Games are not art.

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Right then, Do any of you here classify games as art (to clarify I see art as paintings, sculptures, music and film.)

Because I sure don't, I don't think that games are art because art is non-interactive, you look at, or watch, or listen to art, then you formulate an opinion and leave the art behind. You may come back the next day and come away with a different opinion, but that will be because something on your end had changed.

By comparison, when you leave a game like Oblivion and come back the next day and make a new character, and put all your points into sneaking, the game changes, you may meet new characters who you never even knew about, you may discover new areas and items.

Art, in my opinion is stationary, games are not.

^ Your thoughts.

EDIT: Well...that was interesting, the responses I got were interested and I learned a few thing: my definition of art is to small; Games are art...and that I need to go die in a hole.

I would like to apologize for the shit storm that arose and consumed this thread and thank you all for your responses.

Games arent art

you cant hang halo 3 in your living room, that would be fucking stupid.

Playing music on the violin and interpreting how it is to be played must not be an art then since it's not non-interactive.

The music notes are stationary (your definition of art TC) but the way the many musicians play a piece of music (not non-interactive and not stationary, therefore it's not art) is never the same just as how the way many people play a game like Oblivion is never the same.

amirite?

im all for having a philosophical about the definition of art, but Im not sure the current shitstorm will allow for proper discussion to take place.

Games are art. Your only argument for why games aren't art is that they aren't like old forms of art, and it's asinine. Art isn't defined by the fact that it's stationary, go back to school. Art is defined by the fact that it is expression. Games have that in common with every other artistic medium, and in fact, it's probably the most expressive because of its interactivity.

Besides, art isn't stationary anyway. The product is the same, but your experience won't always be. And that's what you meant by your Oblivion comparison. Oblivion will always have the same possibilities, from copy to copy. That's just you choosing which way you're going to go this time. That's like isolating the violin of a symphony and only listening to that. Experience changed, no longer stationary.

You should try looking up how great artists and critics define art and you'll find games are just that.

boag:
im all for having a philosophical about the definition of art, but Im not sure the current shitstorm will allow for proper discussion to take place.

What does this sentence even mean? "The current shitstorm"? You mean the perpetual one that's always looming over the head of The Escapist forums?

why are there three threads about this on the front page? One thread is enough.

Frozengale:
why are there three threads about this on the front page? One thread is enough.

I was gonna say this, but no one ever listens to me anyway, and I was afraid if I did we'd get three more game/art threads in the time it took me to write the reply.

tr00per7:
Games arent art

you cant hang halo 3 in your living room, that would be fucking stupid.

But you can display your achievements and vocalize your experiences. You're saying video games can't be immortalized and it's just remarkably short-sighted.

Tree man:
Art, in my opinion is stationary, games are not.

I'm happy you realise that art is opinion and that each can classify art as they want. Also...

I'm sorry, stories are art, and what are most games? Stories.
And what do these games also have? Beautiful music and scenary. Thats art right?

DoPo:

Tree man:
Art, in my opinion is stationary, games are not.

I'm happy you realise that art is opinion and that each can classify art as they want. Also...

The guy five posts up already ROFLstomped my opinion and then shat on the corpse, your's is a much nicer way of doing that.

KRAKENDIE:

boag:
im all for having a philosophical about the definition of art, but Im not sure the current shitstorm will allow for proper discussion to take place.

What does this sentence even mean? "The current shitstorm"? You mean the perpetual one that's always looming over the head of The Escapist forums?

there is always a looming shitstorm, but this one is centred exactly around the meaning of art.

I am all for the discussion, but be aware that the 2 bands are going to be deeply entrenched in a disagreement, without giving leeway to the other side precisely because of the nature of it.

I would to think that discussion can be civil but things are really touchy right now, im not saying dont hold the conversation, im saying dont expect many coherent responses that arent completely mired in emotion right now.

boag:

KRAKENDIE:

boag:
im all for having a philosophical about the definition of art, but Im not sure the current shitstorm will allow for proper discussion to take place.

What does this sentence even mean? "The current shitstorm"? You mean the perpetual one that's always looming over the head of The Escapist forums?

there is always a looming shitstorm, but this one is centred exactly around the meaning of art.

I am all for the discussion, but be aware that the 2 bands are going to be deeply entrenched in a disagreement, without giving leeway to the other side precisely because of the nature of it.

I would to think that discussion can be civil but things are really touchy right now, im not saying dont hold the conversation, im saying dont expect many coherent responses that arent completely mired in emotion right now.

I can get behind the observation, actually.

But I can also get behind the emotional tarts with chloroform and drag them out of the discussion.

KRAKENDIE:
Games are art. Your only argument for why games aren't art is that they aren't like old forms of art, and it's asinine. Art isn't defined by the fact that it's stationary, go back to school. Art is defined by the fact that it is expression. Games have that in common with every other artistic medium, and in fact, it's probably the most expressive because of its interactivity.

Besides, art isn't stationary anyway. The product is the same, but your experience won't always be. And that's what you meant by your Oblivion comparison. Oblivion will always have the same possibilities, from copy to copy. That's just you choosing which way you're going to go this time. That's like isolating the violin of a symphony and only listening to that. Experience changed, no longer stationary.

You should try looking up how great artists and critics define art and you'll find games are just that.

No, my Oblivion comparison that Games don't change based solely on events transpiring from your end but include both changes to your mindset and changes to the piece.

Beethoven's fifth will always be Beethoven's fifth, adding an extra note changes it an makes it no longer Beethoven's fifth, but Oblivion played as a manic sword swinging tank will be radially different than a sneaky assassin.

the change occurs on both ends with games, rather than on one end with art was original point I was trying to make.

theere are games that are art like do you remember back in 09 when the wii came out with the wii music game it wasnt good but technically it was art.

Tree man:

KRAKENDIE:
Games are art. Your only argument for why games aren't art is that they aren't like old forms of art, and it's asinine. Art isn't defined by the fact that it's stationary, go back to school. Art is defined by the fact that it is expression. Games have that in common with every other artistic medium, and in fact, it's probably the most expressive because of its interactivity.

Besides, art isn't stationary anyway. The product is the same, but your experience won't always be. And that's what you meant by your Oblivion comparison. Oblivion will always have the same possibilities, from copy to copy. That's just you choosing which way you're going to go this time. That's like isolating the violin of a symphony and only listening to that. Experience changed, no longer stationary.

You should try looking up how great artists and critics define art and you'll find games are just that.

No, my Oblivion comparison that Games don't change based solely on events transpiring from your end but include both changes to your mindset and changes to the piece.

Beethoven's fifth will always be Beethoven's fifth, adding an extra note changes it an makes it no longer Beethoven's fifth, but Oblivion played as a manic sword swinging tank will be radially different than a sneaky assassin.

the change occurs on both ends with games, rather than on one end with art was original point I was trying to make.

The game of Oblivion does not subtract or add possibilities as you play. It has a set list of in-game experiences you have and it's possible to choose those experiences in sequence to mold your overall play. A game's content is always the same, but what content you access through your choices changes. Only the experience changes and therein your mindset, and that's no different from music or film.

Yes, but what about Beethoven's Fifth played on a guitar? It's already very, very different from what it was. Or what about Beethoven's Fifth played out of order or backward? If those are the same as the original Fifth then your sneaky assassin is only different from your tank in too few ways to call it real change. In fact, what about games that don't let you change your class and don't let you make large decisions in the story? Are those games are because playing through them doesn't grant you quite as much choice and is therefor a slightly more stationary experience.

But it doesn't happen on both ends. It only happens on your end. Fighting goblins with a sword as opposed to flame magic still means the goblins are going to be killed and the quest fulfilled, it only means you approached it with a different method. The game itself doesn't change, just the method with which you approach it. And isn't reading a book series out of order or listening to music with different instruments from what it was written on just that?

Tree man:
Art, in my opinion is stationary, games are not.

Isn't that kind of arbitrary?

Tree man:
Beethoven's fifth will always be Beethoven's fifth, adding an extra note changes it an makes it no longer Beethoven's fifth, but Oblivion played as a manic sword swinging tank will be radially different than a sneaky assassin.

What is your opinion on covers then? Type O Negative's cover of Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young? Judas Priest's cover of Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry? The Beatles' cover of Gimme Money by Barrett Strong? Celtic Frost's cover of Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo? Jimmy Hendrix's cover of All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan?

What is your opinion of remakes of films such as Seven Samurai being remade into The Magnificent Seven? Or what about adaptations like Homer's "The Odyssey" being adapted by the Cohen brothers into O Brother, Where Art Thou?

BloatedGuppy:

Frozengale:
why are there three threads about this on the front page? One thread is enough.

I was gonna say this, but no one ever listens to me anyway, and I was afraid if I did we'd get three more game/art threads in the time it took me to write the reply.

You know it sounds strange but I am going to have to agree with you. Also enough is enough, I have had it with all these mother fucking art threads on this mother fucking forum.

That's a bit close-minded. What about games that are linear experiences? If you and I play MGS 3, we're both playing the same game and the same story with the same characters.

To me, at least, MGS3 is a piece of art. But that's just me. I'm an 'artist' myself and I wish I could make people feel like MGS3 made me feel.

tr00per7:
Games arent art

you cant hang halo 3 in your living room, that would be fucking stupid.

Because all games are Halo 3 and all art is paintings?

Tree man:

KRAKENDIE:
Games are art. Your only argument for why games aren't art is that they aren't like old forms of art, and it's asinine. Art isn't defined by the fact that it's stationary, go back to school. Art is defined by the fact that it is expression. Games have that in common with every other artistic medium, and in fact, it's probably the most expressive because of its interactivity.

Besides, art isn't stationary anyway. The product is the same, but your experience won't always be. And that's what you meant by your Oblivion comparison. Oblivion will always have the same possibilities, from copy to copy. That's just you choosing which way you're going to go this time. That's like isolating the violin of a symphony and only listening to that. Experience changed, no longer stationary.

You should try looking up how great artists and critics define art and you'll find games are just that.

No, my Oblivion comparison that Games don't change based solely on events transpiring from your end but include both changes to your mindset and changes to the piece.

Beethoven's fifth will always be Beethoven's fifth, adding an extra note changes it an makes it no longer Beethoven's fifth, but Oblivion played as a manic sword swinging tank will be radially different than a sneaky assassin.

the change occurs on both ends with games, rather than on one end with art was original point I was trying to make.

Listening to Beethoven's fifth has different impressions on different people based on their perception. Playing Oblivion has different impressions on different people on their perception. You will make a sword wielder or a thief because of your perception. Perception actually is represented in the art with an avatar and paid attention to. The entirety of the content of the entire piece is centered around this avatar of perception; the player character.
The player does not change the game, they explore all that the artist has created in their own way. The way in which you CAN explore the piece is even restricted by the artist. There is no other artform like games so to make comparisons is a bit silly. Read the following story text:

"Smoke floated out from the barrel of the gun as the gravity of what just happened began to weigh down on Jeffrey's mind. He was not a killer, he wasn't even sure how the events lead to this result."

If you imagined Jeffrey in your head, you "added an extra note" I didn't describe him for you. I also didn't tell you what kind of gun it was. Or what his surroundings were. If you ever try to use your imagination to fill in the gaps to a story, the artist did not release art because it that aspect of the story is based on the imagination of the audience. How Beethoven's fifth is interpreted is up to perception. What is "static" in Oblivion is the world, the lore, the main quest, the side quests, and such. The adventure that is even possible is restricted by the artist.
You can't play Oblivion and get to run through an underwater city with guns. The game is static based on many parameters that all coincide. There is your art. This art isn't meant to simply be listened to, watched, viewed, but all of them. This is art to be experienced. The developers have a made an avatar that represents you that you can often customize. They then design an entire story around how you choose to perceive different elements of their world.

boag:
im all for having a philosophical about the definition of art, but Im not sure the current shitstorm will allow for proper discussion to take place.

I'd consider a shit storm some form of art.

Why does interactivity make something non-art? So we can surely say that Dear Esther is art because of its limited interactivity? Isn't Journey art? Just looking at it causes an effect on you, it makes you feel.

Isn't Grim Fandango art with its narrative and interesting looks? Why not? Just because there's an inventory and puzzles? Couldn't puzzles be some kind of art? Doesn't that eureka feeling you obtain when you solve one have a similarity to when you get the meaning of a painting?

So, isn't Portal 2 art with its mechanics, level designs, not to mention its story, characters, monologues, locations, music, etc, etc. Let's not forget its ending. Isn't it a piece of art of its own?

If anything games could be a superior form of art if it wasn't for the developers' (and gamers possibly) obsession with violence and the almost complete lack of good writers in games.

But games are! Just very few.

Murdurfest 2012 cant be classed as art. But a few thought provoking games could be. Silent hill 2, the metal gears, bioshock as a few examples. All could be considered as art because of their thought provoking ideas/ presentation. Yes they still have killing in, but so do many films :P

I struggle to view games as art.

For one i've been a gamer for very, veeeeeery long time (well, nearly 30 years) and this is a relatively new concept and i'm stubborn and stuck in my ways.

For two, I can't stop seeing them as a "product".

They are mass produced purely to make money, much like other products.

Of course they are art. Mind-blowing that this is even in question.

The fact that they are interactive is an advantage they have as a story-telling medium above both movies and books.

Aaaand, I don't generally repeat what my captcha was; but in this case, I simply cannot avoid mentioning that I had to type "hissy fit" in the little box. Yes, that's a very good description of Ebert's reaction to the suggestion that games are art, SOLVEmedia, thank you.

Rawne1980:
For two, I can't stop seeing them as a "product".

They are mass produced purely to make money, much like other products.

Movies are mass produced to make money. And re-released and so on. Film is still considered art. At least my ex-flatmate is doing an arts degree in films and television.

Some musicians release albums because they need another car and a second swimming pool. Music as a whole is still considered art.

There are entire websites who deal in photographs, as well as professional photographs you can hire and pay money to, to make you some artsy photos. Still, photography is art.

Jewellery is art. But is it not produced to make money?

Books. Books are sold. That's all you do with them (aside reading them, of course).

Just because you can sell something, doesn't make it less artistic. But my examples could be slightly off, for instance, I wouldn't call the next Michael Bay "Explosions-fest" art. However, the films as a medium are viewed as capable of expressing art, not each individual title. Same with games - the medium itself supports artistic values.

Tree man:

To clarify I see art as paintings, sculptures, music and film.

Art, in my opinion is stationary, games are not.

"Kinetic sculptor and artist Theo Jansen builds 'strandbeests' from yellow plastic tubing that is readily available in his native Holland."

Conclusion: Your argument has more holes than a whorehouse.

Tree man:
Right then, Do any of you here classify games as art (to clarify I see art as paintings, sculptures, music and film.)

Because I sure don't, I don't think that games are art because art is non-interactive, you look at, or watch, or listen to art, then you formulate an opinion and leave the art behind.

How is 'formulat[ing] an opinion' not ineraction exactly? You're engaging with the work of art on an intellectural level in order to interpret its meaning; this is exactly what you do with video games.

I classify games as art certainly. In fact, from a purely abstract notion of art, they can be seen as the highest form of art. Consider these forms of "art":

Visual art
Music
Literature

Video games contain all of these features. They appeal to the visual, are supported by music and contain a narrative akin to works of literature.

Yeah this entire discussion boils down to everyone has their own definition of what is and isn't art. So prepare to argue in circles

Plus that Halo 3 argument was weak. Yeah you don't see a child's finger painting in the fucking Louvre either (no offence intended to Halo 3 there.) One example of a non-art game can't disprove an entire medium as art. Like how me not being able to draw for shit means all drawings everywhere can't be art.

It's just broken logic

It's not "games are art" anyway. That can disproven by just saying "Call Of Duty exists" it's "games have the capacity to be art"

Finally, Persona 4 exists. The end.

art
noun /ärt/ 
arts, plural
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

I think the last part of that is the key thing here. They are made to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Therefore anything can be art, it depends on the intent of the person creating it, and I'm happy to agree with that. "Art is anything you can get away with" would be a relevant quote right about now. If the person behind Halo or Call of Duty made it to be appreciated as an art(alongside profit and entertainment of course), then it is art, it's just bad art.

Also, saying gaming can't be an art because it's stationary is silly. Not even going to argue against it because honestly it doesn't make much sense logically.

Zenron:
art
noun /ärt/ 
arts, plural
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

I think the last part of that is the key thing here. They are made to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Therefore anything can be art, it depends on the intent of the person creating it, and I'm happy to agree with that. "Art is anything you can get away with" would be a relevant quote right about now. If the person behind Halo or Call of Duty made it to be appreciated as an art(alongside profit and entertainment of course), then it is art, it's just bad art.

Also, saying gaming can't be an art because it's stationary is silly. Not even going to argue against it because honestly it doesn't make much sense logically.

It is something overlooked far too often, that an often accepted prerequisite for being considered a piece of art is to invoke emotion or feeling. Which of course, video games can do.

The thing I don't agree with is people constantly attaching value to the 'artist'. There is a lot of critical theory written that discusses the 'death of the author' and the creation of meaning within a web of intercontextuality. Anyone who wishes to discuss how video games are not art simply because the changes in gameplay and emergent and unpredictable design taking away the intent of the original author(s) should read up on this stuff before plainly stating a very flimsy opinion. Of course, this criticism is levelled at the OP, not yourself sir.

Also, people hating on Call of Duty are adopting an elitist stance that is nothing but detrimental to our beloved medium/industry. Yes, a lot of idiotic people play online, we get that. It doesn't devalue the strength of the narrative in Modern Warfare. Please guys, think before you jump on the hate-fuelled band wagon.

Although games as art is an idea that could be considered new, so it has many people that have problems accepting new ideas and refuse to accept it, I think that there's no doubt that they're art. The problem is so far it is mostly bad art! On the level of B-movies.

We need better writers in games that could make something as amazing as the best books, with characters that are deeper than the stereotypical commando. We need more games that talk about interesting topics like maybe Bioshock did. In fact I think Bioshock is a game that made most of us think about games as art. It is a good start, but more is needed.

I don't think that we need games to be accepted as art, just so we feel better about our hobbies. Not at all. I want it to be accepted as art, so we can have better quality stuff, better stories, better engagement in the world created in games.

As has been said, the possibilities of expression in games are amazing because we have literature, architecture, sculpture, painting, music, everything included in games and besides that we have interaction!

Games need to leave violence a little to produce better art. And yes, games are products, but just like movies they can also be good art. We need games like Ultima where violence can be optional and where you can live a personal journey for development, exploring spirituality and human virtues. Other good game that has similar ambitions is Planescape Torment. But using the same game as example I think that future similar endevours need to work out how to face the challenge of presenting action without it getting in the way of the story. Without gamification and without dumbing down it either.

Games have to find their own language and while I think there have been some great examples of games as art, there's still a lot that can be said and done.

You've got a pretty archaic view on art... But then again that's your right.

No matter how much I disagree.

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