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Ebert Backs Off....Kind Of

Posted Jul 02, 2010 by Suzie Ford

Ebert Backs Off....Kind Of

In an April column at the Chicago Sun-Times, erstwhile movie critic, Roger Ebert, told stunned readers that "video games can never be art". In the original column, Ebert spent a lot of ink explaining why. Now, a scant three months later, Ebert is retracting that statement...kind of.

I'm not going to waste your time synthesizing Ebert's new column as his words are much more elegant than mine. Suffice it to say that he backs off his original statement with a gigantic caveat.

I should not have written that entry without being more familiar with the actual experience of video games.

This is inarguable. Many of the comments continued by debating the definition of art, which, it was pointed out, I never provided. Many others defined art in terms that would include video games. I received dozens of names for video games that the posters said had affected them like art, and they told me why. Three or four games came up time and again.


My error in the first place was to think I could make a convincing argument on purely theoretical grounds. What I was saying is that video games could not in principle be Art. That was a foolish position to take, particularly as it seemed to apply to the entire unseen future of games. This was pointed out to me maybe hundreds of times. How could I disagree? It is quite possible a game could someday be great Art.

Read all of Ebert's column and let us know what you think on our forums about the games you see as art, that inspire you...or take up Ebert's position and defend it!

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom