Let me put on my cleats

Well, Ebert made an addendum. I’m sad I missed this when it first dropped, it must have fallen between the cracks somewhere. Most likely, because it lacked the sensational punch that so many people crave on the interwebs, and that they can the talk about it themselves. Mostly, I’m sad I didn’t get to see it earlier. In large part because of what my initial, visceral reaction is to his follow-up post.

Frustration, followed by anger and incredulity.

What he pens to his readers here, is an apology. Except not really. It’s an apology for saying what he said, but it’s in no way an admission that what he said was actually wrong. He’s pulling back and saying that the act of articulating his beliefs is where he made foul, not his actual beliefs.  He perfectly encapsulates his sentiment when he writes:

“Yet I declared as an axiom that video games can never be Art. I still believe this, but I should never have said so.

His post goes on to explain in more detail his reasoning behind his problems, and the interactions he had with the internet community after his original post. It seemed from his recounting that he desperately wanted to prove his rightness. In large part, he had to struggle with his own admitted inability to create a strong definition of what art is. Colleagues and friends tried to get him to experience different games, and failed. They ran up against his unflinching, and self-admitted stubbornness to try and become informed. In his own words, he knew he would never accept the offer for the following reasons:

“(1) I had no desire to spend 20 to 40 hours (or less) playing a video game, (2) Whether I admired it or not, I was in a lose-lose position, and (3) I was too damned bull-headed.”

In the end, the quasi-apology rambled down into what came off as a grudging acceptance that no matter how hard he tried, no definition he could create would exclude video games from being an art form, without expressly excluding it as an art form. So, he self deprecates and calls himself a fool for expressing his belief, but never realizes the folly in having a belief that cannot be reinforced.


About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

6 Responses to Let me put on my cleats

  1. Scarybooster says:

    I think that guy is old and annoying. He has lost all touch with the times. The movies he like, suck. It’s time for him to retire and make a grumpy old man blog

    • shadowwar says:

      He really did come off as just a grumpy, cortchety, stubborn old man who “didn’t want nothin’ ta do with that there new-fangled tek-now-lagee”.

  2. Rer says:

    I can respect anyone who is willing to admit they are wrong, even if it is only partially.

    To me, Video Games are Art. To my uncle, it’s just a past time I’m wasting money and time on.

    Such is art, it all depends on the eyes of the beholder.

    • shadowwar says:

      That’s kind of the problem though. He didn’t admit he was wrong. In fact, he reiterated his right-ness. It reminds me of my mom punishing me as a child, and after I said, “I’m sorry” my mother would ask if I’m sorry for what I did, or sorry for getting caught.

      He’s sorry for getting caught. He still believes what he said is true, and made a very minor allowance for the possibility of it in the unknown, distant future. He’s sorry that he got slammed with multiple hundred and maybe thousands of comments, tweets, and emails all pointing out to him how terribly, terribly wrong definitive, all encompasing statements like that are. And yet, he still hasn’t changed his mind on the subject despite his admitted unfamiliarity with the genre.

      Maybe I just take the subject matter too personally. I get incredulous looks from people when I assert the validity of games as an art form, and too see a public, well known and respected figure make asinine assertions that have no counter readily available to the masses, it steams me.

      • Rer says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I hate it when people my ignorant claims, myself included, *especially* about something I hold very dear to me, such as video games. He has just as much sense of video games as I do of abstract art (dots on a wall… wee).

        That said, he is nonetheless entitled to his opinion, right along with some idiot, sorry… in my opinion idiot, poster who thinks considering video games as an art-form is a insult to art and blasts him for backing down.

        So, did he admit that he was wrong and video games are art? No, he still believes in his opinion that they aren’t. What he did admit, and what I’m willing to accept, is that he doesn’t know jack-shit about video games and should have kept his ignorant, everyone must adhere to this 100% correct claim, opinion to himself.

        Its not a perfect victory, but it is a small, and important, one. By stating this he shows that he isn’t right in my eyes, and I wouldn’t be right in his. I’m willing to accept that compromise.

  3. theerivs says:

    Ebert’s a douchebag. I miss Siskal, he always pointed out Eberts Douchebagness.

    If I saw him, I would say one thing…stick to movies old man.

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