Roger Ebert Had Plans To Make A Movie Based On A Video Game
It would have no doubt gotten lots of people talking.
As most people know by now, celebrated film critic Roger Ebert passed away yesterday. He was 70 years old. No cause of death has been disclosed as of yet, though his battle with cancer in recent years has been well publicized. Though Ebert will always be best known for his passion for movies. As many others have pointed out already, Roger Ebert might be the most recognizable film critic of this generation.
What made Ebert so noteworthy was not just his encyclopedic love for motion pictures, but how he was able to convey said thoughts and emotions to the every man. Before him, film criticism was simply the domain of snooty academics, but not after. It can also be argued that his trailblazing work has had a profound influence on all forms of critique. Even game journalism.
Though speaking of, Roger Ebert is no stranger to gamers either, but many were not particularly fond of the man. Mostly due to his belief that video games was not art, nor could it ever be. It's a stance that Ebert would go back and forth on, for many years, but for a while he was the poster child of "the old media guard" that simply "didn't get it."
But in retrospect, and even during his lifetime, there are some of us who believe his bombastic opinions of the medium was nothing but the brightest of positives. Because it created dialogue that helped to stir the passions of those involved, and those on the side line, who sometimes became involved as a direct result, to help champion the validity of video games and give it a voice.
Ebert's passing is sad, but also ironic. Just two days before his death, Ebert updated his blog, in which he addressed his forthcoming 46th year anniversary as a film critic, which was the following day. There he detailed the road ahead, which included plans for a number of projects. Including…
"Ebertfest, my annual film festival, celebrating its 15th year, will continue at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, my alma mater and home town, April 17-21. In response to your repeated requests to bring back the TV show "At the Movies," I am launching a fundraising campaign via Kickstarter in the next couple of weeks. And gamers beware, I am even thinking about a movie version of a video game or mobile app. Once completed, you can engage me in debate on whether you think it is art."
As noted, Ebert's stance on gaming got under the skin of many who adore the medium, and the man clearly enjoyed the reactions he received, along with the exchanges that ensued. It's a shame that we'll never see this movie based on a game or app that he spoke of, since it would have no doubt generated even more discussion and debate.
And in the end, no matter its view on gaming and gamers, whether positive or negative, it would have reminded us all of how much love there is for video games.