Monday, July 30, 2007

Video Games As Art?...Or Bowel Movement?

Clive Barker recentley took on Roger Ebert's assertion that video games are not high art in a lecture. Ebert responds to some of Barker's statements:

Barker: "We can debate what art is, we can debate it forever. If the
experience moves you in some way or another ... even if it moves your bowels ... I think it is worthy of some serious study."

Ebert: Perhaps if the experience moves your bowels, it is worthy of some serious medical study. Many experiences that move me in some way or another are not art. A year ago I lost the ability (temporarily, I hope) to speak. I was deeply moved by the experience. It was not art.


Barker: "I'm not doing an evangelical job here. I'm just saying that gaming is a great way to do what we as human beings need to do all the time -- to take ourselves away from the oppressive facts of our lives and go somewhere where we have our own control."

Ebert: Spoken with the maturity of an honest and articulate 4-year old. I do not have a need "all the time" to take myself away from the oppressive facts of my life, however oppressive they may be, in order to go somewhere where I have control. I need to stay here and take control. Right now, for example, I cannot speak, but I am writing this. You lose some, you win some.That said, let me confess I enjoy entertainments, but I think it important to know what they are. I like the circus as much as the ballet. I like crime novels. ..."Spiderman II" is one of the great comic superhero movies but it is not great art.

1 comment:

Novel said...

Intriguing. Barker and Ebert. I wonder whether Ebert considers Barker's work (books, comics or movies) as art. It seems he pointedly does not mention them in his appreciation of horror. We have a game called Okami. It looks like Japanese brush painting. It's artistic. I don't think it's art. I think I have to go with Ebert on this.