Games are not art.

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Tanakh:
Nop, i am not familiar, I seldom if ever actively try to see a B film, or any film this day for that matter; his career is quite impressive though.

To say the least. He's another of my personal heroes. What a lot of people forget though is the astronomical impact Corman had on modern film. He got a system going of producing movies under budget and ahead of schedule. He still holds the world record for fastest production: the original Little Shop of Horrors was shot in 2 days and 2 nights. For icing on the cake, the sets were rented for chump change because another production had wrapped and was going to have the carpenters tear them down.

But Corman also had an incredible eye for talent. He launched the careers of Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathon Demme, Rick Baker and Robert DeNiro among others. And all of these proteges learned from him how to be fast and effective. Just looking at those names, think of how much cinema has been changed.

Gaming needs someone like Corman. Someone who can take budding young talent, give them a budget and a time limit and say, "Make something." The effect on gaming as a medium to have even a fraction of that kind of talent learning how to take a production from start to finish in a hurry and under budget would be astronomical.

Humm, they do care, and they do have an imprint, innovate though? Well, Schafer does try at least.

The vision that most of them have is just too different. If you asked Kojima what's the art media that is closer to videogames, I am almost sure he would say movies.

That's why they're called experiments. Sometimes they don't work.

I disagree, for me good videogames can be like movies, great ones never, the great videogames for me are closer to modern dance: the developer puts the choreography, the console gives us our body and muscles and the gamer performs. If it was to me to show that games can be art, i would show stuff like this or this other one, maybe even this; the problem is like in dance or football you can't appreciate it to it's fullest extent without being a practicioner; but see the whole videos and tell me if there is not intrinsic beauty in them.

That's an analogy I hadn't considered before. Thank you for that.

Personaly i don't care about progressing videogames as a sotrytelling medium, though there are some like Witcher 2 that do that amazlingly well, i want videogames that focus on gameplay and let the rest exsist to imporve said experience. That's why companies like Valve or Blizzard with their obsessive focus on polished gameplay are my favourites, why i would take a game by Icefrog over one from Peter Molyneux any day or play Battlefield 3 over any MGS.

I'm interested in seeing gameplay and storytelling work together. That's not particularly easy to do. Think of Silent Hill 2 in that your actions could affect the outcome in different ways. If you spent most of the game with low health, that increased the chances of you getting the suicide ending.

Sometimes even the most austere gameplay can evoke that. Fate of the World for instance is extremely minimalist on actual mechanics, that with a surprisingly complex and deep blackbox engine of real world science driving it. I can only play it in short bursts because the emotional weight of the decisions I have to make and the consequences thereof are very emotionally draining. Draining in a way I have not felt since I first saw Apocalypse Now! almost 10 years ago.

DrVornoff:
That's why they're called experiments. Sometimes they don't work.

That's an analogy I hadn't considered before. Thank you for that.

I'm interested in seeing gameplay and storytelling work together. That's not particularly easy to do. Think of Silent Hill 2 in that your actions could affect the outcome in different ways. If you spent most of the game with low health, that increased the chances of you getting the suicide ending.

Sometimes even the most austere gameplay can evoke that. Fate of the World for instance is extremely minimalist on actual mechanics, that with a surprisingly complex and deep blackbox engine of real world science driving it. I can only play it in short bursts because the emotional weight of the decisions I have to make and the consequences thereof are very emotionally draining. Draining in a way I have not felt since I first saw Apocalypse Now! almost 10 years ago.

Well... i meant that i really can't say that Hideo Kojima or Peter Molyneux have been innovating for the last 10 years or so. They do release interesing games here and there, but the last time i saw something risky from Kojima was MGS.

Hehe, yeah... well, not a lot of people are fans of dance and videogames. And the analogy seems natural, a videogame (as all experiences that hope to be called "art") only comes alive when played, otherwise is only 0s and 1s on a HD or a disk, and here, as in dance, the practicioner ineracts with the script; one of the few ideas that i can call mine and haven't found someone else saying it (quite difficult to stumble those in this world). It is also one of the artforms where the passive public is not needed, as opposed to books or movies (spare me the use of passive).

But most people seem to want videogames to progress to be something similar to "interactive movies", both the developers and the consumers. Still, in PvP and games that focus on "skill" I find the few people that share a bit my vision.

Ahh, the good fate of the world, quite impressive game, sadly it has been gathering dust since the xmas achivemetns for steam. As for games with story, i tend to go for the ones that leave a lot of blank spaces for your character, like Skyrim, Amnesia or NeoSkavenger (lazy link http://bluebottlegames.com/main/node/2), or even WoW, in those my character knew why he was doing what he was doing and i could make it all in my mind, few things turn me off from a game than when my avatar say something out of character, when the writers forecefeed me some rather stupid line out of my toon's lips, and i am quite picky with that, i can stomach those in blockbuster movies or soap operas, not in MY avatar.

TehCookie:

tr00per7:
Games arent art

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

I'd say games are as much as art as movies. Some movies are created to tell a compelling story or make a statement, others are for mindless entertainment. Games are similar where the entire medium isn't art, but some are.

Please tell me you kept the Cat-clock. Also, is that a version of Castlevania for the DS? How did I not know that existed?

Also, I have to agree with you on the 'Some games are art' thing; I tend to consider Video Games/Writing/Drawing/Movies as mediums, with only some of them being 'Art'.
'Cause seriously, if all Movies are art, that means the Transformers movies are Art... and that's just not a good thing. That's just not a good thing at all.

I do think this type of discussion is the best thing to have come from the whole ME mess.

To deny games being art, is to deny them the ability to express concepts.

How do you explains a concept like Beauty or Horror without painting a picture, making a tune or writing literature. The skill of the artist is to control the audience state of mind.
Art it self has been an elitist institution for quite a while, but that doesn't change that games is our generations rock and roll. You generations expression. Our art. I would like think of the invention of the first person shooter as important to games as an artform as 3-point perspective was to painting.

Just like the the generations before society doesn't accept this new form of expression until it grows respectable enough. That doesn't matter thou. As long as it has its audience it will survive.

That is why the ME mess also was so bad. This time the audience it self tried to mute the artist. To make him conform. To deny free expression and just make him conform to popular vote. Wanting the medium to be freeform to express beauty whatever way it wanted AS LONG AS IT PLEASED US. In reality we were no different from the generation before us. We only wanted what conforms to our own image. Muting our own expressions. Selfcensorship via popular vote.

Abandon4093:
You've got a pretty archaic view on art... But then again that's your right.

No matter how much I disagree.

That about sums it up.

If a white room you're meant to stand in the middle of can be touted as art, then games certainly can as well. Note the 'can', in that sentence.

A completely smooth column of stone can be used for construction, or it can be exhibited as art. It all depends on what you set out to do in the first place.

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. 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.

I totally disagree with that statement, being that interactive things can't be art. Fluxus for instance (hailing from the DADA) is a experience art style. There's a ton of 3d art and interactive art that predates video games. Interactive art simply exists and has been proven to have been a solid way of giving a 'experiencer' a look into his own persona in a way a static piece of art could not.
An example being Marcel Duchamp's piece named Rotary Glass Plates, a commenly accepted artist and artpiece. Here interactivity with the artpiece was the core of it's design.

So interactive art exists, this is commonly accepted in the art world. Now look at videogames in general. They're of a multi-media design. They show signs of cinematography, photography, graphic design, illustration (character design for instance), architecture, music compositions. All wrapped into a singular interactive piece paired with a written narative that could get the user to think.

Does this mean every game is a piece of art? No.
Do you consider every movie ever made to be a piece of art? Every drawing, every painting? Doubtfull.

But the media is art when you look at it from a cultural and historical point of view. All the pieces inside the media when reviewed seperatly are art when done right. But suddenly when they're put together they're not?

It's easy to just scream "they're not art" when you have little to no knowledge of what art exactly is. I personally study art, and even then it's hard to decided exactly what art is and what isn't.
Videogames stay a touchy subject because their main goal is 'to amuse' as viewed by the general audience and multiple artists and art journalists don't go further into games then the general 'games' that have a name rep. Such as Halo, CoD etc. It's being viewed as just 'a game' and being compared with boardgames for kids except on a screen.
This simply isn't true. It's an interactive media that incorporates everything art has given before and brings it to a new level of interactivity.

Is it perfect? No. It's far from reaching it's prime and there's a lot of bad stuff out there just as when film just started.

Another good example of proof to why games are or can be art, is the copy-system. A new artstyle or form has the tendency to copy it's predating form before reaching it's own style and form. Photography started out as just paintings with a camera but slowly over the course of the century slowly grew into it's own media and artform. Same with Cinema. It started as a replacement of photography with stills and slow subjects. It also had a bit of Radio in it, trying to copy what that was doing at the time.

Videogames are the same. They started out copying boardgames and the aspects those worked with and were proven to work. Now we're slowly copying cinema, bringing a more cinematic experience to the gaming aspect. It's a phase of the artistic growth of a media. One it will pass before reaching it's own artistic form.

I've gone on long enough. Hope you found this usefull!

Games are a medium, just like books, films, paintings, dancing...
And within that medium, art can be found, as well as a lot of soulless bullshit.
So games can be art, but not all games are art.

I thought this was obvious, how are we still discussing this?

games can be art, but do not have to be art

Some 'art' is way more idiotic than most games.

Someone's never heard of minimalism... the purpose of which is to invade your space and INTERACT with the viewer, usually in the form of you tripping over/standing on it.

Games ARE art.

Shanicus:

TehCookie:

tr00per7:
Games arent art

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

I'd say games are as much as art as movies. Some movies are created to tell a compelling story or make a statement, others are for mindless entertainment. Games are similar where the entire medium isn't art, but some are.

Please tell me you kept the Cat-clock. Also, is that a version of Castlevania for the DS? How did I not know that existed?

Also, I have to agree with you on the 'Some games are art' thing; I tend to consider Video Games/Writing/Drawing/Movies as mediums, with only some of them being 'Art'.
'Cause seriously, if all Movies are art, that means the Transformers movies are Art... and that's just not a good thing. That's just not a good thing at all.

As much as I hate to admit it the Transformers movies are art.

They are not good art, but art none the less.
They relay a story. They express concepts. They try to transfer an idea/emotion/concept.

That they arn't trying to portray a particular complex concept.... or emotion...or idea... what I am saying is that he isn't exactly plummeting the deepts of the human experience.
Never the less we just judge it. Like we should since we are the audience. We dont change it. We dont force his expression on him. That would be counter productive. If he isn't free to try and express (no matter how unskilled) then you mussel the talented artists as well.

Whether or not games are art has always been debatable (they're not), but since this whole ME3 thing started everyone suddenly started talking about it as if they definitely are art and talking about BWs 'artistic integrity'. Games not being art would entirely invalidate this argument.

Stockphotos are not art, but Picasso is.
Commercials are not art, but Fight Club is.
Podcasts are not art, but music is.
Modern Warfare is not art, but Bioshock is.

Please consider this.

Writing
Music writing/composing
Concept art/3D artist/Landscape artist/general art
3D modelers/sculptors

Are you telling me all of these things, considered art in their own fields can go together and make something that's not art? That basically means you can take anything out of a game and it's art but in the game it's not.

Some games are art in the same way some music isnt art....and some paintings arent art. Art is an expression of the person(s) who created it.....games, music, paintings made solely to make money are not art but games that spark from an idea.....thats just a beautiful thing to see....i dont see how anyone can look at something like space invaders and not see art. Justin beiber has not and never will make art....and yet he's a 'musician'.....you're lookign at art too blindly.....when you have a brocken appliance and fix it with rediculous amounts of tape and tin foil and wire to the point it just functions again thats art....and nobody else has done it before :)

In my opinion, that's a terrible way to define art.
Because I don't look at, say, the Mona Lisa and think one thing, then look again the next day and think another. But I still class it as art.
However, if I play Skyrim as a Stormcloak then again as an Imperial soldier, I can get a new perspective on the entire plot. I don't consider it art though.

Flower (and from what I've heard, Journey), I might.

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.

And I would. By this definition.

Tanakh:
Ahh, the good fate of the world, quite impressive game, sadly it has been gathering dust since the xmas achivemetns for steam. As for games with story, i tend to go for the ones that leave a lot of blank spaces for your character, like Skyrim, Amnesia or NeoSkavenger (lazy link http://bluebottlegames.com/main/node/2), or even WoW, in those my character knew why he was doing what he was doing and i could make it all in my mind, few things turn me off from a game than when my avatar say something out of character, when the writers forecefeed me some rather stupid line out of my toon's lips, and i am quite picky with that, i can stomach those in blockbuster movies or soap operas, not in MY avatar.

Sounds like me. I created a list of gamer archetypes based on an old Dragon Magazine article and I fall pretty squarely into the Method Actor type. When I have an opportunity to roleplay, I get into it. I mean really get into it. Each of my Mass Effect playthroughs has an elaborate story in my head for Shepard, why he is the way he is, his philosophy and logic, etc. My first playthrough of Shepard as a Paragon Adept with the Colonist/Sole Survivor background was a Kurosawa-esque character, a beaten and lonely samurai who felt alone in an entire galaxy of trillions of sentient lives. He suffered survivor guilt and until he learned of the Reapers had only his feeling of military honor and service to keep him from lying down and never getting back up again.

In my Dragon Age playthrough as a human mage, I was scrolling through character creation options and settled on a set of blue facial tattoos, creating this elaborate backstory about how he was the bastard child of a Chasind woman who tattooed him so that he wouldn't forget his heritage while in the Circle.

And don't even get me started on my City of Heroes characters. Or my D&D characters for that matter. I recently created a paladin character with below-average intelligence and explained it in his backstory as him being an escaped slave and thus illiterate. He had to learn scripture orally and... shit, I'm doing it again. Sorry.

Basically, any gap that the game leaves in the story or my character's background or personality, I am going to fill it in, usually in excruciating detail. No joke, I even created an elaborate history and full personalities for my Rock Band avatars, The League of True Metal Warriors.

Rawne1980:
The problem is, I understand that entirely.

I don't even have a decent argument as to why I can't view them as art.

I suppose I don't care enough to. Gaming is a hobby, one that I partake in to kill a few hours, that is all. I enjoy it but I don't care if people think i'm a "big kid" for playing them.

I'm 31 years old now. If I still gave a frack about what people think of me in regards to what I do in my free time i'd be a very, very, sad individual.

My point was that it shouldn't be dismissed based solely on "It's being sold". I'm not trying to persuade you otherwise. I don't particularly find Dada artistic but some people claim it is so, whatever. I suppose it technically conforms to art of some description but I don't feel it as such.

I always thought video games were art, but after I saw the internet lose it's shit because it didn't like the ending of a certain game, I can conclude that, no, it's not art, not yet, not until the target audience grows a collective pair.

DoPo:

Rawne1980:
The problem is, I understand that entirely.

I don't even have a decent argument as to why I can't view them as art.

I suppose I don't care enough to. Gaming is a hobby, one that I partake in to kill a few hours, that is all. I enjoy it but I don't care if people think i'm a "big kid" for playing them.

I'm 31 years old now. If I still gave a frack about what people think of me in regards to what I do in my free time i'd be a very, very, sad individual.

My point was that it shouldn't be dismissed based solely on "It's being sold". I'm not trying to persuade you otherwise. I don't particularly find Dada artistic but some people claim it is so, whatever. I suppose it technically conforms to art of some description but I don't feel it as such.

Oh I don't dismiss it as an art form.

I truly do see how and why it is viewed by some as such.

I suppose my own (albeit slightly pathetic) reasoning behind it is a lot of companies release games purely to provide an income. Very little care is taken (as we've seen with crappy ports, crap gameplay, bad narratives so on and so forth) therefore how can we bring "artistic integrity" into a games debate when it's blatantly obvious some companies don't care about it.

Everyone has their own view on art. For me personally I think art lost it's meaning a long time ago.

Art changes depending on the receiver. Games change depending on the player. I don't see much difference there. Except art is usually finished when it comes to us. The player is a vital part of the process of making a game, whilst not being an artist himself. The game isn't "finished" without a player, and that's what differentiates games from other art, just like all forms of art have differences.

Also, the whole "art is stationary" argument makes no sense. I doubt anyone would say theatre isn't art, yet a play can be completely different depending on who, where, when and how interprets it.

I don't really have a sophisticated view of this subject, but if game designers make levels (like paintings), isn't that art? If they make their own music (like all other music), isn't that art? If they have voice acting in it (like movies and TV shows), why is this not art? So really, games do what other art does AND MORE. How can it not be art? Yes I know this is looking at it in the simplest terms, but ask yourself: isn't the simplest explanation always the best (because it leaves no room for interpretation)?

EDIT: Oh, and the writing involved in the making of the game. Just like a book, which is considered art.

gigastrike:
Art has literally nothing to do with observation or opinion. That's just a stereotype created by snooty rich people who think they have the right to decide what a painting is really about, and totally forget that someone put a lot of effort into developing the skill that allowed them to create the painting in the first place.

So you are essentially saying that subjectivity has nothing to do with art?

Because if so, you are wrong.

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. 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.

what about martial arts? they're considered art of a kind and they sure as hell aren't stationary, to be fair I don't think there is an iron definition of art, I do consider games art, it's not that important to me but I think they are

Tree man:
Because I sure don't, I don't think that games are art because art is non-interactive.

Symbolism?

OT: Of course games are art, and in many games you get to be the artist. No other medium can touch you as much as games, because you are part of it.

Art is subjective. Who are you to say what is and isn't art?

I would ask how something that can require the creative input of hundreds of people, many whom you could accurately (and under the OP's own definition of art) refer to as artists (musicians, painters, writers), could not possibly be considered art? (This has probably already been said, but I can't really be bothered looking through the whole thread.)

Also, film can be dramatically altered based on editing (just look at the different versions of "Blade Runner", or the changes George Lucas has made to "Star Wars"), and how is music stationary? To use an example, I've heard the song "Ooh La La" (originally by Goldfrapp) performed live by three different bands. They were all different. It was clearly the same song three times, but never once was any part of it identical. What is recorded will remain the same forever, but the piece of music itself is in a constant state of flux.

I don't agree with your stance on games as art, and I think your idea of what constitutes art needs some serious revision. But then, hey, that's only my opinion of your opinion.

I don't consider games art.
I don't consider movies art.
I don't consider songs art.
I don't consider books art.

I can see the art in the structure of a musical piece, the way the tones becomes part of the whole. But not in the song itself.
Books aren't art for me, but poems where the words are woven into one another reacted the boarder to art.

Even if you reduce your definition of art to a singular base state, you can simply put down the controller and you'll have an appropriately stationary piece of art right in front of you.

Problem solved.

If art is not interactive, what about those plays where the actors make the members of the audience participate? I think saying that art is not interactive is totally wrong and limiting.

The thing is that besides paintings, music, narrative, etc, there's something that defines games. The gameplay. Besides all those other thing that are definitely art and are part of games, can we consider gameplay art? I definitely say gameplay is art when playing Portal 2. The way you manipulate your surroundings to solve puzzles and how that is just not gameplay, but it is part of a virtual world that includes a story for doing that, actors that play a role in that story and music that follows the mood of the action... If that's not a unique kind of art, then what is it?

OK, another example. Chess. Some people claim it to be an art. OK, let's say it is not art. What about if a sculptor creates beautiful pieces made of wood. Aren't they art? Well, you play chess and we are assuming it is not art, but it becomes a piece of art when it was made to transmit emotions through you through its beautiful pieces. It even makes you feel emotions through the gameplay. We may say something similar about games. They may not be art if you want, but they're surrounded by so many layers of art, and that you can't deny.

I dare to say that games are the most complete type of art so far!

*hands OP a flame shield* your gonna need it

OT: Well art has many ways to be defined in the same way normal has many ways to be defined, you can say normal is the most common or you can say normal is the default, hence if someone used the most common way of playing which involves editing your control scheme, you could say that that person is and isn't playing normally. There is no point in arguing that games are art under you current definition but rather showing you why your current definition can be seen as rather limiting. I normally (as in most often) try and define something by its purpose, mainly and other characteristic afterwards, and I think the purpose of art is a way to get a meaning across to someone. So under this definition a lot of things are art(as in paintings and sculptures), movies, books, games, conversations, songs, letters etc. but I also see that art is trying to get that meaning across in someone way that will also entertain the person (whether it is by making it fun or thought provoking), so under my definition of art would include, comedy, movies, books, art (as in paintings and sculptures), dancing, songs and of course video games(as well as a couple of others I have properly forgot to mention).

OK now that you can see were my argument is coming from time to elaborate, as I said previously art is there to get a point across while entertaining you, so art can be judged by how solid it is at getting its message across, how well it argues its message and how well it can keep your attention. Games have the last point down brilliantly on average though very few games too well with the first two points putting on the same level as the A-Team movie in terms of artistic merit. Though with games like bioshock 1, system shock, deus ex, shadow of the colossus and more, the medium shows it can too the first two points as well as any movie, book and any of the other mediums I have mentioned before, so why should you exclude video games from your definition of art because of the thing that is most unique about the medium, its like saying books and songs aren't art because you think art needs a visual element, or that a car needs to have a even number of doors or it isn't a car, the definition is not a reflection of the features or propose of what you are talking about.

PH3NOmenon:

Abandon4093:
You've got a pretty archaic view on art... But then again that's your right.

No matter how much I disagree.

That about sums it up.

If a white room you're meant to stand in the middle of can be touted as art, then games certainly can as well. Note the 'can', in that sentence.

A completely smooth column of stone can be used for construction, or it can be exhibited as art. It all depends on what you set out to do in the first place.

In my opinion what makes something art isn't the gleam of it's finish or anything like that. It's the intent with which it was made.

What makes it good art is how skilfully it communicates that.

Video games are a type of art. While the game is interactive, every choice you make was still created by someone else. If you come to a fork in the road, each road has to be rendered regardless of what path you take. In a way, video games present more artistic freedom than any other medium. Its like a stage with no fourth wall. You have to remember that a player can look at the game from almost any angle. This is why olden-time games didn't have camera control. Otherwise, you would notice that the crates in CB only have three sides.

music, movies, paintings, etc. are all considered art but if its not good I could care less. Take for example Vincent van Gogh, he's mostly considered a great artist, to me he's just a guy that whacked his ear off and randomly threw paint at a blank canvas a lo a behold ART

I'm gonna get a lot of shit for this BUT, ICO, is mostly considered art by gamers, but to me its just some kid with horns and an albino girlfriend running from black guys :/ sure it looks nice but its really dumb and boring

so in the end who really cares what is art? If its good and you enjoy it why should it matter what its considered?
as far as I'm concerned I rather have a good game than good art (take ICO as my example)

Really, interactivity is where you draw the line? That . . . doesn't make sense.

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