say it's not art with games like Uncharted 2. Even Metal Gear feels artsy to me.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 8:25:10 PM

They are all art. I'd like Ebert to tell the Art Director of a game his drawings are not art! These images we see all start on a piece of paper with a pencil!

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Bugzbunny109
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:07:25 PM
Reply

That guy doesn't know what he is talking about. He doesn't know what art is; and should keep his jive comments to himself. By the way, a game doesn't have to be as good as Uncharted 2 or MGS4 to be considered art; maybe to "good art", but regardless, it is still art.

Also people have this idea that paintings and drawings are solely art. Art is not what society conventionally see it as. Art involves the creativity of the mind and the ability to introduce something novel and creative.

Last edited by Bugzbunny109 on 6/22/2010 10:14:11 PM

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Alienange
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:09:50 PM
Reply

Can it be that both perspectives are correct? That some games are indeed art while many are not? You can't possibly expect us to claim that every video game made is a form of art. Many are just games like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.

Some developers however have used gaming technology to bring us art and it is here where I believe many, Ebert included, cannot look beyond the 'toy' to see the art.

As much as I think Ebert was mistaken to say what he did, I believe we might need a little more context to what he said before insulting the guy.

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:17:16 PM

But that would imply that some paintings are art while other paintings are nothing more than pain on canvas. Some music is art while other music is just frequencies that follow a rhythm, nothing more.
I guess i have a liberal view of what art is. Anything someone makes with intent of creating a response is art to me. Some art sucks, some art may exist to create a negative response, but its art nonetheless.

Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 6/22/2010 10:17:51 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:17:40 PM

Even Monopoly incorporates art though, that mustache guy is recognizable across the globe.

Edit: Agree with NoSmokingBandit. I may not think painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa is art, but it is part of an art movement and is in all the textbooks so yeah.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/22/2010 10:19:05 PM

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Alienange
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:58:04 PM

@ NoSmokingBandit - You say "anything someone makes with intent of creating a response is art"

My previous comment was made with the intent of creating a response. Would you call it art? I wouldn't.

You can call Monopoly art if you want but you'd be mistaken. It's not art and neither is lawn darts or bowling.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:05:24 PM

...and yet, somebody somewhere paid an artist to come up with the cards, box, and board art.

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Snicket
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:09:19 PM

I think you are very close to the point Alienage, I think the main factor that is holding video games back form being called art is the game aspect. In many ways video games have more in common at its core with sports than with art. This is an argument that Ebert presents, while sports also can have art elements in them, Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods would never call what they do, "art". In the same way video games have many art like qualities in them, but that doesent make them art. Not saying I agree, but I can see the value in the arguments.

Anybody who says that Ebert is irrelevant is clearly just throwing names around, because that couldint be farther from the truth.

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:14:12 PM

Well, yes. Your post wasnt necessarily good art (nor are mine, just to make a point), but like all literature i would consider it an art form.
I'm not going to create an invisible line of quality that one must pass in order to be considered "art" in my book.

Like i said though, i suppose i have a large view of what can be considered art. You, obviously, do not. Not that either of us are wrong as i dont think something such as art can really be defined.

But when someone like Ebert (back on topic, yay!) dismisses and entire medium he is being closed-minded. He may not think that something such as GTA can be considered art by his "high" standards, but dismissing and entire medium is absurd. Thats like saying i've only seen ugly paintings, so i dont consider any painting art and i wont waste my time looking at any more. Its just plain absurd and i really cant understand how he could rationalize that in his mind. I'm sure people several hundred years ago would scoff at the idea of music created by computers being called art, but with bands like Daft Punk and The Album Leaf its plainly obvious that electronic music can be just as moving as something played live by a human.

So i guess i really dont care about how Ebert judges individual games, but that he shuns the whole industry without really taking the time to learn what its all about.

With that said, i'm going to bed, so dont think i'm ignoring you if i dont post again soon ;)

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RadioHeader
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:57:02 AM

"Your post wasnt necessarily good art"

lol A new and cultured age of trolling :) ...No offence to anyone, I just like this thread.

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Alienange
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:36:47 PM

@ NoSmokingBandit - Talking about art put me to sleep last night too.

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just2skillf00l
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 4:06:13 PM

I addressed this in an earlier article about games not being works of art. Well...I suppose it all depends on how you define art. Surely if art is just a visual or auditory creative representation of culture, history, ideas, etc...then art is simply everything. However, Hideo Kojima argues that art is something that expresses total freedom of expression. Not that Kojima has the right definition of art but the fact that he closely spends time directing and developing games he understands the process from translating a story into a video game script.

Censorship is a term that comes to mind when examining this type of predicament. If art is the ability to COMPLETELY express yourself via ideas, events, and imagery, censorship can't be apart of the equation. Although I enjoy video games I understand that game scripts are molded and censored for the targeted audience's sake. Even in God of War 3 there are some things they can't show. Of course boobs have infiltrated and survived censorship pursuits but a man's and woman's lower private parts will probably never successfully enter an accepted game's fantastic reality. Not that people even what them to, it's just that the idea that the option is not available. If you place restrictions and regulations on games, movies, and other mediums...how can they be considered art. If art is the freedom of total expression, shouldn't an artist be able to freely explore and express his/her mind regardless of the explicitness of the content.

Heavy Rain and God of War 3 instantly come to mind but both developers boast that they couldn't entirely embrace their visions despite how grim, bloody, and sinister these games were. Although God of War 3 was enough to make even the most vampiric of blood-lusters turn away from excess streaks of thick red the developers claim they had a darker desire than what came to fruition. Despite it being for the good of the consumer...censorship is censorship.



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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:14:52 PM
Reply

I think the problem is that art as we are used to it is something we experience passively. You watch a movie, look at a painting, listen to music, read literature, etc. With games because we participate it must not be art.

I once attended an interesting exhibit in which you traveled down a narrowing faux apartment hallway and listened to the conversations and noises within at each apartment door. At first I was like, this is stupid, but by the end I got it. Definitely participatory art.

We don't just interact with games, they interact with us.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/22/2010 10:17:02 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:25:15 PM
Reply

Comes back to the old question as to "what is art?" Ebert is not the determinant of what is or is not art. Art is if nothing else in the eye of the beholder. It's an expression of a thought or emotion that the viewer can experience or even interact with. In that sense all games are art.

Ebert might want to re-evaluate his statement lest he appear somewhat closed minded.

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Deleted User
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:35:54 PM
Reply

Artis the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression

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Underdog15
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:57:19 PM

Thanks for the Wikipedia excerpt.

But still, I can't help but notice that definition is remarkably similar to the process that goes into the development of many games out there.

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FatherSun
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:03:48 PM
Reply

WIKIPEDIA SAYS: Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions.

Many games are deliberately arranged, affect senses and also stir emotions. Even on the most basic of levels.

As an artist I feel this subject should not even need debate. No one can dictate what I or any other individual considers to be art.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:06:03 PM

Thank you.

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FatherSun
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:41:39 PM

Much obliged.

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telly
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:09:47 PM

That's what i'm saying -- I'm at a loss for how to argue in favor of "games are art!" because it's beyond obvious that they are, by virtually any definition of "art." If someone says the sky is green, what can you're argument be other than "you're wrong" ?

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Phoelix
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:05:13 PM
Reply

These kinds of people should be ignored. If he can't see what's right in front of his face, there isn't much we can do to sway his opinion. All (pretty much, right?) of our efforts to convince him/anyone else of the same mindset would probably fail.

I wish I were wrong here, but people aren't too big on reversing their opinions.

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FatherSun
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:39:01 PM

I agree and also disagree.

I do not understand why some cannot see what is in front of them as well. But that is a matter of choice and taste. To each his own.

I disagree because this is exactly the type of person that we should never ignore. This is the type of thinking that has hindered the progress of humankind. Which reminds me of the Swartzenegger VS ECA petition.
It will begin with the games... which will create the small crack needed to infiltrate other industries.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:29:12 AM

Did you just get your "Thank you" email for signing that petition against Arney too?

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FatherSun
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:13:44 AM

@World. Yes. Down with SKYNET!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:16:20 AM

hahaha

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Hezzron
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:12:28 PM
Reply

Give video games a little credit. It's ludicrous to see what other monstrous creations passes for art these days.

"Electronic Arts"....kinda says it all.

Last edited by Hezzron on 6/22/2010 11:13:09 PM

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Temjin001
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:24:26 PM
Reply

It seems the videogame and art debate comes up from time to time and during which I haven't spent much time to try and understand the debate. This is in part because I don't really understand what "art" is.

Pulling up my trusty dictionary widget it defines art as this.

noun
1 the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power : the art of the Renaissance | great art is concerned with moral imperfections | she studied art in Paris.
• works produced by such skill and imagination : his collection of modern art | an exhibition of Tibetan art | [as adj. ] an art critic.
• creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture : she's good at art.
2 ( the arts) the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance : the visual arts | [in sing. ] the art of photography.
3 ( arts) subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects) : the belief that the arts and sciences were incompatible | the Faculty of Arts.
4 a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice : the art of conversation.

Unless I'm missing something I don't see how videogames couldn't be considered a form of art... I really don't see why outspoken critics would argue that. 'nuff said

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:48:32 PM
Reply

Some of you guys above in the first few posts need to stop with all that "it's the older generation" bullsh!t.
Yeah right, like there's no "F"-up's out there in your own younger generation!!!!!

Not all of us "older" guys are as feeble minded, & farsighted as Ebert is.

I'm 57, and have 20 console & handhelds, and over 1500 games, & I'd call everyone single one of those games art, in one form or another.

Pong is art, Pacman is art, even silly little Army Men3D(the series was fun as hell though) is art. Must I really go on & on?

It's considered art by the one making it, but for some of us it tends to be only "in the eye of the beholder".
But what's truly unfortunate, is that Ebert seems to gotten his eyesight blinded by too many bad movies. Or else maybe he just never learned how to get off the pipe like the rest of us geezers did, way way back in the early eighties.

But just the fact that he won't even pick up a controller to at least try & prove his point, just proves that he's way too narrow minded to ever know what art is, even if Mona Lisa were to fall off the museum wall & re-frame his shoulders.

Ebert, you really need to stick to movies, it's the only thing you do that even comes remotely close to being semi-good.

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FatherSun
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:03:07 AM

Nail on the head.

It is not a matter of age or generation. It is a matter of refusing to accept the world as it changes around us. As well as allowing others their freedom of opinion and perception. Believe me. I know alot of 30, 40 even 60 years old children that have never grown up. Correction. Never MATURED. And yet I have also met younger people who have mentally matured well beyond their years.

Who knows... I will probably die with a controller in my hands. Or whatever form of input we will be using in the far far distant future.

Last edited by FatherSun on 6/23/2010 12:07:18 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:32:40 AM

I don't think anyone meant to corner you Biker, just like not all of the younger generation are pinheads that can only twitch, but sometimes that's what we paint them as.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 11:57:33 PM
Reply

BTW, go ahead and reread this again......

<<<<<Joseph Olin, President, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences:

Okami-
I would have to say that Clover Studio's Okami would be my suggestion (although many arguments could be made for Metal Gear Solid 3).
Okami was Hideki Kamiya's game based upon classical Japanese history (somewhat filtered) whose story was about Ameratsu, the sun goddess embodied as a white wolf and Issun, a self absorbed artist who ultimately forge a deep relationship while trying to restore life and color to black and barren land that was cursed by 8-headed dragon Orochi.

The play mechanic, the 13 Celestial Brush techniques are the player's connection within this special world. It is a cerebral experience, not too challenging with its game play--and on the version for Nintendo's Wii--truly captivating on nearly every level.

It is a game to be as much enjoyed today as it was in 2006.

Sadly, I believe that it is impossible to have a discussion with Mr. Ebert about how game makers continue to create artistic experiences.
He is not interested and as such truly does not wish to engage in a serious discussion because he will not try to play.

I believe our medium will show more of the emotion of the experience with each passing year and that we can find other critics, who as champions of ALL artistic efforts--will be pleasantly surprised with the state of interactive arts today.>>>>>

(Saint's note: To me, Okami was the biggest masterpiece of artwork to ever hit the gaming industry, and there's been nothing done since that even comes close to touching it's crown, bar none)!

Joseph Olin "F"ing NAILED IT!!!!

Enuf said!!!!!!

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FatherSun
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:12:55 AM

Our MEDIUM of choice... Interactive Entertainment as I like to call it.. Is a fusion of all other art forms. Visual. Musical. Literature. As well as the interaction which to me it makes it seemingly the most accessible of all.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:30:02 PM

World,
I understood that they were probably speaking in "general" terms, but they should also state that. And I wasn't mad, just trying to explain something to them.

Since I'm from that older generation to which they spoke of, it get's pretty tiresome to keep hearing/seeing that it's always because of us.

And not all of us older guys are "F"ing sheep. I've been a motorcycle rights and freedom fighter all my life, which is more than I can say for "Most"(see how I neatly generalized "most" there?) young folks that care about nothing except doing whatever is is they want to do at that moment.

Yeah, I've got a lot of ideas & thoughts, plus "the mouth that roars" to go right along with it, and I speak my mind regardless of what anyone thinks about me, including my own generation worth of mindless sheep.
And the same goes towards any youngin's too.
matter of fact, I've had some younger guys shut up long enough to actually learn some important valuable life lessons.

So this old dawg can not only teach them new tricks, he can listen as well & learn something new from the younger gen too(like doing my 1st on-line co-op last just week,LOL)

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:09:58 AM
Reply

I don't really care about the opinions of non-gamers talking about games.

I have nothing against non-gamers but if they dissed video games when they don't even know what it is, they're on my **** list. Oh, then that makes them game haters too I guess.

While I don't know whether or not video games are art or not and even if it is I can't see how and where.

All I can say is that video games is more than just entertainment. I just know it but I don't know how to explain.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:34:51 AM
Reply

I dunno, shouldn't a form of expression that shapes who you are while growing up, incites passion and emotion, touches the heart and the mind be considered at least some form of art?

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HAMCHUNKS
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:18:11 AM
Reply

HAHAH, ppl are a little too bent out of shape by his remarks, it just depends on what you define art as, for me its that experience that changes you.

and games really do change a person, though some are mindless there is defiantly some games that many would consider art.

his remarks dont make games any less enjoyable so lets just enjoy the games.

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Qubex
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:27:15 AM
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That is just absurd... how can that be said... the gaming industry is one of the most creative industries in the world.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

*Currently in Auckland, New Zealand

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King James
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:05:35 AM
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It is art if YOU interpret it as art. Point blank period.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:08:26 AM
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As for me personally, I think that gaming is attaining the status of art, while other mediums such as literature, film, dance and music are moving away from it. Let me explain.

Art and entertainment, to me, are completely different things. Take a look at the music of the forties, fifties and earlier. It was there to evoke emotions, it was designed to make you feel happy or sad, or angry. Today's music detracts all of that. It is there merely to be listened to (in general of course. There are still some musicians dedicated to trying to move us.).

Movies. Would I consider The Expendables to be art? No, I would not. I consider it as a final flash in the pan for the action movie stars of the eighties (who were never interested in creating art in the first place) to have their names immortalised. It is a showcase for testoterone fuelled violence. Would I consider Casablanca to be art? Yes, I would. It isn't about the actors having their name out there. It is dedicated to letting the viewer feel something. Whether that be affection for the characters, or shock at the surprising ending, it is something. I don't get that from a whole lot of movies produced since the advent of colour, and I think we will move even further from those ideals as 3D becomes more common. Story will be sacrificed.

Dance. The tango, the foxtrot, the waltz, these are all known. These are all appreciated by a vast quantity of the population. These are also not recent. The dance of the youth is stand and wave your arms like an idiot, or bop your head. I attribute this to the degeneration of music, but it still stands in it's own right as a tragedy. The fluidity of human movement is gone in favour of spastics.

Literature. In the times of Dante and Chaucer, writing was far less common. Therefore, those that did write did so because they felt that they had a story to tell. It wasn't about the glory, or the money. It was all about their desire to make sure that what they had to say was said. That is almost gone today. Nowadays people write because they think they can write. They don't care about the quality or the story. They want to see their name in print.

Games on the other hand started out as an entertainment industry. From there, it has grown to being a medium that is fully capable of making one sit back in amazement at the sights, or falling in love with the characters presented. Okami is a perfect example, as is flower. Perhaps Uncharted: Among Theives in a sense, but not all games are art in my mind. It requires selection and judgement to weed out those that are not.

As for paintings and sculpture, for me, they are and will always remain art. Look, I know you probably don't agree with me, but hey, that's my take. If you don't like it, then I'm sorry that you wasted the time it took for you to read it.
Peace.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:15:51 AM
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Perhaps the problem is simply that you can't stick it in a museum and have the guide go "Here we have Uncharted 2 from 2009, by Naughty Dog."

I mean technically you could screen it, but that wouldn't convey anything useful about the experience.

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RadioHeader
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 5:16:38 AM

A close-up of Chloe's posterior might draw a crowd.

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kraygen
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:30:03 AM
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Art, 3 letters that cover such a broad spectrum in today's world, how could anyone define exactly what art is.

The truth is, no 2 people will ever agree completely about art. Eventually they'd find something to disagree about when it comes to what is or isn't art.

Nature of the beast, Art is an enigma.

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:44:02 AM
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Not all art pieces are great*

Just like not all games are great*

There's always junk in all the arts*

Games is the ULTIMATE art since it incorporates all the other arts

Again, just because not all games are like MGS4 or UC2 doesn't mean v-games is not art.

It's like saying that because not all illustrations are like Leonardo Da Vinci's artworks that drawing/illustrating is not an art.

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kraygen
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 2:49:36 AM
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Off topic but I know some ppl have shown interest, so here's a news bit.

Amazon game deal of the day, is Way of the Samurai 3 for $25.

Get it while it's hot.

Last edited by kraygen on 6/23/2010 2:50:55 AM

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RadioHeader
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:48:02 AM
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ModNation Racers = Art
Loading time = Drying time

I'll include LBP as well but it dried quicker. MNR = Oil painting, LBP = Water colours.

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ro kurorai
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:58:49 AM
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It's sad to hear that some elderly can't accept modern entertainment media as art but it's natural. It's something they can't comprehend if they don't invest time in exploring it.
Unfortunately most won't.

So yea, it's sad but it won't change our opinions of games nor will it harm the gaming industry as a whole, no?

I like playing my artsy games and people like Ebert can complain and whine for all I care ^^

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ThePoetRazel
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 5:23:16 AM
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Video games are far more art than that produced by the Duchamp wannabes you'll find at the Tate.
In fact, i think that Duchamp himself would agree that video games constitute art, as he made his name by showing people that things that are not traditionally considered art are indeed art.
Van Gogh was not recognized during his lifetime, but later his works made him known as one of history's greatest artists. Ground breakers of art face much opposition from those who lack the imagination to truly appreciate art.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 6:35:53 AM
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Meh... What is "art", anyways. And why is it such an important label to gain? What difference does it make?

When I play Modern Warfare & co quite frankly the last thought that comes to my mind is "wow, this is ART". It's not. It's entertainment.

If the question were "CAN games be art" then the answer would be an obvious "yes", because ANYTHING can be art. But are games in general art? I'd say of course not. It's entertainment. And why should that be such a bad thing?

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The Stig
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 6:36:24 AM
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I think there is alot of snobery when it comes to "art" and people like Ebert cant accept something that he possibly perceives as a kids entertainment form as "art".

Or, it could be that he thinks video games are stopping younger generations (who would rather play games) going out to galleries, museums etc. so doesn't want to encourage games as being "art" like its a substitute.

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Dante399
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 7:51:40 AM
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"For our part, we're going to ask the same question we asked when we first heard of Ebert's comment: if the likes of music composition, drawing/artistry, animation, performance art (i.e., acting), writing, character development, etc. is all considered "art" - and by themselves, we're certain Ebert would indeed say that music, paintings and sculpture, and literature are all art - how can a product that includes all such facets not be art? ...we're just confused."

That's just what I was thinking! I totally agree 100%

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WolfCrimson
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 8:26:02 AM
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Honestly, guys, you may not like me for saying this, but:

Why even care? Why even bother reacting to what that guy said? Why give yourself a headache? Who cares if games are art or not? Does the 'not art' status make playing video games any less enjoyable?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 10:22:24 AM

No, but it represents the battle this industry and its fans have been facing since its inception: the battle for legitimacy. It's easy for the naysayers to dismiss it entirely and laugh that it's "still just for kids" or that it has no redeeming value when they say it can't be art. If it CAN be designated as art, that would mean the people saying such things have to admit to being narrow-minded idiots...and they don't want that to happen.

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WolfCrimson
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 11:36:16 AM

I've always thought that the redeeming value of video games is the fact that it's entertainment.

I don't think video games being designated as 'art' (whether or not it really is art is a different matter) would make video games any more legitimate than it already is. And I'm not talking about legitimacy from the naysayers' point of view, I'm talking about from ours'. These naysayers are just ignorant; games are pretty much not-exclusively-child-oriented anymore like movies are. You know it, I know it, any properly informed person on the street knows it too.

We don't have to try to justify the legitimacy of v.games to anyone beyond what it is, by going into vague topics like 'art' or whatever. It's them who have to accept it for what it is: entertainment. Sure, we'll explain what v.games are about; If they accept it, then it's all good, if not, well, there's nothing we can do. There's a really good saying that explains this: I can lead a horse to a body of water, but I can't make it drink.

Besides, it's not like we lose anything. It's not like anyone's human rights have been trampled on. And I'm not really keen on putting effort into making the other side look bad. They do that pretty well themselves.

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Ricochet
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 11:16:24 AM
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It somehow seems to me, that the whole point makes it look like Ebert has the right to call things "art".

But here's the thing. Ebert has probably NEVER touched a video game controller. Every gamer knows that there is a difference between watching and playing the game. Because of this, Ebert may look at it as something that emulates movies since so they share so many features such as: VA, Epic Scores, Cut-scenes, Story and the like.

We can say that Ebert is really unfair in this whole argument. I don't care whether he thinks games are merit of artistic value but I would say this. I would not take advice from someone who has never experienced (insert subject) in the field and try to give a comment about it. That would be like trying to take advice from a doctor who has never been to medical school.

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CharlesD
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 11:49:21 AM
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Video games are definitely a form of art. You need artists to draw the story boards, artists to design the characters and environment. Artists to create the characters along with artists to write the script. (writing is an art)games are certainly capable of delivering a message or conveying feeling. There are 16 definitions of art and the first one,
"–noun
1.
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. "

seems to prove that video games are indeed a form of art.

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JackC8
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:01:53 PM
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Ebert's comments never made any sense to me, probably because they're so blatantly illogical. He's an extremely minor TV personality, and like all the rest of his ilk I find him extremely easy to dismiss and ignore.

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telly
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:11:24 PM

Exactly on the first part, though make no mistake, Ebert's a huge deal in the film community.

Last edited by telly on 6/23/2010 1:11:53 PM

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 1:45:03 PM
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In all reality, life itself is the truest definition of art!

"For you, yourself, are that very canvas in which your life shall be drawn on"

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RadioHeader
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 4:46:30 PM

Far out, man...

Take that, Ebert, I am art!!1

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 7:06:01 PM
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Radioheader,
While reading your comment, I suddenly got the mental image of Tommy Chong saying that same exact reply to Cheech Marin....

Here's a little Chong nostalgia for ya...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z08zZ1xW9Yw&feature=related

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 8:35:50 PM
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Hey Ebert,
This is what art looks like....

The masterpiece, "Okami"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLUrCNANqDQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdBpc8M-6Q

Soothing licks of Okami's musical artistry...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRx9gnY0Mp0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G591aa5J5ho&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XqZFqVbtns&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGSLb0tAaJ8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yKG-Qu4WvM&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGFn6pvIZdw&feature=related


This is another upcoming game "El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron​", that will also be an artful masterpiece, done by Takeyasu Sawaki, who also did Okami(and Devil May Cry).

Part 1
http://www.joystiq.com/2010/06/22/el-shaddai-trailer-is-full-of-angels-arches-and-apocrypha/

Part 2
http://www.joystiq.com/2010/06/23/second-part-of-el-shaddai-trailer-is-just-as-confusing/

BTW, no charge for the art lesson.
(But you can thank me by keeping your mouth shut about games not being art)

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realmadpuppy
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 11:44:58 PM
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This is just a Knee-jerk reaction to a New execution and fusion of different art forms done in a way that older generations cannot accept. They remember video games as being time wasters, little bits of light moving around a screen that required alot of imagination to see people and cars and streets ect.

It is something that they still feel to this day about, even showing them that games are light years away from what they once were, They still cannot accept that art takes many different forms Thus, games do not fit into their small minded definition .



Last edited by realmadpuppy on 6/23/2010 11:48:20 PM

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Jdogtookool
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 11:45:19 PM
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Oh yeah I remember this lol

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bridgera
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 4:11:32 PM
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The answer to "why doesn't Ebert consider video games art" was addressed when he made that comment.

He doesn't typically play video games, and probably hasn't touched one since he played Pac Man back in 1980.

In short, he just has no idea what he is talking about on the topic of video games.

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