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Games as Art

2

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  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    TJ_Hooker said:

    Aosaw said:

    At its core, however, art doesn't have to be all or any of those things. Art, in order to be considered art, must be a form of expression created by an individual or group of individuals to convey an idea, story, or emotion to another individual or group of individuals.

    Doesn't that make almost anything art? For instance, I am expressing myself in this post, and trying to convey an idea. Does that make this post art?
    I think he is suggesting that art is not a virtue in and of itself.

    So you can judge anything as art, including your post.

    TJ_HookerDee
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited January 2013
    It would make it very small art. ;)

    But the definition is intentionally loose, because the following poem is art despite being only six words long:

    I'm
    So
    Meta
    Even
    This
    Acronym

    If you were to narrow the definition to "anything created [as described above] with the intention of being called art", you'd then have to make an analysis of the artist to determine whether they were attempting to be artistic when they created it.

    If you were to narrow the definition to "anything created [as described above] that is successful in conveying an idea or emotion", then absurdist pieces and anything from the "Dada" movement would not be considered art because most of it is intentionally meaningless.

    So yes, posts on a message board are art because they are created by you with the intent of conveying an idea ("There should be more katanas in the game!"), story ("I experienced a bug"), or emotion ("This game sucks! What a scam!") to another individual. We could make rules about design, convention, linguistics, etc. but that misses the point of what art is. Those rules are what help to define art within a genre or movement, but they don't define it as "art".

  • ScotGaymerScotGaymer Member Posts: 526
    I don't know @Aosaw.

    I have always seen and thought of art as something special and wonderful. Something that provokes thought, and something that means something.

    To apply the term to everything seems to dilute the special meaning of it, and seems to do a disservice to those great artists of our history who have put out truely astounding and astonishing works of art like Michelangelo, or Bach, or Tolkien.
    To excuse a game or movie or tv for its terribleness just because it is "art" seems like an insult to me.

    I mean by your definition Battleship (the movie) is art. Rapelay (that awful japanese rape game) would be art. The batman live action tv show would be art.

    It just doesn't seem right to me. It seems like so many things these days that the term is used so prolifically that it has lost all significant meaning.

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,250


    To apply the term to everything seems to dilute the special meaning of it, and seems to do a disservice to those great artists of our history who have put out truely astounding and astonishing works of art like Michelangelo, or Bach, or Tolkien.
    To excuse a game or movie or tv for its terribleness just because it is "art" seems like an insult to me.

    No one's saying you should. 'Battleship' is art; it's just not very good. Other people might think it's brilliant, but there are clear errors and inconsistencies in it (how does a battleship regrow it's cannons after having them shot off?) You can criticize that. If a game fails to really involve the player very much, you can criticize that as well.

    Or the artist who just puts out a bowl of turd... it is art. It's just crap.

    TJ_Hooker
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Again, you're attributing value to the term "art", which doesn't have to be the case.

    For example, you said "great artists"; you didn't say "artists". Which implies that there can be varying degrees of quality with relation to art. There can be good art (Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Christopher Nolan's first two Batman movies), and there can be bad art (Vergil's Aeneid, Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby", Vanilla Ice's "Go Ninja Go Ninja Go").

    Battleship is art. It's also terrible. But that doesn't make it not art.

    I'm not excusing bad video games or bad television or bad movies by calling them art. I'm putting them in the category to which they belong, which then allows me to describe more precisely why they're bad.

    Take Call of Duty. This game is art, because it is conveying a story of war. It is also conveying images and ideas of soldiers and honor and hard choices.

    Seventy games later, it is still that same story. That doesn't make it not art; it makes it derivative art. And because it's art, we can say, "This game is derivative of its predecessors and offers nothing new to the genre." If it weren't art, we would have to say, "This is a fun game that's just as fun as the ones that came before it. If you liked the first game, you'll like this one."

    And many video game reviews do reduce it to that: Buy/Don't Buy. But if societally we can start to categorize interactive media as the art that it is, we can start to be more discerning about the quality of that art, raise our standards as consumers, and--eventually--improve the industry as a whole.

    So ask yourself: Why is it insulting that a game like Mass Effect 3 is still a work of art? Where does that game fail, specifically, that makes you not want to call it art? If you can answer that question for yourself in the context of its artistic merits or flaws, then you can better understand your own tastes and preferences, and you may discover there are parts of the game that you do enjoy, all of which enriches your sensibilities when it comes to this particular medium.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Another example: World of Warcraft.

    This is an artistic representation of a world that is overflowing with potential conflict, which makes it interesting. It has an overarching story, but that story is buried beneath a mountain of quests, equipment hunts, raids, and people jumping over and over again because they left their finger on the spacebar.

    Where World of Warcraft fails, I would say, is that it is designed to make the player want to keep playing, by laying out breadcrumbs and the promise of treats. In that sense, it is emotionally manipulating the player into wanting to keep playing long after it has stopped being fun, "just to get the next level" or "just to complete one more quest". It is a brilliant marketing strategy, but this also muddles its potential as a work of art. You make choices, but the choices in this game are ones of "North" or "East", not "Save this person" or "Kill this person". They're casual, superficial choices, which doesn't cause the player to think critically about decisions except when there's a difficult battle to be fought.

    Because it's art, I can describe it like that, rather than simply saying, "This game is nothing more than a way to get people addicted to microtransactions."

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,210
    edited January 2013
    Guys, think about an art class for children : teaching them only to paint isn't enough to achieve its ultimate goal , which is to shape them into sensible, critical citizens.

    And it doesn't stop on children . Us adults learn from most forms of art , real art makes us reflect about important issues, makes us more sensible and , possibly, makes us want to do similar stuff.

    @Kitteh_On_A_Cloud , even egyptian art was political - the pharaoh himself was a political figure. About the 'buying a game' statement , it is also political because technology and consuming are also political issues.



    Post edited by DJKajuru on
  • H0RSEH0RSE Member Posts: 114
    edited January 2013
    Gaming as an art form, is like any other form of art - subjective by nature and ranging from piss poor to masterpiece.

    Perhaps you guys will enjoy this:

    TJ_Hooker
  • DarkcloudDarkcloud Member Posts: 302
    It really depends on your definition of art:
    I would say everything made with the intention of being art is art. The problem is to know what was intended to be art and what was just created to make as much money as possible.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @DJKajuru: Consumption is more of a society factor. It's got more to do with a certain ideology in a society than that it has to do with politics. Same for technology. Technology has more to do with science, development and evolution than it has to do with politics. As for the Paraoh in ancient Egypt, I partially agree, but he was also more of a religious/mythological figure, because he was supposed to be the reincarnation of a god.

  • DjimmyDjimmy Member Posts: 749
    Everything can easily be defined as art. People are doing something and they call it art. The word art becomes a synonym of activity. Art is also a way to make things expensive and sell them for lots of money. Mona Lisa, for example, is considered to be a great piece of art by many. In my opinion, this is just a mass neurosis or something you believe because most of the people believe in it. Art is a point of view and no one can "force" you to believe something is art. Anyone can "manipulate" you to think something is art though.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,210
    People are just saying that everything is Art because the public in general has little contact with it. If people had more contact with art, discussed with artists , read about it and went to exhibitions they would become more critical and reject what they feel to be shallow.

  • H0RSEH0RSE Member Posts: 114
    DJKajuru said:

    People are just saying that everything is Art because the public in general has little contact with it. If people had more contact with art, discussed with artists , read about it and went to exhibitions they would become more critical and reject what they feel to be shallow.

    But even so, art is subjective by nature. Unless you are implying that the general public is so out of tune with what art is, that they would point at a Bulldozer and say it is art...

  • ChowChow Member Posts: 1,192
    I don't think games are art, by default, just as films or books or even music or paintings are by default art. They all can be, but more often they're just entertainment or a way to make money, with no real thought put into them about what makes for the actual best or most artful game/film/whatnot. Only those where people do what they want to do, the sort of a piece they like, and care as little as possible about how much money it makes, can be art. If they just follow the modern trends in a desperate attempt to ride along with what's popular, in order to make themselves cool or rich, they cannot possibly make anything artful.

    Planescape: Torment is art. Basically any blockbuster movie, or the quick hash-up games made of them, isn't.

  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    H0RSE said:

    But even so, art is subjective by nature. Unless you are implying that the general public is so out of tune with what art is, that they would point at a Bulldozer and say it is art...

    Considering that photography is supposed to be art, absolutely.

    Of course, in that case, the bulldozer isn't art; rather it is a bulldozer in an artistic picture.

    I'm not sure what that picture is supposed to represent or mean, however... Nor am I going to spend time trying to think about it.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    Even if you agree with the idea that labelling something as art isn't a comment on it's quality, I still think you have to worry about watering down the term until it becomes meaningless. If you start calling any form of expression art, eventually you're just going to end up having to come up with a new term to differentiate between 'real' art and everything else falling under the new definition. Sort of like how the label of 'RPG' has been slapped onto every game that involves quests and a levelling system, and now people have to use terms like 'old-school RPG' to describe what they're talking about.

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,250
    The bulldozer itself can't be art, because it's useful. Same with airplanes - some people think they look beautiful, but they're not made just to be looked at and enjoyed; they have a function and real application, so aren't art. But that's not to say you couldn't take an airplane, or bulldozer, and make it a part of a work of art.

  • H0RSEH0RSE Member Posts: 114
    Coutelier said:

    The bulldozer itself can't be art, because it's useful. Same with airplanes - some people think they look beautiful, but they're not made just to be looked at and enjoyed; they have a function and real application, so aren't art. But that's not to say you couldn't take an airplane, or bulldozer, and make it a part of a work of art.

    I don't buy into the whole art is purely made to looked it. For instance, a high end automobile could be considered a work of art, or course, semantics could be at work again when comparing "art" to a "work of art." Would you consider a Lamborghini a work of art? What if you removed the engine so it isn't usable?

    I would say art for the sake of being art, is something that is made to be observed, but a work of art, can be many different things.

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,250
    edited January 2013
    H0RSE said:

    I don't buy into the whole art is purely made to looked it. For instance, a high end automobile could be considered a work of art, or course, semantics could be at work again when comparing "art" to a "work of art." Would you consider a Lamborghini a work of art? What if you removed the engine so it isn't usable?

    I would say, you could take the Lambo or any of it's parts and turn them into art. The Lambo itself might not be the most practical machine ever built, but as it is a form of transportation and has a use in that way, I wouldn't say it was art.

  • H0RSEH0RSE Member Posts: 114
    edited January 2013
    Coutelier said:


    I would say, you could take the Lambo or any of it's parts and turn them into art. The Lambo itself might not be the most practical machine ever built, but as it is a form of transportation and has a use in that way, I wouldn't say it was art.

    I also wouldn't say an automobile could be considered art, but I would say they can be considered works of art - I do not view the 2 terms as one in the same. I see works of art as a term that can cross realms and not be specifically tied to artists. For instance, an Engineer can create a work of art, but his creation may still not be deemed as art in itself.

    As far as video games go, I think the process of designing a game can be considered art, at least in part. modelers, level designers, concept and environmental artists - their contributions can be considered art, where as say a programmer, perhaps not so much, but when the project comes together, the game as a whole should be considered a work of art, but perhaps not "art" in the more traditional sense. A bridge can be seen as a work of art, as can a building, but they serve a functional purpose, as does a game.

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,250
    edited January 2013
    H0RSE said:


    I also wouldn't say an automobile could be considered art, but I would say they can be considered works of art - I do not view the 2 terms as one in the same. I see works of art as a term that can cross realms and not be specifically tied to artists. For instance, an Engineer can create a work of art, but his creation may still not be deemed as art in itself.

    Well then, it does sound it's just semantics we're dealing with here. Anything I find awe inspiring or showing a lot of skill I might describe as a work of art, yes, like an amazing piece of engineering, even though I wouldn't say that was art.

  • H0RSEH0RSE Member Posts: 114
    Coutelier said:


    Well then, it does sound it's just semantics we're dealing with here. Anything I find awe inspiring or showing a lot of skill I might describe as a work of art, yes, like an amazing piece of engineering, even though I wouldn't say that was art.

    So when it comes to video games, would you say they are art or works of art?

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,250
    H0RSE said:

    Coutelier said:


    Well then, it does sound it's just semantics we're dealing with here. Anything I find awe inspiring or showing a lot of skill I might describe as a work of art, yes, like an amazing piece of engineering, even though I wouldn't say that was art.

    So when it comes to video games, would you say they are art or works of art?
    I would say they were art, because I can't really see any useful purpose for them. There might be some, but overall, no. I mean, you'd miss bridges if there weren't any, whereas if there were never any video games... I'd live to be honest. I'd probably find something more useful to do with my time. :)

  • H0RSEH0RSE Member Posts: 114
    Coutelier said:


    I would say they were art, because I can't really see any useful purpose for them. There might be some, but overall, no. I mean, you'd miss bridges if there weren't any, whereas if there were never any video games... I'd live to be honest. I'd probably find something more useful to do with my time. :)

    Well, video games need user input and manipulation to work or be truly appreciated, therefore I do not see them as traditional "art."

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,250
    H0RSE said:

    Well, video games need user input and manipulation to work or be truly appreciated, therefore I do not see them as traditional "art."

    Not traditional art, no; I would say it's a new form that's still in it's infancy. Maybe adolescence. I think part of the problem is that technology develops faster than the designers can keep up with, so they rush the development of their games, which then have a very short 'shelf life', and so don't often leave the impression on society of a really good novel or movie.

  • Chaotic_GoodChaotic_Good Member Posts: 255
    edited January 2013
    ... Rpgs and most other game types have a combination of writers, Illustration, composition, and film it would be lost to me how anyone could consider it anything but the sum of its parts.

    Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all. - Isaac Asimov

    Edit: It looks like many of you hit on this as well prolly should have read the posts first lol.

    Edit 2: If you choose to go down the dark and spooky tunnel turn to page 46.

    Post edited by Chaotic_Good on
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,210
    @HORSE
    I suppose anyone sensible enough to enjoy a poem may be able to appreciate art .


    @Troodon80
    Photography is a technique , I believe it becomes artistic when the photographer uses it with a poetic purpose.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    DJKajuru said:

    @HORSE
    I suppose anyone sensible enough to enjoy a poem may be able to appreciate art .


    @Troodon80
    Photography is a technique , I believe it becomes artistic when the photographer uses it with a poetic purpose.

    Again, that comes back to the issue I described before, where in order to call something art you need to know that the artist intended for it to be art. Which is often a difficult question to answer, such as when the artist is dead.

    So then you have to start making judgments based on quality or medium to determine whether something is categorically art. Such as, "This is a poem, therefore it is art." But that breaks down too, because any collection of words arranged in a meaningful way could be considered a poem, and therefore art. It also breaks down when you start saying things like, "This isn't a very nice painting, therefore it is not art." Who are you to say that a painting isn't art? It might be very artistic to someone else.

    So then you can break it down even further, and say that it's only art if it's meaningful on an emotional, political, or social level. But there is plenty of art that has no meaning--and there are some pieces of non-art that do have political or social or emotional meaning but are not what many people would consider artistic. A gun is meaningful on a social and political level, but is it art? Many people would argue that it isn't.

    All of these reasons are why the definition of art is so loose--why it has to be loose. Because there are examples of every medium that could easily be considered works of art, and therefore examples of art. Which means that "Art" is not a status that is earned by a set of criteria, but rather a spectrum on which all things lie that are created by human beings. It is on the quality of that art that we judge these things, but that doesn't make some of them art and some of them "not-art".

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,210
    edited January 2013
    @Aosaw , many things indeed can be defined as art , but in order to define things there must *be a definition*. So let's go back to the basics:

    -Art is sharing a feeling . People might or not like "the scream", but no one is gonna say "oh, such a happy painting" . In fact , it is normally done in the opposite way, showing something sad to make you think about happiness.

    - It is necessary to separate "feelings" from "emotions" . Emotions are momentaneous and don't provoke much reflection, so anything "pretty" could provoke an emotion, but it doesn't mean it's following the principles of art.

    -As the name says, art means something like thinking+doing . It's both , so it can be neither an idea or a technique by itself.

    Following these principles it is loose in its own way.

  • ScotGaymerScotGaymer Member Posts: 526
    I'm just glad to have gotten all that off my chest lol and that people agree with me. I was starting to feel a little isolated on the subject.

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