Back in 2010, legendary film critic Roger Ebert famously declared that “video games can never be art.” Whether you agree with the critic or not, there's no denying that Ebert made an excellent case at the time to back up his bold claim.
Speaking with IGN, Fares, who was previously a filmmaker before transitioning to games, said the critic, who has since sadly passed away, was “absolutely wrong.” Fares continued:
"Nothing personally against him, but that was—I don't even talk to people who say games are not art. It doesn't even make sense. It's so insanely stupid."
Fares backed up his claim by illustrating how there are multiple facets in a game that all come together in development, each with their own artistic merit. For example, there are animators, concept artists, writers, etc., all who create art on their own, and all whose work combines for an even larger body of art.
"If you ask the question: 'If I draw you a painting here, would you consider that art?' I think most people would say, 'Yes.' Then my answer is that's like one small portion of making a game. I'm thinking of the concept artists when they draw... that's just one small thing," explained Fares.
"You know there are some people that actually think—like, you know when they say, 'Oh, this is computer-made.' Like, you think you take a computer and just write open world, blah, blah, [and press] enter? People think like that sometimes,” Fares continued
"I don't even listen to that. It's like total bulls—t," he added with regard to the argument that games aren't art. "It's like saying to me, 'Hey, I'm stupid. Do you want to talk to me?' 'Yeah, sure. Let's talk, but about something else.' So I don't even take that seriously."0comments
Whether you side with Fares or Ebert, the above debate is an interesting one to hear, especially when it is being hashed out by such brilliant minds as the above two creatives. Personally, I side with Fares, but we both are perhaps a little biased.
You can check out Fares' most recent work -- A Way Out -- which is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC as of last month. Like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, some might say it makes quite a good case for 'games as art."