Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

July 2, 2010 -

While many have celebrated the fact that film critic Roger Ebert backpedaled (thanks to E. Zachary Knight via the Shoutbox) ever so slightly this week, saying that videogames could be considered art given some sort of miracle, somehow, someday (but not in our lifetime), game critic Gus Mastrapa laments Ebert's return to the shadows of videogame criticism. Why would he do that? Because, Ebert was a worthy adversary, unlike politicians, a certain lawyer, children's advocacy groups and talking heads on TV; he inspired thoughtful, well-crafted arguments by columnists and gamers that we don't usually hear, and in turn, made us look better.

At least that's Mastrapa's theory. And like those well created arguments from gamers that games are already art, Mastrapa's opinions on the matter are important. In our struggle with so many uninformed outside forces, we often revert to childish arguments, pretty name calling, and character assassination instead of explaining in emphatic and clear terms that games are, at the very least, important to our culture.

I'll leave you with a good portion of Mastrapa's lament (I encourage you to read the whole thing here):

We need Roger Ebert, because our usual enemies -- politicians, censors and one lawyer who need not be named -- tend to bring out the worst in us. They raise our ire. We babble incoherently at their threats, embarrassing ourselves more than redeeming ourselves.

But then along came Ebert, who graciously took on the role of the professional wrestling heel. Leaving us, for the first time, to be the face -- the good guys fighting the good fight.

And boy did we live up to the challenge. We wrote our little hearts out. We got introspective. We looked long and hard at the combined works of all game designers living and dead and we re-assessed their merits. We argued and debated so long that we bored ourselves and others. But oh, the rigor and passion Ebert evoked.

And just like that we're probably going to revert back to the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, Neanderthals that Ebert secretly suspects we are.
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Re: Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

That's funny.  I thought, for the most part, we were playing nice with the decision-makers (the ECA's petition to the Supreme Court as an example) whereas we offered Ebert our unbridled scorn and derision.  Maybe it was just me?

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

Um, Eberts lamentations about games were not much more ignorant, rambling, or self-contradicting than most other arguements against games.  Ebert only got extra attention, and perhaps restrained respect, because of his reputation.

In the end he is just another old man talking shit about something he had zero knowledge and experience of.  He even (almost) admitted as much in his half-hearted retraction on the issue.

Involving the attention of Ebert will do little to change the overall view of games and gamers- gamers are doing most of the legwork in making the medium look like crap.  The fact that most game discussions, websites, and publications are still rife with juvenile humor and petty fanboyism indicates that the gamers still haven't grown up enough.

Re: Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

"pretty name calling"

What the *snowflake* is this *rainbow* going on about? Of course video games are art, you *unicorn*. If I see one more *splendid* critic giving video games *northern lights* about not being art, I will personally *give them a handshake out of respect and brotherly love*.

Seriously, I believe he made mention about giving Shadow of the Collosus a try after talking to some folks.

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Re: Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

Indeed, some people make me *frumple* and make me want to *dance* with them, unlike Ebert that inspired me to *play* and *chase* him.

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- MaurĂ­cio Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

I'd really like to show them Okami(especially the guardian sapling revival scenes!). Maybe then they could consider calling at least some games art.

 
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Matthew Wilsonif they were serious, they would go to youtube. most youtube game reviewers tend to revew games as product, and tend leave social issues out of it.10/25/2014 - 1:42pm
quiknkoldif the gamergaters were serious, they'd realize that Kotaku and Polygon arent the only games in town, and that with the freedom of the internet, they could create their own websites and achieve the goals they are trying to achieve without arguement.10/25/2014 - 1:35pm
james_fudgehe should have called the police.10/25/2014 - 1:20pm
TechnogeekAt least my statement still holds if it does turn out to be a false flag.10/25/2014 - 1:03pm
NeenekoThough I admit, since doxxing and false flag where heavily used tactics of the GG supporters, while they are not historical tactics used by detractors, I am skeptical how much it is really 'both sides' doing it in any real volume.10/25/2014 - 1:01pm
NeenekoOne thing that makes all of this messy is 'false flag' is a serious concern here. It does not help that the original GG instigators were also known for doing elaborate false flags to discredit feminism themselves.10/25/2014 - 12:59pm
MechaCrashThe guy who got the knife is the one who advocated doxxing, by the way, and was getting court documents about Zoe Quinn so he could publicly post them. It doesn't make what happened to him right, but he deserves no sympathy.10/25/2014 - 12:42pm
TechnogeekNo, that's a pretty shitty thing to do and I fully support the responsible parties getting a visit from the relevant legal authorities.10/25/2014 - 12:17pm
Neo_DrKefkaSomeone anyone tell me how two wrongs somehow make a right? This is becoming exhausting and both sides are out of there minds!10/25/2014 - 11:40am
Neo_DrKefkaSo two GamerGate supporters received a knife and syringe in the mail today. The same GamerGate supporters who said how awful it was were seen in other tweets gathering lists and sending our similar threats or harassment to shut down the other side....10/25/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
 

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