Video games as art.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

CaitSeith:

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.

Music is art. Not all music needs music to be art. Silent Hill 2 is art. Silent Hill 2 doesn't have music. Silent Hill 2 meets all the criteria to be called music.

Silentpony:

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.

...I've seen stranger art.

You know that if a game isn't art, it can be censored in the states, right? Full on governmental "fuck you" censorship.

altnameJag:

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:
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.

...I've seen stranger art.

You know that if a game isn't art, it can be censored in the states, right? Full on governmental "fuck you" censorship.

Isn't some art censored? I could have sworn there was like a list of banned movies or something.
And movies are art.

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:

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.

Music is art. Not all music needs music to be art. Silent Hill 2 is art. Silent Hill 2 doesn't have music. Silent Hill 2 meets all the criteria to be called music.


For the audience, music is a passive activity. Silent Hill 2 isn't passive. Not all art needs to be passive.

Silentpony:
Might as well call video games tacos.

I hope you are happy, because now I will not sleep at night wondering how a Cho Aniki taco would taste like.

OT: Why not? It's a business oriented media. But what isn't these days? We don't consider Brazil any less of a movie because Suicide Squad was released. Same with music, books and any other type of media that sells. There are games that can be considered pieces of art on it's right, there's games that are mindless fun and there's nothing wrong with that.

The problem is that "art" as a concept is extremely fidgety and hard to describe. If we work under the extremely simplistic, but still mostly accurate definition that art is "any activity or product made for aesthetic and communicative reasons, to express ideas, emotions or a vision of the world", then games are most definitely art.

The idea that art has to be high and intellectual is a fallacy. Art can be highbrow or lowbrow, good or bad, intelectual or kitsch... Romeo and Juliet is "as much art" as 50 Shades of Grey, Harry Potter, the Bible and War and Peace (quotes added because art is not quantifiable). Sure, one of the main objectives of games is to create entertainment, but that is also true of most fiction. It combines other forms of art, but that is also true of theater and dance.

It is also pointless to compare videogames with THE ARTS, because that classification was created by snobs 500 years ago. Nowadays, no modern art curator would consider that there are only 4 mayor art forms, and even the idea of classifying art pieces into those categories is a non-trivial problem.

To me, that argument is pointless because the conflict derives from several groups: gamers that want their hobby validated by more "adult" endeavors, those that resent the idea that something having a message by its mere existence makes it open to criticism, and artists that think they are so special they don't want their little club invaded by new, mostly younger people... and, to be honest, I am not about the idea of indulging any of them.

Silentpony:

Isn't some art censored? I could have sworn there was like a list of banned movies or something.
And movies are art.

Only movies where the people in them are literally doing illegal things. Child porn, beastiality (in some areas), etc.

I mean, you can't sell porn games to kids, but porn shops can carry them no problem.

altnameJag:
You know that if a game isn't art, it can be censored in the states, right? Full on governmental "fuck you" censorship.

Just so you know, I would not take legislators as the ultimate arbiters of "what is art?". Yes, games were protected by the first amendment, and that is a big deal, but even if they didn't agreed to call it art, I still would...

hermes:
snip

Honestly, the most beneficial reason to have them legally labeled art is that art is protected against the government in the US by the 1st amendment. This protection doesn't extend to the public in general or the private enterprises that form the cogs of the gaming industry machine; but it stops politicians who like to score electoral points with easy targets from actually harming games.

Other than that, I just find art theory applied in game analysis interesting.

McElroy:
A video game piece of art must have a good video game story

Why?

DoPo:

McElroy:
A video game piece of art must have a good video game story

Why?

Otherwise it's just art in a video game, and not a video game that I'd consider a piece of art.

CaitSeith:
SNIP

Audience is irrelevant when it comes to art. What they think is entirely pointless. What matters is what the artist decides his/her art is.
If the writers of SH2 want to declare it a musical without music, that's their right as artists to do so.

McElroy:

DoPo:

McElroy:
A video game piece of art must have a good video game story

Why?

Otherwise it's just art in a video game, and not a video game that I'd consider a piece of art.

Do paintings also need a story? Do statuses?

DoPo:

McElroy:

DoPo:

Why?

Otherwise it's just art in a video game, and not a video game that I'd consider a piece of art.

Do paintings also need a story? Do statuses?

Oh well, "story" is the closest thing I came up with. "Motif" is perhaps a fine descriptor too. Even Jackson Pollock's paintings have a motif: painting itself.

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:
SNIP

Audience is irrelevant when it comes to art. What they think is entirely pointless. What matters is what the artist decides his/her art is.

Ironically, you're the one who wanted to call SH2 "music"; not the creators. Besides, the "death of the author" theory disagrees, and in the real world, not every artist can sell a blank canvas for $15 millions, no matter how much they insist.

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:
SNIP

Audience is irrelevant when it comes to art. What they think is entirely pointless. What matters is what the artist decides his/her art is.

Ironically, you're the one who wanted to call SH2 "music"; not the creators. Besides, the "death of the author" theory disagrees, and in the real world, not every artist can sell a blank canvas for $15 millions, no matter how much they insist.

Oh for sure, art can be valued differently, but you can't claim one blank canvas is art, and another isn't. One can be worth more, sure, but both are art.

And death of the author is also wrong. The writer gets to decide what the work means, because he/she wrote it and knew their own intentions. Someone else walking in saying 'No, I think Paradise Lost is actually about Keanu Reeve's struggle to get into shape to play Neo in Matrix 5 in the year 328.m889 so that the Cronenbergs of the Horse Head nebula learn the magic of Friendship' has no merit, and doesn't deserve consideration, regardless of 'but mah opinionz is neva wrongz!'

CaitSeith:

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

I honestly don't know wher eyou are coming from here.

The oldest examples of sci-fi that I can think of (Dante's Paradiso, Gulliver's Travels and The War of the Worlds) were considered art at their time of release and the gap between them is considerable (400 years between the oldest and the newest). It still doesn't make a difference though, science fiction wasn't considered art but it showed merits and people started treating it like art; Why must it be different for video games? Because they are a different art form? Then they can't really be judged as art or be judged the same way as other mediums now can it?

erttheking:

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?

Really? You don't get it unless I give you an example? There's people arguing that games CAN (Not ARE) art in this very thread.

Okay fine whatever I'll make a hypothetical scenario:

You have two games, one of them is Postal 2 and the second one is Okami. Now, The entire group agrees that Okami is a work of art for various reasons but some argue that Postal 2 can't be art because of its' objectable content, even though it shares some of that content with Okami (Alcohol, drugs and prostitution). So the question then becomes why can't both be considered as art? Both of them hold some merit of their own, Okami shows aspects of Shinto mythology accompained with traditions from a different time and Postal is a representation of almost everything that's wrong with modern western culture.

I'm not saying that they should be judged equally, mind you; their tone, subject manner and effort that went into each game is absurdly different. I'm just saying that both should be considered art in their own regard instead of making an exception or rules as to what should count as art.

Guilion:

Really? You don't get it unless I give you an example? There's people arguing that games CAN (Not ARE) art in this very thread.

Okay fine whatever I'll make a hypothetical scenario:

You have two games, one of them is Postal 2 and the second one is Okami. Now, The entire group agrees that Okami is a work of art for various reasons but some argue that Postal 2 can't be art because of its' objectable content, even though it shares some of that content with Okami (Alcohol, drugs and prostitution). So the question then becomes why can't both be considered as art? Both of them hold some merit of their own, Okami shows aspects of Shinto mythology accompained with traditions from a different time and Postal is a representation of almost everything that's wrong with modern western culture.

I'm not saying that they should be judged equally, mind you; their tone, subject manner and effort that went into each game is absurdly different. I'm just saying that both should be considered art in their own regard instead of making an exception or rules as to what should count as art.

I want to know what YOU are talking about. Ok, now we're getting somewhere...a hypothetical somewhere...*Sigh*.

So these people. Are they really in that great a number? Do they have that much in the way of influence? I seriously doubt there's enough force behind this to get in the way of video games being recognized as art.

Oh, and I don't recall anyone criticizing Postal 2 for alcohol drugs or prostitution, it was mainly the violence.

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?

Yeah, the same can be said about literally everything ever created by man, what's your point?

erttheking:

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?

Yeah, the same can be said about literally everything ever created by man, what's your point?

That asking if video games are art is pointless. They are, and its as meaningful as anything else being called art.

Silentpony:

erttheking:

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?

Yeah, the same can be said about literally everything ever created by man, what's your point?

That asking if video games are art is pointless. They are, and its as meaningful as anything else being called art.

Fairly meaningful in that it's being acknowledged as something with value? I agree, it is as meaningful as anything else being called art.

erttheking:

Silentpony:

erttheking:

Yeah, the same can be said about literally everything ever created by man, what's your point?

That asking if video games are art is pointless. They are, and its as meaningful as anything else being called art.

Fairly meaningful in that it's being acknowledged as something with value? I agree, it is as meaningful as anything else being called art.

value in that an artists called it art, nothing more. anyone can be an artists and anything they produce, anything can be called art.
Any most of that has no value at all, save that its been labeled art by an artist, who again, can be anyone doing anything.

Games can be form of artistic expression and be called art but that does not mean all games are art. If they were than that'd mean the video game version of solitaire, chess and monopoly would count as art even though we wouldn't consider their real life versions as art. I mean would we call Pong art?

I do think that in time the games will taken as seriously as movies and literature but it will be long time as games have a higher barrier to entry simply by design of having a challenge.

Silentpony:

erttheking:

Silentpony:

That asking if video games are art is pointless. They are, and its as meaningful as anything else being called art.

Fairly meaningful in that it's being acknowledged as something with value? I agree, it is as meaningful as anything else being called art.

value in that an artists called it art, nothing more. anyone can be an artists and anything they produce, anything can be called art.
Any most of that has no value at all, save that its been labeled art by an artist, who again, can be anyone doing anything.

If anything can be called art, how come video games had to struggle so much to get officially labeled as art, with all the protection that comes with it. And even if anything can be called art (which is hyperbole to the max, but I'll humor you for a second) does that lessen other works of art? Does terrible fanfiction lessen the work of great authors because they're both literature? It's still recognizing what our society puts value on.

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:

Audience is irrelevant when it comes to art. What they think is entirely pointless. What matters is what the artist decides his/her art is.

Ironically, you're the one who wanted to call SH2 "music"; not the creators. Besides, the "death of the author" theory disagrees, and in the real world, not every artist can sell a blank canvas for $15 millions, no matter how much they insist.

Oh for sure, art can be valued differently, but you can't claim one blank canvas is art, and another isn't. One can be worth more, sure, but both are art.

And death of the author is also wrong. The writer gets to decide what the work means, because he/she wrote it and knew their own intentions. Someone else walking in saying 'No, I think Paradise Lost is actually about Keanu Reeve's struggle to get into shape to play Neo in Matrix 5 in the year 328.m889 so that the Cronenbergs of the Horse Head nebula learn the magic of Friendship' has no merit, and doesn't deserve consideration, regardless of 'but mah opinionz is neva wrongz!'

I'm sorry, but:

1. When you consume media, you don't have the author sitting at your side, explaining what you just experienced as it happens. The only way to interpret the author's intention at that moment is by your own wit, and hopefully the author was skilled enough to make its intended meaning evident enough to you without ruining the intended experience (like a jumpscare that you saw coming a mile away). If you never bother to ask the author, you can only assume that your interpretation is correct.

2. People interpret things differently. This is because of how different their experiences have been through their whole life beforehand. Even when it becomes to gameplay, your first reaction to what to do in a specific situation will depend on your previous gaming experience and preparation.

3. Just because one interpretation is crap, doesn't mean that only one interpretation is correct. Authors can also choose to give to their work ambiguous meanings or plainly refuse to tell their own interpretation to the audience.

The death of the author means that the author has only one opportunity to communicate the meaning of its work. And that is through the work itself.

erttheking:

Silentpony:

erttheking:

Fairly meaningful in that it's being acknowledged as something with value? I agree, it is as meaningful as anything else being called art.

value in that an artists called it art, nothing more. anyone can be an artists and anything they produce, anything can be called art.
Any most of that has no value at all, save that its been labeled art by an artist, who again, can be anyone doing anything.

If anything can be called art, how come video games had to struggle so much to get officially labeled as art, with all the protection that comes with it. And even if anything can be called art (which is hyperbole to the max, but I'll humor you for a second) does that lessen other works of art? Does terrible fanfiction lessen the work of great authors because they're both literature? It's still recognizing what our society puts value on.

Video games shouldn't struggle to be called art. They are. Its just a meaningless title.

And what value does the word art give? And by what right does society impart it? Someone writes terrible fanfic, and pours their heart and soul into it, and its very personal and meaningful to them. Who are you to say it has less value than Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive? Who is Stephen King to do so? And how much extra value is being imparted? What's the value of that value?
Is it solely monetary? Is it worth a reroll in charge distance? What about a mulligan in golf?

What's the value difference between a dead child's last crayon drawing of her family compared to The Last Supper? Which would the Pope say is more valued? Which would Julius Ceaser say? Susan Smith of 1234 EveryTown USA? You? Me? You 3 years from now?

There is no set, defined, X value to art. The word is just a label.

Guilion:

CaitSeith:

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

I honestly don't know wher eyou are coming from here.

The oldest examples of sci-fi that I can think of (Dante's Paradiso, Gulliver's Travels and The War of the Worlds) were considered art at their time of release and the gap between them is considerable (400 years between the oldest and the newest). It still doesn't make a difference though, science fiction wasn't considered art but it showed merits and people started treating it like art; Why must it be different for video games? Because they are a different art form? Then they can't really be judged as art or be judged the same way as other mediums now can it?

I forgot about those ones, but it wasn't called sci-fi back then. When talking about sci-fi, critics were refering to pulp science fiction. Critics didn't consider sci-fi art because it was crap. Sturgeon's Revelation (Sturgeon Law) came out as a line of defense against those critics, and claimed sci-fi followed the same trends of quality as any other artform.

erttheking:

I want to know what YOU are talking about. Ok, now we're getting somewhere...a hypothetical somewhere...*Sigh*.

Sorry, discussions comparing complete polar opposites like the games I mentioned don't happen too often, so I had to make one(Yet another area where videogames are lagging behind, I guess)

So these people. Are they really in that great a number? Do they have that much in the way of influence? I seriously doubt there's enough force behind this to get in the way of video games being recognized as art.

It's not so much their number but rather the influence. I'm mostly reffering to critics and some other groups such as censorship boards and associations for some clarification.

Oh, and I don't recall anyone criticizing Postal 2 for alcohol drugs or prostitution, it was mainly the violence.

That's why I said they shared some elements and among those elements I didn't include violence among those shared elements (Or racism which is the other big topic when it comes to Postal).

McElroy:

DoPo:

McElroy:
A video game piece of art must have a good video game story

Why?

Otherwise it's just art in a video game, and not a video game that I'd consider a piece of art.

Would you consider theater plays as art? Or is just the screenplay, or just the performance that is art?
Would you consider dance as art? Or is just the music, or just the performance that is art?
Would you consider songs as art? Or is just the music, or just the lyrics, or the performance that is art?
Would you consider photography as art? Or is just the visuals, or the composition that is art?
Would you consider movies as art? Or is just the music, or just the script, or the performance, or the cinematography that is art?

The same applies to videogames, it is a work of art formed by a lot of other artistic pieces.

Of course, you can always have "good art" and "bad art". Twilight and King Lear are both novels and therefore art, even when the skill of their respective authors is different.

hermes:
Would you consider theater plays as art? Or is just the screenplay, or just the performance that is art?
Would you consider dance as art? Or is just the music, or just the performance that is art?
Would you consider songs as art? Or is just the music, or just the lyrics, or the performance that is art?
Would you consider photography as art? Or is just the visuals, or the composition that is art?
Would you consider movies as art? Or is just the music, or just the script, or the performance, or the cinematography that is art?

The same applies to videogames, it is a work of art formed by a lot of other artistic pieces.

Of course, you can always have "good art" and "bad art". Twilight and King Lear are both literature and therefore art, even when the skill of their respective authors is different.

It can be boiled down to this: video games have mechanics and without the mechanics they are not games. These mechanics aren't art. Okay, but why? Because I can't see the artist in the mechanics. However, the video game experience can be art and out of the games I've played I think the three I mentioned qualify at least well enough. I mean, I guess you could simplify it and say: stuff happens in a video game -> a video game experience -> art. But it doesn't cut it for me - I must be able to experience the "game artist's" game experience or otherwise we're talking about entertainment tools which just happen to contain art in them. Y'know, I lean a bit on late Roger Ebert's side.

Is "art" even a useful term to describe something? It's basically just a term to separate some things from other things based on completely arbitrary standards. Does it benefit us to do this in any way?

McElroy:

hermes:
Would you consider theater plays as art? Or is just the screenplay, or just the performance that is art?
Would you consider dance as art? Or is just the music, or just the performance that is art?
Would you consider songs as art? Or is just the music, or just the lyrics, or the performance that is art?
Would you consider photography as art? Or is just the visuals, or the composition that is art?
Would you consider movies as art? Or is just the music, or just the script, or the performance, or the cinematography that is art?

The same applies to videogames, it is a work of art formed by a lot of other artistic pieces.

Of course, you can always have "good art" and "bad art". Twilight and King Lear are both literature and therefore art, even when the skill of their respective authors is different.

It can be boiled down to this: video games have mechanics and without the mechanics they are not games. These mechanics aren't art. Okay, but why? Because I can't see the artist in the mechanics. However, the video game experience can be art and out of the games I've played I think the three I mentioned qualify at least well enough. I mean, I guess you could simplify it and say: stuff happens in a video game -> a video game experience -> art. But it doesn't cut it for me - I must be able to experience the "game artist's" game experience or otherwise we're talking about entertainment tools which just happen to contain art in them. Y'know, I lean a bit on late Roger Ebert's side.

I am not sure about what you mean by "the game artist's experience". If it means the things a game communicates through the gameplay language, I think there are some examples out there. Everything, from the camera perspective to the different mechanics are build to enforce certain patterns and to communicate elements about the setting, the characters or the story... Of course, the medium is still young, so there are a lot of experimentation and new additions to the language.

Also, I think you might be too unfair with the entertainment vs art comparison. Not because it is false, but because it is too restrictive and, ultimately, not new... every medium, specially in its infancy, was accused of being too populist and shallow to be considered art. The first movies were little more than gimmicky carnival shows, and plays at the time of Shakespeare were considered so lowbrow entertainment the closest analogy today would be soccer matches.

Silentpony:
Snip

Legal protections provided by being art beg to differ.

See above.

You've gone into utter non-sequitur territory. Who's to say it has more value than Maximum Overdrive? I didn't. But there's this wee little thing called personal interpretation, and usually most people can agree on when something has more value as a piece of work. Most people generally agree that the Mona Lisa has more artistic value than my five year old crayon drawings.
I mean they're both works of art, but art isn't exactly equal. Planescape Torment isn't equal to the Slaughtering Grounds. No idea what point you're trying to make though. That art doesn't have a defined value? Yeah, it doesn't. People can disagree on certain things. I fail to see how this proves art lacks value.

And you think labels are just context free? That we don't put value to them? Because we do.

The only thing I've been getting out of this is that you personally don't think something being labeled art matters, not any proof that it doesn't matter.

Guilion:

erttheking:

I want to know what YOU are talking about. Ok, now we're getting somewhere...a hypothetical somewhere...*Sigh*.

Sorry, discussions comparing complete polar opposites like the games I mentioned don't happen too often, so I had to make one(Yet another area where videogames are lagging behind, I guess)

So these people. Are they really in that great a number? Do they have that much in the way of influence? I seriously doubt there's enough force behind this to get in the way of video games being recognized as art.

It's not so much their number but rather the influence. I'm mostly reffering to critics and some other groups such as censorship boards and associations for some clarification.

Oh, and I don't recall anyone criticizing Postal 2 for alcohol drugs or prostitution, it was mainly the violence.

That's why I said they shared some elements and among those elements I didn't include violence among those shared elements (Or racism which is the other big topic when it comes to Postal).

Can you please point out something you're actually talking about? Because I find trying to guess what you're talking about rather frustrating.

Examples please? I'm getting tired of beating around the bush.

Yeah, it also has similar elements to One Piece in that they both feature a man urinating. Those are very skin deep comparisons.

Zhukov:
2009 just called. They want their topic back.

2011-12 as well, if my day spent trawling through old threads today was any indication.

Man, this is just a weird day all around.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here