Games as art.

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Depends on how you classify art.

In my opinion, art is a selfish thing. Art is a materialization of your imagination, not something that you made to cater to others and make money off.
Art is the most personal form of expression. So no, in general, creative works under the flag of commercial distribution isn't art, but entertainment. Albeit sometimes very creative and innovating entertainment, but still... Entertainment.

Does it inspire any emotion or convey any idea deliberately?

As far as I'm concerned, whenever someone has done something for a reason that is observed and interpreted by an observer, that's art. I just pulled that out of thin air just then but it basically encompasses everything I consider to be art. The thing is, I dislike a lot of abstract art. But I reconcile that with a simple saying: "Not all art is good art". Videogames are art, but when they're kneecapped by incompetent suprevisors, financial issues, brand recognition, audience broadening - anything that can happen to a game that may impact its quality - it can just be shitty art, we don't have to exclude it. I mean for fuck's sake, if a blank canvas and a silent piano piece which is played by sitting still is art, Dark Souls is art. The user input I basically equate to your interpretation of an artwork anyway.

That said, I really don't give a fuck what other people consider games. I play them.

I get a very similar vibe when discussing video games as art to a postmodernist lecture/class/things's discussion on what constitutes "art". Needless to say, Video Games are an art form. Some may say the best art form. Also those asshats who say that game mechanics marginalise narrative must be the dumbest pieces of stupid in the world because that just proves that games are multi-dimensional where other forms of media have to focus on stuff like looking pretty and trying to evoke some obscure (or blatant) philosophical subtext. Also I've found most critics in other forms to be stuffy and aristocratic when it concerns our art, and it's because we just happened to be less established. Wait another few decades and you'll see change; happens to just about everything.

Also from briefly skimming over (almost) everyone else's comments, it seems to me that you are all experts (in a good way) in this particular topic... wow... Escapists: Philosophers of the Gaming world? Maybe.

AsurasEyes:

Fitting for a fellow who has Cthulhu as an avatar pic to engage my first discussion on metaphysical stuff.

A game doesn't solve a practical problem, to paraphrase the The Engineer. It doesn't really solve a problem at all. We play games because of emotional needs (boredom, loneliness, lust in the case of Soul Caliber) but that can hardly be equated to the use of a tool. Your point about a hammer not baking a cake isn't exactly the point I was trying to make. A piece of art doesn't have a single practical function besides killing some time. If you had were stuck in the wilds with a hammer, you could kill some food or do something useful. Stuck in the same situation with a game disk, you could only make use out of the disk itself, unless you ran into a bear that happened to love himself some Halo Reach. The game would be useless, and cannot be used to solve any practical problem.

What about the works of art that challenge (or in some cases, frighten) the audience into reconsidering their opinion in a "Appeal to Consequenses" sort off way?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/WarGames?from=Main.WarGames

I heard that War Games did something like that (but i cant really say if it was THAT effective as people say, during the Cold War). The entire plot of WarGames is about how the only way to "win" a nuclear war is not to start it in the first place. Of course, it doesn't go so far as to have an actual war occur, but it gets fairly close.

A hammer may indeed be also be useful for fighting a bear, outside its intented use of....well, hammering a nail, but you STILL wont use a hammer to fix or even measure the Amperes of a electrical current, would you? Same for a work of art, it just happens to have a more specific function than other tools.

vortalism:
I get a very similar vibe when discussing video games as art to a postmodernist lecture/class/things's discussion on what constitutes "art". Needless to say, Video Games are an art form. Some may say the best art form. Also those asshats who say that game mechanics marginalise narrative must be the dumbest pieces of stupid in the world because that just proves that games are multi-dimensional where other forms of media have to focus on stuff like looking pretty and trying to evoke some obscure (or blatant) philosophical subtext. Also I've found most critics in other forms to be stuffy and aristocratic when it concerns our art, and it's because we just happened to be less established. Wait another few decades and you'll see change; happens to just about everything.

Also from briefly skimming over (almost) everyone else's comments, it seems to me that you are all experts (in a good way) in this particular topic... wow... Escapists: Philosophers of the Gaming world? Maybe.

We are not experts. We just pick up everything we can find and throw it against the wall of text on the forum because most of us have NO idea where to start, so we may as well say somthing and test it until proven wrong.

DioWallachia:

We are not experts. We just pick up everything we can find and throw it against the wall of text on the forum because most of us have NO idea where to start, so we may as well say somthing and test it until proven wrong.

I suppose so. Although I still applaud the fact that you guys even give a chuff about this topic. I may be from a very different part of the internet indeed. Furthermore some people's ideas actually hold some semblance of truth not all of it is wall-poop throwing.

Zeldias:

Sure you can. If art had to follow rules, everyone could eventually be an artist. It's a matter of breaking the rules correctly that makes art art, as opposed to just interesting.

Check out Bhanu Khapil's Humanimal and Maggie Nelson's Bluets. A lot of rules get broken in those books, just off the top of my head. The Fixed Stars by Brian Conn also does weird stuff (though not nearly as weird), and I also like to push it because I was part of the production of the book :-P.

But isnt "Art must (follow no rules / break all rules)" a rule by itself?

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

This is something of a pet peeve of mine, so I apologize if this seems harsh in advance, but if you were really just trying to sort your thoughts out, why post it on a game discussion forum? Let alone some place where the public can read and comment on it?

That said, I'm going to comment.

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.

Well, those critics are obviously full of shit and I need not say why.

Though I should note that a video game does not need to be obtuse, "artsy" or "deep" to deliver an effective experience, or comment on something beyond the realm of entertainment.

Going on my experience with film, most "art films" I've seen are little more than exploitations of surreality and have little of value to say openly; relying on "Stare into the abyss" logic and obscurity more than substance.

I'm not eager to see games follow suit, but I wouldn't complain if that sort of nonsense appeals to someone else out there.
Still, maybe there is value in the experimentation with the usual "artistic" tropes.
Eventually someone is going to stumble onto pure genius that doesn't take a Doctorate in Abyss Staring or Bullshitology to appreciate.

If 120 bricks arranged in the shape of a larger brick can be art, then anything can.

We may already have a winner on this debate:

I think its just the result of a medium that is experienced through sound and visuals. We automatically compare games to films because we see images and hear sounds simultaneously. There's no other medium to compare it to really.

I thought that The Walking Dead games were a step towards games being art. Probably because it was completely character driven. The actual plot wasn't particularly original or special but the thing that made the game exciting was seeing how the characters reacted to whatever happened. You could have seen a mile off that Lee was a doomed man from the start but his death was still incredibly affecting and just really sad.

If we had more games like Walking Dead and less COD and Gears the gaming world would truly be a less boring and uninspired place.

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