GameSpot AU chats to industry figures like Jonathan Blow (Braid), Nick Haggard (de Blob), and Siobhan Reddy (Little Big Planet) about their thoughts on art, games and whether they can be considered an art form.
A very good read, video game is art...I find killzone 2 art when playing the beta there were some parts i wished i have taken a picture of cause everything looked so beautiful and well placed...
When I play http://playauditorium.com/ I just think it's beautiful.
The sad thing there's so many people now a days that see video games as more of a stat to add to thier collection than a piece of art.
This is actually a pretty solid article. A bit of a shame, then, that it's going to be mostly ignored in favor of petty articles like which system 'won' 2008 or whatever.
I'd rather this than the articles that are MEANT to cause flamewars.
A lot of people don't like the idea of actually reading something. I swear half the people on here just skim the articles over for a second. We need more of these articles. Kuddos to whoever posted it. I'd look an all but I'm too lazy to read.
which i think is what you get standard.
Until you mentioned it oh observant one lol
But I still want to say, that if given a chance to hang out with that Ebert fella, I would spend the entire time with him playing Shadow of the Colossus, big screen, speakers blazing, eyes crying. If at the end, he wasn't convinced that games can equal, if not surpass art, (no point in even mentioning that urinal, we know what bodily fluid games dispatch into it) then...I don't know, he's hopeless. I guess it just seems so obvious to me that games can very well be artistic, that words are wasted arguing, you know what I mean?
Keep in mind, whether it be music, painting, or literature, what makes all three of them art is that they are trying to portray a vision to whoever is listening, viewing, or reading the work And yes, some videogames do very much indeed do just that. Shadow of the Colossus(as stated in the article) is a prime example of this. As is Okami
It's such a subjective term, (take duchamp's urinal, most mordern art, etc) i think what makes videogames one of the best artforms is the human element, something that is most present in games with conflicting outcomes like mass effect. When someone makes a movie it's a single idea that's defined by the director only, in a videogame it's in the hands of those that play the game, something more powerful then any director could imagine.
But try to tell that to the political leaders that see games as nothing more than mindless dribble
those are lobby groups who have the money sway polotical opinion. The same thing happend with art, movies, music etc, eventually videogames will become like any other social norm and be accepted. Sure it'll take a bit more time because videogames are still considered "child like" or at least "child marketed" but that'll only last until those older coots begin to bit the dust. It's hard to shake nostalgia, and most of the people in office think that videogames are mario, but with guns and violence being sold to teens. Which is like saying movies are micky mouse with sex and explosions being marketed to children. Neither of which are informed opinions.
I'd prefer art over realistic graphics. In games like braid and okami you basically are playing art. nail a good soundtrack and nobody would want to leave the gaming world.
But you're right, Videogames are the new poster child for what they consider "everything wrong with our society" Just like music, movies, etc before them. Honestly, I think the only way they'll leave videogames alone is when the "next big thing" comes along. The saddest part is you'd think these people would know better than to see games in any negative light. I say that because back when these same old geezers were younger, the music they loved oh so dearly faced the same EXACT scrutiny. Which leaves me to believe ONE single thing about our society, history repeats and we never learn
Personally, I'm of the impression that the whole "Videogames are/aren't art" debate is more of a semantic red herring. I've always liked the definition that art is whatever is intended to be art. It may not be good art, or aesthetically pleasing art, or even very substantive art, but if someone makes something and says "This is my art", then alright, fine. The people who really engage in peddling the notion of "videogames aren't art" tend to be cultural blowhards in the vein of Ebert, whose very existence more or less revolves around movies. The idea of a new medium, a medium which tends to be identified with the juvenile percentage of the population, being granted the same status as that which comprises his livelihood confuses and frightens him. But actually trying to argue with him, and others like him, on that point is a bit of an error, I think, since getting mired in the linguistic haze of specific definitions obscures some of the real issues. For instance, there's the secondary argument that Ebert poses, which relatively few people ever really get into because they're tricked by the smokescreen of the semantical debate. That secondary argument being that while videogames can be aesthetically pleasing, they lack the intellectual merit of other media i.e., plays, poetry, literature, paintings, et cetera. The article characterizes this argument as the belief that "video games are unable to communicate meaning in the same way that films or books". I don't personally agree with him on that point, in that I don't believe there's any real mechanical reason as to prevent games from conveying the same level of meaning as, say, a movie. But the elephant in the room here is that to a very large extent, this is actually more accurate a depiction of most games than most of us are willing to actually admit. Especially when you look at the most lucrative game franchises. *Obviously*, there are exceptions, very good exceptions. But the problem with games is... well, gamers. As the Braid creator says, the number of people in society who are drawn to a game, like, say, God of War, is relatively small in comparison to the whole of humanity, but those people represent an enormous proportion of the gaming community, which is why the game's a commercial and critical success -- and why developers will keep making games like it. And as much as I love similar games like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden and killing monsters in as gruesome a fashion as possible, there is a degree of truth to what the Eberts of the world say about them. Yes, they're visually superb and the violence is a thrilling, cathartic experience, but beyond that, how much intellectual depth and complexity is there? What does it tell us about the human condition when Kratos rips an enemy's head off? What kind of meaning is there in prefacing that head rending by a Quick Time Event that we would not have otherwise attained? In essence, these kind of games are to the videogame medium what Michael Bay's Transformers (which Ebert loved, by the way) is to film. High action, high adrenaline, roller coasters. Very pretty effects, but relatively shallow. The difference between the two of course being that Michael Bay's Transformers does not get nominated for "Movie of the Year". Meanwhile, in the gaming world, none of the games the article mentions ever break a million units sold, Clover Studios is liquidated for not making enough money, Okami's legacy is a boss fight in Capcom vs. Tasunoko, and the highest rated article of the month on N4G is a picture of the letter i, an exclamation point, and a power symbol. I guess what I'm saying is that if most people incorrectly characterize videogames as sophomoric, shallow affairs, perhaps a lot of gamers bear responsibility for liking those exact kinds of games.
My thoughts exactly, the "monopoly" on the definition of art is basically so-called academics that refuse to forfeit their all-knowing status. I'm not quite in agreement that certain type of games are holding back the medium however. Sure, I'd much prefer more games like Planescape: Torment (which I recently replayed, and it's still as much art now as it was in 1999) over say Gears of Wars, but that's my personal preference. I do not acknowledge my own, or anyone else's, authority on what's a "worthwhile experience", even though I'd like to some times. Things are only considered art because they stand in contrast to the mundane, and if there was nothing mundane, there would not be any art either. And then to define "mundane"... another (equally pointless and impossible) subject in itself. "What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise". Sometimes we simply need things that are just horrible or boring to truly appreciate the opposites of that, and know why.
I enjoy a rich artistic style any day from the oil pastel and watercolor art from Valkyria Chronicles to to the amazing cel shading from Okami
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