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.