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playing versus desiging games...which is art?

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I put up a topic that was instantly closed. I''m not exactly sure why, except maybe that I was misunderstood. I''m going to try an articulate my thoughts more clearly and to answer some of the comments posted: yes, I have designed games, and no, I''m not saying that the fighting in gladiator games was the art form and the colloseum was not. I''m saying that what was appreciated by mass audiences was not the game design. my post was something like: I''m not yet convinced that computer gamer are art. (This is not a negative statement.) Is is the making or the playing of them that will contstitute an art? Am I nuts? (the answer to that is... yes.) Where this comes from is the idea of systemic game design (as proposed by games like Deus Ex) and some observations I had watching a baseball game. What people appreciacte about baseball, football, or any other professional sport is the art of playing that sport. The rules are in place only to provide laws to govern the situation. The actual construction of the laws is not what is appreciated on a mass level. I think this is correct. Systemic game design involves creating a system of laws that are constantly referenced to. Creating a brilliant and crystaline set of laws that provide fun and interesting gameplay are INTEGRAL to the game; however, they are not what is appreciated. The laws that govern most art forms are natural laws, not man-made ones. In essence, the "games" are already in place. When you go to create a sculpture, write a piece of music, or paint a picture, the laws are not in place. Literature is limited by the fundamental laws of communication, as well as the laws that define our own comprehension. I apologize if my first post was misleading or inflammatory, I just wanted other opinions before I fleshed out my own ideas. devinmaxwell

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EDITED BY MODERATOR
Is it too much to ask to stay civil? If you disagree with someone's opinion, state why. Judgemental comments really don't add anything to the discussion, and really aren't acceptable.

[edited by - Wavinator on September 3, 2002 5:53:14 PM]

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I really don''t understand your point.

Are you saying games are art forms? Or that they are not?

A few example to back up whatever ideas you are trying to "flesh out" might make it easier to comprehend the incomprehensible.

"The laws that govern most art forms are natural laws, not man-made ones. In essence, the "games" are already in place. When you go to create a sculpture, write a piece of music, or paint a picture, the laws are not in place."

To me this is just self-contradictory.

"Literature is limited by the fundamental laws of communication, as well as the laws that define our own comprehension."

The laws that define my comprehension have been breeched, sorry.

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He's just opening up a discussion, who cares if in some ways he is self-contradictory?

Computer games represent mathematical and procedural repeating patterns in most cases, which seems to be the opposite of art.

YET, the way animation moves, the music plays, the social satires, flavor and attitude of existence, etc. can be very palatable in a game that is designed to express such things. In other games, you don't get those variables until multiplayer is introduced. It really varies.

I think there is art in games, certainly. Some games are a better expression of art than others.

I suppose if there was a game that really stuck out as an art form to me, I think I would have to say Freespace 2. Now I could think of other ways in which games could be artful, but the graphics and special effects (fully fantasy) created a vivid universe and a wonderful backdrop for taking part in space battles.

I'm sure that's not the best example of art in games, but to me it's a darn good one.

Battlezone 1 had a lot of sublime-level art for me. The AI wasn't all that smart, and the graphics might not have been stupendous, but that game just had an expressiveness about it that kept me coming back.

You don't get games like that just slapping a bunch of graphics and special effects together. I really think you have to plan such things, otherwise something could seem out of place within it all and throw the whole thing off.

EDIT: By the way, I think what was meant by the laws not being in place, is that the pieces for creating all art are already there, floating around in the univrese, we just choose which natural laws to incorporate into it to bring those things together and create a unique sculpture. Pretty deep, probably more than necessary. I guess that's ok, just as long as you don't analyze things like that to the point where you realize even the simple notion of being thankful is a waste of time


[edited by - Waverider on September 2, 2002 8:09:29 PM]

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i think that if you are going to compare games to art, neither playing them or making them is art, it is the actual game that is the art, i would be like saying looking at a painting is art, which it isnt

,Matt

-= kill one your a murderer, kill thousands your a conquerer =-

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The thing with computer games is that there is no true player performance.

Taking the baseball example, the player is more like the coach on the sideline, telling the baseball players what to do.

You, as the gamer, don''t actually do anything in the virtual world where the game takes place. All you do is command the computer to do something for you.
"Okay, computer, when I hit the spacebar, you make the virtual character jump up in the virtual world."
(like "Okay, runner on base 1, you attempt to steal base 2 when I touch my nose, then tap twice on my knee.")

If hitting a baseball is what it considered the art form of baseball, then writing the right commands in computer programming is the art form of a game.
quote:
Systemic game design involves creating a system of laws that are constantly referenced to.

But there is one step you are forgetting: someone has to code all those laws that are created. Just like literature uses a language, computer programming uses a language. But the person that writes a book is identical to the person coding a game.

It''s the code that is the art, and the coder (and everyone involved in the process) that is the artist.

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"The laws that govern most art forms are natural laws, not man-made ones. In essence, the "games" are already in place. When you go to create a sculpture, write a piece of music, or paint a picture, the laws are not in place."

I made a mistake. This should read:

The laws that govern most art forms are natural laws, not man-made ones. In essence, the "games" are already in place. When you go to create a sculpture, write a piece of music, or paint a picture, the laws are already in place.

sorry!

samosa. Interesting point. Art then is something that someone appreciates. Neither the maker, nor the participant can decide or has anything to do with that designation other than catching the appreciation of a 3rd party. Interesting.

sivermyst. I think that you could perhaps (and maybe I''m stretching things here) make an analogy between the baseball player''s brain and his body and the gamer and the computer interface. If we define ourselves by what our brain can think of and what our body can execute, there is a very large gap between what is possible and what is not. I cannot do all of the things I can comprehend. In the same way, I am limited to what is possible in the within the laws of the computer game because what I can excute is severely limited. That is why professional sports players and artists are appreciated. They''ve created a more direct link between what they can comprehend and what they can execute. That''s why we appreciate their actions and products as some sort of art. They''ve done more to transcend the human condition that most people can.

I have to go now, but thanks for getting this discussion started is a less negative way.

devinmaxwell

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I thought he had a kind of valid point (even if he didn''t present it well) and that his previous thread was unfairly closed. Depending on how it''s presented, playing a game (even a current game) can be art (of some sort), especially if you do something with the game that trancends normal play. A lot of early machinima (which is a considered an artform) was just people playing Quake (Quake Done Quick, or whatever.) IMO, stuff like the Halo jump video is art in a way, and that was just guys playing a game. I really don''t want this thread to become a "what is art" thread, because those always go nowhere, but if you define art as something that people can express themselves with or something capable of conveying emotion I think that both playing the game (using it for something creative, not normal play), and the game itself can be considered art.

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quote:
Original post by Impossible
I really don''t want this thread to become a "what is art" thread, because those always go nowhere...


Okay, I''m willing to experiment. If this thread doesn''t stray into that territory, then I''m happy to leave it open. Otherwise...



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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