Film critic Roger Ebert, who originally sparked a blaze of discussion in late 2005 by labeling video games inferior to art like film and theater, reignited talks last week when he "clarified," so to speak, that games could be art but not "high art." Our own Ludwig Kietzmann chimed in on the debate, but the ferocity of his diction is marginal compared to the exhaustive rebuttal laid out by Newsweek's N'Gai Croal.
Taking Ebert to task paragraph by paragraph, Croal criticizes and calls the film critic out on his apparent ignorance to the subject that he is chastising, much in the way Ebert did himself when he pulled quotes from a Hollywood & Games panel with Clive Barker.
Croal's vitriolic and eloquent response warrants notice and discussion, if only for the sheer detail of his counterargument. If we are going to debate whether one medium has the potential to achieve an artistic maturity now in comparison to one more than three times its senior, this is how we should do it.
Here's a scenario regarding Ebert's opinion giving players a "smorgasbord of choices" proves detrimental to its emotional impact:
imagine a situation where a player's task is to save someone he loves, yet no matter what action he or she takes, that person cannot be saved. In that situation, wouldn't giving an audience multiple choices actually be more emotional as it emphasizes the hopelessness of the situation?