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I Don't Want Games To Be Art

You might be reading that title and taking issue with my saying that. After all, if games can be considered art, then games can have all kinds of themes and expressions that they wouldn't be allowed to have if they were simply a form of entertainment right? Yeah, that's true, but at the same time games being judged as art presents far too many problems and headaches.

I am with each and every one of you that thinks that gaming should be able to explore mature or dark themes. That developers should be allowed to have a vision for a story, characters, setting, or whatever they want and be able to fully explore and realize that vision. So why don't I want games to be art?

The answer is "Because people will forget that games are about fun and escapism."

That's right, they will.

Nowadays a game can't be made without being torn apart by social justice warriors shouting "I'm offended" if someone isn't represented, or is represented in ways they have a problem with. A developer needs to cater his/her vision to the politically correct social agenda of the day, or else said developer will be labelled as homophobic, racist, sexist, misogynist, ageist, genderist, etc.. etc... etc....

A developer makes a fantasy game where a female character has unrealistic proportions and little to no clothing, and somehow that's offensive and impacts real life.

A developer makes a game where a white protagonist kills scores of people who are any other race but white, and that's racist.

You have an RPG with a relationship system set up in it? Better make sure that same sex relationships are an option or you're a homophobe.

Want to make a platformer based on medieval times where a knight saves a princess from a dragon? You can't do that because that's sexist. Who the hell are you to suggest that a woman needs saving from a dragon? Give that princess a sword and let her rescue herself because she doesn't need a man regardless of the fact that he's a trained knight and she's an untrained princess.

Hell, you can't even name a trophy/achievement the way you want to anymore because you'll be castrated online by a volley of hate speech because you're somehow anti *insert special interest group here*

This is why I don't want games to be considered art. Games being considered art opens the floodgates of all the idiot people in the world looking to use the medium for their social justice platform. It opens the door to the people with too much time, and too little self-esteem, to find something to complain about.

The kinds of attacks these developers get over fictional characters or themes designed for entertainment would be considered felonious hate speech if you changed the target from a game developer to a gay person, or a woman, or a non-white man.

It's to the point where leeches can successfully make money off of this trend by playing the victim and claiming "I'm just trying to make all things equal."

So no, I don't want games to be art. I don't want games to be art because in a world of these complaints, games like Skyrim exists where the choice of who you want to be is never better represented, and yet how much do you want to bet that the majority of people that play Skyrim DO NOT play as the virtual representation of what they consider to be the most ideal, non-offensive character to be?

How many of you initiated a man to man same sex marriage in Skyrim, even if you were homosexual yourself? How many of you women fully clothed your female character in Daedric Armor, completely hiding her whole appearance to make her almost entirely nondescript? How many of you instead fall into the traditional archetypes we all see instead?

I don't want games to be art because in a world where games are art, a female artist that designs female characters with the aforementioned unrealistic proportions (and yes, they do exist) get to either hear that they did so because they were forced to, which insults their vision and talent, or are part of the sexism problem, which insults them as people.

I don't want games to be art because games as art seeks to foster shame, artistic oppression, and fear.

How many times are we going to have to see an article written about how this virtual character is sexually objectifying women and is degrading because of it? A fictional character who has no impact on reality.

How many times are we going to have articles written insulting developers from different cultural backgrounds as being "teenage boys" because their designs don't measure up to the politically correct Western bullsh*t ideals that social justice warriors want every single piece of design to live up to?

In a world where games are art, we see less focus on games as escapism and fun. Absolutely none of us started playing video games because we thought they were art. Absolutely none of us started playing videos games looking for Shakespearean storylines (which hilariously would be attacked by social justice warriors if it were written today), characters with more depth to them than any real person ever had, or the darkest of themes.

All of us started gaming because we wanted to do something fun, and gaming looked fun to us. We continued gaming because we continued having fun with it.

Do I want games that explore every possible theme, and can be as dark as any book or movie? Of course I do, but I don't want it at the expense of fun and if I have to accept the ceaseless crying of people placing far too much stock in the impact of fictional worlds and characters.

Games will never truly be considered art unless developers can feel free to express themselves HOWEVER THEY WANT. That means allowing them to have female characters with boobs the size of an exercise ball, men as big as a tank, with themes so dark or disgusting they provoke all kinds of emotions (and you know you've seen movies that are FAR worse than any game in this department), and be able to have all of these things without developers being constantly insulted and attacked because that's what they wanted to put in the game.

Games are games, and they are meant for entertainment first and foremost. They have always been about escapism and fantasy. Stop trying to attach the real world to the fictional worlds and characters of video games.

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Lukejrl1594d ago

Awesome !! now can we just have a developer say it, or a publisher.

People really have nothing better to do with their lives than to find fault with others, however real or perceived, and take up a crusade. The Extremists might use terror to bully people into thinking what they want, the suburban nutjob uses the internet to bully. And everyone is a victim unless they think like they do.

ShadowReaper141591d ago (Edited 1591d ago )

Last thing I'm gonna say. Without ARTISTS games wouldn't exist.

LostDjinn1593d ago (Edited 1593d ago )

Dragon, you've put some effort into your blog so I'll pose my response as a question. Do you think it's the fact games are art or that the observer is to blame for the current state of things? After all it's the leveraging of said games by people for their own agenda that leads to the points you've listed. How is being art or not going to change that?

Edit: for editing and stuff.

SweetIvy1593d ago

Absolutely, in fact it's not because they are art, but because they are a mass product.
The more independent and niche the games, the lesser the constraints.

Erotic and porn ART do exist (Sorayama or Manara are prime examples), so, for example, it's certainly not because games are considered an art form that showing a boob is such a no-no :).

DragonKnight1593d ago

I think it's both. Sure, people are responsible for their own observations and what they choose to do with said observations, but then you have to consider the idea that people complaining about games when they are solely entertainment only would not be taken seriously and likely looked down upon. Most would say "you know it's just a game right" and dismiss complaints immediately. Games as art falls under critiquing of art, meaning people can accept others looking for hidden meaning in the games and call into question the mentality of the creators. That's why people then have the "courage" to start complaining about things that don't exist.

The classic example is using books. If a book was simply something you read to pass the time and that's how everyone saw it, then when an author says "the curtains are blue" people would leave it at that. But books are consider forms of artistic expression, so whole classes are devoted to analyzing books and people say that blue curtains symbolize depression when that had nothing to do with what the author meant.

So, in summation, games as art allows for the idea that they can be criticized as art which just allows people to come up with ridiculous complaints about things that literally never crossed the minds of the developers and really shouldn't be a problem. Did you ever see anyone complain about the way a character looked in a game pre-PS1 days?

memots1591d ago

Seem like people around here like to click disagree on everything you post..

I actually loved your blog. I think its spot on but we could add to this that game are not alone in this criticizing world we live in.
Hell people can't even post picture of their kids having fun without someone questioning their parenting skill.

I sent the link of your blog to a bunch of friend and got a good talk about it. Thanks !

Bimkoblerutso1588d ago

It simply doesn't make any sense.

Whether you want to acknowledge that games are art or not, entertainment is still subject to personal experience and all the subjectivity that that entails. You cannot dictate the way people interpret things simply by denying it's categorization as "art."

That's why I can make a statement like: "The Avengers was a much better movie than Catwoman." Because everything is still at the mercy of personal taste and subjectivity.

Fireseed1593d ago

WOW! Just... wow.

So you want games to have the freedom to explore various different thematic issues, BUT you don't want them to have any of the responsibility? You want games to "just be about fun" but if one particular group doesn't enjoy your brand of fun they must be a "social justice warrior."

Heck at one point you actually propose a question without giving data and answer said question as if we were to believe you had ANY data;
"How many of you initiated a man to man same sex marriage in Skyrim, even if you were homosexual yourself? How many of you women fully clothed your female character in Daedric Armor, completely hiding her whole appearance to make her almost entirely nondescript? How many of you instead fall into the traditional archetypes we all see instead?"
Idk dude how many people DID do that, cause if you're trying to insinuate that the majority of us picked a archetype whit male barbarian, or scantily clad woman, then you'd be sorely mistaken. Cause while I don't believe their is any statistical data on it released by Bethesda themselves, I'll still one up what you did by basing it on the fact that none of my friends picked anything even remotely resembling what you think the majority of us did.

But their in lies the fault to your thought process and why I'm SO glad you're not a developer. Games are fun, because they are fun TO ME. That TO ME is the important part, like you said video games are escapes. But they should be escapes for EVERYONE. If my friend Karl found serenity in the idea of playing as a gay Argonian in Morrowind, while he was struggling with his sexuality. Then I think Bethessda owe it to a small group of their players who love what they do to add an option to include them in the fold. Maybe even if it doesn't have any in-game implications but if for nothing else than to say "Hey welcome to video games kids of all kinds, you are welcome here."

DragonKnight1593d ago (Edited 1593d ago )

Way to COMPLETELY miss the point. I always enjoy people like you that come into a discussion and it goes right over your head so you lob an accusation at the person initiating the discussion. It's hilarious.

First paragraph: Responsibility? THEY'RE GAMES! Games have one responsibility, to be entertaining. That's it. Do you lodge a complaint against Hasbro because Monopoly doesn't have Compton in it and under represents black ghettos of the United States? After all, it's a real estate game right? Surely it has the responsibility to represent minorities and low income housing beyond 2 squares right?

No fool, this isn't about people enjoying "my" type of fun. This is about people forgetting that games are ABOUT FUN in the first place. A game exploring a dark theme isn't doing so to make social change or commentary. It's doing so because the developer thought you, the player, might enjoy said theme.

Second paragraph: You mock the fact that I asked an open ended question by answering it in the fashion you mock? I'm to believe you have friends to begin with, and then I'm to take your word on what they chose because, hey you're trustworthy right? AND you also make the assumption, outright, that what you believe are my perceptions are wrong based on literally nothing but the fact that you think they're wrong. You yourself said there is no data, and yet I'm wrong because of your friends. I hope to god you're not a politician, but you'd be immensely over-qualified for that job. I asked questions, I didn't make statements that needed verification, learn the difference.

Final Paragraph: Subjective fun doesn't require all-inclusive representation. A paraplegic who wasn't always so may have once found football to be fun to play and still enjoys watching it, but the NFL can't accommodate that person to actually play football. Your friends struggles with his homosexuality isn't the responsibility of Bethesda or any developer to represent in a game. They do so at their own discretion, not because you demand that they do so because you want to feel better about yourself.

You don't find a game that doesn't represent you fun? That's your problem, not the developers. Find something that IS fun for you. Developers have a responsibility only to make an entertaining product, and you can't please everyone. Expecting them to represent every special interest, and to ensure that that representation is entertaining, is to expect a design by fan committee system that NEVER works. The Simpsons can showcase it for you the best, since I'm certain my reply still went right over your head.

In the episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochy Show" of The Simpsons, children are brought into a focus group and shown Itchy & Scratchy episodes to see what it is they like, and what they dislike.

At the end of the show, the proctor asks the children "How many of you would want Itchy & Scratchy to deal with real life problems, the kinds you have to deal with every day?" All the kids raise their hands.

Then he asks "And how many want the show to be just the opposite and involve robots and magic powers?" They all raise their hands.

So, confused, the guy says "So you want a realistic, down to earth show... that's completely off the wall and swarming with magic robots?" And they all say yes, with Milhouse adding "And you should win stuff just by watching."

This frustrates the studio owner who is watching behind the two way mirror who says "You kids don't know what you want, that's why you're kids, because you're stupid."

And that's what a design by fan committee would make gaming into.

Noobz11593d ago

Always ready to attack. It's no wonder you will ever be able to simply move on. Game creators can make any game they like. Why don't you take the time and make your own game or do you just enjoy being a critic about everything and enjoy conflict with others?

Your a very hostile person who seems to think he is better than most and always wants to be right about everything.

Stop being so serious about everything. Gaming can be fun but that usually happens when your able to be open minded and not take everything so seriously.

DragonKnight1593d ago (Edited 1593d ago )

See, only here to discuss me. I wish I could say that I was flattered, but quite frankly your attention isn't sought so I suggest you take your own advice and move on. My reply was to Fireseed, who started his own offense against me, not to you. Good day.

EDIT: Interesting. Joins 5 days ago, comments littered with insulting the people of this site, and I'm the first "target" of the users focused attention. Common themes from people who can't seem to stay away from the site, a.k.a. dupe accounts or people that came back after swearing they were "done with this sh*tty fanboy site."

Bundi1593d ago

Did you have to call him a fool though? Honestly. He made excellent points.

s45gr321593d ago

But that's the problem with movies like saw were were the people complaining about it nowhere to be found and when it comes to rap music or hip hop with scantily real life scantily women is ok, tv shows like jackass is ok. Unfortunately games are still perceived as toys or for little kids that is the problem the movie director, music artist, even the people behind tv shows can do whatever the hell they want and allow themselves to express freely for example a clockwork orange is regarded as a great film despite rape scenes, nude scenes, etc. Unfortunately game developers cannot express as freely as possible.

Noobz11593d ago (Edited 1593d ago )

I don't really understand the focus of the author. He goes on and on about how games are supposed to be fun and be like they were 20 years ago. I have news for you, those games still exist. The difference is we have a much broader selection of titles to choose from now.

So instead of sharing his enjoyment of games he does enjoy what does this person do instead? He attacks pc gamers, he hates anything to do with Microsoft and especially their consoles because they threaten Sony. Which at the end of the day is the only thing he seems positive about.

This for and the blogs within it will never be taken seriously anyways. Not when a major portion of its community is wrapped up in controversy all while arguing with one another. Acting like fanboys in the process.

Games can be as fun as they used to be if you stopped being so negative and stopped being such a hater.

We can have games that are art. We can have games that are simple like Fez, we still have the Marios the Halos, the Gran Turismo games coming out but we also have games as art now too like Gone Home or Beyond Two Souls. But what we also have now more than ever are a bunch of whiners who seem to complain about everything.

The author is stuck in a rut. Someone who is just overly negative and you find these people all the time in every forum. I think it really is an escape for them because they are not happy with themselves or how life is. So they constantly comment on forums looking for others they can relate to.

I enjoy my video games and maybe you would too if you stopped bring so serious about everything. Post about things you enjoy, stop arguing with everyone and be more positive. If you stopped being such a hater you'd enjoy games more and life in general.

Now the question is will the author take the time to read my reply or will be dismiss it because he doesn't like what he reads
? I bet he is the type that enjoys one way conversations so that his opinion is heard louder than all the rest.

DragonKnight1593d ago (Edited 1593d ago )

You got your wish. If your objective in reading a blog is to A)Tell an author what they should be writing about, B)Dismiss the entire blog because "past games still exist" and C)Dismiss the blog because you want to bring up irrelevant comments that you didn't like elsewhere on the site, then you need to simply leave because you don't want to discuss the blog, you want to discuss the author.

People write about what they want to write about. What gives you the right to try and tell them they need to write about something else because you don't understand why they are writing about something, or don't like what they are writing about? If you don't like it, don't read it and spare everyone the time of having to read your irrelevant, off topic responses. Thanks, and have a good day.

Noobz11593d ago

Admit it, all you care about are those that agree with what you say. Your not here to have 2-way discussions with anyone that objects to your views or disagrees with you.

What you fail to acknowledge is we can have games that are art and games that are pure escapism. How do I know this? Because it is happening as we speak. But you seem adamant on focusing on your views of how things are. Technology has allowed the medium to grow. We can now use emotion to further games into art. Artists can also replicate real surroundings. This all adds to the immersion of games.

So why can't we have both? Why can't we have games that are art AND games that are purely made to have fun and be an escape? The answer is we can, you just want to keep the focus on complaining about something.

DragonKnight1593d ago

You've been here but a week, so unless you're going to admit that this is a new account for an old member just so you can have a go at attacking and insulting people, this site, etc... then you have no place to make a claim that you know anything about me.

If all I cared about is people that agree with what I say, I wouldn't write a blog on a site where people could disagree with what I say. I'd pull an Anita Sarkeesian and just upload YouTube videos with the comments disabled so no one could disagree with me.

The problem with people like you is that you either don't like, or can't fathom, that a person would respond to another that disagrees with them. You can't fathom, or don't like, that people generally don't approach attacks made against them in a positive or neutral light.

What you consider to be discussion is people talking about what you want them to talk about, how you want them to talk about, and responding "ok" to any responses made to the original discussion.

And now you're moving the discussion into the irrelevant, making the assumption that I am talking about game technology and immersion when that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the fact that games being art makes stupid complaints about games gain traction when they have literally nothing to do with the intent of the developer in making the game. I'm talking about people who think they have the right to complain about their special interest group either being poorly represented, or under represented in a game and insulting developers because of it.

If games were only seen as entertainment, the way they used to be, these complaints either wouldn't exist or be entirely ignored by the larger industry. But today, we have these complaints starting to change visions and creating a scene where the right of artistic expression ends where the right to not be offended begins. In other words, political correctness and social justice agendas are permeating the development scene.

Don't believe me? Look up Anita Sarkeesian's involvement with Mirror's Edge 2 and the rumours suggesting that EA is forcing the developers to incorporate her ideas into the design of the protagonist.

Thankfully for me, at least in dealing with you, I'm out of bubbles. That means your continued focus on me instead of the actual issue that the blog discusses can be met with silence by me. Unfortunately it means that people who actually want to discuss the blog won't receive any replies from me, but it is what it is.

s45gr321593d ago

The author is talking about all these sensitive people that oppress game developers for having same sex relationships, killing non-white people, ultra violence, nudity, female characters with hardly any clothing, muscular men, etc inside the games. In contrast when it comes to film, tv shows, and music these same people are nowhere to be found that depict the subject they are complaining about. Is a real issue that needs to be solved and game developers should be allowed to express their vision as freely as possible.

TransientDreamer1593d ago

Basically what you're saying is: a few people complained about a few things and thus I think all developers everywhere should take their ball and go home.

That is the worst possible suggestion you could make.

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