Author On Roger Ebert’s Remarks: Insane

Author On Roger Ebert’s Remarks: Insane

This past April, film critic Roger Ebert wrote a post called “Video games can never be art” that carried dogmatic statements like this:

“Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form”.

Alex Garland, author of the book The Beach and screenwriter of 28 Days Later, has taken the famed film critic to task, saying his comments were “insane”.

“It’s an incredibly stupid thing to say, though I say that without knowing anything about what he said beyond what you’ve just told me,” Garland tells Edge. “How could you anticipate where games would be in 30 years? How could you possibly do that?”

“There’s so many reasons why he’s wrong,” Garland added. “What he’s talking about is an artform at a very, very early point in its life… It’s just bullshit. It’s a stupid, ill-informed thing to say.”

Garland wrote a draft of the Halo film that was never made. He also wrote upcoming video game Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

Ebert later admitted that he was a “fool” for mentioning video games in the first place. 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 still said he believes video games can never be Art. “But I should never have said so,” he adds. “Some opinions are best kept to yourself.”

News: Ebert games-bashing is ‘bullsh*t’, says author [CVG]


  • Why do so many gamers give a shit about what Roger Ebert thinks games should be? There’s so much insecurity and an inferiority complex that permeates the gaming community that whenever someone says something like this, they bomb said person’s Amazon items with 1 star reviews, send hate mail and overload servers. Incredibly juvenile behaviour and is no better than monkeys throwing their shit in a zoo. How are mainstream audiences supposed to take gaming seriously if we have a goddamn moral crusade we feel our hobby has been slighted?

    Bunch of babies. I respect Ebert as as film critic and he’s part of an old guard that doesn’t have much experience with games. He admitted his error. And even if he flat-out disagreed, he’s entitled to his opinion.

    • Gamers give a shit because it’s bad press. In a world where every single game featuring a drop of blood gets pointed at as the sole reason for a mentally unstable person going on a killing rampage, someone of Ebert’s standing, who is payed to, and has built a career around voicing his opinion, making a statement this broad and definitive, can really hurt outsiders view of a culture that already has enough nay sayers.

      If Conroy turned around and used this as an example in regards to denying an R18+ rating for games, then I assure you that you, as a gamer, would too care.

      • I’m not defending Fox News, but Ebert didn’t say anything inflammatory, he just voiced his honest opinion and for months we’ve had nothing but gaming blogs etc tear him down for that.

        Whatever happened to not agreeing with someone, but supporting their right to say so? Gamers are perhaps the most touchy demographic out there. Look at what happened to SC2’s Amazon page once LAN was removed. I think gamers acting like spoilt brats is doing far worse for our reputation than an esteemed critic saying that he personally doesn’t believe games are an artform.

  • Although I don’t agree with what Ebert said he does in fact have a right to say it. Of course it was an incredibly “ill-informed” and “stupid” thing to believe but that doesn’t mean he should have to keep it to himself.

  • Wow, talk about a late, overblown, unnecessary reaction. Alex Garland’s comments are not newsworthy, topical or original.

    Roger Ebert, even though you’ll never read this: please don’t keep those opinions to yourself. Just make it clear(er) from the start that they are simply opinions.

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