For those of you who follow game industry news, you’ll probably remember why Roger Ebert’s Twitter exploded with popularity this past summer. Basically, he talked again about his opinions of video games as art, and went a step further saying not only that no video game is art, but there will be no video game seen as art that any gamer living today will ever see. Oh and also that he has never played a video game in the last 10 years or so.
The gaming world, kind of exploded, with the guys from Penny Arcade calling his words as, and I quote, “Reeking ejaculate.” Ebert has since, sort of apologized for his words and admitted that shitting on an industry you nothing about is kind of a bad idea.
Now comes Guillermo del Toro, director of the fantastically awesome Pans Labyrinth and the so-so Hell Boy movies, and he has a real opinion on video games. It also helps that he plays them and is in the process of developing a video game with THQ.
This has me excited, and not just because del Toro describes the game as a “[truly] strange, geeky mix. It’s a Lovecraftian thing,” but also because it will have the backing of someone who is considered by the mainstream (and even Ebert) to be a true artist. On top of all that del Toro has probably the best quote I’ve ever heard on the common opinion of video games. It’s in that shack news link up there, at a book signing in Portland someone asked him about video games (The first thing he said was “That’s a kickass question”) “Video games are the comic books of our time. It’s a medium that gains no respect among the intellegensia. They say “oh, video games.” And most people that complain about video games have never fucking played them.”
And just as I am finishing writing this, I hear that Kevin Levine, the guy who wrote the story for BioShock and now Bioshock: Infinite has a few choice words to say about the relationship between the film industry and video games.
For him, video games are seen as the junior leagues, in that those who work on games can “one day work their way up” to the film industry. He even turned down a project to work with a film director on a game because,m in his words,
“What’s the point of having two creative leads together, and why would I want a film director to help me make a game, any more than they would want me to help out with their films?”
Levine has an interesting point of view given that he tried to get into the scrip writing world of Hollywood, when that failed, be found his stride in video games.
Still, del Toro’s game won’t come out until 2013, so we have a long time to wait before we see how video games and films can mesh.
Photo lifted from Kotaku