Crispy Gamer

Corpse Run 106: Fair and balanced

 

Sunday night/Monday morning update: Just got back from seeing Rio with some college friends... it was awesome!! Check it out if you have a chance. Also, Gale from Patbird & Galesaur was there, so if you missed the link the last time, check out her awesomesauce comic! End update.

Ok, so... this is the May 23rd comic, but I'm putting it up a day early cause I'm going to be out tonight.

Words really can't describe the frustration I experienced while watching this video, a "debate" held of Fox News about whether or not the government should be spending money on grants for video games, now that they have been accepted as an official form of art.

The video starts by asking, "Should games like Call of Duty receive federal funding?"

I'll answer that right there. No. The NEA grants are for artistic endeavors that are non profit. Call of Duty is a multi-million dollar franchise, and would not be eligible. Brian Ambrozy of Icrontic was Fox's guest to defend gaming, and made this statement clear right off the bat. He went on to say that saying a game like Call of Duty could earn grant money is as ludicrous as saying that "the latest Hollywood blockbuster is up for federal funding."

Fox decided not to confirm that Brian's point was correct. When Brian started to talk about the artists that make games, Fox undercut him with videos of 8-Bit Mario, suggesting that games are all sloppily drawn.

The followup was some guy called Neal Asbury (who had no identified video game or NEA credentials) stating that if we're gonna give game makers artistic grants, why not ping pong players. I... can't understand what ping pong has to do with anything, as the people who play the game are athletes as opposed to artists. Ultimately, he went on to say that giving money away on anything was a waste of government spending and should be cut.

...yeah. While a week or two back I was less than enthused that games were officially recognized as art, this sort of asinine commentary needs to stop. Should games receive government funding? Only if they are not commercial games, same as any other art form that is grant eligible.

Fox already knew that games like CoD were not a part of the NEA grant pie, but decided to deceptively hide the fact, and then promptly change the subject the moment Brian attempted to be a voice of reason.

Fox News, and any other media outlet that engages in these practices should not be watched.

And now, I'm off to go see Rio. I'm absolutely positive I'll enjoy it more than watching that... debate again.

 

 

Comments

The end will be near if you start acting like an idiot. We are talking about the end of you. - JustFab

Sure, was the appearance of the Mario clip meant to occur at exactly when Brian started to talk about video games as an art form?  Maybe not, but if you watch the video, I'd say it was.  From the time Brian says the grants go to games that are deemed to have "artistic merit," sixteen seconds pass before the Mario video begins.  For any tv jockey worth even a grain of salt, that's ample time to find and play a video.  Considering that video games were the topic of discussion, they would have had these videos ready in advance.  This is a television station, not youtube; there's an enormus amount of preparation for each show, including things such as having numerous videos queued and ready for each possible direction the conversation might go.  I'm sure that the Mario video was done entirely by design.  

 

Do I have a quote from a Fox exec proving that I'm right?  No, but it's naive to give Fox News of all stations the benefit of the doubt.

""Fox decided not to confirm that Brian's point was correct."

Why would they be expected to?"

Because they are a news station, and should be reporting facts.

 

I too feel that Mr. Asbury's denegration of video games was disappointing. Video games are an art. I don't see how this can rationally be denied.

I also agree that Fox using a misleading sensational(ish) headline/opener (a practice not limited to Fox News, by the way, but quite common in the news media) is not to be commended.

But beyond that, I think you may be seeing anti-gaming evil intent where there is none (or at least, no evidence to back it up).

"Fox decided not to confirm that Brian's point was correct."

Why would they be expected to? It's not like they were actively denying his point. Why should they actively confirm it? Perhaps they figured that their audience would assume that their guests are not in the habit of lying on basic points such as this.

"When Brian started to talk about the artists that make games, Fox undercut him with videos of 8-Bit Mario, suggesting that games are all sloppily drawn."

I'm sorry, but the evidence doesn't support this. I mean, if you're correct, then as soon as he started talking about artists, the producer would have had to say to one of the technicians "He's talking about artists. Quick, in a split second find me a broadcast quality clip of a video game being played that would be considered by folks not interested in video games to be sloppily drawn, cue it up, and play it over his words." This is unreslistic.

The fact is, people who don't know much about games know Super Mario Bros. SMB is sort of a poster child for games. Thus, the fact that they used an 8-bit Mario clip could very easily be simply because of this.

Now, I agree that given the segment was going to be about the NEA funding games, clips of games with more mainstream visual appeal could have been gathered and used.

But in any event, to say they played that clip at that specific time for that specific malicious purpose is to make an assumption without adequate proof.

I agree that Asbury's line of reasoning regarding ping-ping was questionable (but I suppose not totally invalid, since there is something known as "performance art" which, theoretically, could include some form of ping-pong playing.

But Mr. Ambrozy had some shaky reasoning as well, specifically when he tried to say that video games are a large business and endowments for video games help the economy, while at the same time pointing out that the NEA funding would be for education-oriented non-profit indie-type gaming. If video games are one of the strongest industries in our country right now, why do they need Federal funding? If the money is going to indie developers, why is the fact that the commercial video game industry is strong relevant? I just don't see how Mr. Ambrozy's defense of this was coherent.


A better approach for him to have taken, it seems to me, would have been simply that video game are art, and if the NEA is for the arts, that should include video games. Then the debate would be on the merits of the NEA itself.

I personally disagree with Mr. Asbury making a distinction between art forms like music and video games. But his concern about rampant government spending and a huge national debt is very real. So while games are art, I agree with Asbury in that I don't think we should be expanding the NEA's budget so they can fund the creation of indie games. In fact, it's getting to a point where we need to seriously look at whether we can afford to even have things like the NEA.

It was painful but I think it means that the issue's finally reached the level of maturity required for any positive movement to occur. What do I mean by that?

Google "the National Endowment for the Arts" and "controversy", or even just be lazy and hit the wiki page on the NEA. Since the 1980's (well, for pretty much the NEA's existance to be honest) republicans and conservatives have been tyring like hell to get rid of the NEA. It doesn't happen so often these days, but it used to be that everytime an artist used a grant to make something even the least bit controversial, they would rise up and try to strike down the NEA in retaliation.

Now that the NEA's made the call on video games (essentially legitimizing them in the eyes of the non-gamer masses) expect to see A LOT more of this. It's actually a good sign (as annoying as it may be) because it means that people are finally starting to take video games seriously as an artistic medium. We just have to grow thicker skin and do what the artists have been doing for the last couple of decades. Show them they're wrong by making actual art, and protesting the hell out of it when they try to stamp it down.

Childhood is over, now begins the adulthood of the gaming community.

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