The games are art defense

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I'm a little hesitant to keep defending that games are able to be art, if games being art is the basis for defending every bad decision in regard to video games.

Games are expensive
Reply: They should be because they are art

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

This is utter tripe

I keep saying again and again that just because games can be art does not mean all games are.
Yep all the clones of modern warfare, that's art is it? The developers set out to bare their collective soul, to leave you thinking and to connect with you on a emotional and psychological level through shared human experience. What they came up with is endless cover bases shooting at people through the sights huh?

Edit* In later posts I agree that under the definitions presented to me, that games are irrefutably art. I then point out however that it's too big of a leap to think of call of duty as art so more or less am making a judgement call saying it can be a fun game but is crappy art.

I tire of repeating myself but there's an example of another person talking about something similar in one of my posts. But since this a third rate source at best I have no hard evidence that they exist. So rather than join the scores of people that keep saying that they have never seen people saying these things and they are likely all better off, just treat what I'm saying as a theoretical exercise. If these people do or do not exist, are they completely retarded?

I don't actually care about whether or not you think games are art, as far as I'm concerned as soon as it became legally recognized it became no longer up for debate.

Edit** Stop telling people/me to stop making posts with anything to do with games and art. We don't care.

Art is expression.

You can express yourself in games, every person making it can in their own way.

Games are a compilation of arts.

Games are art.

It's not really something you can refute.

Really depends on what tickles your fancy. After all the more colorful the game is, the more artsy my brain gets. Most games that can set a mood just by colors alone can be a basis for art. Pretty much drawn in by Yoshi's island hand drawn sprites. All I kept saying while I was playing it was, "damn, this game is an art form." Really liked how Limbo was in black and white, it made the game feel more creepy and cool. Don't speak for everybody and some people just don't care. Of course there are games like Heavy Rain that draw you in from a different perspective. So it really depends on how your brain is wired to see the world around you.

image

It's so good it brings a tear to my eye.

So I understand that because a game may not have any meaning for me doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning for anybody else. However this suddenly means you aren't supposed to criticize it like some people are saying. That you can't put a price on it despite it being produced unlimited times to meet the need of everybody getting a copy.

Games are art because they are made up of the various arts. Sounds a little circular but ill roll with it and all that's left is to judge the quality of that art. To which many would reply that we are swimming in mediocrity (which personally I don't believe). However I will never think of the profit driven stream of clones as art.

NOW ON TO MY MAIN POINT
MAIN POINT
MAIN POINT
YOU SEE IT?!
So how does a game being art make it unable to be criticized? A vocal group I keep coming across I swear have to be trolling because it's insane. People criticize things, it's what we do but to just hide behind it's art so it needs no explanation is just ridiculous.

Also how am I thinking for everybody? I stated that using the it's art defense against any criticism was bullshit.

1) Shakespeare is widely considered to be art. When you break it down, many of his plays are riddled with humor as highbrow as a dick joke.

2) Bioshock was deeply evocative, insightful, and unsettling.

If one is art, then two most definitely is. And art is supposed to be criticized and evaluated. Once you put it out in the world you leave it up to interpretation and critique.

I.Muir:
So I understand that because a game may not have any meaning for me doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning for anybody else. However this suddenly means you aren't supposed to criticize it like some people are saying. That you can't put a price on it despite it being produced unlimited times to meet the need of everybody getting a copy.

Games are art because they are made up of the various arts. Sounds a little circular but ill roll with it and all that's left is to judge the quality of that art. To which many would reply that we are swimming in mediocrity (which personally I don't believe). However I will never think of the profit driven stream of clones as art.

NOW ON TO MY MAIN POINT
MAIN POINT
MAIN POINT
YOU SEE IT?!
So how does a game being art make it unable to be criticized? A vocal group I keep coming across I swear have to be trolling because it's insane. People criticize things, it's what we do but to just hide behind it's art so it needs no explanation is just ridiculous.

Also how am I thinking for everybody? I stated that using the it's art defense against any criticism was bullshit.

You are able to critique. It is the only thing you can do as the audience. But here is the thing. Alot of what gamers do isn't critiquing.

ME3 ending being the most recent example.

"Change the ending" isn't a critique. "The ending sucks" is a critique.

"Make games cheaper" isn't a critique. "Games are to expensive" is a critique.

You see where I am going with this?

I.Muir:

So how does a game being art make it unable to be criticized? A vocal group I keep coming across I swear have to be trolling because it's insane. People criticize things, it's what we do but to just hide behind it's art so it needs no explanation is just ridiculous.

Also how am I thinking for everybody? I stated that using the it's art defense against any criticism was bullshit.

who says you can't criticize art? not me because I think that's silly.

But that doesn't mean games aren't art. I also don't understand the arguement that you have to pay more for art, this is usually true for fine art (like paintings!) because there is usually one copy of that painting so the price someone is willing to pay for it becomes what it's value is (this does not apply to art that is mass produced including movies books or posters.)

also art doesn't need a meaning, it can just be aesthetically pleasing. for example:

image

would you say this is trying to convey a certain message? probably not. It looks cool though so I consider it art

Source:

art

noun
1.
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

you have to accept the fact that what we call 'art' is a completely subjective thing. What I find to be meaningful or important might not match yours.

TBH, I really don't give a crap about this kind of discussions (just because you asked so).

Games are art, there is no way around. Movies are art, books are art etc. And like in those there are "business" games and artsy games. The thing is: We had a small flood of artgames in the last 2-3 years AND also the discussion moved more into the main focus of newssites. Because of that some people may be a little annoyed by those kind of discussions and label them pretentious.

Why defend the purpose of art? I mean seriously people need to get it into their thick skull
There is a major difference between games and art.

Art is interpreted by no physical interaction, there is no reward other than expressing your feelings from the interpretation.

Games are by physical action and usually a reward is placed in front of you for archiveing a goal. the interpretation is already there

TheKasp:
TBH, I really don't give a crap about this kind of discussion.

I was going to wearily reply to the OP, but then I saw this and liked it so much more I decided I'd just reply to this instead.

This forum seriously needs a break from the "Games are art" discussion. A nice long break.

Off topic: These discussions never make any sense to me. I've been trying to figure out what makes quality media for awhile now, and trying to figure out what is and isn't art is even more subjective than that.

Can you just accept that art doesn't even a have a proper meaning? It means a whole lot of things. I've basically broken it down to that any thing that's capable of entertaining is art, doesn't mean it's good, but if it can pull people in then that's good enough for me.

On topic: On that second reply, any thing can be criticised. ANYTHING!!! There is nothing sacred enough that can not be shot down. People who say other wise are most likely the ones that can't take seeing/hearing the flaws of something they love. All the more reason to ignore them really.

Just because it's art it doesn't mean it's good. Instead of just a bad game, it's a bad game and bad art. If you want to use I don't care because it's art then don't expect it to sell and since you made it for yourself you shouldn't care what others think. At least Tameem does the art defense right.

Games are not art. Games are a product. They are built to attract, and by doing so make the money flow. It doesn't matter how much fucking soul is put into the game, it can NOT be art as long as it keeps making promises to keep fans interested. It's not art if you have to promise the costumer things to get him even slightly interested.

image

LooK iTz Jinjo:
So after today's Jimquisition I posted the video on facebook for all to see, a person I went to school with decided to comment. The conversation was as follows:


Him - I don't understand this inquisition.
Me - What's not to get...? Games you buy directly off your PC should be cheaper than those you get from EB.
Him - But games are worth how much you pay for them.
Me - What?
Him - You can't price art.

Ummmm... What? Seriously? This guy goes on to say that the 'So why is game worth $80 and not $5000? The 'worth' is based on the individual."

I have to say, this is probably the reason the RRP of games in Australia is still $110.

Umm yeah... Thoughts?

again?
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.374357-You-cant-price-art?page=1

games are not art. they can have an artistic touch but they are not art.
people should stop defending this claim, get a pair and start giving no shit that others might judge them for PlAyInG ViDeOgAmEs.
it is 'shamefull' if you make it 'shamefull' or whatever the reasons might be that cause you to go on a 'games are art' crusade.

Games are art and product. Anything produced for mass consumption can be both art and product. Didn't Andy Warhol teach us anything? He dittoed copied pictures of Marilyn Monroe and put it through the 1960s equivalent of photoshop and called it art.

The only way it can't be art is if you avoid the issue entirely and placing arbitrary lines in the sand and saying if it's made for X reason, it can't be art.

Art is subjective. For me that's all there is to it. But it's not like something has to be artistic in order to gain merit or entertainment value.

As someone who watched a ton of anime, there are titles that I think are worthy of artistic analysis and ones that I think are just shameless action and fanservice. Both can be entertaining or boring.

I.Muir:

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

I know people will hate on me for starting on the ME3 tirade again, but goddamn the discussions about artistic integrity were both rage inducing and entertaining at the same time.

I agree with you that it is complete tripe. Art does not make something immune to criticism and considering the level of executive meddling in ME3 (not to mention the writers being pushed out of the ending's development) why should it even be considered art at that point (once again, these are my personal feelings not facts).

There are as many definitions of "art" as there are people and guess what?
All of them are equally valid.

That's why eberts claim that "games can't ever be art" is so utterly ridiculous.
I have no idea what the big deal is, really. Put rules on something like "art" that, by its distinct lack of clear definition can't -and some people would even say shouldn't- be inhibited by them and chances are good that you're missing the point completely.

One basic thing about art is that there is no "wrong" way of doing it.
People tend to forget that. They cling to their hundreds of years old definition of "art" as if that was the only truth.

oplinger:
Art is expression.

You can express yourself in games, every person making it can in their own way.

Games are a compilation of arts.

Games are art.

It's not really something you can refute.

being art doesnt however refute criticism

Shawn MacDonald:
Really depends on what tickles your fancy. After all the more colorful the game is, the more artsy my brain gets. Most games that can set a mood just by colors alone can be a basis for art. Pretty much drawn in by Yoshi's island hand drawn sprites. All I kept saying while I was playing it was, "damn, this game is an art form." Really liked how Limbo was in black and white, it made the game feel more creepy and cool. Don't speak for everybody and some people just don't care. Of course there are games like Heavy Rain that draw you in from a different perspective. So it really depends on how your brain is wired to see the world around you.

image

It's so good it brings a tear to my eye.

This was my favourite game for SNES. I miss those days when I was a young and I didn't have any worries beyond having fun.

OT: I don't consider games art because I often see the following things described as art:

There's also the artwork that the cleaning lady ruined because she thought it was garbage. I don't want to compare games wit art because basically anything can be called art. Games are games and I love them like that.

Artists are not afraid to have their art Criticized.

Why do I keep seeing people use art as a defense?

I.Muir:

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

You totally have the right to criticize it.
You have the right to complain, be mad, and encourage others not to buy it; hell, you can even try to get your money back (it won't happen, but you have the right to try).

What you don't have is the right to demand that they change it.
I'm sorry that you thought the ending sucked. Maybe it does. Doesn't matter. The game is what it is. Don't buy the next one (or perhaps anything else from Bioware ever if you're THAT mad about it) and move on.

I.Muir:

Games are expensive
Reply: They should be because they are art

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

I don't think I've been witness to that logic, art gets criticized all the time, we have professional art critics out there. Games are art, that doesn't stop them from being bad; I don't think I've ever seen anyone use that logic outside of a few idiot developers that we don't have to pay attention to because there games are forgettable crap.

The original post seems to just have straw man arguments:

Games are expensive
Reply: They should be because they are art

Who says this? I don't think I've ever seen this argument raised. There's free art, there's expensive art, there's cheap art. In the end the price of a game is just determined by how much people are willing to spend on it.

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

Who says you can't criticize art? There are critics for every kind of art.

'Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art'

Uh... who said that to you, exactly? That hasn't been the core message of people arguing against 'Retake Mass Effect' at all. You can criticise it all you want, but creative decisions should not be given to the public to retroactively fit onto a game.

Either you've completely misunderstood or you've had access to one idiot and taken their word as gospel.

I.Muir:
snip

Okay, first off the vocal minority is something you will have to accept on the internet... a lot of people talk out their ass and want you to think it's the word of god. Don't take it all to heart.

Who said art can't be criticised? Art is CONSTANTLY being scrutinised, especially contemporary pieces... Music can be considered art, films can be considered art, BOTH are subject to criticism. As far as I can tell, the people you met are just diehards straining themselves to defend something of an obsession. Also what nonsense is this about pricing? I never heard anyone argue that the price is fixed because "ART"!.

Games can be compilations of artistic work. They are more a gallery for art, then in and of themselves art. That's not to say a game in it's entirety can't be seen as art (since a gallery can be part of the experience, not just the items on display, so too can a game be a piece of art) but due to the nature of gaming, that is being a medium of entertainment, a game can't be so subjective.

The issue cropping up at the moment is too many people trying to interject nonsense to this topic and not actually understanding what they are advocating. Art isn't an excuse for poor design, boredom or what not if a person is paying the full retail price for a game. That game should meet the minimum standards of other retail games. If you are putting it out as a product it needs to be scrutinised as a product by the market, not the subjective opinions of soft spoken men in french berets (stereotype... obviously a joke). Because of this most games sold on retail can never be consider art in their entirety, since they need to appeal to large markets and are subject to objective scrutiny, and not so much subjective opinion.

HOWEVER! Games can still incorporate art but it can't compromise the entertainment value especially if been sold at full retail price. People can and do make games in their own time and offer it for free or for a much lower price. These games offer more freedom to the author and enables them to offer unconventional experiences that can be seen as Artistic. Unfortunately games can never have a speculative business like traditional art, since the game is composed of data that is easily and indistinguishably copied, therefor a fixed pricing system is necessary. But the current pricing system for games is coming under immense flak across the industry.

Games aren't a straightforward platform... it's not just the industry. Games are a medium too and allow people to be expressive. Interaction is it's most distinguishing asset which means games can go places that other art forms can't. Art CAN be fun too. It can also be shit.

kingthrall:
Why defend the purpose of art? I mean seriously people need to get it into their thick skull
There is a major difference between games and art.

Art is interpreted by no physical interaction, there is no reward other than expressing your feelings from the interpretation.

Games are by physical action and usually a reward is placed in front of you for archiveing a goal. the interpretation is already there

What's your background in art? Heck, what's your experience? Did you read about it in a book? At the very least I would guess you never heard of interactive art... you know, that art form that makes the interpreter a part of the piece via interaction... sort of like what games do. That sort of completely shits on your theory and blows your reasoning to pieces.

Games are as much art as the sky is blue. I don't really care if anyone else disagrees with that. Even if you don't think a game like CoD is art, well it's art to someone, even if it isn't art to you.

But of course it's not above criticizm. You are completely right, it's not really a good way to defend a work by saying it's art. That would also put Music, visual art and movies above criticism too.

I.Muir:
I'm a little hesitant to keep defending that games are able to be art, if games being art is the basis for defending every bad decision in regard to video games.

Games are expensive
Reply: They should be because they are art

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

This is utter tripe

I keep saying again and again that just because games can be art does not mean all games are.
Yep all the clones of modern warfare, that's art is it? The developers set out to bare their collective soul, to leave you thinking and to connect with you on a emotional and psychological level through shared human experience. What they came up with is endless cover bases shooting at people through the sights huh?

Introducing a new idea into your argument which solves everything:

Art can be utter crap.

There isn't anything stating something called 'art' has to be good. So ingrained is the notion that 'art = good' is the exception and not the rule that most people don't even recognize its existence. You have to say things like, "If all art is good, why is going to art college considered bad?"

So, yeah, BioWare can call their ending art. It is. It just doesn't prevent it from being really shitty art.

I.Muir:
Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

You're misrepresenting that argument.

No-one said you couldn't criticise it because it's art, as has been pointed out, all art has critics.
What people said was that if Bioware/EA caved and changed the ending, that would undermine the very idea of treating video-games as art.
Which is a completely different argument.

Lumber Barber:
Games are not art. Games are a product. They are built to attract, and by doing so make the money flow. It doesn't matter how much fucking soul is put into the game, it can NOT be art as long as it keeps making promises to keep fans interested. It's not art if you have to promise the costumer things to get him even slightly interested.

If games can't be considered art, then neither can books, paintings, movies, plays, sculptures or anything else that is considered art. Simply put, every single one of these items is a product- the creator isn't putting it out there from the good of their heart, he/she is trying to make a profit off of doing something that they love, whether it be acting, sculpting, writing, or making videogames.

That play you went and saw and paid for? They're paying the actors, who are trying to make a living trying to act- trying to keep the money flowing and keepng their audience (consumer) interested in seeing them the next time. That book you're reading? A publisher is mass producing them in order to pay the author and their other employees.

Hell, you think Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel just for kicks? No, he was hired to do it.

Simply because it is product does not disqualify it from being art. However that doesn't disqualify it from being criticized, however, what many people in the ME3 debacle were doing were crying "change the ending" which is not criticism (which Bioware stated that they would listen to), the people that Bioware listened to were the people that said, "This ending was pretty poor- and here's why." They didn't demand the ending be changed, they criticized instead.

Games are expensive simply because it takes quite a lot of them to sell, and Digital downloads- while they should be cheaper, their retail competition would be pissed if they weren't allowed to go as low as their competitors.

Games are art, but not all games are good art, just as paintings can be art, but something I doodle in the middle of class isn't good art.

...and I say just because something is art, does not mean it cannot be crappy art. Music is an art, and there is crappy music. Movies are an art, and there are crappy movies. Literature is an art, and there are crappy books. The "It's art, therefor you cannot criticize it" is both a terrible argument, and one that has never been used (by people who actually know what they are talking about, anyway).

Seriously, if you want the people you are arguing against to stop with the strawmen, don't create one yourself.

I.Muir:

Games are expensive
Reply: They should be because they are art

Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

I just want to focus on these two points, because there seems to be a pedestal associated with art that doesn't belong there.

Art is, at it's essence, expression. Now that makes the whatever is the product of that art, by all accounts subjective.

Price can be determined by the seller, as is their right. As this isn't a necessity, theory of free market will see that the product will go unsold, or meekly sold until it is offered at a reasonable price as the buyers actions dictate. (though looking at the revenue break down, publishers seem to take a bit too much of the lions share, in my opinion)

Can't criticize art? Since when? Bioshock was practically a line by line critic of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I can understand that the moaning around Mass Effect 3 went on a little long, and there is significant reason to say "take back ME3, from it's creators" was in a wrong mind set, but that's far from criticizing a work. I mean not Six months prior Deus Ex: HR was given a sound thrashing for the Boss fights not being in tone with the rest of the work. Hell, there was even a story on this site apologizing for those battles.

Art is an expression, it's reception is subjective, as can be the evaluation of worth and the views one holds for or against it.

I.Muir:

MAIN POINT
MAIN POINT
YOU SEE IT?!

so dude can you post it again, i think i missed it -_-

By my definition of art, games are generally art.

There is BAD art, though, make no mistake.

However, my definition of art doesn't allow for defense from criticism (hence "bad" art), so I don't have your problem.

I.Muir:
I'm a little hesitant to keep defending that games are able to be art, if games being art is the basis for defending every bad decision in regard to video games.

Queue: Arguments talking across the "games are art" debate instead of speaking to the "games are art" debate.

I.Muir:
Games are expensive
Reply: They should be because they are art

That's a really weird justification. I can buy paintings for $5 at Walmart. Games are expensive because they're expensive to make and you'll pay it (mainly because most people will pay it).

I.Muir:
Me3 has a crappy end
Reply: You can't criticize it on the basis that it is art

Hahaha. There are professionals called art critics (and the sub-professions of "movie critics", "book critics", and "videogame critics") whose entire job is to criticize art. If anyone actually says that to you I want you to laugh in their face.

That being said, I've never heard anyone say you can't criticize ME3's ending. I have heard people say you shouldn't be trying to force Bioware to change the ending, which I totally agree with. Criticizing is not the same as advocating the destruction of artistic integrity.

"Art" doesn't mean something is good anymore than "food" means something is delicious.

I.Muir:
This is utter tripe

I keep saying again and again that just because games can be art does not mean all games are.
Yep all the clones of modern warfare, that's art is it? The developers set out to bare their collective soul, to leave you thinking and to connect with you on a emotional and psychological level through shared human experience. What they came up with is endless cover bases shooting at people through the sights huh?

Nearly all games are art. All games with a story are art simply because they have a story (drama, by default, is art), and nearly all games have a story. This is what I meant by talking across the debate: the first half of your post brings up arguments that your opponents have (maybe? I've never heard anyone actually say those things, just people complaining about "a person" saying those things), but they have nothing to do with whether or not games are art, then you use them to justify your "not all games are art" position.

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