I wonder if we could get a conversation on the commentary started....
Well, Seeing today's commentary (and the blog post that prompted the comment) has me thinking - an event so rare, that I'm going to ruin it, by typing stuff related to my thoughts. Anyway, one big, dare I say huge, problem with classifying video games as art is that while not perhaps art in and of themselves (a point which both I and my wife disagree), there is no denying that video games - especially the immersive MMORPG types - are filled with components that are art in themselves. Also, his crack about "Santiago might cite a immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film." Suggest to my wife that World of Warcraft is art, and she'll laugh in your face, though I disagree with her here, but that is an old, personal fight. I find it amusing, though, to consider that it (WOW) fits Ebert's many supportive characteristics of art better than many traditional art forms.
For that matter, what about sport? Is it art, or only capable of being played artfully, sort of a semi-art, if you will? Professional sports are certainly remunerative, but hardly a week goes by without someone expounding on the great ideals which one is supposed to take from sport, even beyond the stricture of the rules by which it is played - fair sportsmanship, group cooperation, personal sacrifice, moral example. Perhaps art is more about what it doesn't say, or at least, art's messages are subtle suggestions, not clumsy bombastic Aesops for us to dutifully and passively absorb.Dance and instrumental performance are are also areas where individual effort is necessary, but group coordination is key to good art.
This is also a possible key area where Mr. Ebert seems to lack perspective - collaborative art forms. Every collaboration has a top dog, one guiding light, one Captain of the ship (well, except for the experimental stuff deliberately made without a leader, which tend to disprove the point of their own experiments), and yet, at best, they can make great performances into legendary art - they can't make crappy performances into grand masterworks. Perhaps as a writer and chess player, he simply has too much of a bias towards individual works - ironic, for a movie reviewer, though.
I'll stop here, because this is not my blog, dammit, I am a guest! However, as a last point: while I am sure that his job is in no danger of a labor glut, I would protest to you, David - Jay Forry
is an entertaining, witty, and dare-I-say, enlightened, movie reviewer - despite being blind.