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Are the videogames art?

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  • ElectricMonkElectricMonk Member Posts: 599
    edited August 2013
    Yeah, I'm not sure if I articulated my point very well, but I think I got the general gist of it across. I agree that the unified whole of a cathedral or a video game can qualify it as art (whether a single piece of art or not is irrelevant to the point I was making, I can see both views). I'm trying to avoid placing importance on whether or not any of these things are art/a single piece of art to point out that, as you said, there is no reason that a video game and a cathedral shouldn't be on equal standing when it comes to classification of art. In these cases, as in film, it is the singular purpose of the whole and the way in which the artistic components (/single pieces of art) contribute to that purpose and interact which determines the artistic value of the video game or cathedral or film.

    Post edited by ElectricMonk on
  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    I suppose it depends really on what is viewed as "art"...

    Video games are pretty much art the same way as movies are... Though I doubt most of the "bigger" video game titles that get pushed out every year or 2 can really be considered art.

  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    @Kaltzor
    Neither can the blockbuster movies that get pushed out every year. More generally, most movies aren't art. I would say the proper question isn't whether videogames are art, but whether they can be art. Even if the latter is true, and I would say so, it might still be the case that there presently no games that actually qualify as art.

    After all, not nearly all paintings are art. Most are just paintings. I could get me some supplies and schmear some paint on a canvas, but it wouldn't be art by any stretch of the imagination (unless I tap into some hitherto undiscovered vein of artistic vision inside myself, but that seems... unlikely).

  • StinkyStinky Member Posts: 39
    Morte50 said:

    If you think that the point of a discussion is merely the conclusion (if any) that it reaches, then you may not have really grasped the concept of a discussion.

    Also, nobody cares what you call something? Given that different words have different meanings, if we want to get our message across to others I would think it rather important that we do care.

    So what pray tell is the concept behind THIS discussion then, if not to come to a conclusion? To have experienced the journey? To have made absolutely sure everyone has had the opportunity to have their say on the topic in order to further our collective understanding of the topic as a whole? It's not the concept I havn't grasped, it's the purpose. Art is what it is, as I earlier tried to explain, and having a good old fashioned circlejerk about the nuance of the human experience in relation to what we perceive as 'the concept of art' is the equivalent of trying to siege a castle by throwing dust at it. An utterly pointless exercise undertaken with the pretense that if you use long words and articulate yourself well you are making a difference to people's thinking. Or it could be that everyone is just talking for the sake of it and nobody cares what anyone else is saying anyway, which is equally likely and equally pointless.

    This discussion of whether video games or any other niche interest constitutes art is like semantic apartheid. (I'll let that sentence sink in for a moment because I'm proud of it.) You're using the word 'art' as a kind of complex gauge for the awesomeness of something rather than just saying "yeah, that thing is awesome." which is how I would probably choose to "get my message across" in the context of this concept, rather than sounding like a beret wearing goatee clad intellectual concerned with protecting 'art'.

    I just think obviously brilliant minds such as those contained herein should have more important things to ponder.

    TL,DR - Video games are awesome. Movies are awesome. Music is awesome. Traditional art is awesome. Flat Pack furniture is... kind of... awesome. Nobody should care if they are art or not.

    Also, @Morte50, I bite my thumb at you sir for baiting me into explaining myself for a second time.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    Morte50 said:



    After all, not nearly all paintings are art. Most are just paintings. I could get me some supplies and schmear some paint on a canvas, but it wouldn't be art by any stretch of the imagination (unless I tap into some hitherto undiscovered vein of artistic vision inside myself, but that seems... unlikely).

    Should I assume that you agree on art being about quality? Or I just misunderstood you?

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    @Stinky, going on and on and back and forth and around and around about abstract silliness and nothing in particular is how "obviously brilliant minds" entertain themselves during moments of relaxation. The only requirement to join the club is to play the game.

    The dialectical discussion or debate is an art form of its own, one that can be fun to create for certain personality types.

    Morte50ElectricMonk
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    @ZelgadisGW
    It plays a part, I think. But I don't think it is what defines art. My painting wouldn't fail to be art just because I am very bad at painting anything other than walls and such. The thing is that being good at painting is a technical skill, it doesn't really require creativity, imagination, artistic vision, something to express. Someone might be an exceptional painter, but if he merely used it to make exact replicas of existing (art) paintings they would technically be very good in no way art themselves.

    A often used example in the philosophy of art is actually Han van Meegeren, a well-known art forger from around WW2. He forged various painters, most famously Vermeer's Supper at Emmaus. These weren't actually copies either, they were original paintings exactly replicating the style of Vermeer, and on a technical level arguably better than Vermeer did himself. The Supper at Emmaus was actually considered by many critics to be Vermeer's best painting, until it was discovered that it wasn't actually a Vermeer. That's how well-forged these paintings were.

    The problem with these paintings is that though these paintings were of high quality, they don't really do anything original, they don't really express anything by themselves. For example, I believe one of the things that makes Vermeer's paintings 'art' is the way he used light in his paintings, in a way that hadn't been done before. He did something really new, innovative. When Van Meegeren did the same thing two centuries later, it very much wasn't.

    I like to compare it to giving a gift. Suppose a friend gives you a great gift for your birthday, something obscure that you saw in a little shop on holiday three years ago that you didn't have the money for at the time, and that you couldn't track down later. You must have mentioned it to him, and somehow from that one mention he managed to find it and buy it for you.

    Except that now it turns out, he didn't. Your then girlfriend actually bought it that same holiday, but you broke up right after you got home and she never gave it. Recently, she came across it in some old stuff, and asked your friend to pass it along to you. However, the lazy sod instead kept it until your birthday and passed it off as a gift he came up with himself, not even knowing the backstory.

    Now, either way the physical object is the same. But what makes it a great gift in the first scenario is its context, the fact that your friend remembered this and made all the effort to find it. It is not just about the actual object being given, but about something your friend 'put into it'. It might actually be a rather inexpensive and silly thing by itself, but still be better as a gift than had he thrown a bunch of money at buying you a big TV or something.

    Similarly, I think in art it's not just the quality of the piece itself, but about something the artist put into it, somehow. Which Vermeer did do in his originals, but Van Meegeren failed to by just doing (albeit very accurately) what Vermeer did long before him.

    Anyway, it's these kind of 'non-physical' properties that are somehow what makes something art, I think. I certainly won't pretend to have any very clear definition (but as noted, there are oodles of philosophers who have put considerable thought into the subject; this isn't *just* something I came up with by myself just now ;-) ), and by there very nature such properties are much harder to objectively define and measure than physical properties, leaving more room for disagreement. But then again, if it was 'just' about simple objective properties, or 'just' about a subjective experience, then art would not be nearly as interesting, nor would it leave the kind of lasting impressions you so vividly described.

    ElectricMonkO_Bruce
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    @Stinky
    Except that I'm not using 'art' as some dressed-up synonym for 'awesome'. I can see something as art despite it not leaving a very lasting expression on me personally; I can experience something as awesome, without considering it art. The fact that you apparently can't or don't distinguish between those two is sad for you. But it doesn't follow that thus the rest of the world doesn't either, and by using 'art' is just calling things awesome and being pretentious about it.

    And yes, the point of a discussion is precisely 'the journey'. You discuss things, you become acquainted with points of view different than your own, you are forced to refine and defend your own, or maybe change it entirely. And maybe you also reach some shared conclusion, but that would be entirely incidental unless the explicit goal of the discussion was to reach a consensus or make decision in the first place. Again, maybe that's not your cup of tea. Maybe you like to skip ahead to the end of movies because you just want to know how it ends as well, that's your prerogative. But many people do find rather a lot of value in the bits in between.

    ElectricMonk
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
  • StinkyStinky Member Posts: 39
    @Morte50
    Getting a bit vexatious now friend. I think you're right - this is not my cup of tea.

    Somebody needs to push the button so I can buy many copies of bgee for my friends already.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited August 2013
    Totally subjective.

    Books are art, painting are art, sculptures (or 3D models) are art, music is art, therefore games are super art, because they're several works of art coming together into a single interlaced form. Now exactly which pieces are art is ultimately up to the one experiencing it, and their own personal biases, but to someone, it is art.


    Something I was contemplating on Sims 3 the other day on a painter Sim.....why are these $%#^ paints worth anything? Because someone wants and appreciates them....even if the general public or even artist themselves do not.

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    @Morte50
    Morte50 said:

    Of course games are art

    And you base this on what, exactly? Which games, according to you, are works of art, and why?

    I don't even understand the question. All games that I play have undergone a great deal of design input from artists; textures, layouts, dialogue, story telling, all these things are art; The idea that you put all these things together into an interactive experience and they suddenly stop being either individual pieces of art or even a collective whole, just doesn't make any sense to me.

    I see just while I am writing that you say that a movie may not be art; I think you are just being a little shackled by snobbishness. Even a bad movie is a creative work of art, it just maybe be a good example of a particularly poor work of art.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    @Moomintroll
    So, even something poor can be considered art? That's pretty self-comforting way of thinking. In that view, everyone can be an artist. Even utterly talentless people.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    edited August 2013

    @Moomintroll
    So, even something poor can be considered art? That's pretty self-comforting way of thinking. In that view, everyone can be an artist. Even utterly talentless people.

    Yep, where I come from they're called "crap artists." Some of them are famous, rich even!

    Edit, I disagree about the self comforting though, I mean, don't we all strive to be good artists? not merely artists? anyone can be an artist.

    FinneousPJ
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    Sorry, but personally I'll stick to my beliefs. Something with crappy quality I won't consider art. Never.

    You might be a drawrer, a painter, a musican, an architect etc.... But being artist is different thing.

    Moomintroll
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161


    I don't even understand the question. All games that I play have undergone a great deal of design input from artists; textures, layouts, dialogue, story telling, all these things are art; The idea that you put all these things together into an interactive experience and they suddenly stop being either individual pieces of art or even a collective whole, just doesn't make any sense to me.

    I see just while I am writing that you say that a movie may not be art; I think you are just being a little shackled by snobbishness. Even a bad movie is a creative work of art, it just maybe be a good example of a particularly poor work of art.

    The fact that something is produced by an artist doesn't by itself make it art. Most often, it is not. Even if they were, putting them together into a larger whole doesn't necessarily make that larger whole a piece of art. That entirely depends on how they are put together. Suppose I take 5 symphonies all universally agreed to be art, and overlay them all on top of each other: the result would just be a cacophony, rather than art.

    And please do try to learn at least a little bit about what is generally considered art before you start accusing people of being snobs. Your ignorance is... off-putting.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    There is a minimalist way to think about the word "art".

    It comes from the same root word that gives us "artifice", and "artificial".

    1175–1225; Middle English < Old French, accusative of ars < Latin ars (nominative), artem (accusative) ‘skill, craft, craftsmanship’.

    art (n.) Look up art at Dictionary.comearly 13c., "skill as a result of learning or practice," from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft," from PIE *ar-ti- (cf. Sanskrit rtih "manner, mode;" Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare;" Latin artus "joint;" Armenian arnam "make;" German art "manner, mode"), from root *ar- "fit together, join" (see arm (n.1)).

    I believe that our contemporary discussions of "what constitutes 'art'?" are heavily influenced by 19th century European Zeitgeist and angst. In music history, we musicologists often talk about Beethoven as the musical bridge between two paradigms of the societal role of the musician. Pre-Beethoven, musicians were considered servants and craftsmen, employees of wealthy patrons and nobility. Musicians were hired tutors of privileged children, and providers of entertainment at events sponsored by nobility, which was seen as the role of servants. Celebrity had nothing to do with it. Capellmeisters lived in servants' quarters with the other servants, or else had annuities provided in exchange for being at the beck and call of their masters. And they were exceedingly glad of it, considering the alternative of starving.

    This whole business of the "gifted, creative, original, divinely inspired, profound, tortured soul, deity to the enlightened, celebrity", art-for-its-own-sake "artist", was invented during Beethoven's generation, (and he saw himself as one of them). Historically, it is tied to the American and French Revolutions, the Enlightenment, the beginning of the Napoleonic Era, the rise of nationalism, and the Industrial Revolution. The model of nobility and commoner was about to die, in violence both glorious and horrible.

    So, back to my first sentence: in its barest, pure etymology, the word "art" simply refers to anything produced by human hands with deliberate design and intention.

    Why do we agonize, debate, and argue ad absurdium about the question "what is art?" I would suggest that we are actually trying to find a word for something that is transcendent, above mere definitions. Over the past 200 years, the connotations of the word "art" have changed dramatically from the original meanings of the word. Now, we invoke the word as a grasping at some spiritual reality that we imagine can be fashioned by human hands, using human senses of sight, sound, and touch, (or even smell and taste, if cooking is "art"), to communicate some profound, enlightened idea of spiritual reality from one human mind to others.

    So, using the new, "spiritual" definition of the word "art", are video games "art"? Well, that's kind of the rub, isn't it? Many people play them mindlessly. If the video and computer games invoke a state of mindless button-mashing and mathematical min-maxing, then surely they are not "art" by any definition.

    But, if they invoke a state of connection with human self-awareness, story, color, music, and myth? Well, then, maybe so, but only if so.

    I would submit that Baldur's Gate is a shining example of the video or computer game as a candidate for "art". But only some video games would even qualify for consideration of such a status.

    Thus, the answer to the question "Are video/computer games art?", would be that, for most of them, a resounding no. But for the few exceptions, like Baldur's Gate? Ah, how they shine like stars of Art in the void blackness of gaming culture.

  • Awong124Awong124 Member Posts: 2,643
    edited August 2013
    Even a failed BBQ pit can be considered art.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    @Awong124, but only in parody, cynicism, and irony. It's possible to take an invocation like that quite seriously, and to say that it represents a contemporary historical frustration with the failures of "Art" to adequately connect our collective consciousness to the transcendent divine.

    So, the people we now consider our "Artists" of Humor, like Matt Groening, Seth MacFarlane, Trey Parker, and Matt Stone, in tandem with their live-action counterparts, call our attention to the absurdity to which our collective obsession with finding meaning in a meaningless Universe can descend.

    "It's funny because it's true."

    Awong124
  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    @Morte50
    Morte50 said:


    The fact that something is produced by an artist doesn't by itself make it art. Most often, it is not. Even if they were, putting them together into a larger whole doesn't necessarily make that larger whole a piece of art. That entirely depends on how they are put together. Suppose I take 5 symphonies all universally agreed to be art, and overlay them all on top of each other: the result would just be a cacophony, rather than art.

    And please do try to learn at least a little bit about what is generally considered art before you start accusing people of being snobs. Your ignorance is... off-putting.

    You compare overlapping 5 discrete artworks at random with the unified effort of many creatives and artists while calling me ignorant, that is nonesense.

  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161

    You compare overlapping 5 discrete artworks at random with the unified effort of many creatives and artists while calling me ignorant, that is nonesense.

    You implied that putting together pieces of art into a larger whole would somehow bestow the status of 'art' on that larger whole. It does not, the parts being art or not has no direct bearing on the constituted whole being art, as illustrated by my example. *If* a game is to be art, this would instead depend on how those parts are put together.

    As to my calling you ignorant: that is meant to refer to your general state of ignorance, rather than pertaining to just that specific point. I'm sorry if that was unclear, though in my defense I did put that in a new paragraph. To clarify further, you exhibit little knowledge of nor interest in how the concept of art is understood in the varies fields that actually deal with it (either academically, culturally or commercially).

    Moreover, it doesn't even seem to track with how it is used in everyday English (or equivalently in other languages, for that matter). You seem to reduce it to either 'having been produced by artists' or 'being the product of human creativity', or something to that effect; either way, concluding that even bad movies are art. Yet when people call something a work of art, or when they use a phrase like "he elevated X to an art", it seems quite clear that at the very least they are indicating some high level of quality and/or skill. Realistically the only way one could 'correctly' refer to a bad movie as 'art', is when being sarcastic.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    edited August 2013
    @Morte50 I'm not sure why you think you know me, or why you are so focused on the personal insults, but you do misunderstand one of my points; When I was referring to designers working together to create something that was art I did not mean that the fact that they were working together made it art, even a one man production would be valid.

    "Having been produced by artists' or 'being the product of human creativity'" Yes, these two things do help qualify things as art for me.

    "he elevated X to an art" A phrase normally reserved for things not traditionally considered art forms. You wouldn't hear "that guy is a landscape painter, he's really elevated that to an art form!" You might on the other hand hear someone describe a barista that way for the very reason that we don't consider coffee making an art (generally). So it isn't the quality or skill that defines the art in that circumstance, it is the challenging of perception by saying "it is so good that there is something more to this than mere practicality."

    I am curious to know whether you would consider a beautifully laid out map in a game as art on not, however? It seems to me that your definition of art is restricted to "fine art." And I don't mean that as an insult, I think it is is a common perspective.

    Stinky
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    @Moomintroll
    I don't pretend to know you beyond the impression I get from your posts in this thread. It's just that thus far that impression is not particularly favourable. You are of course quite free to disagree with my point of view, and/or with the arguments I make. But if you do, the civil thing to do would be to articulate that disagreement or ask for some clarification you think is in order. You know, rather than simply dismissing them. Calling someone a snob is hardly going to be conducive for civil discussion. Doing so without even bothering to argue the point is just gratuitously rude, and quite honestly does tend to suggest at least a smattering of ignorance.

    As for the rest: I wasn't referring to the distinction between individual effort versus group effort. In my view the latter can certainly produce art (eg. movies). My point was that the fact that the individual components being art (or not) has no direct bearing on the composite whole being art (or not). The individual components could be the finest of arts imaginable, but poorly assembled the resulting whole is not (and vice versa). The 'art' would derive from the way the pieces are put together, even if the individual pieces are utterly plain and insignificant.

    And indeed "elevated X to an art" is used for categories not typically considered art. But, it is used specifically when it is being done with exceptional skill. From this we can conclude that in everyday language, 'art' connotes something like a high degree of quality or skill. A bad movie, by definition, exhibits neither. Which is why I pointed out that saying a bad movie is still art contradicts the way the word 'art' is generally used. 'Movies' are a category of art insofar as them being something that can be art, rather than that every instance of it actually is art. I would argue that most of them are not, even if they are otherwise good movies. This, much in the same way that a toddler's drawings will never be art, however exceptional they may be for a child.

    Finally, I would not generally consider a map, even a beautifully made one, a piece of art. Whether it was inside a game or in real life, in fact. Simply put, in my view art must aim to convey a deeper meaning of some kind (admittedly vague, but a sufficient characterisation for the present point). Maps almost invariably don't. Even if made with great skill and extensive ornamentation, the added beauty is rarely intended to do more than making the map pleasing to look at.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    @Morte50 , Well I apologies for lobbing the snob bomb purely because you show a different point of view.

    If art possesses something indescribable that is felt by the viewer, surely it is the perspective of the viewer that defines it as art, wouldn't you say? When I said map I meant level design (rather than location maps), which in itself includes architecture and while you may not get the same experience as you would in real life, the designer can still transmit a sense of wonder. I would describe that environment, created with a sense of composition, context and mood in mind, as art.

    I consider craft to be art, I think that is the fundamental line where you and I will continue to differ.

  • Stargazer5781Stargazer5781 Member Posts: 182
    There are plenty of differing opinions on what is art. When I think of art, I think of something that pushes the boundaries of expression in whatever medium it is expressing. There are videos games that certainly satisfy this definition and I'm happy to call them art.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    In my opinion, video games can be art, just like a book or a painting can be art.

    If I write a 50.000 word fan fiction, 90% of which is graphicly explaining which bodypart of Master Chief goes into which body part of a cast of sexual partners, it's probably not art. But War and Peace and some others works of literature are.
    Likewise, a drawing of a butt I doodle while absentmindedly paying some form of attention in a meeting is probably not art, but Picasso's or Da Vinci's works are.
    Angry birds, probably not art. Planescape: Torment, more in the right direction. Loneliness, mentioned by Dee, even more so.

    If it makes you feel, think and leaves you impressed with new...well, impressions, then it might be art. But the term itself is so vague, a picture of my dong could be art (providing I instagram it, if I should believe the internet).

    Morte50
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161


    @Morte50 , Well I apologies for lobbing the snob bomb purely because you show a different point of view.

    If art possesses something indescribable that is felt by the viewer, surely it is the perspective of the viewer that defines it as art, wouldn't you say? When I said map I meant level design (rather than location maps), which in itself includes architecture and while you may not get the same experience as you would in real life, the designer can still transmit a sense of wonder. I would describe that environment, created with a sense of composition, context and mood in mind, as art.

    I consider craft to be art, I think that is the fundamental line where you and I will continue to differ.

    Apology accepted. Let me apologize for the ignorance-bomb in turn.

    Partially, that's of course true. Such a feeling/insight/impression is a relation between the object or performance on the one hand, and the viewer on the other, it's not a property of the object or performance as such. It will depend on both the perspective of the viewer, as well as other circumstances. But I think what makes something 'art' (or if we use your wider definition, what makes something 'great art'), is that this is somehow evoked by the artist. That is, that it is due to some property or set of properties of the artwork, which are intended by the artist to produce this (kind of) effect.

    Pretty much any object can result in such an experience, simply given the right circumstances/perspective & emotional state of viewer/etc. But then the object is just a trigger for that experience, it doesn't genuinely cause it. If on the other hand an object has a tendency to provoke such an experience rather independent of specific circumstances; and if it does so rather independent of a viewer's perspective (ie. it does so for many different people, even if the exact nature and content of the experience varies across those people); and if this is at least to a reasonable extent produced intentionally by the artist (as contrasted with, say, the humbling roar of Niagara falls, which might well meet the first two criteria but hardly constitutes art). In that case we can say that the object itself has a more or less objective and intentional property, and I would say that that property is what makes it art. It goes beyond 'mere' beauty or technical skill and quality, the artist evokes something 'deeper' in (many of its) viewers.

    Obviously, as written this is hardly a very specifically defined property (what kind of experience must it evoke, in what propertion of viewers, etc.), that's something philosophers have been arguing about for centuries (as they are wont to). But it should give some feel for the idea, or at least my idea, of what constitutes art. And I think that games could in principle certainly qualify, but since it is rather far from their general aim (enjoyable gameplay experience, say), it is not necessarily the best suited for it. The interactive nature and the 'need' for it to have replay value also make it more difficult, because the artist(s) would be less able to control how it is experienced. I think movies actually suffer from a similar issue: most are made primarily or purely to amuse and entertain, for which deeper motifs and such are neither necessary nor particularly helpful. Art is in some sense 'difficult', whereas entertainment aimed at a general public usually aims at a more light-hearted approach (to the extent that we can call gratuitous and excessive violence and such 'light-hearted', might need another phrase there, but you catch my drift).

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Just throwing out a small nitpick: Who says that art has to be deep or emotionally moving?

    Calvin and Hobbes is certainly deep at times, but most of the time it's just funny, and the humor is its primary goal. In contrast, Watchmen is deep all the way through and almost never funny, but that's because the tragedy is its main focus. That doesn't make Watchmen "more" artistic than Calvin and Hobbes (and in some respects I'd give the nod to Waterson before Moore).

    That's part of what makes "art" so difficult to categorize. Because the criteria that you might apply to one genre of game couldn't be applied to another. And you also run the risk of ignoring one aspect of a particular game in favor of another; you might look at Call of Duty as nothing more than a multiplayer shoot'em'up game, and completely forget that it has a single-player campaign. You might see that Bioshock is a first-person shooter and dismiss it as part of the Halo/Gears of War genre (which both tell interesting stories but they're distinctly FPS-genre stories, in the same way that a Jason Statham movie is solidly an action movie), when in reality Bioshock Infinite would probably fit better alongside Planescape: Torment in terms of the kind of story it tells.

    When thinking about a game's artistic merit, you can't look at it in terms of "Was it fun or not" or "Did it have a good story". The question should be "What is it about this game that appeals to me, and does that element transcend the medium?"

    Because it's not a question of whether games are artistic or not; it's a question of how each game avails itself within the medium, as an individual work of art. As you find more and more examples of games that appeal to you on an artistic level (and not merely "it's fun to press the buttons"), you'll slowly transition from thinking of video games as "solely for entertainment" to "a quickly evolving new artform."

    And that's not a bad thing, either; because it means that, as gamers, we're raising our standards of what constitutes a good game; we're no longer content with games that are "fun to play" or "hard to win"--we want them to challenge us on an intellectual level.

    I'm curious, though. Did anyone actually play the Loneliness game I linked in my earlier post, or did you all just skip over it in the course of reading? :)

    ElectricMonkDrugar
  • ElectricMonkElectricMonk Member Posts: 599
    @Dee I played the loneliness game, and went on to play the other games linked on that page. It's pretty much exactly as you described it: it is undoubtedly a video game in tradition terms in that it has an objective ("go up") and a way to complete that objective. Of course, there are no obstacles apart from the player's unwillingness to hold down a key.

    I wasn't really expecting much, but it was moving in a way (even before the message at the end). The somber music really pulled me in, and the realization of everything you encounter dispersing at your proximity elicited some sort of response in me.


    Although it wasn't surprising or challenging (as these aren't the intended purpose), it effectively inspired a response in me, and I'd say that there's definitely something there that I hadn't thought about in relation to video games before. The experience doesn't have to be independent of non-artistic game factors such as objectives and obstacles in order to be artistic (I'd say that such experiences are present in games such as the BG series and PS:T), but isolating the artistic elements of a game from the "game" elements of a game (for lack of a better term) helped to make it much more noticeable.

  • MajocaMajoca Member Posts: 263
    This topic is incredibly deep and It takes quite some time to get through all the comments and take in what people have said. I am too tired to reply with a massive wall of text. However I did want to add my own opinion on the matter.

    I think video games are art. as the definition of the word art goes: "Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form"

    Obviously it does not have to be visual, it can be sound as well, but now I wonder whether something can feel like art some designed to be felt?

    Well anyway back on subject Video games are an art in themselves, A video game is a collection of art which is clearly expressed through the very design of story, characters, the theme of the visuals, the music and in some ways the mechanics of the game.

    Art is a very vague subject and as time changes so does the definition of art which will always be tested by creative individuals. You see the more you think about it almost anything created by a person can be defined as art. The very design of an Aircraft is a piece of art? would you not agree? The very first OP was about how @ZelgadisGW enjoyed the painting "Lady with an Ermine" which I think is pretty awful and bland to me however ZelgadisGW does not qualify video games as an art.
    I find it interesting how the magnitude of effort implies skill which defines "quality art" and things which are lesser are not art. That is what I got from the original OP.

    I think like paintings, there are paintings which are not as good or have taken less effort just like games. I can agree on that, but Art is something created by a person.

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