Zero Punctuation: Lego City Undercover

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GodzillaGuy92:
Art is something created for the primary purpose of inducing an emotional reaction.

That's one definition. There are many others.

For example, the goal of the Socialist Realist school of art is for further the causes of Socialism or Communism. Other schools of art would say that it is art's job to challenge and disrupt social and cultural conventions. Yet other schools would say that the purpose of art is to create beauty, while others would say it is to challenge the notion of beauty. Still others would say that art serves no purpose.

Shallow Hal, cheap romance novels, or Star Wars fanfiction may not succeed in having an emotional effect on you, but they're still art because there will always be someone out there who is legitimately affected by those works.

Again, under some definitions. Some would say a mere emotional response isn't sufficient to make something art. That definition, in its simplest interpretation would mean that punching someone in the face is art.

That's why Roger Ebert was wrong to claim that video games are not art.

I think it's equally incorrect to claim that all video games are art. Craft, yes, but not necessarily art.

My sister and I play all the Lego games together and get all the achievements.

I'm 18, she's 22. Are we cool yet?

Aardvaarkman:
That's one definition. There are many others.

For example, the goal of the Socialist Realist school of art is for further the causes of Socialism or Communism.

Which it can't do without getting people to care about it by evoking an emotional reaction.

Aardvaarkman:
Other schools of art would say that it is art's job to challenge and disrupt social and cultural conventions.

Which it can't do without getting people to care about it by evoking an emotional reaction.

Aardvaarkman:
Yet other schools would say that the purpose of art is to create beauty, while others would say it is to challenge the notion of beauty.

Which it can't do without - ...you get the idea. All art depends first and foremost upon creating a sense of emotional involvement in its audience. Without that, the pursuit of any further goal is hopeless from the very outset. Moreover, even if a piece of art doesn't choose to pursue any further goals, as long as it successfully manages to make the participants care in the way it wants them to, they won't demand more from it because they already received what it had to offer and were satisfied by it.

Aardvaarkman:
Some would say a mere emotional response isn't sufficient to make something art. That definition, in its simplest interpretation would mean that punching someone in the face is art.

A physical sensation (pain) is not even remotely the same thing as an emotional reaction. Yeah, you'll probably provoke an emotional response by doing it, but the primary purpose of a punch is to hurt someone.

Take another example: food. Food isn't art (even though there is art contained in the presentation of the food), because food serves the purpose of satisfying hunger and providing nutrition. A chef will seek to make the food taste good, and whoever eats the good-tasting food might have an emotional experience in response to doing so (or an averse one, if the food turns out to be bad), but at the end of the day the important thing about having eaten the meal is that you have a full stomach afterwards.

Again, you should take care to pay attention to my wording: "Art is something created for the primary purpose of inducing an emotional reaction" - "primary purpose" being the important part, in this case. A film, novel, or video game may well attempt to educate or preach to its audience, but that's not the point of them. Those things might provide an allegory for the Bolshevik Revolution or criticize the fast food industry or whatever, but above all else they seek to engage people, and people partake in them because, for whatever reason, they have an innate desire to be engaged. And that's why the fabrics that compose all of those mediums, even the most shallow and horrendous examples, are still art. No piece of art is "barely art," nor can it conversely be "more" a piece of art than another; it can only be good or bad, better or worse, because something either exists for the sake of engaging an audience or it does not.

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