What is Art?.....Well Not Games!

2nyRiggz

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0098386

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I don't know who he is, but about games as art in general-

I believe they can be an abstract form of art. They're not art in the traditional sense. They can't be hung on the wall or displayed in galleries. They're postmodern in the same way anything can now be claimed as "an artwork", thanks Tracy Emin.

The closest I've come to an attempted arthouse game that actually achieves the status of "being art", I'd say is Knytt. A little freeware game that has the indie scene torn in 2.

Games like MGS, Mario etc aren't art as far as I'm concerned. Nothing with that kind of ridiculous storyline could be art. They're all super naff B movies compared to some films.

I always find this topic funny when reading (if you found it on Joystiq too, 2ny). The typical gamer swearing out loud that games are art and will demonstrate this by reeling off insults and generally being as uncultured as possible whilst still hoping to retain some vocal power over a critics opinion.
 

2nyRiggz

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I believe they can be an abstract form of art. They're not art in the traditional sense. They can't be hung on the wall or displayed in galleries. They're postmodern in the same way anything can now be claimed as "an artwork", thanks Tracy Emin.
Indeed. Art(IMO) can come in any element of a particular game. When I think of it I think of the music and story of certain games(original) just as in a movie..the sandbox can be just as big as a movie and evolve just as any.

Some people get real offended when something is attacked that they cherish and the insult wheel start rolling...its funny really.

I had to watch Muholland Drive three times and write a breakdown of it in class thought I understood it....got a C+(whats up with the plus)




Bless
 

0098386

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I haven't looked into it, but I can imagine fans of classic art were shocked and appauled by postmodernism. Imagine what they all thought of Dada and other expressionist movements? I can't think that Kurt Schwitters was popular with them :D

I can imagine in a few (crappy) years when every game uses the same engine, everythings the same, just different scenarios and genre hyrbids have rendered everything as an action-RPG with puzzle elements. Then classic games will be recognised as art.

Heck, I went to a seminar many years ago where some chap made an art installation using the Super Mario Bros 1 cloud, it just scrolling around an evironment.

Art using game resources?

Games already have orchestras and live shows performing memorable songs. Do you get film orchestras playing theme tunes? (geniune question, I don't know!).
In a few years...

edit: actually. I'm starting to see games as mass produced personal installation art. Albeit on a low level.
 

SpaceJello

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Dec 2, 2006
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Actually, Ebert is SERIOUSLY behind the times. He knows nothing about contemporary art. There is a HUGE genre of video game as art form. It may not look exactly the same as Super Mario but the ideas behind them are drawn upon the video games we all play. Plus, Ebert only review big budget films, and can we always call them art?

As well, on a similar train of thought, photography when it was first introduced was hugely debated whether it was an artform. Look at it today.
 

MRU

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I'm sure the guy wouldn't know what 'ART' was if it came up and bit him on the ass.
 

7on

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I don't think games would classify as art. I believe most of the notion that anything is art comes from the contemporary movement, which I despise.

art - the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Video games are appreciated primarily for their entertainment power.

Though I also wished contemporary art never existed. I can't wait for the day when someone empties their bowels in a gallery and someone doesn't say 'brilliant'
 

zero2dash

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Jul 6, 2006
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I say he should stick to reviewing movies and stay out of gaming, just like analysts should stick to the stock market and mortgages rather than putting x console over y console. :rolleyes:

Hell I don't go to a construction site and start yelling at the foreman about a 2x4 being cut incorrectly because I'd have no idea what I was talking about. Just like these donkeys. :p
 

LethalWolfe

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It depends on how you define art. Ebert saying video games aren't art is no more or less valid an opinion than anyone here saying video games are art.


Lethal
 

0098386

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It's like films. Some films are art-house, experimental etc. Some are just mindless fodder. Games are no different. It's just experimental games don't seem to sell all that well. Art house games exist but they're mostly in the freeware/indie worlds. Occasionally sneaking out via console download services.
 

GFLPraxis

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I get the impression that Ebert judges art as story/script. Going by his criteria, games are never as good as a movie because a movie is the epitome of linear and you can do everything perfectly if you are good enough.

The fact that movies have better scripting is his primary argument against games as an art form, and he totally ignores stuff like music, artistic imagery (landscapes, cityscapes, characters), etc.
 

LethalWolfe

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I get the impression that Ebert judges art as story/script. Going by his criteria, games are never as good as a movie because a movie is the epitome of linear and you can do everything perfectly if you are good enough.

The fact that movies have better scripting is his primary argument against games as an art form, and he totally ignores stuff like music, artistic imagery (landscapes, cityscapes, characters), etc.
I don't think it was having a script specifically, but just having the artist (the creator of the work) make a definitive artistic, emotional, social, moral, and/or political statement. The Mona Lisa is the Mona Lisa no matter how many people view it. It never has changed and never will change. If a band sells a million records a million people are gonna all hear the exact same songs, but if a developer sells a millions copies of a game there are gonna be a million different "versions" of game being played because no two people are going to play the game exactly the same way. I think that was the basis of his opinion.

As more and more games become nonlinear and move to a "sandbox" style then the developers are taking an even farther step back by just creating a world and letting the player fill it w/whatever he/she wants. I don't think that's good, nor bad that's what many gamers want. We don't want to be dragged along thru a linear story, we want to feel like we are making choices that actually effect the game world we are in. We don't want to be a passive audience we want to be an active participant.

I think some games have strived for art in their own right, but, as others have said, it's difficult to compare games to other mediums because there is such a gap between, say, reading about Jedi in a Star Wars book and being a Jedi in a Star Wars game.


Lethal
 

pcypert

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Jul 19, 2006
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Are video games made for the express intent of getting people to think, care, act, etc? Or are they made primarily at this point to entertain and make millions of dollars? I view them like commercial photography...some have elevated the game like La Chappelle and made commercial art also historically significant. Some video games will eventually be realized as a kind of art form...but most are made with the intent to make money for the studio...not push levels of understanding, resolve conflict in society, be in a museum, etc...

Paul