I follow Roger Ebert’s blog. I don’t just like his reviews (which I find concise, insightful and entertaining) but his perspective on life is refreshingly sensible. He’s got his head squarely on his shoulders, and without being inflexible or unwilling to accept change he is unswayed by the mad fashions of the new and extreme.
In his latest post he reflects on how movie criticism is no longer a viable career. It’s been taken over by bloggers and hobbyists, and has been thus improved. The confidence and humility he expresses is, itself, humbling.
He then offers this career advice: Find out all you can, and see what you can do with it. I love that! Truly the heart of being a lifetime academic. Why did none of my college professors ever introduce me to Ebert’s writing?
So when he says video games are not fine art, I don’t really have a problem with that. The man’s got a lot more experience than me, and for him to say video games are mere entertainments isn’t much of an insult… he’s made a living on lots of entertainments and a little bit of art. What do I think? I think a lot of art goes into games, and that games can be elegant and beautiful and meaningful. I don’t think they’re fine art, and if they were, I’m not sure I’d want to play them (with the exception of certain interactive fiction which feels more like literature than game).