Video games as art.

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Do you consider video games to be art? If yes, what games do you point to as examples?

Do you think video games will ever be taken as seriously as movies or literature?

2009 just called. They want their topic back.

VG_Addict:
Do you consider video games to be art?

Yes.

VG_Addict:
If yes, what games do you point to as examples?

Eh, most of them? Same as books or movies? I mean, if a medium is regarded as art, everything within that medium is pretty much art. Now, the question of 'high art' may come up, or in books, genre fiction vs. literary fiction, but I guess anything with an emphasis on at least one of the five elements of story, with the more elements being present, the greater the artistic worth. So, something like Doom is hardly something I'd point to as being 'artistic.'

VG_Addict:
Do you think video games will ever be taken as seriously as movies or literature?

No. Three reasons:

1) Too much stigma/stereotype (and some of it is well founded)

2) If we go by Sturgeon's Law, and assume that 90% of everything is crap, then the 10% that isn't is going to be greater the older the medium. And there's no game that really has any equivalence to what we consider the great works of art in other mediums.

3) High barrier to entry.

Whenever I hear or see the phrase 'videogames as art' I picture a little kid or teenager claiming how they're totally a grown up.

Beyond that I 've grown tired of it. I'm sorry, but who really gives a shit? If I'm enjoying something, then my thought process kinda stops there.

Yes.

All. Even the bad ones. (Art is not automatically good or bad)

Yes.

No, I don't think games are art.

I think games CAN be art and games have artistic merit but games by themselves are not art.

Now to be fair to me, I feel that way about all forms of media. Movies CAN be art but being a movie does not make you art. Books CAN be art but being a book does not make you art. Erotic Fanfics CAN be art but being an erotic fanfic does not make you art.

Being a piece of media alone is not enough for my snobbish ways to consider it art. It needs to have more to get that elevation in my book.

tippy2k2:
No, I don't think games are art.

I think games CAN be art and games have artistic merit but games by themselves are not art.

Now to be fair to me, I feel that way about all forms of media. Movies CAN be art but being a movie does not make you art. Books CAN be art but being a book does not make you art. Erotic Fanfics CAN be art but being an erotic fanfic does not make you art.

Being a piece of media alone is not enough for my snobbish ways to consider it art. It needs to have more to get that elevation in my book.

Ah, I see that this might be the critical difference in perspective that puts this issue into doubt. Because I believe that video games are art. All of them, just like all films are art and all literature and all sculpture. Obviously, most of all this art is garbage and only a bit of it is worth my time, but it all qualifies as art by virtue of being created with the intent to entertain, or to make a statement, or to reveal humanity in some way.

You, and presumably many others, use the word "art" to describe something of merit, with admirable or difficult-to-achieve qualities, where I call it art because it was made with a creative intention. If I am forced to accept Dadaism as art (and, unfortunately, I am), then I have to call it all art.

Yes.

Games have already told more mature and well written stories than movies and books, people forget that being art doesn't automatically mean something is stupid and pretentious.

I honestly don't give a shit because I don't take ANY mediums seriously. I don't read books to admire the paper upon the story has been written, or watch porn to admire my computer screen instead of naked women on it.

Under the U.S constitution Video games are art so they can't be censored so yes.

"Art" is a broad stroke. As simply any expression of creative ideas, then yes, one could say any and all creative media, including videogames, is art, some good, most forgettable and all subjective. More narrowly, can videogames be art as in a focused effort to elicit specific and deep emotional responses and provoke thought beyond the bounds of the media itself? Still yes, but it's much more difficult to achieve as videogames are generally meant to entertain, an aim which doesn't necessarily require deep, emotional investment the pursuit of which can easily subvert the "entertainment" aspect and a game's ultimate overall success.

My personal favorite and best example of the latter idea of "art" would be INSIDE. On the surface, the game is a beautifully animated, easy to learn, cleaver puzzle platformer. The "art" of it is in the design choices developer Playdead made. The story is entirely implicit, so you're forced to think on the meaning of your actions and the world you're traversing from beginning to end. It's very dark and violent which breeds a sense of foreboding and the sound design, from the faceless boy's breathing to shrewdly implemented audio cues to the spare-yet-lush ambient musical score, is the best I've heard in generations of gaming. It's a sum total experience, far from a mindless point-to-point adventure meant to be "beaten" like so many traditional games. When it was over, it stayed with me. I played it through over a dozen times, just to be in that world again. I thought about that experience for months afterwards; I still think about it. That, to me, is art. Something beheld, something that exists with me beyond that black box that houses its code, something I like to share with others as something more than just an entertaining game.

Does it exist to invoke an emotional response?

Yeah?

Cool!

First we have to define art and honestly I feel incredibly tired and apathetic after just typing out that much.

Yes, I do consider them art. Which ones are examples? It depends on the context you're searching for. Do you want games with ambiguous messages? Check Shadow of the Colossus (is your character good or bad?) Do you want games with explicit messages? Most single-player AAA games do (most the time you're either the good guy or the anti-hero fighting bad guys). Do you want games that break the narrative norm of their genre? Try Spec Ops: The Line. Do you want games where the sense of the world is closely correlated with the gameplay? Try Limbo or Bloodborne. Art is not a label or a status symbol.

Do I think video games will ever be taken as seriously as movies or literature? Sure. Once the generation that had a smartphone always at their side grows up to adulthood and the old skeptical people die of old age.

BloatedGuppy:
First we have to define art and honestly I feel incredibly tired and apathetic after just typing out that much.

Nope. Because nothing can't be art.

CaitSeith:
Nope. Because nothing can't be art.

Settle down James Franco.

I don't think videogames will ever be considered art the way things are going and I think TotalNiscuit put it best as to why:

Games are art. Art can be offensive and often is. You don't get to pick and choose.
"Videogames need to grow up and tell different stories!" "Oh no, we didnt mean those stories, they're icky"

Yes.

Any and all of them.

Yes... eventually.

Yes

There's good art and bad art

VG_Addict:
Do you think video games will ever be taken as seriously as movies or literature?

Ehh, video games are a medium like any other. They can be art, but that doesn't mean that they have to be. Literature is widely considered to be a medium through which artistic expression can be manifested, but that doesn't mean that every issue of Hello magazine is 'art'. You mention movies, and there are many movies out there worthy of being defined as 'art', but it's take a bold critic to say that Piranha 3DD was an artistic piece. It's the same with video games. Yes, there are titles out there that can be considered as art, but that doesn't mean that every game is, or has to be, art.

How retro...

Yes, because as someone else already remarked: anything and everything can be art. 'Can X be art' is a - usually quite pointlessly misleading - discussion that can be said about anything and everything.

The weird gamer tick of citing stuff like stuff like Shadow Of The Colossus, or Spec Ops The Line, is odd, too - as if those are somehow objective higher forms of art than the rest of the medium (subjective qualities or perceived craft has nothing to do with whether something's 'art' or not. Call Of Duty 35 is just as much 'art' as Indie Darling #321-2b), and that these thus become misleading exemplars which obscure one of the medium's greatest traits; its unique diversity of experience and expression (across platforms and genres).

VG_Addict:
Do you think video games will ever be taken as seriously as movies or literature?

Define "seriously", then tell me why playing compare matters in the first place.

I've grown to take a more logical approach to this subject. Seeing as how most art is already crap, and video games by default involve far greater effort and resources, not the least of which education and talent to produce than what is considered great art, I have to wonder what is so great about having that title bestowed upon them in the first place.

Art is absolutely anything made with the intention of making art, so of course a game can be art too.

Art games shouldn't be pretentious, crappy, walking simulators. Art found in tight mechanics or an epic story is just as much art.

The real question is - what is art?

About video games - many of them are really not more than better looking Doom (1995). Tons of point-and-shoot "games" which smell the same, maybe with a different plot story, which you don't really have any impact on. There is nothing playful in them, except the big studios pumping more and more titles.

The indie games - I don't know, don't have a lot of experience with enough of them

The art of games to me is how much it achives to immerse you.
Just think about it it applies to all different genres and even to old games. Zelda Breath of the Wild as same as Zelda Links aweakening.

That is the art of games. One bad example would be Mass Effect Andromeda where the Characters would have bad animations and Eyes, to me that degrades the game because it takes you out of immersion so yeah thats basically it.

They CAN be.

Guilion:
I don't think videogames will ever be considered art the way things are going and I think TotalNiscuit put it best as to why:

Games are art. Art can be offensive and often is. You don't get to pick and choose.
"Videogames need to grow up and tell different stories!" "Oh no, we didnt mean those stories, they're icky"

I don't follow exactly what point you're trying to make, mainly due to lack of examples and context.

OT: Yes they are (seriously, show of hands, who here will actually argue that they're not) although I feel like we can be a little stagnant in some ways. Jim said it best.

TL;DR: Games over rely on stories with a heavy emphasis on violence, particularly with the emotional gut punch of killing or nearly killing someone or something cute.

Yes, unequivocally.

Because if they weren't, they wouldn't get First Amendment protections. Which means Jack Thompson types can have their wsy.

That said, not every game is good art. After all, for every Hound of the Baskervilles or Old Man's War, there's a couple dozen terrible "we have to defeat the Muslim caliphate that took over Europe" or "this detective is smarter than Einstein and knows all my favorite pop-culture references" novels out there.

Games will be taken as seriously as movies or literature about as soon as our critical ability to talk about games evolves to the point that it's not embarrassing to read. Seriously, our best commentators are barely literate compared to the critics of other mediums. Which make sense, Video games have only been around for half a century. TV could at least piggyback off film a bit.

Always remember art sucks. How many artist can you name, or claim to have seen pieces by? A hundred? Two if you studied art. two and a half if you have a PhD in Art History.

Out of how many hundreds of millions of artists in history?

Labeling something, anything, as art is kinda meaningless because art is forgotten and ignored just as much as anything else. Might as well call video games tacos.

erttheking:

Guilion:
I don't think videogames will ever be considered art the way things are going and I think TotalNiscuit put it best as to why:

Games are art. Art can be offensive and often is. You don't get to pick and choose.
"Videogames need to grow up and tell different stories!" "Oh no, we didnt mean those stories, they're icky"

I don't follow exactly what point you're trying to make, mainly due to lack of examples and context.

Simply put games can't be considered an art form as long as people keep being selective aboute it i.e. "Game X is art but game Y can't be art because Z"

Either people accept that all games are art or games simply aren't art because they aren't judged by the same standards we judge other art mediums (Sculpture, cinema, literature, etc.) and they simply remain as an entertainment medium.

Silentpony:
Always remember art sucks. How many artist can you name, or claim to have seen pieces by? A hundred? Two if you studied art. two and a half if you have a PhD in Art History.

Out of how many hundreds of millions of artists in history?

Labeling something, anything, as art is kinda meaningless because art is forgotten and ignored just as much as anything else. Might as well call video games tacos.

Art is not a label or a status symbol (nor a badge of shame). You should learn that. Otherwise art as a practice will always be something foreign to you.

Guilion:

erttheking:

Guilion:
I don't think videogames will ever be considered art the way things are going and I think TotalNiscuit put it best as to why:

Games are art. Art can be offensive and often is. You don't get to pick and choose.
"Videogames need to grow up and tell different stories!" "Oh no, we didnt mean those stories, they're icky"

I don't follow exactly what point you're trying to make, mainly due to lack of examples and context.

Simply put games can't be considered an art form as long as people keep being selective aboute it i.e. "Game X is art but game Y can't be art because Z"

Either people accept that all games are art or games simply aren't art because they aren't judged by the same standards we judge other art mediums (Sculpture, cinema, literature, etc.) and they simply remain as an entertainment medium.

For a long time sci-fi literature wasn't considered art. That didn't made literature not art.

Video games have art in them, but I don't think video game mechanics are art and they are required for a game to be a game. There are very few video games I've played that I would consider art (mainly Portal, Spec Ops: The Line, and Undertale). A video game piece of art must have a good video game story, while a piece of video game art can be anything artistic.

Most video game critics review games as toys instead of art. Games are held to a different standard.

Guilion:

erttheking:

Guilion:
I don't think videogames will ever be considered art the way things are going and I think TotalNiscuit put it best as to why:

Games are art. Art can be offensive and often is. You don't get to pick and choose.
"Videogames need to grow up and tell different stories!" "Oh no, we didnt mean those stories, they're icky"

I don't follow exactly what point you're trying to make, mainly due to lack of examples and context.

Simply put games can't be considered an art form as long as people keep being selective aboute it i.e. "Game X is art but game Y can't be art because Z"

Either people accept that all games are art or games simply aren't art because they aren't judged by the same standards we judge other art mediums (Sculpture, cinema, literature, etc.) and they simply remain as an entertainment medium.

I still don't know what you're talking about because of the lack of examples. I mean, what exactly has this been applied to?

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
Always remember art sucks. How many artist can you name, or claim to have seen pieces by? A hundred? Two if you studied art. two and a half if you have a PhD in Art History.

Out of how many hundreds of millions of artists in history?

Labeling something, anything, as art is kinda meaningless because art is forgotten and ignored just as much as anything else. Might as well call video games tacos.

Art is not a label or a status symbol (nor a badge of shame). You should learn that. Otherwise art as a practice will always be something foreign to you.

No, that's wrong. Art is just a label.
Remember anyone can be an artist, and art is only what the artist says it is, not the audience. So anything can be labeled as art. Before this post I was an artist in feeding my dog. His bowl was my canvas, his food my brush and his chomps of said food the culmination of literal seconds of worth.
After this post I'll be going to the bathroom. The toilet will be my canvas, etc...
Because I'm declaring myself an artist, because anyone can create art, and art is whatever the artist, being me, says it is.

Remember 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence is considered music. Might as well call Silent Hill 2 a musical for all good it does.

Silentpony:
Might as well call Silent Hill 2 a musical for all good it does.

That's not calling Silent Hill 2 art. That's putting a game in the wrong genre.

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