A few months ago, Roger Ebert made the following sweeping statement:
Video games can never be art.
This is actually a re-iteration of a previous sweeping statement he made regarding video games and their not-ever-being-art status, but this last round was pretty notable in the bit of a ruckus, a to-do, a veritable hooferaw it provoked on teh intarweebles. All sorts of shit from "G4M35 R 2 ART" to long detailed intelligent essays on why Ebert was wrong.
My personal reaction was "meh, d00d's talking out his ass. I give it as much credence as if he was saying that he had definitive proof of observing the Higgs Boson." Guy has no clue.
But apparently, he's now apologized, and man I am livid. What a fucking asshole.
Point #1 - He admits that he has no fucking clue what he's talking about. He admits to not playing video games - and also to not ever wanting to play video games.
Point #2 - His "apology" was that he now believes he was wrong to have said anything, but most definitely not wrong for holding that opinion - which as mentioned in Point #1 he acknowledges as being based on conjecture and fairy dust and by gum that's good enough for him.
Worse than the asshole media shitbags that were wrong about WMDs for the right reasons (although on a far far lesser scale of importance). Ebert is saying that he is right and fuck you if you have incontrovertible proof otherwise. He's basically put into words the fundamental basis for fringe thought and behaviour. His stance on video games is now, by his own admission, on par with Young Earth Creationism. Actually, less than that because at least some Young Earthers make pathetic attempts to address criticism.
He's revelling in his ignorance. He's using it as the foundation of his argument. And he insists on refusing to learn. In the words of another great assmunch fuckface, he has neither the time nor the background to figure out if games are art, let alone whether or not they can ever aspire to that title. Therefore they aren't. Period. Although he's sorry if you took offense - because you're a gamer and therefore are deserving of pity- but he's still right because shut up that's why.
And consider his excuse for not even giving games a chance -
Besides, arguing with a You Tube video was pointless if I had never played a game. They had me there. And I didn't want to play a video game. If I should dislike it, I already had a preview of the response awaiting me: I was too old, I was over the hill, I was too aged it "get it.".He goes on, but at no point does he ever concede the remotest possibility that maybe - just maybe, the 4200 odd commenters might possibly have a point and that there is artistic merit enough in some specific video games that even a pompous blowhard like himself might concede that it could be considered Art.
This fucking jackwad got 4500 responses - on the fucking internets - where only as many as a dozen were offensive trollery. On the intarweebs. A 99.7% plus valid response rate. On the web. Not counting folks who replied outside of the thread with their mountains of posts. Like finding a Coupe de Ville at the bottom of a Crackerjack box.
And despite a 90% plus rate of folks who disagreed and rationally pointed out that games are Art - well, wevs. He's Ebert, his opinion based on nothing but some vague something or other and general idea of this or that is way more important than getting 4000+ intelligent responses in a comment thread appended to an incendiary post that HAD LESS THAN A DOZEN "FUCK YOU EBERT"'es in it.
For balance - FUCK YOU EBERT. FUCK. YOU. EBERT. Hey Ebert, Fuck You. (x1000)
You know, a lot of people are going to give Ebert credit for admitting he was wrong. Before you do that - remember that he's still firmly on the side that games are not only "not Art" right now, but that they never can be. He says so right at the beginning of the article. Also that he's too busy to give games a chance.
I didn't have a problem with his original piece. He had an opinion, one that was pretty easily debunked as it had no basis in reality - something that he admits. That's fine, we're all wrong on something every now and then. We all have blind spots and we all make mistakes.
But now, he not only reasserts that opinion - but doubles down on it by insisting on never testing it. Despite the overwhelming weight of evidence that he's just plain wrong.
Moreover, his position now is that even though he still believes that he's right, he's sorry for speaking out. Fuck. Hey assclown shitbag, if you really believe in something why would you be sorry for stating it? If there's something you believe to be true, but saying so would be unpopular - you should... well according to Ebert, you should shut the hell up (which I will note that he didn't).
Incidentally, the real reason he won't test it isn't because he has "books to read and movies to see." It's because, somewhere in that shrivelled up pea brain of his, he knows he's wrong (and that's why he's actually sorry for saying something he professes to believe - because he doesn't really believe it, although he also doesn't have the guts to realize that either). He's played two video games ever - one he didn't get at all (Myst, no wonder - that's a POS game) and one he "enormously enjoyed". So if he based things on experience instead of some touchy-feely totally arbitrary and never explained way of seeing things - he's got a 50% chance of finding something he'd really get a kick out of. If he can claim a 50% chance of enjoying the next book or movie he consumes than he's lying.
I guess that's the bright side of this thing - jackass is so fucked up, so obsessed with being right and ascared of being wrong, even after admitting that he has no idea what he's talking about - that he's willing to forgo experiences he knows he'll enjoy. And after that display of wallowing in ignorance, the idea of Ebert missing out on the fun makes me smile.
Oh, and for good measure - FUCK YOU ROGER EBERT.