I've written and rewritten this so many times today, but finding the right words has been difficult. There are a few things that I just need to share about Ryan Davis, so here we go.
A friend and I sent a mailbag once. He got my name wrong (missed the note in his hurry get Happy Hour started) and made a point to publicly apologize. We laughed it off over Twitter.
Ryan once used an image of a Nintendo promotional item I sent him for the Bombcast image. “It’s on like Donkey Kong!”
When I bought my first house I excitedly messaged him, telling him the news. He replied to me in that way only Ryan could, “Stand on all four corners of your property and survey your land!”
Ryan could make you feel important and he made it seem so easy. I never met Ryan in person, but after listening to him every week for around three hours, watching him Quick Look games, post stupid things on Twitter, and read his reviews/articles for years I feel like I've lost a friend. When I heard the news this morning at first I didn't think it was real. Once reality set in, I felt like I’d been punched in the gut and the wind knocked out of me. I've spent the day alternating between laughing at his memory and choking back tears at the thought of no more new shenanigans from the king of summer jams.
It is hard saying goodbye to a friend. I never thought it would be this hard saying goodbye to one I only knew through email, mailbags, videos, podcasts, and Twitter. It is even harder when you're the same age, making it all feel too soon. I suppose it will always feel too soon to say farewell to someone that made you laugh, think, and try new things.
Somewhere out there is an arcade cabinet with a dollar on it just waiting for a challenger.
There has been a lot of debate as of late whether or not video games should be considered a form of art. Roger Ebert brought this dead horse out of its grave once more last week in order to give it yet another good beating. My opinion on the matter - which matters about as little as Ebert's - is that games are indeed art. What else can you call something that the very parts of it are assembled from other forms of art. The code that is used to make games is the glue that holds together that art. Games are the interactive realization of an idea; inspiration born to the form of an interactive plaything. The idea that just because something is interactive that it can't be art is asinine. I would argue that the best art is the art that engages us in a mental and/or emotional way.
Again, this is all based on my obviously bias opinion as a person that has played video games since the mid 1980s. But this is my blog and I can be bias every once and a while if I so choose. This whole debate is a bit useless, really. The thing that spurred this particular instance of the "Games Are/Aren't Art" debate is just as hollow. Roger Ebert is simply attempting to find a foothold in an arena where he has no place. Time and technology are moving on and as we grow older somewhere along the way some of us simply stop moving at all. The-thing-that-you-like-isn't-art-argument is as old as art itself. Sculpting, painting, music, movies, comics; each of these things have been argued over in the past as to their artistic merits. One day when the younger generations grow older, video games may just be called the newest form of art. Of course I'm sure there will be something else to come along for us to ridicule as an art form when we grow old.