Ebert Regrets Attack on Gaming

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Ebert Regrets Attack on Gaming

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Veteran movie critic Roger Ebert says that he was a "fool" for talking about videogames in the first place.

Movie critic Roger Ebert earned scorn from the gaming community with a blog post in April that made the claim that games weren't art, and described the examples of "art games," titles like Braid and Flower, as "pathetic." But a few months, and a few thousand comments, down the line, Ebert has written a new post saying that while his opinions on videogames haven't changed, he didn't know enough about them to be able to comment.

"I was a fool for mentioning videogames in the first place. I would never express an opinion on a movie I hadn't seen. Yet I declared as an axiom that video games can never be Art. I still believe this, but I should never have said so. Some opinions are best kept to yourself ... 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."

Ebert admits that he has no desire to play videogames, but that he was unable to come up with any definition of art that excluded games, while simultaneously including everything that he loved: "I concluded without a definition that satisfied me. I had to be prepared to agree that gamers can have an experience that, for them, is Art. I don't know what they can learn about another human being that way, no matter how much they learn about Human Nature. I don't know if they can be inspired to transcend themselves. Perhaps they can. How can I say? I may be wrong, but if I'm not willing to play a video game to find that out, I should say so."

It's never easy to say that you were wrong, and it's doubly hard to do it in public as Ebert did. There's a lot of humility on display here, and that deserves a lot of respect.

Source: Kotaku

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Ill give him some credit, he has at least come back and said he was wrong, and, in some way offered an apolgy. It takes guts for someone to say that to thousands who he had scorned.

For that, I do respect him

First thing is probably to say that we won.

Secondly your quotations, my dear Logan, does not make sense: " I still believe this, but I should never have said so." but then again " It is quite possible a game could someday be great Art".
Make up your mind!

Furthermore "I don't know what they can learn about another human being that way, "
That is something not even some of the greatest movies accomplish.
Only films and books someone can personally relate to achieve "to inspire people to transcend themselves". Even he cannot have seen so many paintings and movies and read so many books that he got multiple religious epiphanies.

I get the feeling he does not regret anything but he regrets saying it because people want to burn hos house down. That is the wrong motivation. i demand either consistent contemplation or at least proper discourse. He offers none.

Also the "if I'm not willing to play a video game to find that out" part is incredibly ignorant.

Olook someone had a lapse in judgement and corrected his statements, don't see much of that anymore!

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The fact that he still holds to what he originally posted and is now pretty much saying "If I knew you would all get so uppity about it, I would've kept my mouth shut" doesn't make me feel TOO much better, but I guess that's the best we're going to get out of Ebert, so okay.

SharPhoe:
now pretty much saying "If I knew you would all get so uppity about it, I would've kept my mouth shut"

Actually that's the worst part. he does NOT regret stating an opinion that he considers misinformed. He regrets to deal with such an uproar which makes his withdrawal pointless at best.

moral of the story: dont fuck with gamers old man.

Jaredin:
Ill give him some credit, he has at least come back and said he was wrong, and, in some way offered an apolgy. It takes guts for someone to say that to thousands who he had scorned.

For that, I do respect him

Yeah, I second that.

I just think it's foolish for someone, anyone to take such a radical stance on something they have never experienced, and besides, it's only him that doesn't consider them art. It's his opinion and I may not agree with it, but I reckon he has every right to say it. Just like I have every right to say that he's a pretentious wanker. XD

Ebert gave the A-Team two thumbs down. So screw that old man.

Congratulations Mr. Ebert you've learned the first rule of the internet: Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when your opinion lacks general knowledge and/or experience with the subject your opinion is about. Keep your freaking trap shut because what you say will only be begging for an immediate flame war targeted at you.

I can now return to respecting him as a professional, yet still disagreeing with him on his taste in movies.

The man is absolutly right. Videogames are far to diverse and complex to put under one banner. Nevertheless, I think this guy has more guts than anyone else I've seen in a while. An apology is probably one of the hardest things to make, especially for someone of his statue.

So...it seems to me...he regrets saying it, but he still means it.

So, really, he hasn't admitted he was wrong at all.

O_O

We've been duped!

Art is subjective. No one can claim that something is or is not art, just that it is art to them. This argument should never have existed in the first place.

Good for you Mr Ebert, It's nice to admit their mistakes. Always did like his reviews.

Okay I kind of respect him again now, he's admitted that art is subjective, it depends on each person viewing it. I've seen films, read books, listened to music, that are suppose to be the high point of those art forms and found nothing there, no enlightenment, no enjoyment, just tedious pretentious dribble, but that's me, just me as a person.

So if he can admit that he doesn't see video games as art because they don't interest him, that's fine, just don't claim they can't be art for someone else.

I still find it amusing that he was willing to make such a huge generalised statement about an entire medium without exploring it extensively. It would be like claiming films can't be art because all you've seen is Twilight and Yet Another Teen Movie.

Honestly, while it's good that he admitted he should have kept his mouth shut, the fact of the matter is that he's still saying the exact same thing with this. Yes, it takes a lot to admit that you were wrong, but he's not really saying that he was wrong. It's like going up to someone you just call a fat idiot and saying "Hey, I'm sorry I called you a fat idiot. I wouldn't have said it if I thought you cared about your image. But it is still completely true, even though I can't find any real way to prove it that doesn't make me seem like a fat idiot as well."

Maybe I'm being cynical, but all I see is the furious back pedal from the angry response he didn't expect. It would have been big of him to have thought about it properly and made this statement in the first place, instead of making a sweeping assertion from a position of total ignorance.

Having read that blog, he's clearly put a bit of thought into this, so fair play to him for doing the research and forming a proper opinion this time. I still disagree with his opinion, but that's kind of the point of opinions.

Although I find his obsession with Clive Barker and Jericho a little off putting, maybe that is what led to his initial outburst.

UnableToThinkOfName:
So...it seems to me...he regrets saying it, but he still means it.

So, really, he hasn't admitted he was wrong at all.

O_O

We've been duped!

He never meant to say it was wrong. He meant to say he isn't informed enough to make a statement on it.

Seems like solid grounds for his statements, since not being informed enough to make an opinion is what got most of the people in an uproar anyways.

Uhhh..... am I the only one realizing that he's not really apologizing for shit, except not keeping his opinion to himself? He seems to make it very clear he still feels the same way, except now maybe he's willing to admit that sometime in the distant future a game could be considered art? That's not an apology, in my eyes. That's basically him standing behind his previous statement, with a "Maybe I shouldn't have said it" attitude.

Crazy_Bird:

SharPhoe:
now pretty much saying "If I knew you would all get so uppity about it, I would've kept my mouth shut"

Actually that's the worst part. he does NOT regret stating an opinion that he considers misinformed. He regrets to deal with such an uproar which makes his withdrawal pointless at best.

I don't think he realized that he would basically piss off the entire internet.

I'll admit it's brave to say that "Wow, I shouldn't have said that," but he still feels the same way about it all. The only thing he regrets is saying it, not the way he feels. In a way that irritates me because I hate when popular people backtrack on their words because they're popular. It's like "oh, I said something that might offend someone!" So I'll give him credit in that he didn't reverse his position, but did at least admit that he shouldn't have said it.

He's an old man. I don't really care what he thinks, lol. I mean, it's like if my dad gave an opinion on videogames, he's 60. He can't be considered anymore an official on videogames as Ebert. If we sat him down and let him play Shadow of the Colossus and Flower, he'd still hold the same position. He'll never see gaming as anything more then a stupid fad that the youngins are doing.

I really don't see this as an apology; if only based on the snippets of the article The Escapist have pulled out; I mean:

"I concluded without a definition that satisfied me. I had to be prepared to agree that gamers can have an experience that, for them, is Art. I don't know what they can learn about another human being that way, no matter how much they learn about Human Nature. I don't know if they can be inspired to transcend themselves. Perhaps they can. How can I say? I may be wrong, but if I'm not willing to play a video game to find that out, I should say so."

I concluded without a definition that satisfied me. I had to be prepared to agree that gamers can have an experience that, for them, is Art. I don't know what they can learn about another human being that way, no matter how much they learn about Human Nature. I don't know if they can be inspired to transcend themselves. Perhaps they can. How can I say? I may be wrong, but if I'm not willing to play a video game to find that out, I should say so."

So what he is basically saying is that games aren't art, and he sticks to his opinion, but he shouldn't have said anything because he has no understanding of the subject matter and people rightfully pointed out his ignorance...

And thus Roger Ebert redeems himself in my eyes completely. Now if only he might realise how this could also apply to the *other* thing he called without artistic value and maybe, JUST MAYBE, he'll finally exit his insulated time-capsule and observe how the world became as it has today.

On a purely joking note, I BET THIS WAS BECAUSE OF YAHTZEE!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/1815-Prince-of-Persia-The-Forgotten-Sands

He posts this video, directly scorning Ebert and 1 week later this comes out?! IT IS AMAZING!! (and in a wacky sort of sense quite likely too, since the two of them are actually pretty similar in character. And as they say...birds of a feather...wouldn't be surprised if he watched it and thought to himself a bit about it all).

But to conclude...congratulations Roger Ebert. Few sacred cows as him would ever display this level of humility and admit their own ignorance on a subject they felt they had to debate with others strenously - and for that I must salute you. I'd hope for something more, but who am I kidding - this is already quite something as it is and I doubt he'll exceed it. Still...at least he threw me one intriguing surprise at the least.

I wonder what changed his mind- oh that's right, the internet. I guess his mailbox is stuffed with hatemail.

So he has changed his position not because of any altered convictions, but because of a negative reaction from a fanbase?
Market testing at its worst. That's akin to the movies that change their ending because the initial test audience thought it was too sad that the hero dies.

I'm very sad he caved, and I don't think a healthy Ebert in his prime would have.

The thought process behind this must have been;
"Uhh fuck what I said was stupid, lets try and take it back without actually taking it back"

Now I just hate the guy even more.

You have to give him credit for admitting his mistakes, not many people do that.

Well Yahtzee certainly showed him oO

Anyhow, not much of an apology really, but more than most politicians would ever offer, after talking complete bs...

UnableToThinkOfName:
So...it seems to me...he regrets saying it, but he still means it.

So, really, he hasn't admitted he was wrong at all.

O_O

We've been duped!

At least he admitted he should have kept his baseless opinion to himself. It bugs me that he still claims games can never be art without having played, but i's better than nothing.

Well duh! He should have known better :P

You don't criticize outside your own genre unless you are specifically looking to toll someone :P

and yes HE STILL THINKS THEY CAN NEVER BE ART PPL!

Wait, people are still paying attention to Q-Bert? I thought that retro game was over and done with a long time ago.

The hell? I don't get this asshat.
First he says games aren't art. Then he regrets this statement, but he says he hasn't changed his mind.
Then, he just states he isn't going to try gaming at all.

So, He doesn't regret saying that bullshit, he regrets saying that bullshit to our faces.
And his head is so far stuck up his own ass he doesn't even realise he's being a real dick here?
For me, this just makes me dislike him even more.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I didn't even really care about him saying games aren't art.
I'm just a bit confused about why he thinks he decides what's art and what isn't. Not sure whether it was his intention, but I got the sense he feels superior.

Wow, people only read headlines that are made up by a third party.

It's funny how many people say that games are now art because of this link.

Why are people saying that this apology doesn't make you feel better? You know what you need to do? Go fuck yourself. Why did it upset you so much in the first place? He's not the first old guy to disparage video games. Get the fuck over it. Unless you are
A)A game designer
and
B) Consider yourself an artist

you have no right to demand an apology. Do you demand an apology from everyone who has an opinion that's different from yours? If so you're a dick and I'm guessing not much fun at a party.

At least he tried.

He failed, but he tryed to make up for it.

I think this is the best anyones going to get out of him to be honest.

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