01/15/2006: Thought for the Day:
The last dissertation I'm directing is on video games as they compare to film. The guy is bright, so we let him do it. But he brought his games and game platform to my house to give me some experience on this medium. I lasted through 15 minutes of 'Simpson's Road Rage,' largely because my coordination is so poor. Even if I got good on the controls, what keeps me away is the level of commitment. The idea of spending hours at this boggles my mind.
My student told me that the most sophisticated games require up to 100 hours to master. In 100 hours we can watch 25 Bollywood films or 50-plus Hollywood/ foreign features or 80 B-films or 750 Warner Bros. cartoons. Depending on how fast you read, in the same interval you can probably finish reading 20-30 books. Not to mention 25-35 operas or 100-120 symphonies. And that's just for one game! On the basis of my very limited experience, and given my tastes (a big part of the issue here), the problem with video games is that they're too much like life -- too much commitment for thin and often frustrating results.
--David Bordwell [film scholar at the University of Wisconsin; correspondence with Roger Ebert]
Len on 01.15.06 @ 07:31 AM CST