Saturday, April 6, 2013

Long Live the King

Robert Joseph Ebert, famed film critic, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He was one part of the critical duo with Gene Siskel. Ebert, served with distinction at the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 40 years, received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, and published many books.

When I was growing up, Siskel and Eberts’ ‘two thumbs up’ meant a movie was worth watching. After Siskel passed away, it was Ebert and Roeper. Though I enjoyed watching them late night to some degree, it never had the same charm. Most gamers know Ebert for his later years, especially with respect to the divide between video games and movies. I believe that Ebert saw video games as the rising challenger duking it out for supremacy with his beloved medium. However, even when he questioned the nature of video games and whether they’d ever truly become art, he always left room for advancement. While I disagree with his final judgment, I’ve never been to the Sistine Chapel, I’ve never seen any of the great masters up close; attempting to compare Mass Effect 3 to Starry Night then, would be facetious and make a joke of a most interesting question.

It’s a tricky question anyways, undoubtedly art becomes art after the testing of time, and if there’s one thing that video games lack, it is the passing of centuries. Still in his final years Ebert was brave, not only in how he fought cancer but how he strove to see new things, not many of his fellow critics dared to journey outside their area of expertise, fewer still bothered to make the journey eyes wide open as he did. In an industry that is increasingly blind to the changing landscape of entertainment, Ebert was a voice looking forward to the future that must come. Robert Ebert left giant footsteps for those that follow, he will be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment