Game as Art: Important or Not?

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by theslick_rider (10 posts) -

Hi guys! I'm new here so I'm sorry if this thread has already popped up but I'm curious, as gamers, do you think it is important for games to be considered art? Are they already art?

Games have certainly come a long way in the last 2 decades, the Playstation popularised gaming and made it "cool" for the most part. Then over the course of the 00s, games such as MGS2/3/4, GTA, Resident Evil 4, Okami, LOZ: Wind Waker, FF and so on have really pushed the boundaries in terms of what can be done in the medium with story and emotion. Heavy Rain and TLOU can be added to that list too.

But it is still rare for the so called "mainstream media" to acknowledge games as legitimate forms of art. Ultimately, does any of it matter for you as a gamer? Sound of guy :)

#2 Posted by Eritarka (8 posts) -

It's not and important discussion in the slightest. If videogames were considered works of high art that could belong in any museum right now at this very moment, it wouldn't make the games any better or more fun than they are right now.

#3 Edited by Jag85 (4354 posts) -

Depends. Some games are art. Some games are sports. It depends on what the developers are striving for.

If the main focus is competitive gameplay, then I'd say it's closer to a sport, e.g. shmups, fighting games, RTS, MOBA, online FPS, racing games, sports games, etc.

On the other hand, if the main focus is telling a story, evoking emotions, or getting a message across, then I'd say it's art, e.g. adventure games, visual novels, cinematic games, etc.

As for the "cool" thing, it's more of a cycle. Gaming was uncool in the 70's, then became "cool" during the arcade golden age of the early 80's, then "uncool" after the crash, then "cool" again after Nintendo came along, then "uncool" again, then "cool" again when Sonic and Street Fighter II came along, then uncool again... And so on and so forth.

#4 Posted by Gallowhand (476 posts) -

If someone can pickle a sheep or dump a pile of bricks on the floor and call it 'art', then yes, just about every video game out there is an artistic masterpiece.

#5 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

It depends on what the developer is going for and no, it doesn't matter if others consider it art or not.

"Art" has become something so broad that virtually anything can be technically categorized as art. Often we find artists creating something stupid and, when it's criticized as stupid, they disregard said critiques and declare it as art and above such criticisms.

If Shia LeBeouf can blatantly plagiarize someone's work, apologize to an embarrassing degree, "retire" and then do a performance piece in which people can punish him how they see fit all in the name of art, then fuck it, why not video games?

#6 Posted by Jacanuk (3970 posts) -

Hi guys! I'm new here so I'm sorry if this thread has already popped up but I'm curious, as gamers, do you think it is important for games to be considered art? Are they already art?

Games have certainly come a long way in the last 2 decades, the Playstation popularised gaming and made it "cool" for the most part. Then over the course of the 00s, games such as MGS2/3/4, GTA, Resident Evil 4, Okami, LOZ: Wind Waker, FF and so on have really pushed the boundaries in terms of what can be done in the medium with story and emotion. Heavy Rain and TLOU can be added to that list too.

But it is still rare for the so called "mainstream media" to acknowledge games as legitimate forms of art. Ultimately, does any of it matter for you as a gamer? Sound of guy :)

Games are not art or should be considered art, its games and is entertainment nothing more and for me its fine

And i have to admit i am glad that its not art, even thou there are some gaming critics and a company like Fullbright with their terrible display of a game "gone Home" that would love for it be to art because it gives a added bonus with the "intellectuals"

#7 Edited by loafofgame (424 posts) -

"Art" has become something so broad that virtually anything can be technically categorized as art.

This. The word 'art' has lost its meaning quite some time ago. It means different things to different groups of people. If you want to have a discussion about it, you first have to define art and create a clear context. Which people in what context would consider which aspects of games as what kind of art?

#8 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

are games art? well, i'd say video gaming is a medium in which artists can create art, but that doesn't mean all video games are art. like somebody already mentioned the idea of games as sport. there are also games that are more story driven, but i wouldn't say that necessarily makes them more valuable as works of art. i mean, TV soap operas are story driven but you never see people using them to champion TV as an art form. it's not just a matter of quality either. it's the difference between art and entertainment.

are games considered art? well, are they considered art by who? the OP specifically mentions the "mainstream media" but even they use that phrase in quotation marks. what makes a media outlet mainstream? are gamespot and IGN, 2 of the largest gaming websites, part of the mainstream media?

are these questions important? sure. it's not that video games having the status of art is inherently important. it's the discussion that comes once people accept a medium as art. art is essentially communication and a catalyst for that. it's value is diminished if nobody discusses it.

#9 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

To be honest. I don't care for Art in any way shape or form. Its way too undefined. So undefined you can say anything is art, and if somebody say otherwise then you can say "you just don't get "it" man !"

#10 Posted by blueboxdoctor (2397 posts) -

The majority of them are an artistic expression of the developers. Just like all other types of art (music, movies, books, etc.) there are levels or art from high/fine art to lower levels. Something like Shadow of the Colossus (yeah, I know, overused example) would be fine art while something like COD (also I know, overused example) would be lower art. This doesn't make either better or worse, they do what the developers intended. Just look at movies. Something like Her could be considered an example of higher art while Pacific Rim would be lower art. Both are really good but Her would likely be considered more artsy than PR, but both are clearly what the director/writer intended them to be so they're still both artistic expressions.

But really, the media is anti video games and that's not likely to change anytime soon. For some reason people still consider Die Hard a perfectly acceptable thing for adults to watch but if you play Max Payne then you should grow up and do something more age appropriate (just an example, but I know people who have this mindset that video games are for kids).

But really, who cares. There will always be those who are against video games for every reason they can think of so I doubt calling games art is going to do much for anybody (though, the ending of Beyond Two Souls or the entire story of Bioshock Infinite may help show people who have been in the dark about games and just get their info from the media what games have been turning into and how much they really evolved since the beginning).

#11 Edited by halipokes (48 posts) -

I play some games to "read a book". I'm very lore nerdy and I love a good story, and I love story-driven games. Which is why I love a good RPG - they let you create your own story, and if you're interested in something, they let you find about that, and if not, well, it's ok.

This way games are like art. But as in every artform, there are some pieces that are not art, as they are trying to be (all drawings are not art, no matter how much you want them to be)

#12 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

Okay so I read your post, What artistic contributions has Final Fantasy, President Evil 4, TLOU and GTA contributed to gaming ?

Granted their stories are miles better but thats thanks to Cutscenes, which aren't unique to gaming, infact they actually get in the way of gameplay, thats a fact, whether one enjoys cutscenes or not.

#13 Edited by Gargus (2147 posts) -

Games are not art. Nothing is "art" because the definition of art is 100% subjective and open to interpretation. Art can not be measured, it can not be calculated and there is no exact definition of what is or is not. It is an abstract idea and nothing more.

Case and point: Mona lisa, starry night, Bal du moulin de la Galette are all considered masterpieces of art and revered around the world for being paint put onto a canvas. So it stands to reason that if some greasey, stinky Hoboken "artist" dips a dead rat into some paint and throws it at a canvas then his "art" is just as much art as the previous paintings I mentioned when in fact it is not. Or the movie Lawrence of Arabia is considered a masterful piece of cinematic art, but that also stands to reason that Michael bays transformers are as equally artful simply because it is a movie also. Elvis is an artist, that also means that limp biscuit is also because they play music as well. And so on.

So if you think journey is a piece of art or the last of us then you must think call of duty and angry birds is as well because they are games also.

Besides, who gives a fuck if a game is art or not? Play them, enjoy them and stop trying to make everyone think that just because you like something that everyone must consider it art. I personally do not care what anyone thinks of games, I like them and that's good enough for me. I don't need some strangers approval so I can enjoy something I enjoy.

#14 Posted by wiouds (5021 posts) -

I have problem with calling games art.

First, there are so many ready to use "because it art" as an get out of jail free card.

Second, what they pick and choose what is art. It seem when game and art are talk about it is almost always about interactive story and just brush the rest under the rug. I hold to the ideal that there are those that overvalue interactive stories. if I see to stories that are both just as well written but one is interactive and the other is not then most of the times I would pick the non interactive story as being better. I just find they are the better made stories.

Also goes along with the pick what is are, they seem to ignore what they do not care about. For example the staging of the shootouts in FPS single player have improved some much. Yet, they do not care. (Please, do not try to drag doom into this.) What about the craftsmanship that went into making the level up system and how it affects the game play in an RPG? What about the placement of platform? What about the flow control in death matches?