A moment of gaming reflection – A 99 year old Japanese lady plays bomberman every day.

 

 

You know, many people in life spend a great deal of it, trying to figure out what to do with it. Me, however, I was truly blessed to I know who I am and what I’m put on this world to do at an early age. Namely video games and journalism in one glorious happiness sandwich. While other kids wanted to be athletes or famous people all wanted to do is play video games for the good of mankind (selfless I know). As I get older however and see people my age accomplish great things and/or achievements, it does make a person wonder what could have been and do I have the passion to keep doing what I do. Will I always love video games or as the games crank out and the culture changes; will I become jaded and critical like so many reviewers before me when they lost their sense of wonder. I don’t think so. Video games to me are the ultimate from of human artistry; not only involving many different visual, audio, and storytelling elements; but they only become truly realized by the audience (players or watchers) through interaction. Movies, TV shows, books, painting, sculptures, plays, music – all can only take you so far, but video games can take you anywhere beyond. Umeji Narisawa, a 99 year old woman who has as much wisdom and experience as anyone else alive, plays the Famicom (that’s the NES in japan by the by) version of Bomberman for the sum total of two and a half hours a day, for 26 years. She told reporters that watching her grandchildren have fun while playing it motivated her to play as well; now she does it every day, sometimes beating it twice a day. Mrs. Narisawa also says that the game keeps her mind sharp and her hands nimble; I certain wouldn’t want to challenge her. But this is actually why I’ll never stop loving video games; they bring joy, they revitalize the imagination, they bolster the mind, they energizes the soul, and each game a person plays is as much to do about them as it is the game itself.

 

 

This just in (or not) – Video Games can be Art, so says Roger Ebert

Ok, video games can be art. Now will you nerds leave me alone, sheesh!

Well I’ll be whipped, dipped and stripped, did Hell freeze over or what?! Famed movie reviewer and infamous video game detractor Roger Ebert retracts his previous, five years old comment of “video games can never be art” to “I was a fool for mentioning video games in the first place”. See for me I never had anything against Roger Ebert; in fact he was the profession I’d inspired to be – a journalist who covered his interests in many ways, shapes and forms. However after his close-minded comment about the entertainment media I loved, I decided to – uh, distances myself from Mr. Ebert as he was besieged by legions of the video game community over the four years since his words (not me mind you, I know video games are awesome and opinions are like a**holes – everyone’s got’em). What really got under the skin of many is that Ebert based his words on ‘no’ video game experience at all, nor a general working knowledge of the gaming culture, couple those with an debatable definition of what is ‘art’ and what you got is an ‘Earthworm Jim’ size can of worms opened like the Hulk on a bender man. Now today (or is it yesterday now) Ebert explained himself in a rather long blog post of his quasi change of heart, summed up here:

I had to be prepared to agree that gamers can have an experience that, for them, is Art. I don’t know what they can learn about another human being that way, no matter how much they learn about Human Nature. I don’t know if they can be inspired to transcend themselves. Perhaps they can. How can I say? I may be wrong. But if ‘m not willing to play a video game to find that out, I should say so. I have books to read and movies to see. I was a fool for mentioning video games in the first place.

Ebert still holds true to his dislike towards video games, but in his post explains will no longer let his personal opinions dictate what the gaming culture is or is not as a whole. I got to admit Mr. Ebert I’m impressed, you admitted you made a mistake of this caliber and owned up to it like a pro while maintaining your personal stance on the issue. So if there’s anything to be learned from this it is:

  • That the generation gap isn’t as far to cross as one may believe
  • Video games is as artistic as the next form of media in existence
  • And most importantly Roger Ebert is cool again.

Rejoice people, rejoice.

Here’s the link to his blog post, hope you like paragraphs: Okay, kids, play on my lawn