In another of today's main features, regular columnist Jim Rossignol presents this week's 'Blogged Out', a news report that looks at the world of developer blogging and the conversations being had with the community at large.
This week, the column looks at 'The Rituals of Alea', or the element of randomness in modern games, as well as veteran U.S. film critic Roger Ebert's "continued bothering of gamers with his attacks on the medium", and Rossignol counters Ebert's arguments thus:
"[Ebert] explains: "I believe books and films are better mediums, and better uses of my time. But how can I say that when I admit I am unfamiliar with video games? Because I have recently seen classic films by Fassbinder, Ozu, Herzog, Scorsese and Kurosawa, and have recently read novels by Dickens, Cormac McCarthy, Bellow, Nabokov and Hugo, and if there were video games in the same league, someone somewhere who was familiar with the best work in all three mediums would have made a convincing argument in their defense."
Ebert's argument is fallacious because I could reply "I've seen those films, read those books and have played games by Spector, Wright, Kaido and Ueda." But that's not really the point he's making. Instead it's one about whether games are available to "make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic." It's something of a shame that these arguments are always conducted on the terms of those who defend book or films over games, because games usually aren't trying to be a comedy of manners or stark social metaphor. Their purpose is one of puzzling phenomenologies and unusual problem solving."
You can now read the full Gamasutra column on the subject
, also including plenty more ruminations on games of chance and why games aren't being taken seriously by the writer of Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).