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Carpenter: "I don't buy Ebert's argument"

Film director talks videogames on EGTV.

Film director John Carpenter has told Eurogamer TV that he doesn't agree with Roger Ebert that games cannot be art, but also cautioned people not to ask too much of the young medium.

Asked what he thought of Ebert's controversial article, and whether Hollywood perhaps felt threatened by videogames, Carpenter replied: "No. I don't buy his argument either."

In April veteran film critic Ebert penned a column entitled "Video games can never be art", in which he argued, "no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form".

Since then he has stuck to his guns but has admitted he would have been better off never bringing it up.

Carpenter, director of many classic films including Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, Escape from New York and The Thing, and a contributor to Warner Bros' F.E.A.R. 3, also told Eurogamer TV that we probably shouldn't be so hung up on writing in games.

"I think you're asking a videogame to be something it isn't," he said. "A movie isn't a novel.

"So there's great writing in every medium - comic books, videogames, movies, literature. So it depends on what the purpose of it is. There's a lot of great writing in videogames, just don't ask it to be what it isn't."

Carpenter also told us that he got into videogames through his son, and that his favourites are mostly first-person shooters.

Funnily enough, that's what he happens to be working on: F.E.A.R. 3, developed by Day 1 Studios, takes the slow-motion gunplay and horror narrative established by the first two games and runs with it, as Carpenter and the game's writer Steve Niles explained in the full interview with Eurogamer TV, which you can watch below.

Steve Niles and John Carpenter on writing in games.
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About the Author
Tom Bramwell avatar

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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