This may be the best evidence to date that film critic Roger Ebert's very public stance that games can never be art was, at best, fodder for flame wars. Ebert recently retreated, saying:
At this moment, 4,547 comments have rained down upon me for that blog entry. I'm informed by Wayne Hepner, who turned them into a text file: "It's more than Anna Karenina, David Copperfield and The Brothers Karamazov." I would rather have reread all three than vet that thread. Still, they were a good set of comments for the most part. Perhaps 300 supported my position. The rest were united in opposition.
If you assume I received a lot of cretinous comments from gamers, you would be wrong. I probably killed no more than a dozen. What you see now posted are almost all of the comments sent in. They are mostly intelligent, well-written, and right about one thing in particular:
I should not have written that entry without being more familiar with the actual experience of video games.
Emphasis is Ebert's, not mine. He continues to ramble on, sometimes his original stodgy stance reappearing but in general giving gamers the due they rightfully deserve. Yet the response now has been largely silent - Ebert is just reassuring us what we already knew, that he was clinging on to a position he didn't have any real reason to have except because it was generating controversy.
Kudos to him for reversing that, of course, and hopefully in doing so it will serve as a guidepost to others in similar fields to do a little research on modern gaming before trolling for posts, but it still feels like the opportunity to have a decent conversation on the subject was tossed away.
Stick to movies, Roger - Transformers 3 is coming out soon and probably won't be art either.