Why is it so imporant for video games to be considered art?

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C2Ultima:

DioWallachia:

C2Ultima:
Games have never not been an art form

Are you looking hard enough before saying that?? If your answer to this question is "i dont really care" or "i have better things to do than do any research" then congratulations, you have achieved the same lvl of thinking that any non gamers has over games in general. Now we have to solve this lazyness that people has so we can show them that games arent a waste of time without shoving the truth right up their's throat.

How ironic it is that you talk about not really caring about what you reply to, because that's exactly what you did. It seems to me that you carelessly made assumptions that I have not researched this subject properly or that I don't care about the subject, without any true thought about my words, and that's quite sad. In short, it seems to me that your talking about laziness in this case, is almost comically hypocritical.

Do you disagree? Have games ever not shown their creators' biases about the subjects they explore, even if unintentionally? Have video games ever not tried to convey a message? Have games ever not taught you something, even if it's only "Wow, these developers are incredibly pathetic and disgusting." (See Custer's Revenge)?

Or are you only referring to when games have only been considered art in a legal sense? In that case, you're right. Games were only just recently recognized as art by the Supreme Court and National Endowment for the Arts. You are right, but I do believe that only approaching this issue from a legal standpoint isn't very productive.

I tolerate opinions, but I don't tolerate hypocrisy. I would prefer that you not reply to my posts in future, without actually putting deeper thought into it, in the way that you suggested I do. Thank you very much for your understanding in this matter. I hope you have a nice day.

Forlong:
/thread

Sorry, but I still had something to say.

You call it hypocrisy, i call it "There is no such thing as bad publicity" or you can also call it "I will not let this thread bite the dust like the Extra Punctuation: Games as Art thread that was abandoned before ANYTHING could be achieved in the discussion, specially thanks to people like you, yes you, the one to the right with the biscuit"

If you saw my previous post, you may notice that i tend to ask a lot to the people that seems to have a grasp in reality, and since you happened to bring a short response to this long debate i tough that you conveyed a simple point of view that everyone seems to not get it right because they are overthinking the issue.
Sort of like "Isnt it obvious?? Games are not art, why are we even talking about this?"

SonOfVoorhees:

C2Ultima:
Games have never not been an art form. We just don't want to be dismissed as people obsessing over meaningless toys.

At least I don't, anyway.

Just like MLP and Transformers. It is what it is. Enjoy it. Just dont build it into more than it is.

Does that include people like Tim Schafer or Ed McMillen in the "i want to make money only even if it is apparent that i may get more money by working on a Mc Donald at this point instead of making games"???

It's a confidence issue. Gamers want to be taken seriously by the rest of the society, but that's not gonna happen as long as games aren't taken seriously. At least that's the conclusion I came up with. I don't really care.

Because if it were art; all the hours we've spent on gaming wouldn't be wasted time.

Zachary Amaranth:

krazykidd:
The question is in the title .

Kidd, you've been around long enough so you know how the search bar works. I'm also surprised you haven't seen this spring up a million times before.

It's not a novel question.

Now, on to business. Are you familiar with Brown v EMA? Also known with Schwarzenegger's name in it? California wanted to make illegal sales of M rated titles to minors. They were told no, that violates the Constitution because "free speech." So California then goes and says "Well, games aren't art, so free speech shouldn't apply."

I can't speak for you, but I find this a very compelling reason to car whether video games are art.

That's pretty much the main reason, as I see it. So that developers can make any kind of games they want without people going 'Oh, but think of the chiildren!'
It's just another step to maturity and public recognition of a medium.

dyre:

Erana:

For a medium as a whole to generally be accepted as a form of art on a general level, you need the existing institutions of fine art to consider it so. Therefore, it needs to be indoctrinated as a form in the same way other mediums experienced a rebirth in the modernist/postmodernist era.

The art world has huge clout in the national subconscious of what is art. They're the ones who need to be convinced, and the only way that's going to happen is by speaking their language.

Hmm, well, I guess you'd know better than I would about the art world's influence on what people think is art. Though, I'd say they could do a better job influencing people to respect contemporary art more, lol.

What do normal gamers (who don't know much about art) need to do to help though? I can't imagine the average filmgoer back in the day did anything to uplift the medium, and yet films are considered art now. What should us regular gamers be doing?

Well, they should be doing the usual: appreciating both good little games and the big blockbuster ones, and talking about games. Gamers are a huge part of what gives video games its own historical context.

Through analysis and deconstruction of the medium is good; in pinpointing the elements of what constitutes the experience, gamers could potentially pave the way for video games as fine art. One troubling matter of video games is the fact that money is involved, and a huge part of journalism is focused purely on trying to get people to buy it, or if a game is a good enough value for people to purchase it. It would be beneficial for people to perceive the value of games as much more independent of its price tag.
And I'm not saying that everyone has to go buy all the games with artistic elements, just that not dismissing an art game because more gameplay could be had with that same money in other titles.
And also, though its the most counter intuitive thing you could do with something that has "game" in its name, do not consider a game that isn't fun bad, if fun is not the sole priority of the game. If games are to be art, they can't always be enjoyable. If a game starts with, say, the unnerving tension of a survival horror game and hones every element of the game to the furthest extent one could push them while remaining within the realm of Survival Horror, placing this amplification of its gameplay elements above the actual gameplay experience itself....
Well, it would be a terrible game. Possibly unplayable. But everything video games can and does do will need to be pushed to its limits just to find where they are. This would include making games where the experience is not in any way pleasurable. You don't have to like them, no; this is just what artists doing their thing these days looks like. When this sort of thing starts happening, the role gamers can and hopefully will play is to make a case for the elements that they do like, the joys of compelling gameplay and the likes.
Gamers will be the existing institution with which artists respond and react to.

Again, I'm getting ahead of myself, but ultimately, gamers can contribute to defining games as a medium just by talking about what it is they like and why. Just love the medium for what it is now.

Oh, and to the people who insist that games are not art...
Even if you don't consider video games as art because you don't consider existing titles art, that doesn't invalidate the potential of the medium. I mean, would you consider clay to be an invalid medium if people used it first to make garden gnomes?
image

DioWallachia:

Uhm....yeah but still doesn't answer my question, because everyone is super excited about the possibilities that video games have as an interactive medium (sort of like as back then but for movies) but movies got the spark that made people into pushing the boundaries of cinema that eventually broke the stigma, no such luck for video games even if they ALREADY did it. Part of the answer you already say it, the new tech made everyone exited but there is more into that.

The point was that it was simply a matter of time. Time is what will make people accept video games as an art form. Time is what it will take for a generation of commentators and critics of art used to the idea of video games as an art form. Nothing we can do or say will make people who have already made up their minds about video games view them differently. That's why we should stop being concerned about how the public perceives it now because the critics of today will only be around for a bit longer. If we instead concern ourselves with what video games actually are, we'll create the interest needed for intelligent and communicative individuals to invest themselves in it, thus creating theoretical and critical foundations that most people think of when they think of "art." This won't necessarily mean an actual change in games, just the public perception of them. Design for function and form will follow.

Think back of all those Sci-fi books around 1920 of how the future will be with all the technological advances, like a candy store of possibilities, but now everything regarding technological advances just became stagnant.....or so people think. As silly this may sound i think that people are just too depressed and apathetic to notice any tech advancement or even manage to get a clue of how something in this day and age has any cool thing for the future probably because they didnt get flying cars or jetpacks or HAL 9000 around 2001. Hell, i wont be surprised that you get marked as taking Sci-fi books too seriously when you mention something as Nanomachines even if they already exist in the real world.

The reason Sci-fi of today and Sci-fi of yesterday seems so different is because we've simply advance scientifically. We have a better grasp of what is and isn't possible (or at least we think we do). Aside from that, there is plenty of speculative fiction with regards to future technology. The reason that it's harder to notice is because it's bunched together with future fantasy. Just look at Cyberpunk or techno thrillers, they speculate on where technology might go, the also ask if we should go there. They ask very important questions long before they become relevant, which is what makes speculative fiction so valuable.

I should have answered my own question by saying that even if there were newspapers to cover the news about movies not sucking anymore, you have to remember that back then there wasnt many movies......there wasnt any of anything except a few radio shows and that is it (remember 1920) Thanks to that fact, people used to remember the movies munch better than today thanks to repeated viewings of the only thing in town.

I would say that a similar phenomenon happened with the way people view a number of classic games, but that's not the point. Movies didn't become instantly accepted just because they started maturing. No, it took people gradually becoming accustom to them.

But today its a totally different story, there are movies up the ass,video games, series on tv, series on internet, social networks, games you can play online and the zoo. It should be more difficult for ANY medium to get attention at all........but things like Twilight got attention very fast even if there is a LEGION of books that are munch more know and could have captured the minds of the audience much better than Twilight. Games, once again, dont have that kind of luck.

This article mentioned that we are not mainstream even with all the millons going around to the game developers, mostly because gamers are just a bunch of people paying enormous an enourmous quantity of money ot sustain their hobbies rather than LOTS of people paying a small fee to rent or see a movie for example:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_266/7959-We-Are-Not-Mainstream

If we want to get people into gaming, we should aim to show games that are just like what i mentioned down there, even if its a risky gambit since most people will not care to anything that may look to difficult to comprehend for their monkey brains.

I think that you have the answer to your own question.

Quality doesn't determine popularity (directly). The reason video games that the "core audience" appreciates don't sell nearly as well as a modest book or movie is because the barrier of entry is higher. Members of the "gaming" community often take for granted just how much of an investment it is to get into gaming. Sure, since we know that we'll get a return, dropping a couple hundred dollars on a console is not a big deal. On the other hand, it isn't a sure bet for someone who hasn't played a game before. With a movie or a book, one can easily meet the price of admittance without any worry of being stuck with a game that they hate. This isn't because they have "monkey brains" as you want to claim, but because gaming isn't inherently engrossing.

Furthermore, because of the necessities for playing games, they are never going to become huge in a place that isn't economically stable enough to support them, limiting their relevance to the developed world.

You are going to need to be more clear about "the shooting people in the face" games. Its the inability of developers of working around a pacifist route within the narrative of these games? Do mandatory kills makes them lose points?? How about the games that uses the violence to make a point, like if you go for this kind of attitude the main character becomes a mindless monsters or that your characters is a leader of a society and going ballistic will make everyone follow you to their doom?? Its the presence of violence in general that makes people into generalizing x game as "shooting people in the face"???

That's missing the point. It isn't that games should or shouldn't be about shooting people in the face (the limited range of such activity not withstanding), it's that people who disregard games are going to take "shooting people in the face" as proof of it being juvenile. We all know that Fallout allows peaceful and nonviolent solutions to most problems, but look at all of the material available to people who haven't played the game.

I can think of these games when it comes to non violent solutions or that are more about psychological exploration or even deconstructions of video games tropes

World of Goo
The Stanley Parable
IJI (the pacifist route is encouraged by the narrative and most of the character development comes from doing so)
Turgor/Tension/The Void

As stated before, there are examples of games going beyond "ain't it cool," but try finding a single person who isn't really into games that even knows about the above examples, much less their importance.

The "you know what would be cool? shooting people in the bollocks" will always be there fore video games as long there is a public for that. We just need to think how to diminish their presence even with all the marketing that those kind of games have, hoping for people like Stephen Colbert to play those isnt going to help that munch, and i dont think that any of the people here has a relevant career that they may use to promote games

It isn't important that we get more people in the gaming community able to speak eloquently about games. We have plenty who are ready and able. What we need is people respected in other art forms that see the inherent value of video games. We have a couple, such as Steven Spielberg or perhaps Guillermo Del Toro, but not enough to make it prevalent. This isn't something that's just going to spontaneously come about, but must simply be a product of video games being a major cultural force, which I would say they have become. Speaking to any person today, there is a good chance that they at least know someone who plays video games. This wasn't true more than a few years ago.

The only way that a miracle could happen is if everyone just stop playing video games around the "shooting people in the face" stigma so other games can resurface and hopefully catch the attention of someone important

I believe that it will happen, but whether or not it does is a moot question as far as I'm concerned. A number of people have been concerned about games as art purely for the sake of appearances. I see it a way of introspection. Games can be made about practically anything. Should they be made about anything? It's questions of why games are what they are is going to be key to keeping the medium alive. Stagnation and pointlessness is the alternative.

I would actually quite like to see a video game that is purely art, just an empty sandbox of buildings and beautiful scenery that you could wander about and explore. Would anyone else be interested in that kind of game?

There are actually quite a few reasons from what I can see.

Obviously, there are the legal benefits and protections to begin with, which pretty much can constitute an entire argument on their own. A lot of people want games to be able to approach and deal with mature subject matter without being threatened with censorship or crusades against them "for the sake of the children."

Next, social perceptions. Firstly, the obvious one, wherein gamers aren't singled out and mocked by non-gamers. Now, a lot of people seem to consider this a petty or selfish one, but if we remove the stigma from being a gamer, and allow it to become something that anyone can indulge in, it could benefit gaming as a whole. If gaming were to be respected as a normal pursuit like reading or watching movies, more people would buy and become interested in games, and the industry could find vast, untapped reserves of customers, all with varying tastes and desires, and create a wider range of new products to cater to them. Secondly, working in the game industry would no longer be stigmatized either (well, no more than working in any artistic industry . . . so, still a lot, but an improvement nevertheless). Being a game developer would be a respectable career choice, and you wouldn't get talented individuals turned away from that path because of parents/friends etc. considering it to be childish and stupid, like wanting to be a rockstar or an astronaut. It's possible that more people would go into colleges and universities and take courses on game design and theory, and it's in such an environment that you'd get some true innovation, and maybe a few new concepts that could change the entire face of gaming if we're lucky.

Now, many gamers, myself included, are blinded by the passion of the fanatic. We believe that, if we just get people to play some of these games, suddenly everyone will realize they were wrong all along, and games are awesome, and everyone will want to play games forever and ever and it'll be rainbows and sunshine and all that. Obviously this won't be the case. If games aren't a person's thing, they just won't care. But some people are genuinely turned away by the stigma of playing games, even though they do enjoy them. That is a tragedy, and it saddens me that silly social concepts turn people away from enjoyable or enlightening experiences.

Lastly, why the hell not? Many people here would probably agree that games are art, so why shouldn't that be recognized? I genuinely can't see a decent downside to it. It's not like we'll suddenly end up knee deep in obscure arthouse games or anything like that.

Necroid_Neko:
I would actually quite like to see a video game that is purely art, just an empty sandbox of buildings and beautiful scenery that you could wander about and explore. Would anyone else be interested in that kind of game?

Minecraft meets The Void meets the Rayman stage that is all pencils and paints? with this music

Waffle_Man:

I think that you have the answer to your own question.

Quality doesn't determine popularity (directly). The reason video games that the "core audience" appreciates don't sell nearly as well as a modest book or movie is because the barrier of entry is higher. Members of the "gaming" community often take for granted just how much of an investment it is to get into gaming. Sure, since we know that we'll get a return, dropping a couple hundred dollars on a console is not a big deal. On the other hand, it isn't a sure bet for someone who hasn't played a game before. With a movie or a book, one can easily meet the price of admittance without any worry of being stuck with a game that they hate. This isn't because they have "monkey brains" as you want to claim, but because gaming isn't inherently engrossing.

Furthermore, because of the necessities for playing games, they are never going to become huge in a place that isn't economically stable enough to support them, limiting their relevance to the developed world.

Just to get the point straight, the "monkey brains" i refer to its the kind of people that EA aims for their......ejem...marketing, specially the marketing made for Dante's Inferno and Dead Space 2 as illustrated by Extra Credits episode of EA marketing.

As heartwarming that episode may seem, there is one thing that wasn't explained; If you think about it, the notion of a bunch of professionals aiming for a audience that "apparently" dislikes that sort of generalization is counter productive, but nobody is going to waste millons on marketing that they know it isnt going to work, right?? There IS an audience for that game

So the point of this (and sort of the point of this topic) is: Are we complaining about these kind of games because we honestly care or because we are being pressured into it?? As many have pointed out here, most of us like the notion of games as Art so they dont get marked as a waste of time along with the people that plays them, but are we really doing this for a higher purpose since the beggining or we childishly believe that as soon games hit the "Art" mark all the problems will fade away because we were shotting people in the face happily until someone dared...DARED I TELL YOU!! to say that its childish?

It isn't important that we get more people in the gaming community able to speak eloquently about games. We have plenty who are ready and able. What we need is people respected in other art forms that see the inherent value of video games. We have a couple, such as Steven Spielberg or perhaps Guillermo Del Toro, but not enough to make it prevalent. This isn't something that's just going to spontaneously come about, but must simply be a product of video games being a major cultural force, which I would say they have become. Speaking to any person today, there is a good chance that they at least know someone who plays video games. This wasn't true more than a few years ago.

Right, it is sort of like i said about having people that are gamers now to have a job in other mediums to promote games, you know, doing what George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did for the things they love when they were kids.
However, i fail to notice what is missing in this picture because i am pretty sure this people that are respected in other art forms as you said probably had the same problem as us right now; The medium they love didnt get any attention and they had to make OTHER experts in OTHER mediums to recognize their loved medium. They did resolve it in the end and you think that eventually it WILL happen to us now, but it is taking so munch time that you cant help but wonder if in a twist of irony, the experts are just being narrow minded just as the people they fought before or at least being deceived just as them

Hey OP, reached any conclusions yet?

Dirty Apple:
Also, if it's considered an art form, then I believe it acquires a certain amount of protection. Basically, external validation is the path to legitamacy in mass media.

This as well. Although most games fall under the category of art in the same way that a melted Jolly Rancher is considered food.

DioWallachia:
-snip-

We seem to be largely in agreement. I would fully contend that a number of people who jumped on the "games as art" bandwagon simply did so because they were afraid of censorship. However, I don't think the "true motive" of it all is really important.

I actually considered posting along those lines last year, but didn't. Why? Because I had a realization. When a person says something enough, they being to believe it. Even if the current generation of of gamers didn't really care at the time, they're certainly expending a lot of time, energy, and money trying to make games more legitimate as a form of art. Thus, regardless of the reason, there is a demand for more time and thought being put into games.

Art has never really been given demand from pure motives. A number of individuals who hired artists to make many of the classic works we see today didn't have any where near as much thought about the piece as the artist did. That's what makes art so special. It was superfluous moves of human thought and will. It found a way of appealing to a large audience without compromising it's foundations.

krazykidd:
The question is in the title . Why is it so important for video gakes to be considered art? Does it really matter? If they are considered art , then what? Gamers could pride themselves at being art fans? I just don't see the importance of videogames being considered an artform or not .

Now i am not saying i don't see games as art but art or not i will continue playing videogames . Is it just so the media would see gamers as somethin more than childish adults? If you are ashamed of gaming and need validation from the outside world for you hobby, i think theres a problem .

Discuss

Because if they are not art then they are unlike almost every other type of media, in fact they would be in a category with only one other type of media:

Pornography.

Pornography doesn't have first amendment protections, it's distribution, possession and production is hugely regulated and as such it has REMAINED as pure pornography.

Art means video games get First Amendment protection and remember the Bill of Rights in the United States constitution doesn't make rights... it recognises them as inherent so it isn't just a matter of US Jurisdiction, it is a matter of a very large and influential country as the united states declaring it as true for all people and that they will abide these rights.

Video Games don't have to be "high art" but they have to be recognised as more than mere pornography, there is some significance to it that means the government has no right to trample over it with reckless abandon saying "you can't do this, can't do that, must have this" etc as they so easily could, they could pass legislation saying no exposure of even the existence of such games to anyone under 18, the ability to ban websites entirely.

Art is saying there is some... ANY... meaning to the work, even if it is all about blowing up aliens, is there something of significance to that? A prono is just about seeing fucking, but even Halo tries to have characters and to tell a story that means something in itself. Even multiplayer only games like Team Fortress 2 crafts a backstory and amazingly characterise each role.

someone else probably said this. in a hurry; didn't real all comments.

Answer to your question OP: it protects games and game developers from censorship. also, it encourages developers to actually expand the medium instead of just making carbon-copies of other popular games for the money.

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