• The games are art thing
  • The games are art thing

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  1. #1
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    jimhawking
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    The games are art thing

    So this is something I see get brought up time and time again and this was something that was on my mind so I figured that it was prime time to have us give our thoughts on the matter.

    So are games art? I certainly think that games can have artistic elements to it may it be the artwork, the music, ect. Games as a whole though? Well, I think that's a bit trickier to answer. What I mentioned could be considered art but some would say it doesn't qualify since the game mechanics and the control player has keeps it from being true art. I think that's why some people go for games like Gone Home or The Last of Us since they put less emphasis on mechanics and more on the story elements (This is not me casting judgement on those games mind you. I just notice that people are attracted to these games for their plot, not the gameplay). I'd argue that there's an art to game mechanics itself because that's what is going to immerse you into the game. Not things like story, art design, sound design adds to the immersion but it's the game mechanics that ultimately sell the illusion of whatever the game wants you to feel. Let's use Resident Evil as an example. The limited inventory space, having to conserve resources, figuring out when to fight and when to run away from enemies, all of those mechanics are there to sell the illusion that you're trying to survive a horrific situation.

    Sadly, it seems that this debate has spawned some snobs that have this need to prove that games are art or have "grown up". I have to lay the blame at least partially on Roger Ebert when he came out and said that video games are not art. After that happen, we've had a lot of folks get determined to prove him wrong and this grew to the point where they would stick there nose at certain games because since we have more serious, thematic games like Bioshock: Infinite or The Tell Tale Walking Dead games means that games that try to be "fun" or at least don't aim to have higher thematic meaning aren't as valid. It's kind of the mind set of what I saw in this review for Doom.



    "We've matured past these types of games"...Now, maybe I'm reading too much into it but this implies, to me at least, that she is saying that this game is archaic since it lacks the maturity of certain other games that gets released. Just because something has achieved something "deep" doesn't mean that games like Doom aren't valid. It's like saying that movies have matured past flicks like Predator or The Naked Gun because we had movies like A Clockwork Orange or Blade Runner exist. Not every game (Or other piece of media for that matter) should be obligated or expected to be high art every time. Even if it doesn't have meaning in the way they would want, a lot of people see value in it. Isn't that what matters at the end of the day? Things resonate with different people for different reasons and what might be irrelevant for one person might mean all the world to another. No one can tell what will ring or catch on with people.

    So this is a debate I don't think will have any end in sight. Now I hand the mic over to you folks.

  2. #2
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    harrymacdougall
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    I think that video games are composed of art but not art themselves.
    I'd even say the question is pointless because the "is this art" debate is usually brought up to get some recognition in a more "noble" culture
    and this is where i find this sick : this is not an actual artistic/philosophical debate; it is a SOCIAL debate.
    This is a debate about video games creators/consumers that hide behind video games, because the problem is to know if video games are a "legitimate" culture.
    However most of people actively implicated in this debate want recognition of the people around the subject, not of the subject itself.
    Sorry if i'm a bit vague but i would have to expose my 3 years of sociology to explain a little part of theses mecanics, and i'm not going to do it for obvious reasons.
    Never overestimate mankind.

  3. #3
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    hoticehilda
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    Oh, video games are absolutely art.
    At times purely commercial art, but the medium as a whole definitely represents a level of internal expression and emotional engagement.

    I guess it really depends on one's definition of art.
    So here's mine: anything that is made in order to elicit an intentional (and even sometimes unintentional) emotional response.
    Art isn't always complicated, it isn't always demure, it isn't always clean, it isn't always tasteful.
    Art as a word should carry a connotation that is truly neutral, neither good nor bad, nor rich or poor, nor beautiful or ugly.

    So people can harp on things like The Naked Gun, Doom, Predator, and so on, and so forth, but they are all in fact art.
    They are all made with the intent of evoking an emotional response: humor, power, fear, etc., etc.

    But that's just my two cents.
    "Believe in yourself and create your own destiny. Don't fear fate." - Narrator
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    This was a good idea Mantis.

  4. #4
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    Games are a medium of art. That much is already obvious. In fact, I find games more emotionally and mentally engaging than other art forms. Games can tell a story and drag players into a different world. One could feel like they are actually interacting with something when playing games.

    Classic stuff is just too dull for me now. TV is somewhat passive. Well, I like instrumental music and novels too, so there are those.

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