“The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer,” in Boston, is the first major museum retrospective dedicated to a game designer’s work.
In April 2010, a brouhaha erupted in the gaming community that still reverberates today: The film critic Roger Ebert had opined that video games could never truly be counted as art. “Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form,” he wrote on his blog. But three months later, in an erudite follow-up titled “Okay, Kids, Play on My Lawn,” he recanted. Great works of art, he speculated, “could instruct me about life, love, disease and death, principles and morality, humor and tragedy.” Ebert admitted that he hadn’t spent enough time with video games to know if they could, indeed, evoke these feelings. “I don’t know if they can be inspired to transcend themselves,” he wrote. “Perhaps they can. How can I say?”