Video Games Can Never Be Art

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Comments

  • edited April 2010
    double post.


    I went back to read some of the comments left under Ebert's blog post. Some of them are quite good, though Ebert is stubborn enough to never concede, given the barrage of arguements against his position.

    Anyways, after reading some of the comments, I skimmed back over the actual blog post, and realized that he did actually talk about Flower, or rather it was one of the games Santiago had used in an effort to prove her point. What chaps my hide is that he never played it. He never played any of the games she used in her arguement. He only watched a part of it, which I'm guessing either she played or she maybe showed a video clip from.

    The fact that this egotistical man, however prominent as a film critic, is judging the medium of video games as a whole without experiencing them the way they were meant to be experienced means that he is woefully arrogant, insulting and has no hard evidence to back up his claims.

    But you know what? He doesn't care if he pisses us off, and unfortunately there's no way to force him, short of torture.
  • edited April 2010
    Chyron8472 wrote: »
    As yet, I haven't readily located the game for digital distribution on other sites, but I'm still looking.

    Thanks, but... I'd rather have it non-digitally if at all possible >.>

    I guess I'll try ebay or something.
  • edited April 2010
    Thanks. It's very nice of you, although I have looked at both already :p
    I was just curious if there was some kind of official store they were selling it from, but I guess it's old enough that they don't anymore.

    Still not recovered from S&M3+ToMI booty, but when I am I'll get that game.
  • WillWill Banned
    edited April 2010
    GameTap is how I first got exposed to it. Admittedly, I was working there at the time and it was my job to play the game. Seriously though, things like The Last Express are one of the reasons that I STILL think GameTap was ultimately a good idea. Getting to play through The Last Express and Planescape: Torment and a few other games made the whole proposition worth it to me, much more than getting to play any day and date games.
  • edited April 2010
    Will, you're so awesome, you should buy my novel when it eventually gets released and translated get a cookie.

    And I do believe that by defeating him, we'll get some good loot.
  • edited April 2010
    I'd heard about gametap before, but taking a look, it's something you pay monthly and you get to play any game, is that it? Do you pay additional fees per each game or is that covered in the monthly thing?
    I've also heard something about it being US exclusive?

    Gary, what's your novel about?
  • edited April 2010
    I might make a new topic about it, but maybe not.

    In short, it's about a woman named Nikene who's traveling the world every once in a while because she's bored. Basically, that's it. All the adventures she makes on her way just come naturally, and unplanned, just like most of her life.

    Oh, and everybody has the belief they're in a computer simulation, but that really doesn't bother them, and even oftentimes works in their advantage (e.g. the teleportation issue, where you basically get cloned AND killed, is non-existent in this world, seeing as it's just a matter of placing the pointer somewhere else, or just changing the X, Y and Z coordinates).

    And that is why I believe people will drop good loot when defeated. I for example will drop a whatsitload of awesomeness, along with an autographed version of my novel.

    Also, I do believe my own writing is art. In fact, any type of writing is art, may it be the screenplay of a movie or even the script for any video game. If a movie, a collection of different types of art, can be considered art, then why not a video game, which is also a collection of different types of art? 3D models don't come dropping from the sky, you know. Music doesn't create itself. The story for a game doesn't get programmed and written out by the magical box called computer.
  • WillWill Banned
    edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    I'd heard about gametap before, but taking a look, it's something you pay monthly and you get to play any game, is that it? Do you pay additional fees per each game or is that covered in the monthly thing?
    I've also heard something about it being US exclusive?

    Gary, what's your novel about?

    It's a subscription thing, but once you are subscribed you can play any of the games in their list for no additional charge. You don't actually own them though and as soon as your subscription lapses you can no longer play the game.

    So if you are really just looking for a chance to play the game, it might be worth it to sign up for a month, play the games you want, then cancel your subscription.
  • edited April 2010
    Will wrote: »
    It's a subscription thing, but once you are subscribed you can play any of the games in their list for no additional charge. You don't actually own them though and as soon as your subscription lapses you can no longer play the game.

    So if you are really just looking for a chance to play the game, it might be worth it to sign up for a month, play the games you want, then cancel your subscription.

    Plus, they probably still only charge 99 cents for the first month.
  • nikasaurnikasaur Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2010
    Posted this on PA forums.

    Figure I might as well rant off here? Get ready. Begin Soapbox.

    I disagree with Tycho's ferocity in the news post, this isn't something to attack. You can't take moral high ground and spit on someone simultaneously, the post was adamantly defensive.

    When it comes to Ebert's thoughts, I have to agree on many different levels. However, he has the advantage, as Santiago was not aware that her first TED talk would be an argument- she thought it was the sharing of ideas. For as much as I agree with the gist of what she said, and respect her for bringing it to light, I believe it was weak as far as TED talks go, and disappointing. She is clearly passionate, but also should not stand as a representative of what we call art, she did not do the idea justice in that speech.

    Ebert touched upon some very interesting points which are true- the concept of marketing and distribution in forms of "art creation" sully the original idea. Of course, the basis of the argument between them is not established: What is ART? I believe it is this split in beliefs is why we will never see an end to this argument- art is different to different people, which is why critics exist. Ebert, a critic of much renown, believes there is something innately wrong with video games being art. That is his opinion, though it is a loud one.

    Mine is the opinion of a passionate gamer and albeit just as useless as any other, but I believe in what Santiago says at the core of her presentation: games are an EMERGING form of art, but if only to those who can appreciate it. Appreciators see art in what they love. There is an art to everything, it requires us to sense it, and express it to others. I believe games are becoming a new art in interactive media, but we're still finding our footing. There can be a beauty in the efficiency of a control scheme, a wonderful score that sets the tone for a game, graphics or an art style that is enveloping and tantalizing... these things are artistic, but only to those who have a finer understanding of them.

    Games are art to US. They become a classical form of art when the scope of their appreciation expands to others who are not normally interested. Maybe we aren't there yet. I hope someday we are... I hope that all of you reading this will help see it through as well.

    The next time this debate comes up, I supremely hope that it is an artist or designer presenting it. Much like the budding evolution of interactive media as art, I hope our representatives will also become paragons of the movement.




    ...Don't think I have the time to discuss the matter further than this. Work must be done! Away! *cape flourish*
  • Think of adventure games. Now, many people may argue that these are art pieces. After all, they're heavily story-focused, generally rely heavily on writing, and until recently a lot of them even used hand-painted backdrops. But then you go into what an adventure game IS? It is a series of puzzles that must be solved to win. These are puzzles that are heavily supplemented by writing, graphic design, and other artistic elements, but however thickly these things are draped over the core mechanics, the point remains that the mechanical workings of a game are sets of objectives and rules that should be completed and followed. A game is meant to be won, or possibly lost.

    You make some very good points, but do you really win an adventure game of the kind that Telltale makes? Surely the point of the game is not to get to the end (to win), but to experience the game. Sure Sierra style adventure games with death and points have a goal of 'winning' but I think that Telltale's adventure games are beyond that.
  • edited April 2010
    nikasaur wrote: »
    art n stuff. yada yada. Go Team Cootie.


    What you're saying essentially is that, not only "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" but also "art is in the eye of the beholder"


    I respectfully disagree. I'd say it's more likely something is art when declared as such by the artist rather than by the spectator. Even though I'd like to say Fountain is nothing more than that a guy decided to be witty by entering a urinal as art for a joke, if he was really serious about it being art, then I guess so. :\



    Junaid wrote: »
    Ahhh the old "What is art?!" discussion

    I happen to be in art school and we had this discussion many times in art history class. Anyway, what it always came down to is that when someone creates something, and says it's art, it's art. Art doesn't mean that everyone has to think it's beautiful, like Taumel said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    So if I crap on the sidewalk, stick a flag in it and call it art, it´s art. Doesn´t mean you have to like it.


    I still think this is hilarious.
  • edited April 2010
    Will wrote: »
    It's a subscription thing, but once you are subscribed you can play any of the games in their list for no additional charge. You don't actually own them though and as soon as your subscription lapses you can no longer play the game.

    So if you are really just looking for a chance to play the game, it might be worth it to sign up for a month, play the games you want, then cancel your subscription.

    Sounds like it would be great for a lot of people, but it doesn't sound like my kind of thing. I don't even rent games or movies because I like owning them and being able to play them when I want.
    If I did what you suggest, I would feel forced to play that game within a month, and as a result would never feel like playing it, and would have lost the money and not played anything. I know I stopped borrowing books from the library because I would get them, be all excited about reading them, and then feel like it's not something I'm doing for pleasure anymore but something I'm forced to do, and it would lose all its appeal.

    I'll probably just buy it on ebay.
  • edited April 2010
    Huh, I always refer to Gamefly as the video game version of Netflix to anyone who's never heard of it, but it didn't occur to me until just now that Gametap is basically the video game version of Netflix's download service.

    Not that this has anything to do with anything.
  • edited April 2010
    Huh, I always refer to Gamefly as the video game version of Netflix to anyone who's never heard of it, but it didn't occur to me until just now that Gametap is basically the video game version of Netflix's download service.

    Not that this has anything to do with anything.

    So you used the comparison but never realised it was accurate?
    (What's Netflix? I get that it's like gametap without games, but apart from that?)
  • edited April 2010
    Netflix has two components. You subscribe to their service and get DVDs mailed to you (like Gamefly does with games). You watch them, mail them back, and they'll automatically send you the next movie on the list you've made. The other part is that some of their content is viewable instantly, either on the computer (like Gametap does with games) or through a compatible device, such as a Blu-ray player or any of the three current game consoles.

    So it's not that I didn't know my comparison was accurate, it's that I never realized that Gamefly wasn't totally equivalent to Netflix on its own, but Gamefly and Gametap together pretty much are.
  • edited April 2010
    Oh, I see. Didn't know about Gamefly. And it all sounds like services that would be great for people who aren't me :D

    I'm too complicated sometimes.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, I'm not signed up for any of that either. Just got my grandparents going on Netflix, though. My grandma's the type of person who can't stand watching movies more than once, so it's a good fit for them.
  • Avistew wrote: »
    So you used the comparison but never realised it was accurate?
    (What's Netflix? I get that it's like gametap without games, but apart from that?)

    No, he said Gamefly.

    Netflix is a subscription rental service where they mail the DVDs to you and then you mail them back when you've watched them. Gamefly is like that with games as far as I know.

    Netflix also allows you to stream (maybe also download with DRM) movies. Gametap is like that, with games.

    I think that's it, but someone correct me if I'm wrong (I'm in the UK and I don't think any of these companies actually operate here).


    Redundant post is redundant.
  • edited April 2010
    You can't watch movies in any form on the Wii. So it only applies to two of the 3 game consoles of today.
  • edited April 2010
    You can't watch movies in any form on the Wii. So it only applies to two of the 3 game consoles of today.
    Wait, what? Yes you can. I'm looking at my Wii Netflix streaming disc right now. Came recently, but it certainly exists.

    ((Post about video games and art coming up.))
  • edited April 2010
    You can't watch movies in any form on the Wii. So it only applies to two of the 3 game consoles of today.

    Also, it's possible to watch standard DVDs on the Wii using the Homebrew Channel. I do have the Homebrew Channel installed, but I've had the disc drive on my Wii wear out once and have a perfectly good DVD player, so I've never attempted this.

    But I've derailed this thread enough.
  • edited April 2010
    I love how varied and compelling the Telltalers' posts are in this forum. I think we're running a pretty balanced spectrum here, when it comes to Telltale employees. I think that's fascinating, though I suppose I shouldn't think that the opinions of people working in a game company would be any less varied than any other collection of professional(more or less) adults(more or less).

    I do find Will's basic points compelling, when the interaction itself is not only allowing you to view the art, but is an aspect of the art, then is when video games will become something more than just games that happen to contain art assets.

    And then we get to the examples, and I find them somewhat lacking. Now, don't get me wrong, Will chose games that are compelling, but I also find Carcassone, Settlers of Catan, Dungeons and Dragons, and world domination strategy games to be compelling, even narrative. The illustrations may be beautiful, the pieces may be well-crafted and designed, the accompanying texts may be verbose and flow nicely. These things may be art, and they compel me to enjoy my experience with the game more. But these are still just ways for me to test myself against a competitor, even the if competition has been pre-programmed. The Last Express comes off as being more "valid" than Rez, its use as a narrative whose very structure is interwoven with player interaction feels like something special, and it is something that has been implemented with varying levels of effectiveness over the years(and I've found most recent renditions of the idea to be disappointing and halfhearted affairs).

    I am am hard-pressed to name a game that comes close to being art, unless perhaps we count "Cloud" as a game. Lose/Lose continues to be the only thing that comes to mind as both being a game by traditional definition while still having an artistic point at the core.

    I'm lead to wonder, if games are an art:

    What are the(purely artistic) techniques that are exclusive to gaming? Every legitimate art form has artistic techniques exclusive to the medium. Film, again, would just be another way of viewing stage plays if it werent for the shot, editing, and the ability to move the camera. If games are an art form, what do we have that is purely attached to the medium? What do we have that is significant as the difference between stage plays and film, or poetry and song?

    I agree with Nikasaur on a few points. For example, Tycho's reply to Ebert's argument is entirely angry and defensive, rather than introspective. He's not even acknowledging a dialog here, and is simply chalking the entire thing up to a cultural divide. I think that's too easy, and I think that if you want to argue that games are an art form, you have to provide something with a little more substance than that. You have to provide more substance than Santiago could have possibly known she was expected to deliver, more substance than I think she was capable of delivering. Can anyone watch her presentation(in fact, HAS anyone watched her presentation?) and find the thing to be the most powerful argument for video games as an art form? She throws up some short video clips and SAYS they're art, she SAYS what they mean to convey, but she doesn't really go into why, and that's a pretty important thing to address, especially to a skeptical audience. Whatever side of the argument you're on, gaming could have had a stronger advocate. Then again, I suppose it could have a weaker advocate as well.

    With everything I've been given, I am still hard-pressed to find many examples of games that are art. The Graveyard and Cloud are poignant and artistic, but I feel like they're just prototypical of what may be capable of emerging as an art form. They may not even be chicken scratches on a cave wall.

    I have to wonder if people are defining "art" in the same way. When Ron Gilbert got a response to the question of why Pirates of the Caribbean is art and Monkey Island is not, Ebert responded that he does not consider the former to be art. I can understand this idea. After all, it was built to sell amusement to people, rather than to really express anything important or to say anything of value. Now, I'm not saying art can be sold, but when the primary purpose is to be sold, is that art? And in that case, not considering the vast majority of the industry to be inherently artistic seems like a sober, if not definitively correct viewpoint.


    This post was written up a bit non-linearly(I added points to different parts of it as I went). This is how I normally write my posts, however in this one my thoughts on the matter feel like they may have changed as I was typing it, as I convinced myself of certain points, and so I'm sorry if I ever have two points right next to each other that sound like they're conflicting.
  • edited April 2010
    what is your definition of "art," Rather Dashing?

    not just your reasoning why video games are not.
  • edited April 2010
    I'm lead to wonder, if games are an art:

    What are the(purely artistic) techniques that are exclusive to gaming? Every legitimate art form has artistic techniques exclusive to the medium. Film, again, would just be another way of viewing stage plays if it werent for the shot, editing, and the ability to move the camera. If games are an art form, what do we have that is purely attached to the medium? What do we have that is significant as the difference between stage plays and film, or poetry and song?

    Well... coding? It has strict rules, but still you're able to reflect yourself with your usage of codes.

    Other than this, videogames simply relies of the timely usage of other visual and auditory arts. Film does that too though so, I can't really see what the problem is.
  • edited April 2010
    It's been said several times.
    It all comes down to the individuals definition of 'art'. Frankly, 'art' is a somewhat abstract concept that can be applied to anything and nothing, depending on ones point of view. Personally, I see 'art' as any result of creative output, either by an individual or a team, and thusly could be applied to just about anything.
  • edited April 2010
    The techniques exclusive to gaming I would assume have to do with not giving the exact same experience to everyone who plays them, or not even the very same story. The ability to play it differently the next time around.
    With other forms of art, the message, the thing itself is the same. People might receive it differently from one another or change their interpretation with time, but the piece of art is a whole that's "fixed".

    With games, you can tell several stories at once, and put the player inside of it. The story they see will depend on them, on their actions. You are giving everyone the ability to start looking at the art from the angle they want, and depending on where they start the rest evolves.

    The interactivity doesn't have a match that I can thing of. I think that's unique to games at such a level. Then again, we've mentioned that before so maybe I misunderstood your question?

    I personally feel that if books and movies can be art, I don't see why games couldn't. They also tell a story, they also make the person experience feelings, and they do it in a much stronger way because they put you inside of it.
    You talk about camera angles being unique to movies. The option to either let the player decide of the camera angles or not, possibly within the same game, is unique to games. Imagine, you've been able to look around the way you wanted before, and suddenly, a new screen and you can't. It's just one angle, you can't change it.
    That could definitely make you feel trapped.
    Similarly, imagine you've been able to control where your character goes, and suddenly you can't. In some games, you can try to make your character move a certain way, but they'll go in another direction. Or you want to make them do something but they do something else. Usually when they're under the effect of some spell, or drunk, or something.
    That definitely makes you feel it more than just showing the person wobble. Plus, just watching it, you KNOW that's not what you wanted to do. In a movie for instance, that wouldn't be as obvious.

    Games also have the option of having you be the main character of the story. Now, I don't mean playing someone else. I mean actually be you. It's possible although even when it's first person you usually are a character, since that's simpler.
    You can often customise that character though. Their appearance, their tastes, their strengths of weaknesses. Try doing that with a movie.

    All of that I think opens many possibilities. Not all to be used at once of course.
    I don't know if there are games right now that are art. But I definitely think that "games can never be art" is wrong. Also, I don't know what is art, really. Is a good book art only when it's old and has become a classic? Is it art based on its story, or the way that story is written? I can't think of a single book I'd be able to hold and say, sure of myself "this is art", because I just can't define art well enough. But I know books can be art.
  • edited April 2010
    I was all for arguing this, until Psy pointed out the rather good point that Ebert's argument is worded to the point that it's impossible to prove him wrong. If it's a game it's not art, if it's art it's not a game.

    Sorry, but it just seems like a lazy cop-out when I think about it. The man clearly doesn't want to ever indulge the idea that games could ever be art, so there's no real point in arguing about his points, because you can never, ever, prove him wrong.

    Besides, it all goes back to the whole "art is subjective" thing. I wouldn't describe poo in a bag, or most of the stuff they give the Turner prize to, art. People call it art though, so it is. Surely that means if I think a game is art, then it is so?
  • edited April 2010
    If I can't see it it isn't real, so by that, none of you guys are real. There's no arguing against that.
  • edited April 2010
    Chyron8472 wrote: »
    what is your definition of "art," Rather Dashing?

    not just your reasoning why video games are not.
    Trolling is a art.

    ...

    OK, I suppose I should address this semi-seriously. It feels like this may be a "semantic trap", a loaded question intended to extract from my wording some sort of loophole or example. However, I do understand that speaking in nebulous terms, amorphous things that float in the aether, changing form as the situation requires it, allows for a weak discussion. So I'll give this whole "definition" thing a shot, though I'm hardly certain that I'll be able to come up with something that is comprehensive.

    This definition may be somewhat long.

    Art is a means of expressing an idea, a concept, an emotion, or to convey the world as it is viewed(or possibly imagined) by the artist. It can also be done simply to create something beautiful, but again, this must be its primary purpose. Art cannot be "useful", it should not have other intended practical uses. Objects like Duchamp's Fountain are exceptions because you are not intended to use the piece practically after it was isolated and given a different meaning, despite it once being a practical installation. Same deal with arguments like "books can be used as paperweights, paintings can cover a crack in the wall", these things are invented rather than intended uses. This means that, for example, the game of chess is not art, however a chess piece crafted the way it is solely to be pleasing to the eye would be a piece of art.

    I think that's as inclusive as I can get. Sorry if that wasn't what you were looking for. Do you want me to try and boil it down to a more easily-exploitable sentence or two?
    Falanca wrote: »
    Other than this, videogames simply relies of the timely usage of other visual and auditory arts. Film does that too though so, I can't really see what the problem is.
    The problem is that games have nothing special about them, artistically speaking. Film doesn't merely amalgamate the existing auditory and visual arts. There are aspects of writing, of stage plays, yes. But the shot is more than a recording of a stage play, it is a piece of a larger film. Types of shots can be used to provide the viewer with pans over an area, followed by a shot in a completely different place immediately. Films provide a new means of expression, they don't just collect other forms of art and display them in a new way.

    EDIT: I didn't respond to Avistew's post before, but now I have decided to do so.
    Avistew wrote: »
    The techniques exclusive to gaming I would assume have to do with not giving the exact same experience to everyone who plays them, or not even the very same story. The ability to play it differently the next time around.
    With other forms of art, the message, the thing itself is the same. People might receive it differently from one another or change their interpretation with time, but the piece of art is a whole that's "fixed".

    With games, you can tell several stories at once, and put the player inside of it. The story they see will depend on them, on their actions. You are giving everyone the ability to start looking at the art from the angle they want, and depending on where they start the rest evolves.

    The interactivity doesn't have a match that I can thing of. I think that's unique to games at such a level. Then again, we've mentioned that before so maybe I misunderstood your question?

    I personally feel that if books and movies can be art, I don't see why games couldn't. They also tell a story, they also make the person experience feelings, and they do it in a much stronger way because they put you inside of it.
    You talk about camera angles being unique to movies. The option to either let the player decide of the camera angles or not, possibly within the same game, is unique to games. Imagine, you've been able to look around the way you wanted before, and suddenly, a new screen and you can't. It's just one angle, you can't change it.
    That could definitely make you feel trapped.
    Similarly, imagine you've been able to control where your character goes, and suddenly you can't. In some games, you can try to make your character move a certain way, but they'll go in another direction. Or you want to make them do something but they do something else. Usually when they're under the effect of some spell, or drunk, or something.
    That definitely makes you feel it more than just showing the person wobble. Plus, just watching it, you KNOW that's not what you wanted to do. In a movie for instance, that wouldn't be as obvious.

    Games also have the option of having you be the main character of the story. Now, I don't mean playing someone else. I mean actually be you. It's possible although even when it's first person you usually are a character, since that's simpler.
    You can often customise that character though. Their appearance, their tastes, their strengths of weaknesses. Try doing that with a movie.

    All of that I think opens many possibilities. Not all to be used at once of course.
    I don't know if there are games right now that are art. But I definitely think that "games can never be art" is wrong. Also, I don't know what is art, really. Is a good book art only when it's old and has become a classic? Is it art based on its story, or the way that story is written? I can't think of a single book I'd be able to hold and say, sure of myself "this is art", because I just can't define art well enough. But I know books can be art.

    I really like this post.

    I think that you posit some really interesting ideas here. I don't think that allowing someone else to change the camera can be considered an artistic thing, because it's not a way to express something, though your idea of wrenching control of it away to give a feeling of being "trapped" is definitely something I hadn't considered. This actually reminds me of the Gamecube title "Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem which made you feel the character's insanity by throwing false images at you, by messing with what was real, even putting up a fake error message that might make you think that the Gamecube had malfunctioned. This sort of thing would work really well for games as an art form. One thing that I notice about this is that it mainly involves giving the player control and then wrenching it away, though, and that almost seems to defy the point of interactivity being an aspect of the title as a work of art. It may seem that I'm stretching on that one just to be obstinate, but I'm simply not sure. Still, this kind of thinking does make me think that it could be possible for games to be art, but the idea that all games are, especially the contemporary ones, just doesn't ring true to me.
    Zonino wrote: »
    I was all for arguing this, until Psy pointed out the rather good point that Ebert's argument is worded to the point that it's impossible to prove him wrong. If it's a game it's not art, if it's art it's not a game.

    Sorry, but it just seems like a lazy cop-out when I think about it. The man clearly doesn't want to ever indulge the idea that games could ever be art, so there's no real point in arguing about his points, because you can never, ever, prove him wrong.

    Besides, it all goes back to the whole "art is subjective" thing. I wouldn't describe poo in a bag, or most of the stuff they give the Turner prize to, art. People call it art though, so it is. Surely that means if I think a game is art, then it is so?
    I don't feel like it's s discussion that isn't worth having, though. I think that, if even one person is brought to really think about art, rather than dismissing it as a worthless discussion, I think something good has been done here.

    "In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
    -Bertrand Russell


    Now, for some opinions of my own on the matter, again, because I can't shut my ever-flapping trap for a few minutes.


    I feel like that gamers seek the "art" label to obtain legitimacy for the medium. If that is the case, I honestly am not sure that it is deserving of it, especially if we are talking about the same games the majority of modern gamers are referring to when we talk about obtaining the "art" label. The movement isn't asking for legitimacy for "A Mind Forever Voyaging", "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream", or "Trinity". When I see people respond to Ebert's point with the idea that he'd obviously not played Bioschlock, I find it obscenely difficult to rally on the side of Games Are A Art. We aren't talking about people who want to validate truly compelling art, who want the medium to go forward artistically. We are generally talking about people who want nothing more than mommy and daddy, or the government, or society at large to look at their mass market idle playthings and confer onto them a level of reverence. This is the wrong reason to want games to be considered art.
  • edited April 2010
    Trolling is a art.

    *clap, clap, clap.*
  • I know I'm late to this discussion, and there's simply way too much to read, but I did get through the first few pages.

    My 2 cents: There are as many definitions of art as there are people on the earth, which is to say, there are infinite definitions, and since the answer to the question depends on definition of terms, there is therefore no single definite answer.

    Personally, after some reflection on the subject, I feel that art is simply "anything done or made with purpose." Under this definition, making video games is an art, playing video games is an art, and the video games themselves are art, because all of these things are done or made with a purpose in mind. Rules and objectives may effect the purpose, but there is still purpose. It's a pretty deep subject though.
  • edited April 2010
    *clap, clap, clap.*

    Not the way you do it, though, Andy.
  • edited April 2010
    not the way you do it, though, andy.

    ಠ_ಠ
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    Games also have the option of having you be the main character of the story. Now, I don't mean playing someone else. I mean actually be you. It's possible although even when it's first person you usually are a character, since that's simpler.
    You can often customise that character though. Their appearance, their tastes, their strengths of weaknesses. Try doing that with a movie.

    It is still going to be dictated by the will of the developers for the most part. There was an interesting article on Heavy Rain about this issue that said it much better than I could: http://www.destructoid.com/why-heavy-rain-proves-ebert-right-165034.phtml

    And actually if you think about it something like Dungeons and Dragons does perfectly what you are describing. I don't think we will live long enough to be able to have that sort of true open world, non-linear, completely player controlled experience in a video game. Take out the dice rolling and just look at the roleplaying aspect. Will there ever be a game that could react on the fly to any random decision you make like a DM could?
  • PsyPsy
    edited April 2010
    I am am hard-pressed to name a game that comes close to being art

    I am hard pressed to find a game that is NOT art.

    If we accept the medium, then we accept the medium. If a game is art, all games are art. Quality cannot be part of the definition because quality is inherently subjective.

    When I read what I quoted, I picture someone looking at a gallery of paintings they don't like and proclaiming that none of it is art.
  • edited April 2010
    Psy wrote: »
    I am hard pressed to find a game that is NOT art.

    If we accept the medium, then we accept the medium. If a game is art, all games are art. Quality cannot be part of the definition because quality is inherently subjective.

    When I read what I quoted, I picture someone looking at a gallery of paintings they don't like and proclaiming that none of it is art.
    In that case, are we accepting Pong as art? Are we accepting digital versions of Chess as art? The free Solitaire that comes with Windows? Minesweeper?

    It seems to me that games made with absolutely no intention as an art piece are pretty easy to find.

    Now, if you call Chess and Football art, then that's perfectly fine and within your limits. But I think it's like saying that if we accept books as art, we accept technical manuals as art: The medium is the medium. Or if we accept painting as an art form, then putting a new coat of paint over my car or walls must be considered artistic expression. Both are in the same "medium", technically, but they serve wholly separate functions.
  • edited April 2010
    Now the problem isn't with the definition of art, it's with the definition of video game. Video game is to Minesweeper as book is to technical manual as art is to scribbled out stick figure sketch.

    I would call something like Minesweeper or digital chess a computer game, and I would say that all video games might be computer games, but all computer games aren't necessarily video games.

    I mean seriously, lumping Ocarina of Time together with Minesweeper or Treasure Island together with the technical manual for a 1990 Ford Taurus is sort of ridiculous.
  • edited April 2010
    Now the problem isn't with the definition of art, it's with the definition of video game. Video game is to Minesweeper as book is to technical manual as art is to scribbled out stick figure sketch.

    I would call something like Minesweeper or digital chess a computer game, and I would say that all video games might be computer games, but all computer games aren't necessarily video games.
    Not to offend, but that sounds entirely like splitting hairs. How are the two even different, and(since you didn't mention it), where does Pong fit into it?
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