The next slide is a tutorial acronym for staunching the bloodflow from a severed femoral artery using only supplies you can find in your cubicle.So how does Roger Ebert's rationale justify having such a severe opinion on something he freely admits to never experiencing? In his words, he understands video games thusly: "By the definition of the vast majority of games. They tend to involve (1) point and shoot in many variations and plotlines, (2) treasure or scavenger hunts, as in "Myst," and (3) player control of the outcome. I don't think these attributes have much to do with art; they have more in common with sports." I'll concede that point. Most games are more like entertainment than art, but condemning the few because of the many is faulty reasoning. By that same logic, my understanding is that the definition of movies is pornography. If you're factoring in Internet sites, amateur efforts and the vast machinery of constant orifice violation that I'm pretty sure most of California has turned into by this point, then pornography is the most prevalent use of film. Or if that example doesn't work for you: Movies are commercials. There are more commercials on television by sheer airtime than there are movies in the world, therefore that's what all film is. Would you take me seriously if I began a tirade against the value of cinema by stating that movies shouldn't be taken seriously because, by volume, most of them are surveillance recordings of parking lots, 7-11s and ATM Machines?
"Man, I don't get why you like these things. The characters are shallow at best and the plot is practically non-existent."But hell, let's even roll with Ebert's faulty definition and just talk about the blockbusters. So first off, must something be judged in its entirety to be considered art? Is there not art in fleeting moments? Look at Children of Men: I'm not sure if I'd classify that movie as a work of art, but there's one pivotal scene where, after an hour or so of relentless tension, action and pursuit, the main characters leave an apartment building--currently the scene of a tremendous firefight--holding the first baby anybody has seen in decades.
The kind that smashes your head in with car parts. It's big in Europe.For the gaming equivalent of that, take Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. That game, despite being entertaining and well-balanced, was dumber than a bag of rocks after a childhood spent in the American education system. It was big, it was loud, it was the epitome of pointy and shooty. But then, after you've spent several hours blissfully sprinting through exotic locales and exploding new and interesting people, this scene happens: A nuclear bomb goes off, and you're suddenly no longer playing the invincible super-soldier, you're playing the part of the dead and dying. There's no shooting here, no treasure or scavenger hunts and, not to spoil anything, but the player has no control of the ultimate outcome. It's the gaming aspect of this moment that makes it work: Your entire history of playing video games up until this point had conditioned you to believe that death is a just a momentary loss. Death is a tackle or a missed shot. If you die, you simply set yourself up better, and do it over again. Sure, other games would kill characters off in a cut scene, but up until