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Should games be considered art?


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#21 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2330

Posted 02 December 2013 - 11:42 PM

This is one of those discussions/debate that just go on forever, simply because nobody wants or can define 'art'. So it seems to me that the 'debate' pretty much boils to this: 'Art' is a word that, when attached to a certain form of expression, it automatically gives it a certain 'prestige'. So the question becomes whether or not we want to give the form of expression in question that same prestige as those that are already classified as 'art'. It's not so much a question of 'is X really art', but more like, "do we want to give X our stamp of approval by calling it 'art'"?

 

Literature, music, painting, sculpting, architecture etc are things that have had this label for quite a long time, so they're not really debated. Film is a relatively new medium, and initially there were many people that refused to dignify it by calling it 'art', but now most consider it as such. I suspect it's pretty much the same with games. And in any case, even if we keep debating on whether Super Mario or Zelda should be called works of art, I'd say that even going with what most people mean when they call something 'art'(even if they can't define it exactly), you'd have a hard time arguing that films like "Battleship" are "art", or that games like Grim Fandango or "I have no mouth and must scream" are *not* 'art'. For games like the above, I don't think you even need to expand the definition of 'art' in any way in order to include them...any unbiased person would easily see that they're really as much 'traditional art' as any film.


Edited by mikeman, 02 December 2013 - 11:44 PM.


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#22 mepis   Members   -  Reputation: 230

Posted 03 December 2013 - 02:03 PM

Excellent responses everyone. I find it interesting to see what everyone's perspective is on the matter.



#23 TheComet   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1873

Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:00 AM

If video games aren't art then explain this.

tumblr_inline_mx7qq23iDN1srx5h3.jpg


YOUR_OPINION >/dev/null

#24 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2364

Posted 05 December 2013 - 03:55 PM

If you can consider this art, then I think video games should be considered art.



#25 Oolala   Members   -  Reputation: 951

Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:43 PM

Because many of us are engineers, lets dissect this a bit with a case-analysis.

 

Suppose games are art:  Then....nothing.

 

Suppose games are not art:  Then...nothing.

 

The problem with attempting to even have this discussion is that it is entirely absent of consequence.  The world doesn't change if you conclude that games are art.  The world also doesn't change if you conclude that games are not art.  Mostly because the world won't change regardless of anything that you conclude being either art or not art.

 

So then, a counter-question:  What is the purpose of asking whether games are or are not art, or for that matter, what is the purpose of asking if any category of things is or isn't art?

 

I'd argue it has no purpose, and thus this question is both unproductive and dumb.  "X" being "Art" is one of those terms that we throw around to make ourselves feel clever or sophisticated, but in fact communicates nothing.

 

Edit: Upon further reading, mikeman said a lot of what I was trying to say.


Edited by Oolala, 06 December 2013 - 10:46 PM.


#26 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 867

Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:36 AM


So then, a counter-question: What is the purpose of asking whether games are or are not art, or for that matter, what is the purpose of asking if any category of things is or isn't art?

 

 

 

While I agree, more often than not, these types of discussions for any topic, have a way of being self destructive. You also seem to miss the point, that these discussions, are an extension of the activity, a way for participants to further participate, a way for passive viewers, to be active, its consuming and then digesting the activity, for much more than just playing the game, and using that information to further partake in the activity. Its essentially the practice of having emotions and feelings, and taking those things, and turning them into a conversation, expressing them. Not everyone is all that good at it. Like studying history, there is memorization, and then there is understanding why things happened, this activity is that attempt at understanding. And a social hierarchy sorting out process where upon people are ranked by their ideas.

source: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/28531064/#Comment_28531064


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#27 SeraphLance   Members   -  Reputation: 1685

Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:40 AM

Art (n.) - A classification of aesthetically pleasing material that some body in power deems worth "protecting".

 

That's it.  Seriously.  The only distinction between "Art" and "Not Art" is that some pencil pusher somewhere decided the latter didn't have artistic value because of some conflict with his sensibilities.

 

I've grappled with this for many years, but at some point I realized that the distinction is a complete waste of time.

 

EDIT:
 

Since this came to mind just now, allow me to highlight the futility of all this by presenting:

 

The Artistic Transition

 

Phase 1:  Paradise (the 70s-80s)

 

"Is <X> Art?  Who cares?  I like it."

 

Phase 2:  The Schism (90s - recent)

 

"Dagnabbit, <X> should be considered Art!  I don't know why, but it should!"
 

 

Phase 3:  The Compromise ( recent - )

 

"Okay, I grew up with the old <X> stuff, and that's obviously artistic.  None of those newfangled <X> though; they're all soulless and commercial!"

 

Phase 4:  The 1984 (future)

 

"What?  <X> has always been art"


Edited by SeraphLance, 07 December 2013 - 11:49 AM.


#28 Madhed   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:52 AM

Are all games art? No.

Can games be art? Yes.

 

I can poop in a corner and call it art. Yet I don't proclaim producing art everytime I visit the restroom.






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