Response to Roger Ebert
Interesting take on the video games as art argument. I think Dreww will really dig this one.
I agree with most of what he says here except the way he judges wether or not a game is good art.
He clearly uses the same criteria for what makes a game good art as what makes works in other mediums good art. I think video games deserve their own criteria for artistic merit, and clearly there isn't one that's commonly used. So I say it should be the same criteria as what makes a game "good". And people should actually think a bit about what it is that makes a game good. And no it's not just about being "fun" because that would be one shallow and incredibly subjective criteria.
Rather games should be judged by the quality of skill and artistry put into every aspect of their creation as well as their relative importance. You could look at many aspects of game design as being art in and of themselves. Like visual design, level design, music composition and the overall direction of the game and how it works as a cohesive whole. Good gameplay itself can be considered an art if you associatate art with exceptional craftmanship.
I think people need to find better descriptions of what makes a game good than just being "fun". Which I find fucking lazy.
So what are the best qualities a game can achieve?
How about being engaging, imaginative, inventive, memorable, charming, expressive, challenging, aesthetically pleasing on various levels and having enough depth and subtance to last you a while and make you want to revisit it even after beating it? A great game doesn't have to have all these qualities but they're all admirable goals.
And games can make you laugh just like movies can, they can scare the shit out of you just like movies can. They can get just about any emotional reaction that a movie can get out of you. And those little moments should not be viewed as not all that important, like how a lot of the gaming sheeple I despise look at games and only judge them by the most basic technical shit. In other words the gamer version of metalheads.
IMO a lot of my favorite games are my favorites because of the little details that make the whole just that much better than the average game.
Yes games can even have a story that leaves an emotional impact or intellectual impact. Unlike Dreww I do think there are a few games that have achieved this. But it's indeed the exception not the rule. So I only think games should be judged by the quality of the story based on how much the story is expected to matter and how much relevance it has in the gameplay experience itself. Aka deducting points in a Mario game because you didn't think the story was complex enough is stupid.
But like Dreww said on another thread, if the developers of the game spent a lot of time on the story, good or bad, you shouldn't fucking ignore it when you're critiquing the game.
Ok that's enough of me trying to sound intellectual. So I'll put it more bluntly. If you call a game which obviously took a lot of serious effort, talent and imagination and was exactly what it was supposed to be a"bad" game just because YOU didn't have fun playing it, as if every game HAS to cater to your own tastes to have any merit at all? Then you're a doucheturd with no understanding of anything.
Also. Call of Duty? More like Call of DOODY. LAWL!