Videogame critic knocks fans for ‘warped worldview’ rejecting legitimate debate

Arturo Garcia: Videogame critic Chris Franklin released a biting commentary of many fans of the industry on Sunday, calling out fans who want games to be “recognized” as an artform but also complaining when critics point out instances of problematic messaging or presentation.

“They’ll bum-rush [Roger] Ebert or any other respected figure and insist they take games seriously as art,” Franklin argued. “But as soon as anyone does try to take a game’s claims of artistic intent seriously by looking at the game’s content and meaning then suddenly the line becomes ‘Oh, they’re just games!’ ‘Stop being so serious.’ ‘They’re just for fun!’”

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PoSTedUP1708d ago

games are art.
they can be taken serioulsly.
they are taken serioulsly.
they should be taken serioulsly as anyother form of media
how can you tell its the same people demanding this then contridicting themselves?
if it is, then they are stupid
the crime rates in california started dropping (and continued to drop every year) since the very same year GTAsan andreas was released (every form of crime btw).

cleft51708d ago

Never even heard of this guy before this, clearly just another attention seeker.

3-4-51707d ago (Edited 1707d ago )

Art, Music, Video Game, Story

You can only get all of this in one medium..

And that is Video games.

* Music has music, but no visuals, and if you say music video, ok...but no game.

* TV has music and art/visuals, but no gameplay/videogame

* Same for movies.

Video games are the only place you can combine all of these and a lot of the time the result is beautiful.

Playing a video game could actually physically enhance your abilities as well as mentally (hand eye coordination and such)...

Can staring at a painting do that? no

MyFeetHurt1708d ago

Sorry, i love 'em, but games are not art.

They are produced FIRST to make money, not make a statement.

goldwyncq1708d ago

You can say the same with movies and books which have artistic merits.

cleft51708d ago

You do know there are a lot of games that are made 100% free with no goal of seeking out financial profit whatsoever. Also, something being designed to be profitable doesn't automatically mean it can't be art. Money is a real part of life, there are a lot of artist that make fantastic paintings and sell them for money. That doesn't lessen the fact that they are artist.

admiralvic1708d ago

While there are a lot of legitimate claims, that is not one of them.

The thing is, that element is true in all forms of "art" and shouldn't instantly make games less so. Sure, some games are designed to make a profit, but this is no different than an artist making something they think will sell, a movie being written with global appeal in mind, books featuring popular elements (like vampires at the moment) or music simply mirroring what other people are doing. In essence, there are several companies that don't care about profit and others that are made as a labor of love.

Some games, like Ico, Journey, SoTC, Deadly Premonition, BattleBlock Theater, Castle Crashers, Beyond: Two Souls, Heavy Rain and several more were not made to be "massively successful" series. A lot of these games are very weird, unique, "break the mold" and their combined sales would still probably be under the day 1 sales of Call of Duty, yet people still appreciate these games. In a lot of ways, this is how it works for other mediums too.

Some people would consider Gravity art, but consider The Avengers as not. Just like others consider The Great Gatsby a work of art, but I don't think there will ever come a day that Twilight is considered art.

Sadly this stuff is far from simple, which is why this topic is often debated.

showtimefolks1708d ago


but than isn't all entertainment stuff meant to be business first and art later?


people will not accept video games as form of art because they are still so close minded and think video games are for kids and industry isn't that big

some of the best music around is used as sound tracks for video games.

media has just always hated on games and always will and many who pay attention to news also think the same way because they don't know any better

play journey or flower, there are no guns or ultimate goals of becoming rich and both games are IMO form of an art

Jovanian 1708d ago

commercialized art has the capacity to be good art

MyFeetHurt1707d ago

There are exceptions to every rule, i havent read anything here showing me any different.

The overwhelming majority of games are produced to MAKE MONEY. The cause.

True Leonardo and Da Vinci were paid, but that wasnt the cause of their creations.

Classifying something as "art" doesnt necessarily elevate the medium. Theres much more "bad art" than "good art,"

So I am glad that GAMES ARE NOT ART.

MyFeetHurt1707d ago

Thats Leonardo Da Vinci, not "and"

shows how much I know :<

MyFeetHurt1707d ago

wikipedia also tells me his penis was 12" long,

which is why the statue of Davids junk is so small, he was showing us ourselves from his point of view. Like bills superman speech in kill bill, its how he see OUT penis.

Now these words are art ^

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1707d ago
-Gespenst-1708d ago

This guy is so right, and I hope a day comes when people finally understand that.

Hicken1708d ago

No, he's not. He's doing that very human and very counterproductive thing called "generalizing." And on many fronts.

For one, you can't say ALL gamers are flip-flopping on the issue at hand. Not every gamer who says "Games are art!" turns around and says "They're just games!" when a critic tears into a title. In fact, I'd wager the two groups are comprised of considerably different crowds, with very little overlap.

For another, not every game is meant to be some sort of deep artistic expression. Sometimes, a game just is exactly what it is: a puzzle game, or a mindless shooter, or whatever. Even a game like GTA- the main subject- somewhat straddles the line: it's got its social commentary, its satire, but it's also meant to have a great deal of thoughtless fun included.

People only really start complaining when reviewers can't figure out that balance, themselves. We take issues with reviews that are entirely or too heavily opinion, because it doesn't give a fair representation of the game and what it attempted to do. You can't, for example, score Gears of War lowly because there isn't enough character growth or stat leveling. A game not living up to your preconceived notions is not the game's fault: you should review the game for what it is, not what you wanted to be, and reviewers frequently fail miserably at that.

And, again, the grading criteria must be adjusted on a per-game basis, as Castlevania and The Walking Dead and Assassin's Creed are all trying to do different things. The POINT of Flower is an artistic exercise, moreso than Call of Duty, at least.

But it's up to reviewers to know when to do what. This guy sounds like one of the many who does not; as a result, he's defending his position by laying the blame on a generalized crowd that can be held responsible for the controversy. Which is easier than taking a look at his own reviewing processes and seeing if there's something that, indeed, needs changing.

Wni01707d ago

He isnt saying that. You are.

-Gespenst-1707d ago

None of that matters. If a game does something well, then fine, it can be praised for doing that well. But it doesn't change the fact that the game upon release is made part of culture. The "point" of the game can be praised for being realized well, but you can't just stop there, you have to address how it functions in culture and what ideas and messages it communicates. It's irresponsible not to. And hey, some games are even worthy of praise in that area.

You say he's "generalising a crowd" but you're are almost showing yourself to be one of those people he's criticising. One of those folks who just won't let any cultural or political criticisms be levelled at a game because for some reason it's an untouchable "piece of art". Who exactly enforces that? It's an arbitrary constraint.

Even if we criticise a game by bringing in politics and culture, we're still criticising the game on its own terms anyway; we're still responding to the content therein.

I know you're more intelligent than a lot of the users on N4G, but I think you're wrong on this one.

LoveSpuds1708d ago (Edited 1708d ago )

I personally feel that anything borne from creative efforts deserves to be recognised as art.

The game at hand also doesn't need to have some deeper meaning or be moving or contain a strong story to be considered as art.

There are so many creative decisions with regards to engineering, mechanics, art, sound and a myriad of other factors that I would argue that games merit artistic consideration on many levels.

I have recently completed The Last Of Us for the fourth time (trophy mop up). The story, performances, sound design, art design, engineering and overall direction all combined to make this game the finest game on an artistic level that I have played this year.

On the other end of the story spectrum, I also completed The Puppeteer last week. This games story has nowhere near the same power as The Last of Us, however I had a smile on my face the whole time and enjoyed it almost as much as TLoU. While I could appreciate the games artistic merit on its graphics, sound and engineering front it was the art design and direction that made the game stand out.

In my opinion, if people are willing to class the garbage that passes as modern art installations these days as art, then I cannot fathom how something that demands so much creative talent as creating a game cannot be classed as art.

Just my two cents!

techuser1708d ago (Edited 1708d ago )

Games are just games like a painting is a painting. He kind of sounds like he wants to censor what the developers can make and I call that anti freedom of expression. The way he mocks the "gamers" he knows clearly is in bad taste. You can't take an asshole like that seriously.

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