This site has lit a powder keg in the games community. A keg filled with hopes, dreams, and misguided fanboy fights. Someone on this site wrote an editorial on this site about how their parents need to die so that their favorite game could then be consider art and screens shot of it placed in the Louvre. This was followed up by whining that games are art, and which games are. Put a Fanboy war here. Then someone had the bright idea of saying games were not art, but just to cover up the second half of the essay that anything can be art if someone just declares it art because they feel like it. This has been going on for weeks and it will never end. Games as Art crap go dragged up again for Heavy Rain with this time Roger Ebert dragged into and soon it will continue with the release of Final Fantasy XIII and all the fanboy fawning.
Why does everyone want their games to be art? That part is simple. These people have discovered what fancy museum and gallery artists discovered fifty years ago. That labeling something art gives a doodle of the Virgin Mary with elephant crap smeared on it a false aura of sophistication, class, and depth. It is also is seen as an insulator against the unwashed masses who do not "understand" their very precious art. If anyone says that the painting sells like shit and looks dirty, they can be pushed out of the gallery and told they are a moron who would not know art from shit on a wall. This is also why no one seems to give a crap about what passes for art in Greenwich Village anymore.
By having their games declared to be art, these fanboys know exactly what they are getting. Any and all insulation from criticism for their games as well as the ability to sit on their pile of art and insult Halo until their vocal cords bleed. Definitions of art have nothing to do with any of this. Calling Shadow of Colossus an amazing piece of art is just a way for the few people who actually played it to walk around smug and use their made up knowledge as a way to disregard games they don't like.
And another thing about all this mess. Everyone seems to still care what Roger Ebert thinks of video games. No one seems to take the time to understand where he is coming from. Roger Ebert most likely only has two exposures to video games. The first would be arcade games. Most likely everyone over the age of forty, exception to the Wii, has not been exposed to video games for an extended length of time since the arcade games of the 80's. Mr. Ebert is most likely thinking games are still one note affairs like Pac Man or Space Invaders. The second exposure he has to video games are video game movies. Does anything more need to be said about that? Of course Ebert does not think video game can carry a narrative.
Of course, have any of you stopped to wonder what films the average critic does accept as art? Go watch Salo and think twice about what you want your video games sitting next to in the hallow halls of "This is art."
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