Game Art.

I have a lot to say about this, but not the time.  I will be writing it up tomorrow as soon as I have comments, but first I want to extend the invitation to the audience and to my peers to address the issue, open in discussion, and to offer material for tomorrow’s as soon as I have comments’ write up – material for me to use, steal or rebut.  Have fun, kids.


6 Responses to Game Art.

  1. Safeer says:

    This is a good article, with a much better understanding of things than Ebert’s (though Ebert’s was funnier). To take away the competition, that is to say the challenge (and with that slight adjustment of terminology you can see that single player games count too, not just multi-player games; if you’re not competing against your buddies you’re at the least competing against the game itself), is to take away the game.

    I’d prefer if we even called things like movies and novels craft, because then people wouldn’t have this retarded misconception of things. That is craft, this is game; And the best of each category we call art. Which is what we do anyways; when we call the ACT of painting ‘making art’ we really mean craft. We’re not going to call a child’s scribblings art, but we are going to call a Michelangelo art. The books that reach the level of philosophical, we would call art; but who’s going to go around calling Harry Potter art? See the problem in language here?

    So it makes sense that we would call the best video games art, too. A Final Fantasy XIII might succeed as a cartoon/anime (and uh, I’m not sure it even does that) but does it succeed as a game (and challenge and complexity are our general criterias here)? Aesthetics and atmosphere are all of course as much a part of the package as everything else, and everything should be done well, but as a game (even in its own genre!) it fails.

    Of course, my use of the word art there is no more valid than anyone else’s (which is part of the problem), and we don’t really have a clear definition of games (another part of the problem, and both of these are much more complicated problems than we take them for), and nobody talking about this shit seems to understand that (the main ‘problem’; you can these silly people and their writings, so it’s not really a big issue) so these people are participating in a really pointless exercise in misinterpreting each other and going around in circles. It’s like, by participating in this debate at all you’ve already lost (lol).

    My best advice to contribute to our little piece on this debate is to pretty much ignore this debate (i.e. the nonsense comments UNDER this article, and pretty much almost every other article about this (excluding this one lolol)) and go back to playing video games. At this level we’re not equipped to do anything but resolve issues that were all actually CAUSED by the misinformed creation of this debate! Hilarious.

    • Adam says:

      Harry Potter has a better case for being art than, say, Twilight, but I see what you’re saying. An entire medium can’t be called art, but pieces of work within a given medium can be called.

      I am going to say though that I would call Bioshock and Killer7 art. Bioshock for the same reason I imagine most people would call The Watchmen art and Killer7 because, well, that game is fucking surreal.

      And re the challenge, in single player, I (lol) challenge anyone to read High Modernism and call it neither art nor a challenging read.

      A challenge and being art are traits I don’t consider mutually exclusive, or dependent or anything really.

      • Safeer says:

        Neither challenge or competition seem to be the perfect word to describe it. Interactive challenge then? A book can challenge you but you aren’t participating in it, you’re just trying to comprehend it (which you must do in games as well: the second step is to participate). And I guess that’s what competition is, in the end, because without either interactivity or challenge it isn’t competition. So there we go.

        I meant in the context of games, anyways. Challenge in writing doesn’t necessarily mean art, in fact post-modern art is all about being so challenging you don’t realise how shit it actually is. Oh, look at that abstract art which is just squiggles on a canvas! It must have real depth and meaning! No, it’s just nonsense. If the artist really had something to show in his art, something meaningful, he would SHOW it. And on the flipside challenge doesn’t make it shit either (Baudrillard is fucking hard to comprehend, but he has real depth of ideas under his writing). So outside the context of games, yeah.

        I don’t consider Watchmen art, It’s just it had a lot of impact, which makes it important. And to be honest, I would call something like Bioshock perhaps in aesthetics in design artistic, but as a game it’s just a pretty meh shooter. Even if the twist at the end is pretty cool, it’s still not exactly an amazing vidya geam, and the plot is just Ayn Rand stuff (and Ayn Rand’s ideas aren’t worth giving a toss about) that’s made more entertaining because of the visual spectacle. Doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily worth giving a spin, it’s just not something I would incite as the forefront of game design. If it was beautiful AND gamey (lol) then it may can has be an art.

  2. Safeer says:

    lol, I ended up writing an article. I’d love to show it to that dude, as well, since dredging through 153 stupid comments to possibly find some nuggets of sensible responses would no doubt be a huge chore.

    Also want to add another clarification to something that dude said: the act of competing to make better art for prizes could definitely be called a game, but that doesn’t make the art being produced games! And it doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on the quality of the art.

  3. Pingback: An Open Essay: Video Games as Art. « Unspeakable Evil

  4. Pingback: re: Video Games as Art « esoteric.

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