Which Do You Value More?
It’s a question that Roger Ebert is asking readers online: which of these would you value more, ‘a great video game’ or “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain? You can see the results of his survey here, where you will notice that the results are actually pretty damn close–at least, closer than I think Roger expected them to be. To be sure, Huck Finn is winning by 13% of the vote–then again, he’s pitting an American classic versus an unnamed amorphous game that just as easily could be Poniez. In that sense, I wish Roger had actually named a game–but that would require knowledge about video games, which Roger unfortunately does not have. Roger is being an ass about this entire ‘are games art’ debate, but since he’s an important geezer when it comes to the movie genre, his opinion counts way more than your common internet troll.
Still, it’s interesting food for thought. Have I ever valued a game more than a book? Sure I have. I would, for example, go so far as to say that the Fallout franchise is better than The Fountainhead, a favorite book of mine. At the same time, I’m not sure a game is currently capable of being better, than, say, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ to me. The thing is, I don’t really separate all four of these things into entertainment/art categories, because they’re all equally huge influences on me.
And so the debate rages onward.