And this is what I''d like you to think about. What is the definition of game ?
If I take my dictionary (again) I can read : "physical or mental ability purely gratuitous, that has no other purpose, in the mind of the player, than the pleasure it brings.
Then if I look up "art", I find : "set of means, processes, that tend towards a particular end." You could do more vague than that, but it would be harder
OK, then, what you can conclude is that the making of a game can/could be considered an Art in itself. Now the problem is that you are trying to mix this with Art (in the sense, the 9 forms of arts recognised by the Muses). And that''s where I don''t agree.
More often than not, games are not a form of Art, they are not the expression of something an author is trying to express ! They are merely work of commission, done for a buyer, just like Leonardo da Vinci did his Mona Lisa for a command... if the person doing this work happens to be an artist, it''s quite likely that his soul will be put into the making even of a commanded work, but in essence, it won''t be a work of Art as such.
If you do a game to express some personal ideas, to make a statement, to make the players wonder, think, etc, then I say you would be doing Art.
I was gonna say that Art is more often than not the work of one person, but there seem to be nowadays an evolution in this, so maybe games could be a good illustration of this. But anyway, what I am trying to say is, as long as you do games to please someone, you are not making Art, no matter what. That''s why artists don''t get recognised until they are dead, that''s why geniuses are always misunderstood, that''s because those people don''t work FOR someone, but because they have something inside that they want to show to the rest of the world, and they don''t care whether someone is gonna like it or not !
If you want to turn games into a form of Art, then don''t work for anyone else than you. If you chagne your game to please your players, that''s it, it''s not Art anymore. It becomes somthing else. But hey! the argument I am giving you here is exactly the kind of arguments my lecturers gave me when I applied to the Fine Arts, and I happily proved them wrong !
All I am saying is, you have to clearly state the rules, and in essence, if you decide that your way of practicing Art is to give the control of your production to other people, then maybe that''s YOUR Art...
The conclusion is that there is no right or wrong, really. Art is a personal thing by essence, it''s not something that you can jsut look up in the dictionary, and say : "well, you see, THAT is Art".
The whole fuck!ng thing is that you have to think by yourself, you have to create your own little definition, and you have to understand that it''s a damn selfish thing. You have to be selfish to be an artist, even if your Art is about sharing, in the end, it''s all about yourself... just ask yourself, why do you wanna do this ? What does it bring YOU ?
Oh and I''ll stand by Wavinator at the stake ... don''t get all artsy fartsy with games, games are meant to be just that, a recreational activity. You can include "clever" content into games, you can include "artistic" content, but the main principle is to play, to produce endomorphin (I think) if you want to be more specific. That''s what people mean when they say "fun". That''s why you played seek and hide as a child, that''s why my wee sister (5) spend ages playing with dolls, doing dishes, ironing, cleaning, etc... just because it''s somehow ...fun... (and no, I don''t like the word, I think it''s too shallow to jsut say that, but I don''t think there is a point into goind geeper right now).
Nazrix : well, of course it would be great to consider computer games as another intellectual, cultural activity, and just like you say it won''t happen overnight.
but that''s exactly what I meant when I say you have to educate your audience !!!
You don''t do opera if there are no opera fans to listen it ! Don''t give jam to pigs.
And you say your target audience wouldn''t be 12. Well, that''s nice and well, but tell me please, what kind of audience is targeted by Tomb Raider, by Pokemon, by Diablo, by Quakelikes ??? And I am not talking about the age of the persons, I am asking, what level of your personality is attracted by those games ??? Think about it
Anonymous : the definition you give is correct, and sadly it''s probably the one most people accept. It''s actually the one I accepted until I actually went to Fine Arts and realised how shallow that was. Limiting yourself to aesthetics is exactly the kind of thinking that leads you to think that modern art is just "spots of paint on a white canvas". Of course it is, but it''s the point of the damn painting, the artistic content lies in the ideas expressed. It''s all about expressing one''s ideas. The way you do it, the medium/a you use, is something each artist has to decide *on his own*
I think the debate is gone into "is game making an art form" more than "are writers necessary to game making". But I think that''s better, because the problems lie much deeper than we can see, most of the time. And stopping at the litterary qualities of games is, IMHO, too easy. "We need more writers". Well ... yeah... so what ?
ps: well .. I could be totally wrong of course
But I prefer to believe it''s the rest of the world who is wrong...
LF : you don''t need writers for games, as much as you don''t need graphics artists, or musicians, etc ... basically, this is not what makes a game *be* a game.