Games as art.

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Tom_green_day:
Personally, I don't play games to watch a visual art, I play them to blow off steam and have fun. If I wanted to see/hear art, surprise surprise I'd watch/listen to some kind of art, be it film or music.
There have only rarely been moments in games where they've actually touched my inner emotions and stuff, like the end of Fallout 3, the beginning of Mass Effect 3 or any of the beautiful vistas in Skyrim, and those are less of what I am shown and more of what I feel from it, like the loneliness or sense of adventure which in turn encourages you to continue playing. At the end of the day games are a commercial business and it's more important for everyone that they break even than be awe-inspiring.
Also, some of the games that are meant to be like 'art' in my opinion look kinda boring. Unfinished Swan, Journey, they all look like they could be interesting but I just want to relax and have fun, I don't want to come home from a hard day and then be mentally challenged even more.

The issue I see in your argument is you dont have to sit there and study and entire game to think of it as art. Sometimes it is just that one moment that makes you think or feel that a game is a work of art. To find the art in some games like Dark souls I agree you do have to sit there and really think about it before you begin to see the patterns but thats not true for all games and its not true for other artistic mediums either.

Basicly some kinds of art like abstracts do require a great deal of thought and examination to appreciate them as art, others like the chorus of a song or the scene of a movie dont require that careful and long examination you just know they are art

144:

DioWallachia:

Care to share how many "artists" are in the videogame industry? Acording to the "King in Yellow" Yahtzee, Silent Hill 2 is art, and yet it was made by several people doing their work rather than just a visionary.

Suda51 is a good starting point. According to the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (a French thing) Miyamoto is one (I'd agree). It's usually lead designers and such, as opposed to "the staff." Compare to star architects like Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, none of whom built those amazing "works of art" on their own. I've worked for some of these people, and I would never consider myself an artist for the project, but would consider the designer one, even though I was involved in its production.

So that means that the writers of Alien or Prometheus will be overshadowed by Ridley Scott? What if Ridley had other vision in mind but the script by the writer made was so good that he followed HIS instructions? Would Ridley be considered an artist still?

Lets take it UP TO 11. Would Casey Hudson be considered an artist just for working 10 minutes on the ending? what would happen to the other writers that made the rest of the game so enjoyable and that werent consulted in the making of the ending?? They no longer count as artists? didnt the game had a workable theme/message before the ending? is it possible that a message can be inferior to another ONLY because it wasnt made by the artist/executive producer in question?

I think that Harlan Ellision makes my point very clearly (from a certain point of view):

DioWallachia:
[quote="144" post="9.398232.16285864"]So that means that the writers of Alien or Prometheus will be overshadowed by Ridley Scott? What if Ridley had other vision in mind but the script by the writer made was so good that he followed HIS instructions? Would Ridley be considered an artist still?

Lets take it UP TO 11. Would Casey Hudson be considered an artist just for working 10 minutes on the ending? what would happen to the other writers that made the rest of the game so enjoyable and that werent consulted in the making of the ending?? They no longer count as artists? didnt the game had a workable theme/message before the ending? is it possible that a message can be inferior to another ONLY because it wasnt made by the artist/executive producer in question?

I think that Harlan Ellision makes my point very clearly (from a certain point of view):

Im not sure I understand what you're trying to say. At face value it looks like a strawman argument but maybe Im just not seeing the merit behind the question

DioWallachia:

144:

DioWallachia:

Care to share how many "artists" are in the videogame industry? Acording to the "King in Yellow" Yahtzee, Silent Hill 2 is art, and yet it was made by several people doing their work rather than just a visionary.

Suda51 is a good starting point. According to the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (a French thing) Miyamoto is one (I'd agree). It's usually lead designers and such, as opposed to "the staff." Compare to star architects like Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, none of whom built those amazing "works of art" on their own. I've worked for some of these people, and I would never consider myself an artist for the project, but would consider the designer one, even though I was involved in its production.

So that means that the writers of Alien or Prometheus will be overshadowed by Ridley Scott? What if Ridley had other vision in mind but the script by the writer made was so good that he followed HIS instructions? Would Ridley be considered an artist still?

Lets take it UP TO 11. Would Casey Hudson be considered an artist just for working 10 minutes on the ending? what would happen to the other writers that made the rest of the game so enjoyable and that werent consulted in the making of the ending?? They no longer count as artists? didnt the game had a workable theme/message before the ending? is it possible that a message can be inferior to another ONLY because it wasnt made by the artist/executive producer in question?

I think that Harlan Ellision makes my point very clearly (from a certain point of view):

Obviously there are exceptions to most everything, and I don't think your examples really "take it up to 11." I will continue to use architecture as an example here, because I know a bit about it. A lot of people who are famous architects now worked for other ones before, and may have done a lot of the designing themselves while earning no credit. However, sometimes they will work on a "breakout project," for which their involvement in the design of a project led by a more famous designer get recognized and they gain "designer" status. Before or after this, an architect desiring to make his creations known (and his name by association) will have to lead his own studio, which is risky and difficult, and only occasionally rewarding.

I'd say that those people who aren't famous still get to consider themselves artists if they want, (like thousands of painters today) but that doesn't mean they get to claim credit for projects even if they applied the most art to them.

Furthermore, if people know that something wasn't primarily the work of the lead designer, then the other "artists" have managed to make their stamp on the work known, as in your examples above. Although your Alien and Prometheus examples are mostly hypothetical.

Edit: as Windcaler says, the Strawman argument has run rampant here.

ShinyCharizard:
To be honest I'm not looking to start a discussion here. Instead merely to put to words my thoughts on the matter.

And you're going to get a response.

Critics of course say games are not art because they cannot deliver emotion like films.

Which is just an excuse, because they can. People just wish to trivialise this.

Why must we use the merits of a different art form like film and apply them to gaming? A very different medium. Would we compare Films to Paintings? . Or consider only those games that are being a bit different/experimental?

Film and gaming are far more similar than film and paintings. There are some strong ties and valid comparisons. That's probably why.

I say that the games that should be considered art are the ones that we individually think are the best gaming experience. For example I would consider Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy 6 and 7, hell even Gears of War to be art. Games that we personally find are the pinnacle of gaming. Therefore they should be considered art. Because games should be judged on the merits of their own medium.

Enjoyment and art are not necessarily the same thing. And then there's the pinnacle thing, but I'm trying not to question Gears being up there.

imahobbit4062:
Even after all the threads on this topic...I still don't see why games need to be classified as art. Why can't we just enjoy games as games like we have for the past what? 30 years? Why does it need to be seen as art?

Well, there's the legal question of protection under the law (and US Constitution), but we have that. There's also a tendency of people wanting their hobby to be accepted like everyone else's. I understand that, but I don't feel the same. I am a gamer and a pro wrestling fan and I don't care if either are accepted. Others do, however.

I play games for fairly different reasons than I choose to experience other media. I think a lot of people do.

Fappy:

People have been trying to define art for centuries. I'm not convinced we'll ever find an answer everyone is happy with >.>

Honestly though, isn't it better that way? The minute they can objectively define art, art has lost a lot of its value.

DioWallachia:
Rewritten versions of the play were actually produced with happy endings. "King Lear" was also subjected to rewrites; it's such a downer. At this point, taste comes into play. Which version of "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's or Barker's, is superior, deeper, more moving, more "artistic"?

I think Roger Ebert misses some of the point here, too. Shakespeare wrote disposable entertainment, and could in many ways be considered the Michael Bay of his time (at the time). We decided his plays were art retroactively, but not necessarily for artistic integrity. Shakespeare was known to rewrite plays as he was a businessman. Does that preclude his work as art? Does that make him an inferior artist? I bet Roger would say no. But somehow, this is different. In fact, I know how it's different. It's different because ponies.

Zachary Amaranth:

DioWallachia:
Rewritten versions of the play were actually produced with happy endings. "King Lear" was also subjected to rewrites; it's such a downer. At this point, taste comes into play. Which version of "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's or Barker's, is superior, deeper, more moving, more "artistic"?

I think Roger Ebert misses some of the point here, too. Shakespeare wrote disposable entertainment, and could in many ways be considered the Michael Bay of his time (at the time). We decided his plays were art retroactively, but not necessarily for artistic integrity. Shakespeare was known to rewrite plays as he was a businessman. Does that preclude his work as art? Does that make him an inferior artist? I bet Roger would say no. But somehow, this is different. In fact, I know how it's different. It's different because ponies.

Huh............then why Shakespeare got the luxury alone (post-mortem i suppose) of having HIS stuff being art and not whoever else was available back then? Why was so important for the snobs of art to make his works retroactively art? Oh wait, the answer is also ponies too, isnt it?

This art thing is so nebulous that people are bound to jump to conspiracy theories at this point because they cant find any rational explanation. Hell, film was considered art in less than 20-30 years after its apparence and back then there wasnt the fucking Internet to let everyone know. But today, in the Age of Instant Information no less, we STILL cant decide if games are art or what the fuck art even is that its insulting really.

We may as well start from somewhere:

Then again, most of the arguments and discusions just end out of lazyness rather than lack of material (how can one be out of material with The Library of Babylon know as the Internet?) so i guess we all suck at defending games.

The thing that keeps them from being art in my eyes is the player interaction.
With pretty much all other mediums, something is put up for subjective interpretation by the masses.
Something that the viewer can't really directly influence. But with a game, you can run around in circles for forty minutes in the same spot before advancing the plot. Really runs the question of; if you are influencing everything, wouldn't that make you the artist rather than the appreciator? You playing a game won't be art, but recording the gameplay footage will technically be a piece of art because different actions during playthroughs of the same segment will evoke different feelings in different people much like paintings or films.

So I think games have staggering amount of art within them, but can't be called art themselves.
They are kind of like bursts of art that are then bridged by segments of you being a meta-artist.
...If that makes any sense.

NightmareExpress:
The thing that keeps them from being art in my eyes is the player interaction.
With pretty much all other mediums, something is put up for subjective interpretation by the masses.
Something that the viewer can't really directly influence. But with a game, you can run around in circles for forty minutes in the same spot before advancing the plot. Really runs the question of; if you are influencing everything, wouldn't that make you the artist rather than the appreciator? You playing a game won't be art, but recording the gameplay footage will technically be a piece of art because different actions during playthroughs of the same segment will evoke different feelings in different people much like paintings or films.

So I think games have staggering amount of art within them, but can't be called art themselves.
They are kind of like bursts of art that are then bridged by segments of you being a meta-artist.
...If that makes any sense.

You do realize that INTERACTIVITY is what makes games unique, right? if they do differently then they arent games, they are everything else.

And if the player wants to fuck around, then it isnt really the problem of the artist. That would be like calling a movie not art because some idiot decided to talk with its cellphone while on the Cinema. It was HIS choice to not pay attention or pay respect to the work.

As long that the player interaction fall into what the author wants to tell, it will be art. For example, take Legacy of Kain theme of "Free Will Vs Fate". It would make perfect sense to make the game into a sandbox with a shitton of freedom for the player into (for example) killing whoever he wants, specially if its an important person for the plot to progress (like the antagonist that you may or may not know it is yet) and because the player want to prevent one of the many prophesies to become true.

But since there is predestination being inflicted into this setting, the antagonist is either revived or replaced by a bigger threat that makes the prophesies be true anyway by forces that you have to discover. Therefore, the message of "Can we change and fight fate?" is still intact. The author/writer has to CONVINCE US in a belivable way, what is its stand on the "Fate Vs Free Will" (on the little example i gave, it seems to be in favor of "Fate")

As long the writer meets every action done by the player with a belivable reaction that is product of the world they made, they can still ilustrate their point/message/whatever. Hell, a good writer take the adventaje of videogames and put the protagonist/player into a position where they can influence (for example) the future of a political ideology and see the results in the near future. After all, it would be bad writting to not display the ideologies in their true form (Straw Character) for the player/audience to ultimately decide who will be in charge and THEN explore all the consecuences.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawCharacter

DioWallachia:

Zachary Amaranth:

DioWallachia:
Rewritten versions of the play were actually produced with happy endings. "King Lear" was also subjected to rewrites; it's such a downer. At this point, taste comes into play. Which version of "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's or Barker's, is superior, deeper, more moving, more "artistic"?

I think Roger Ebert misses some of the point here, too. Shakespeare wrote disposable entertainment, and could in many ways be considered the Michael Bay of his time (at the time). We decided his plays were art retroactively, but not necessarily for artistic integrity. Shakespeare was known to rewrite plays as he was a businessman. Does that preclude his work as art? Does that make him an inferior artist? I bet Roger would say no. But somehow, this is different. In fact, I know how it's different. It's different because ponies.

Huh............then why Shakespeare got the luxury alone (post-mortem i suppose) of having HIS stuff being art and not whoever else was available back then? Why was so important for the snobs of art to make his works retroactively art? Oh wait, the answer is also ponies too, isnt it?

This art thing is so nebulous that people are bound to jump to conspiracy theories at this point because they cant find any rational explanation. Hell, film was considered art in less than 20-30 years after its apparence and back then there wasnt the fucking Internet to let everyone know. But today, in the Age of Instant Information no less, we STILL cant decide if games are art or what the fuck art even is that its insulting really.

We may as well start from somewhere:

Then again, most of the arguments and discusions just end out of lazyness rather than lack of material (how can one be out of material with The Library of Babylon know as the Internet?) so i guess we all suck at defending games.

As I mentioned earlier theres a good reason why art is as nebulous as it is. Its because around three or four decades ago art deliberately moved itself into what some call post modernism (I refer to our era as contemporary but Ill call it post modernism for the moment). Post modernism is the current era of art that we find ourselves in now so you could say it is what our present society views as art. So what do artists and people who study art more then I say about the definition of art in post modernism?

Ill quote William Rubin, the director of the Museum of modern art in New York.

"There is no single definition of art. The thought of defining art today is so remote that I dont think anyone would dare to do it."

In this post modernist era art has placed itself beyond the bounds of definition, making the context that forms unstable. Thus the constantly shifting context means that things can be interpreted as art. Let me say that another way things are becoming art because of the eyes of the beholder. That is what art is in this post modernist era. There are no "rules" to say what is definitively art or not beyond those that are subjective to the one experiencing the art in question

In time society will change again and with it so will the definition of art as it has for centuries past. To answer the question of "are Video games art?" is ultimately a flawed question because it is society and the forever changing context that determines if something is art. No longer is art defined by strict rules like in mideval times where a painter, sculpter, or musician would learn a set of rules and be judged on their mastery of those rules (much like various craftsman related jobs) to determine if what they made was art.

One day as society changes so will the definition of art. Basicly what Im saying here is we shouldnt get caught up in the old ways of viewing art. Art, much like society that determines what it is, is constantly evolving. Our ways of thinking and ways of viewing art must evolve with it.

Edit: If we do look at tradition for traditions sake. Art was created to provide an experience of beauty. Games do this. Art has been used to inspire or express emotion. Games do this. Art creates a unique experience for the one experiecning it. Games do this. Finally art has commented and examined society and humanity. Games do this.

So by traditions sake games are still art

Windcaler:

Edit: If we do look at tradition for traditions sake. Art was created to provide an experience of beauty. Games do this. Art has been used to inspire or express emotion. Games do this. Art creates a unique experience for the one experiecning it. Games do this. Finally art has commented and examined society and humanity. Games do this.

So by traditions sake games are still art

When you mentioned the part of "inspire emotion" i suddendly remember a converzation where someone considered Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen a work of art because of the emotion he experienced. He was latter ridiculized by everyone else on the forum for being so easily entertained by BS.

In other words, what is happening to games right now, is a case of Elitism....

"If Michael Bay is an artist then so its Adolf Hitler for making Mein Kampf." or "Games cant be art!! If everything is art then PORN is also art. Can you even SAY that there is attention to detail or integrity in a blowjob with a straight face?"

..and selfish interest based on preserving a position of power.

"If everything is art, then i have no reason to have this job as a critic. I will have no power over what could be remembered for the future and what could be ridiculized into oblivion"

So it just the same old crap of abuse of power that humans have as long they have human concepts backing them up like wealth, legal or religious authority (or in this case authority over what is art)

DioWallachia:

Windcaler:

Edit: If we do look at tradition for traditions sake. Art was created to provide an experience of beauty. Games do this. Art has been used to inspire or express emotion. Games do this. Art creates a unique experience for the one experiecning it. Games do this. Finally art has commented and examined society and humanity. Games do this.

So by traditions sake games are still art

When you mentioned the part of "inspire emotion" i suddendly remember a converzation where someone considered Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen a work of art because of the emotion he experienced. He was latter ridiculized by everyone else on the forum for being so easily entertained by BS.

In other words, what is happening to games right now, is a case of Elitism....

"If Michael Bay is an artist then so its Adolf Hitler for making Mein Kampf." or "Games cant be art!! If everything is art then PORN is also art. Can you even SAY that there is attention to detail or integrity in a blowjob with a straight face?"

..and selfish interest based on preserving a position of power.

"If everything is art, then i have no reason to have this job as a critic. I will have no power over what could be remembered for the future and what could be ridiculized into oblivion"

So it just the same old crap of abuse of power that humans have as long they have human concepts backing them up like wealth, legal or religious authority (or in this case authority over what is art)

My first thought to all those quote was "um...what?". They just seemed to come out of nowhere andhold very little meaning in the discussion at face value. Once again I wonder if Im missing the merit behind them so if you can, please elaborate further.

It is not that "everything is art" in the post modernist era. It is that "everything has the potential to be interpreted as art." It is a subtle but important difference. As I said, art has deliberately placed itself outside the confines of definition, allowing context to be unstable and allowing the beholder of art to determine if it is art, or not.

You call disliking an opinion formed about transformers 2 as Elitism but Elitism implies that a person knows what theyre talking about as they try to segregate or exclude others. I've studied art and the history of art my entire life and Im still not as knowledgable as I could be. In my personal case transformers 2 did inspire emotion in me, it inspired fury. Fury that a franchise I loved as a child had been gutted and turned into a quasi-racist film with no focus on its actual characters. If it was Mr. Bay's intention to inspire fury through his work he succeeded with at least one person (whether that was his intention or not I dont know and would be quite telling if it was art). However the emotion I felt is not the only one a person could feel. Perhaps he saw beauty or inspiration in some of the scenes, in the narrative, in the script, or more. What and how he interprets what he feels is outside of my purview but that fact that he felt something says he may have interpreted it as art

Yeah see the problem with trying to claim games are not art stems from the fact that no one can provide an actual solid definition with clear borders for what constitutes art and what does not constitute art. So when people try to objectively list reasons as to why games are not art, they're pretending their made-up definition of art is factual, which is simply ignorant.

Feel free to present ideas of what you consider to be art and not art and why, it helps give people perspective, understanding, and new ideas of how to perceive art.
But to claim you somehow know the official definition of art, and are the sole decider of whether and which games are art is deliberately being inflammatory and ignorant.

I'm also not a fan of the "auteur" theory, which is the school of thought that art isn't art unless it's the vision of an individual; collaborative art can never truly be art. Nice idea, but there's nothing backing it up. Nothing to say that collaboration eliminates the "artful" qualities of something.

As a side note I find when art "critics" try and argue against games as art, it quickly becomes painfully obvious that they have no idea what they're talking about, and are full of false preconceived notions on just what video games are. I'm much more likely to listen to people like you all here, who have played games and are able to give real opinions because they have both perspectives.

sethisjimmy:
Yeah see the problem with trying to claim games are not art stems from the fact that no one can provide an actual solid definition with clear borders for what constitutes art and what does not constitute art. So when people try to objectively list reasons as to why games are not art, they're pretending their made-up definition of art is factual, which is simply ignorant.

Feel free to present ideas of what you consider to be art and not art and why, it helps give people perspective, understanding, and new ideas of how to perceive art.
But to claim you somehow know the official definition of art, and are the sole decider of whether and which games are art is deliberately being inflammatory and ignorant.

I'm also not a fan of the "auteur" theory, which is the school of thought that art isn't art unless it's the vision of an individual; collaborative art can never truly be art. Nice idea, but there's nothing backing it up. Nothing to say that collaboration eliminates the "artful" qualities of something.

As a side note I find when art "critics" try and argue against games as art, it quickly becomes painfully obvious that they have no idea what they're talking about, and are full of false preconceived notions on just what video games are. I'm much more likely to listen to people like you all here, who have played games and are able to give real opinions because they have both perspectives.

I presented my own ideas of what I consider to be art and why. At no point did I say that I claim to know the one and only official definition of art. Nor that I am the sole decider of what is art.

DioWallachia:

You do realize that INTERACTIVITY is what makes games unique, right? if they do differently then they arent games, they are everything else.

Hence why I said that games themselves cannot be art, but can indeed contain copious amounts of artistic elements.

DioWallachia:

And if the player wants to fuck around, then it isnt really the problem of the artist. That would be like calling a movie not art because some idiot decided to talk with its cellphone while on the Cinema. It was HIS choice to not pay attention or pay respect to the work.

That's true, but the cellphone analogy is incorrect. The person isn't in control of what the main character is doing in the movie whereas the person playing the game is. The people who wrote the screenplay for the film dictate movement, action and speech unless they give lee-way for small amounts of improv. But the finished product is something viewers cannot interact with. Authors of written works dictate what the characters do and say, while players get to choose almost all of what the protagonist does prior to getting involved in a scripted event or key plot point (be it conversation or event). The difference between game and movie/book is that in the latter is a set in stone depiction whereas a video game permits the player to behave in such ways that the artist(s) never intended.

DioWallachia:
As long that the player interaction fall into what the author wants to tell, it will be art. For example, take Legacy of Kain theme of "Free Will Vs Fate". It would make perfect sense to make the game into a sandbox with a shitton of freedom for the player into (for example) killing whoever he wants, specially if its an important person for the plot to progress (like the antagonist that you may or may not know it is yet) and because the player want to prevent one of the many prophesies to become true.

But since there is predestination being inflicted into this setting, the antagonist is either revived or replaced by a bigger threat that makes the prophesies be true anyway by forces that you have to discover. Therefore, the message of "Can we change and fight fate?" is still intact. The author/writer has to CONVINCE US in a belivable way, what is its stand on the "Fate Vs Free Will" (on the little example i gave, it seems to be in favor of "Fate")

As long the writer meets every action done by the player with a belivable reaction that is product of the world they made, they can still ilustrate their point/message/whatever. Hell, a good writer take the adventage of videogames and put the protagonist/player into a position where they can influence (for example) the future of a political ideology and see the results in the near future. After all, it would be bad writting to not display the ideologies in their true form (Straw Character) for the player/audience to ultimately decide who will be in charge and THEN explore all the consecuences.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawCharacter

I would compromise for this point, but it also falls under the purview that the player is given control over what they do and thus becomes a meta-artist as they progress through the game. They will get to the message eventually, but every different person will play the game differently. Be it moving one block to the left rather than to the right, it becomes too malleable for each movement to carry a message as they can in film/literature. The player chooses to do as they wish, and thus they themselves craft the experience (imagine someone sketching a famous painting while taking creative liberties: art from art). The action of creating art isn't art in itself.

I can call a game art when I disregard the game permitting me freedom of movement and inconsequential actions, but it doesn't remove the fact that they are still there. The message is almost always conveyed after playing, but very rarely while one is playing...hence why I said you experience the art in bursts while bridging the experiences as an artist.

ShinyCharizard:

I presented my own ideas of what I consider to be art and why. At no point did I say that I claim to know the one and only official definition of art. Nor that I am the sole decider of what is art.

Sorry, I didn't mean that as an attack on you! When I say "you" in my post it means I'm speaking in general about everyone, not you the OP. For the record I think you bring up a good point in that people tend to recognize story elements of games as art more easily than the game design.

I guess it probably looks like I'm trying to snuff out discussion there, but I'm not really, I just get upset when I see people trying to fit the definition of art into a tiny box to exclude games.

DioWallachia:

This art thing is so nebulous that people are bound to jump to conspiracy theories at this point because they cant find any rational explanation. Hell, film was considered art in less than 20-30 years after its apparence and back then there wasnt the fucking Internet to let everyone know.

Just popping in to say that you are completely wrong here. Film was created around the 1890's, and wasn't widely considered an art form by the public until the 60's, around 60-70 years after it's creation. :P

sethisjimmy:

ShinyCharizard:

I presented my own ideas of what I consider to be art and why. At no point did I say that I claim to know the one and only official definition of art. Nor that I am the sole decider of what is art.

Sorry, I didn't mean that as an attack on you! When I say "you" in my post it means I'm speaking in general about everyone, not you the OP. For the record I think you bring up a good point in that people tend to recognize story elements of games as art more easily than the game design.

I guess it probably looks like I'm trying to snuff out discussion there, but I'm not really, I just get upset when I see people trying to fit the definition of art into a tiny box to exclude games.

Fair enough then my mistake.

NightmareExpress:
The thing that keeps them from being art in my eyes is the player interaction.
With pretty much all other mediums, something is put up for subjective interpretation by the masses.
Something that the viewer can't really directly influence. But with a game, you can run around in circles for forty minutes in the same spot before advancing the plot. Really runs the question of; if you are influencing everything, wouldn't that make you the artist rather than the appreciator? You playing a game won't be art, but recording the gameplay footage will technically be a piece of art because different actions during playthroughs of the same segment will evoke different feelings in different people much like paintings or films.

Not really sure I get this. The only argument you make as to why games are not art is that because the player "influences" things. But you don't really explain why this removes games from being considered as "art".

This is, of course, to say nothing of interactive art itself, like Marina Abramović's The Artist Is Present.

BreakfastMan:

DioWallachia:

This art thing is so nebulous that people are bound to jump to conspiracy theories at this point because they cant find any rational explanation. Hell, film was considered art in less than 20-30 years after its apparence and back then there wasnt the fucking Internet to let everyone know.

Just popping in to say that you are completely wrong here. Film was created around the 1890's, and wasn't widely considered an art form by the public until the 60's, around 60-70 years after it's creation. :P

Of course its wrong. I could also have said that "Movies were oficially art when Citizen Kane was released in 1941 " and still be wrong because no one fucking saw the movie when it was released (thanks to Randolph Hearst) and it was years after it that the critics decided to use it as the example of art in visual media.

Both examples would have worked for one purpose: To ilustrate how fucking easy is to search dat shit on the Internet, something that people didnt have back then. As i said before, in this age, it should have been easy to obtain a definition of art that suits videogames. Its just sad that even with the power to reach almost everyone on Earth we still havent finished the argument of what art even IS.

TehCookie:

imahobbit4062:
Even after all the threads on this topic...I still don't see why games need to be classified as art. Why can't we just enjoy games as games like we have for the past what? 30 years? Why does it need to be seen as art?

They need to be classified as art for legal reasons to maintain their freedom of speech or something. Which there was a supreme court case on it in the US a while back and they passed so games are legally art. I think people need to realize calling games art won't make them more accepted and mature.

This.
It's not about them all having great meaning, and that we should all analyse how important Pokemon is, and that if we classify them as so that you're not gunna still be able to kill some NPC pointlessly in GTA. It's just a legal thing granted to most entertainment, and like most entertainment, isn't defaultly moving or artsy, but it has it's moments.
The ones we personally call art, rather than the medium legally being art, aren't even the traditional "boring" type of art people think of, regardless of medium. They are merely the ones that we think were really good.

DioWallachia:

BreakfastMan:

DioWallachia:

This art thing is so nebulous that people are bound to jump to conspiracy theories at this point because they cant find any rational explanation. Hell, film was considered art in less than 20-30 years after its apparence and back then there wasnt the fucking Internet to let everyone know.

Just popping in to say that you are completely wrong here. Film was created around the 1890's, and wasn't widely considered an art form by the public until the 60's, around 60-70 years after it's creation. :P

Of course its wrong. I could also have said that "Movies were oficially art when Citizen Kane was released in 1941 " and still be wrong because no one fucking saw the movie when it was released (thanks to Randolph Hearst) and it was years after it that the critics decided to use it as the example of art in visual media.

Both examples would have worked for one purpose: To ilustrate how fucking easy is to search dat shit on the Internet, something that people didnt have back then. As i said before, in this age, it should have been easy to obtain a definition of art that suits videogames. Its just sad that even with the power to reach almost everyone on Earth we still havent finished the argument of what art even IS.

The problem is that youre trying to define something that has deliberately put itself outside of definition. There is a definition but it could account for hundreds of different things that aren't art. Thats because the definition covers centuries of artistic expression and pursuit along with the cultural changes that have happened. To define art a person must study its history and understand its evolution and even then they probably wont get a definitive answer because in this era the context of art is unstable. The best you could do is look at each era (the four big ones being mideval, Renisance, moderism, and post modernism/contemporary) and define art as what it was in that era

Of course the kicker is we wont be able to definitively say what the post modernist era of art was until its over.

BreakfastMan:

Not really sure I get this. The only argument you make as to why games are not art is that because the player "influences" things. But you don't really explain why this removes games from being considered as "art".

This is, of course, to say nothing of interactive art itself, like Marina Abramović's The Artist Is Present.

That exhibit is unique in that though it is interactive, there is a set goal. The artist sits in one chair, the participant in the other. They may remain seated for as long as they wish, before getting up and leaving while the artist remains seated. The difference is, that the artist in this scenario intends for the participants to do a wide variety of things.
To walk up, to sit down, to stare and potentially have an emotion elicited before leaving. Thus, there is no inconsequential actions or wasted arbitrary movements in the exhibit. Everything would contain a message.

Had the game made about the exhibit simply been pressing a button to do a scripted walk to the table and a staring phase that lasted as long as you wanted before pressing a button that did a scripted walk away, I'd have to admit that the game would be art. There would be no inconsequential movements, everything would have a purpose. It would be just as both the artist and the developer intended it to be.

Art is something being given to interpretation. That's all it is, really.
But what am I to interpret from pointless movement/actions that bare no consequence?
The creator didn't intend for me to jump in place for ten minutes. Whatever message there is to be had was created by myself in that scenario, as is any gameplay like that. That is something that just doesn't happen in books, films, statues or paintings where things baring a purpose are presented by the creator for one to take as they will.

Zhukov:
2010 called. They want their thread back.

...

I'm going to give my usual canned response:

Just what the fuck is art?

Seriously, every damn time someone starts this discussion they never offer a definition of art. Never. You can't argue that something is or isn't a certain thing, especially something as vague and nebulous as "art", without first explaining exactly what you mean when you use that term.

Art is one of the two things humanity has produced. Humanity has only made Tools and Art. Tools serve a practical purpose and solve a specific problem in the material world. Art doesn't. Thusly, video games are art.

..although I think it's safe to compare Metal Gear Solid 4 to a movie. :3

ShinyCharizard:
To be honest I'm not looking to start a discussion here. Instead merely to put to words my thoughts on the matter.

It seems when discussing games as an art form, many use examples of games that are similar
to films in the way they deliver a story (Mass Effect series, The Witcher II, Uncharted and more) or merely experimental (many indie titles ect, Journey, Flower, ect). Critics of course say games are not art because they cannot deliver emotion like films.

Why must we use the merits of a different art form like film and apply them to gaming? A very different medium. Would we compare Films to Paintings? Or consider only those games that are being a bit different/experimental?

I say that the games that should be considered art are the ones that we individually think are the best gaming experience. For example I would consider Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy 6 and 7, hell even Gears of War to be art. Games that we personally find are the pinnacle of gaming. Therefore they should be considered art. Because games should be judged on the merits of their own medium.

Well the issue is the mixture of what games are. Film crit borrows terminology that originated in lit crit, and used to vocabulary for it's own ends. While you're right that the work should be judged differently (like we'd consider a film differently from a novel), to deny the similarities and not use the language or look at fundamental similarities and apply the same concepts wouldn't make sense. A protagonist is a protagonist, right? What we need to consider more deeply is the relationship player agency has with the concept of protagonist, I think, or the concept of level design as a kind of mimesis and emplotment.

I think you're right, but new art inevitably borrows from older stuff; have you heard how ludicrously florid some of the dialogue from old films are? Straight up novel shit, to my ears. Now we're dealing with a medium with camera angles and lens flares and shit, so how can we not transplant some of the concepts, and inevitably, expectations? The work comes in critiquing games in such a way that differentiates them. This is why I endlessly despair over games being considered as art; part of that work comes from academics, and that work is being done to some small degree, but it also just generally comes from people criticizing art in a valuable way. So far, we have the review industry, which I'd say is pretty invested in games NOT being art, and the giant publishers, who are basically the Penguins of the game world (they could give a fuck less about art, as well).

We need first to generate a space where we can stop talking about whether some shit is fun and instead discuss how it is beautiful. We need to consider what matters in gaming: interactivity or fun? When you open a book, you expect to read something enthralling, whether it's painful or not (try Hogg, if you dare). When you catch a film, it's similar. Neither of these mediums are in a place where the audience necessarily has to enjoy what's happening, as long as they're riveted (again, look at Hogg, and for films, much as I hate to say it, Precious comes to mind as a good example, even though I feel that in some ways it was a racist manipulation of expectations). Since games are expected to be fun, and the mechanics meant to be consistent and fair and exploitably enjoyable, calling all games art can be difficult. Sure, I think we can talk about artful constructions (I think Bastion is a fucking masterpiece and readily call it art), but feel that most games are too consumed with base goals to be art in the same way that something like Gertrude Stein's or Akilah Oliver's work is.

So some of the work is up to designers/writers, creating works that seek something more elementally engaging than just pleasure, and some of the work falls to critics, to give culturally relevant, medium-moving criticism that doesn't come down to something as moronic as a number. Imagine if someone read Howl and gave that shit a 3 out of 10. God damn.

Sorry if I got a bit off topic.

The answer is a lot more complicated than many of us would like to think. This is because "artistic" does not equal "art". Let me explain:

Interactive media is the most active media we possess in the art world and has the power to create the most emotional responses of any medium. This is a fact. However, the question of what art is has always bothered me. I have many favorite artists that produce high quality work, but they get ignored while post-modern art bullshit gets all the attention. I asked my film teacher to define art and why Francis Bacon is ignored while Marina Abramovic is highly praised. She responded with this: "Art is an experience." The example she used is that Yoko Ono would write commands on a piece of paper and hand them to a person as an art piece. Here is one of them:

"Make a wish
Write it down on a piece of paper
Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree
Ask your friends to do the same
Keep wishing
Until the branches are covered with wishes"

As abstract as it is, this is art.

However, "video games" as we know them, such as "Mass Effect", are no more artistic as "The Avengers". Yes, there are artistic merits in "The Avengers", but it is by no means high art.

There are, of course. exceptions. The first step of a 'video game' transcending that label and become art is to no longer make it a game- to turn it into an experience. In order to do that, "winning" must no longer exist. Completion, yes, but not winning. Personal examples include FTL, One Chance, Thomas Was Alone, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and just about everything on Chrome Experiments. There are also a rising number of interactive art pieces on display in art museums using programs such as Max/MSP, I-CubeX, and Processing. One of which includes something that I made in Max.

So, no, video games are not art. But art exists in the interactive medium.

I hope this answers your question in full.

EDIT: I find it funny that people discussing this are talking about film and film terminology rather than art and art terminology.

Bocaj2000:
The answer is a lot more complicated than many of us would like to think. This is because "artistic" does not equal "art". Let me explain:

Interactive media is the most active media we possess in the art world and has the power to create the most emotional responses of any medium. This is a fact. However, the question of what art is has always bothered me. I have many favorite artists that produce high quality work, but they get ignored while post-modern art bullshit gets all the attention. I asked my film teacher to define art and why Francis Bacon is ignored while Marina Abramovic is highly praised. She responded with this: "Art is an experience." The example she used is that Yoko Ono would write commands on a piece of paper and hand them to a person as an art piece. Here is one of them:

"Make a wish
Write it down on a piece of paper
Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree
Ask your friends to do the same
Keep wishing
Until the branches are covered with wishes"

As abstract as it is, this is art.

However, "video games" as we know them, such as "Mass Effect", are no more artistic as "The Avengers". Yes, there are artistic merits in "The Avengers", but it is by no means high art.

There are, of course. exceptions. The first step of a 'video game' transcending that label and become art is to no longer make it a game- to turn it into an experience. In order to do that, "winning" must no longer exist. Completion, yes, but not winning. Personal examples include FTL, One Chance, Thomas Was Alone, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and just about everything on Chrome Experiments. There are also a rising number of interactive art pieces on display in art museums using programs such as Max/MSP, I-CubeX, and Processing. One of which includes something that I made in Max.

So, no, video games are not art. But art exists in the interactive medium.

I hope this answers your question in full.

EDIT: I find it funny that people discussing this are talking about film and film terminology rather than art and art terminology.

Wouldn't that be because video games enact film discourse? I mean, there's angles and sweeps and zooms and all that. One of the visual languages is closely related to film. I don't think using the language of visual art alone is enough since video games are such a collage of mediums.

As for interactive art, I'd say that's different from a video game, personally, but I guess I'd say it depends on what we're talking about. I'd definitely call Tomasula's TOC art.

Also I wouldn't call that Yoko Ono piece just a string of commands. It's a poem. The whole episode (the piece and the handing it over) sounds like Poetry Bombing, to me.

Also, curious, why would you say FTL is art? I like the game a lot, but I'm pretty reserved about what I'd call art and FTL just wasn't something I'd considered there yet; is it the emergent experience?

I agree with the OP's notion of trying to make games art by applying artistic styles which don't belong to the medium.

When you try to make a game like a movie... you simply end up with a bunch of lengthy cutscenes where the story is told.

The quality of a game's story is not really a reflection of how good or how artistic a game is. Rather, the artistic side (with regards to story telling), comes from the game's ability to tell a story without you noticing that it is telling it. That is, story telling as game story telling should be seamless from regular gameplay. So many standards of story telling that would normally apply in theatre and movies, simply do not apply here.

NightmareExpress:

The creator didn't intend for me to jump in place for ten minutes.

"What the creator intended" doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the piece itself, not the creator intentions for that piece. Those only matter to the creator.

And hell, even going by your idea of what it means to be a piece of art, video games are still art (seeing as every element of the game was placed there by the dev; you cannot do anything they did not program). But, seeing as this is the fundamental core of your arguments, the root from which all others shall surely spring, I hope you will not be too offended that I choose to attack that head-on.

Zeldias:

Bocaj2000:
snip

Wouldn't that be because video games enact film discourse? I mean, there's angles and sweeps and zooms and all that. One of the visual languages is closely related to film. I don't think using the language of visual art alone is enough since video games are such a collage of mediums.

As for interactive art, I'd say that's different from a video game, personally, but I guess I'd say it depends on what we're talking about. I'd definitely call Tomasula's TOC art.

Also I wouldn't call that Yoko Ono piece just a string of commands. It's a poem. The whole episode (the piece and the handing it over) sounds like Poetry Bombing, to me.

Also, curious, why would you say FTL is art? I like the game a lot, but I'm pretty reserved about what I'd call art and FTL just wasn't something I'd considered there yet; is it the emergent experience?

I disagree. Interactive media isn't even on the same caliber as visual and film art; it is so much more than most people give it credit to. Film is a passive media. A room with a film playing will play the same thing whether a person is there or not. Interactive pieces, however, require interaction in order to be experienced. This leaves potential to create different experiences based on different interactions. Yes, games such as Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, and many others are heavily influenced by cinema, but it's not a requirement. The video games you speak of may relate to films, but that is highly restrictive and pidgenholes the medium.

-Professor Layton is more like a puzzle book
-Pheonix Wright is more like a series of short stories
-Persona 4 is more like Shonen anime (which it eventually became)
-Alpha Centauri is more like a board game
-Warhammer 40k: Final Liberation is more like a tabletop game
-Simulation games are more like real life and/or playing God

Film, books, and comics may be able to blend genres and may be able work together to compliment each other, but they cannot expand beyond their limitations. Interactive media's only limitation is that it needs interaction. That is the beauty of the interactive medium. You say that video games and interactive art are separate entities: I agree, but on different merits. I believe that a video game are only a few steps away interactive art. Like I said, the biggest hurdle is the need to "win" instead of the need to experience. Which brings me to Noko Ono:

You probably missed the point of the example I posted. Its purpose is not to be a poem and not to be a list of commands. Its purpose is to give you an experience. It is a piece of art so abstract that it cannot be contained to any medium other than action. That is the point of the piece. Yes, it is art. Whether you appreciate it or not is up to you.

Lastly, you ask about why I consider FTL art. It is a very personal opinion, I'm not trying to force it upon you. With that said, it gave me a series of experiences and emotions that cannot be easily be reproduced. I went through every emotion imaginable while playing this game: happiness and confidence when doing well; pressure and incompetence when loosing battles; relief when escaping a dangerous situation; sadness of loosing a crew mate; awe of the destruction of my ship that I spent all this time getting attached to. And then it's over. Winning and loosing is irrelevant because I now have a story that no one else will have. Not to mention, fantastic gesamtkunstwerk.

I hope that satisfies you ^-^

AsurasEyes:

Zhukov:
2010 called. They want their thread back.

...

I'm going to give my usual canned response:

Just what the fuck is art?

Seriously, every damn time someone starts this discussion they never offer a definition of art. Never. You can't argue that something is or isn't a certain thing, especially something as vague and nebulous as "art", without first explaining exactly what you mean when you use that term.

Art is one of the two things humanity has produced. Humanity has only made Tools and Art. Tools serve a practical purpose and solve a specific problem in the material world. Art doesn't. Thusly, video games are art.

What if i am making a game to quantify how many people react under a simulation of extreme circunstances, that question what it means to be "civilized" in a world that tells you in every way possible that "Nessesity knows NO bounds"?

Or how about making a game like Catherine, where you get asked about your relationships and eventually you get a graphic that shows the % of people that answered one way or another?

What if i am making a really shitty game under a well know company to test the loyalty of the blinded fans?

Wont that mean that games CAN be tools?

Lets change the name Video Game to just Interactive.

There in an instant the art world will flounder at the chance to discover the true deep meaningful prowess of the Interactive.

Bocaj2000:

Zeldias:

Bocaj2000:
snip

Wouldn't that be because video games enact film discourse? I mean, there's angles and sweeps and zooms and all that. One of the visual languages is closely related to film. I don't think using the language of visual art alone is enough since video games are such a collage of mediums.

As for interactive art, I'd say that's different from a video game, personally, but I guess I'd say it depends on what we're talking about. I'd definitely call Tomasula's TOC art.

Also I wouldn't call that Yoko Ono piece just a string of commands. It's a poem. The whole episode (the piece and the handing it over) sounds like Poetry Bombing, to me.

Also, curious, why would you say FTL is art? I like the game a lot, but I'm pretty reserved about what I'd call art and FTL just wasn't something I'd considered there yet; is it the emergent experience?

I disagree. Interactive media isn't even on the same caliber as visual and film art; it is so much more than most people give it credit to. Film is a passive media. A room with a film playing will play the same thing whether a person is there or not. Interactive pieces, however, require interaction in order to be experienced. This leaves potential to create different experiences based on different interactions. Yes, games such as Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, and many others are heavily influenced by cinema, but it's not a requirement. The video games you speak of may relate to films, but that is highly restrictive and pidgenholes the medium.

-Professor Layton is more like a puzzle book
-Pheonix Wright is more like a series of short stories
-Persona 4 is more like Shonen anime (which it eventually became)
-Alpha Centauri is more like a board game
-Warhammer 40k: Final Liberation is more like a tabletop game
-Simulation games are more like real life and/or playing God

Film, books, and comics may be able to blend genres and may be able work together to compliment each other, but they cannot expand beyond their limitations. Interactive media's only limitation is that it needs interaction. That is the beauty of the interactive medium. You say that video games and interactive art are separate entities: I agree, but on different merits. I believe that a video game are only a few steps away interactive art. Like I said, the biggest hurdle is the need to "win" instead of the need to experience. Which brings me to Noko Ono:

You probably missed the point of the example I posted. Its purpose is not to be a poem and not to be a list of commands. Its purpose is to give you an experience. It is a piece of art so abstract that it cannot be contained to any medium other than action. That is the point of the piece. Yes, it is art. Whether you appreciate it or not is up to you.

Lastly, you ask about why I consider FTL art. It is a very personal opinion, I'm not trying to force it upon you. With that said, it gave me a series of experiences and emotions that cannot be easily be reproduced. I went through every emotion imaginable while playing this game: happiness and confidence when doing well; pressure and incompetence when loosing battles; relief when escaping a dangerous situation; sadness of loosing a crew mate; awe of the destruction of my ship that I spent all this time getting attached to. And then it's over. Winning and loosing is irrelevant because I now have a story that no one else will have. Not to mention, fantastic gesamtkunstwerk.

I hope that satisfies you ^-^

Hope I didn't come off as aggressive; I love the conversations and think on art a lot (as an academic and artist), so it gets me going :-D.

I think we agree. I just used the more mainstream games to make my point, but I would definitely say something like Trauma Center or Lumines is an artistic experience, more so than Mass Effect. Or Etrian Odyssey, where you chart unknown worlds, moves more in the space of art than most JRPGs.

I think you're right, though on what you say about interactive art, and I agree that the notions of "winning" and "fun" are limiting to video games as artistic expression. I think my issue, really, is that I have limited experience with the interactive art in museums; I'm a literature guy, so most of my energy goes towards literary art.

I didn't mean to sound dismissive re: the Ono bit, just saying that in form, it looks like a poem. I'm not saying it can't serve as a part of a performance piece with audience participation and stuff like that; the point of any poem I've ever called good is to deliver an experience, whether that's to place the reader in a moment of understanding, or subvert that understanding, or disassociate us with our common understanding of language. I wasn't saying it's not art, just that it is poetry: that doesn't mean it can't also be other things, you know? Most people typically experience plays like novels, but they're still meant to be cast, performed, and directed, so a play can actually be several different kinds of art simultaneously.

And cool on FTL :-D. I agree with you; the emergent nature of gameplay is really special. But I dunno. I think the question that has to be answered for critics that want to defends video games as art is "what am I looking for out of art?" Basically, aesthetic, you know? What should art be doing, if anything? I'm not sure that catharsis and emotional experiences alone should be that. But I do think the space for telling our own stories is part of what makes game an interesting artistic endeavor: for me, FTL is this constantly feminine (although, apparently, racist, since all I have are white dudes on the Kestrel) thing where I always have a female captain piloting the ship. And I realize that it's different from the spaces other people create. Then there's this interesting thing (to me) where I'm wondering how feminist is it when I, as a guy, am doing this thing. But my take on art is that it's always doing some kind of sociocultural work, whether it means to or not.

Thanks for the response :-).

NightmareExpress:

That's true, but the cellphone analogy is incorrect. The person isn't in control of what the main character is doing in the movie whereas the person playing the game is. The people who wrote the screenplay for the film dictate movement, action and speech unless they give lee-way for small amounts of improv. But the finished product is something viewers cannot interact with. Authors of written works dictate what the characters do and say, while players get to choose almost all of what the protagonist does prior to getting involved in a scripted event or key plot point (be it conversation or event). The difference between game and movie/book is that in the latter is a set in stone depiction whereas a video game permits the player to behave in such ways that the artist(s) never intended.

If it was never intented then why is it there?

I am sure that a LOT of artists would like to get rid of things like character development, plot progression, subtlety, logic and all those pesky rules (just like the movie Prometheus did) but they cant do that, cant they? they exist for a very good reason.

So, if you think about it in a certain way, you could say that those things up there already take over the "vision" of the artist by making the story malleable in a way THEY didnt want (just like the player presence does) and yet we still call those works as art even when the artist vision is already diminished.

If the artist is talented enough, they could have explained the actions of the player by saying that "The protagonist is the only one with Free Will in a setting where Fate controls everything. That is why its perfectly capable of acting both normal or just jump around like an idiot by sheer happyness."

The message is almost always conveyed after playing, but very rarely while one is playing

You sure about that? why not give an example that i can remember? because i will show you mine:
http://osirislord.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/how-using-themes-helped-me-write-a-cohesive-narrative/

"Planescape: Torment. Nearly everything included in that game deals with the theme of torment in some way. What can change the nature of a man isn't just a way to beat the very definite final boss, it's what the whole things is about and every scene explores a possible answer to that question. Even if you don't realize the game is doing that, you have to admit that there is still something at work keeping the story cohesive, how the writers are able to make a linear story out of a non-linear experience."

As long the theme/message remains consistent in every scene in the gameplay, then i find little reason to believe that the audience is ruining the author's vision by creating art over the art of the author. It is STILL on the limits that the author prepared beforehand.

For me art is the technique of provoking a response. For example that response can run the gamut of disgust to beauty. Good art is something that provokes that reaction leading to a constructive response, bad art attempts to convey a message but fails to do so. For example the iconic photos of napalming villages in Vietnam or self-immolation are distressing, but ultimately force the viewer to consider consequences of war. Video games can also, IMO, be classified as art because they can attempt provoke the gamer into various states (amazing vistas or difficult choices). Most games, say Mario for example, don't really try to convey any sort of message other than jump on stuff and don't fall into holes. More sophisticated story driven games, like Mass Effect 3 or maybe games like Journey are less driven by avoiding holes and goombas, and more so designed to evoke some sort of feelings in the player. Likewise those games can be evaluated as good art, in that the players was moved (regardless of the outcome), or bad art, where the player is offended or confused to the point that there is no growth from the interaction.

In essence games can qualify as art if they try to provoke an emotional response from the player. Depending on how effective that response is can qualify them as "good" or "bad" art. Some games it makes no sense to apply these distinctions because they aren't striving to be art, just like mass produced books or summer blockbusters.

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