IGN: Server Status: Are Games Art?

The old saw "a picture paints a thousand words" rings true for video games. More so for MMOs as the first time a gamer sees the seemingly unending vista before him with other players running around the world can be truly awe-inspiring. Video games to PCs have been what NASA has done for the mainframe; that is pushed it to its very limits; made component developers reach for the stars. Avid gamers do not simply want cutting edge technology, they demand bleeding edge components for their PC.

Video games are primarily eye candy, but is it Art? In the 1920s, critic Gilbert Seldes put forth the thesis that the popular arts of his time were worthy of being termed as Art with a capital "A." Comic strips, movies, musical comedy, vaudeville, radio, popular music, and dance were what he defined as the Seven Lively Arts of modern culture, relating them to opera, ballet, drama, and classical music. It's time then, to add video games and video game graphics themselves.

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RememberThe3573630d ago

Some times its not good art(Legendary I'm looking at you) but neither is any other form of art. Look at Solja boy, that sh*t ain't art, but it is music, and music is art.

yamamoto1143629d ago

While most of what the article says is true, what it fails to state is that games can be art in so many more ways than just the visuals.

DavidMacDougall3629d ago

MGS4 is art for many reasons it looks AMazing!! and the story was beautiful

nirun3629d ago (Edited 3629d ago )

ya the difference is:
Good art, something that makes you think. something that is inspiring. something that takes you into the developer's psychic space. something that is visually pleasing...

Bad art in video games are things that make you realize it's a video game, pulling you away from the "psychic space". inconsistencies, lack of originality, design not working with function.

i could go on and on... but I mean this touches on so many elements. interface design, texture design, level design, animation, physics, colour pallets, special effects, even sound design.

thor3629d ago

Not yet.

Stories in games are still too cheesy and poorly acted in many cases. Look at R2 and Gears 2 and you'll see that for many games the story is just an excuse to have a great game.

Most games are very similar indeed to games we've seen a long time ago. Most games are more akin to mass-produced framed photos than an oil-on-canvas masterpiece.

There are those games that try to break the mould in ways other than just introducing a new gameplay mechanic or a gimmick. These could be considered art.

Most devs still have difficulty separating narrative and gameplay such that the "art" portion of the game in terms of cinema comes from cutscenes which are disjoint from the gameplay. I have high hopes for Heavy Rain to merge the two.

riqued3629d ago

I agree with you 100%. The main reason why I games may not be considered art yet is because not many games have made the gameplay part essential to the art coming from games.
Ico would be the best example of this, the art aspect comes from the gameplay, something unique to a game.

sinncross3629d ago

Games are an art form, but are far too commercialized to be considered true art... though that was exactly the point of pop art, to make art appeal to the masses after the difficulty of understanding abstract art.

IT depends on your perspective. As an art student I appreciate pop art but I see it more as a nonsense movement, like Dada art, which was used to be different from the high culture of many art forms before it... the problem with calling games art is that is has to be an emotional experience.. one which communicates a message but gives hints to the questions instead of merely being stated.

I can't really think of any games like this... I think Okami works, so does ICO (that's a wonderful experience via its simplicity), dunno about SotC. But I see games as a commodity... that alone stops me seeing games as true art, but I don't deny that as an art form, games can be amazingly expressive, more so then even film and literature at times.

That said, are games art? Some can be

riqued3629d ago

Aren't music and film also commercialized? That doesn't stop then from being art. And your concept of art is disputed, entirely subjective, what touches you may not touch me, so who is right.

Games can be art, not because I say ICO or SotC are art, but because the media allows any form of expression to be done. Videogames are a media that can conform to the many existing art theories.

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