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Can games be "art"?


Mortiis558
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Ok I know I am going to get flack for this, and maybe it is because I am jaded by not having played it when it was new, but I am missing what is so great about ICO. It's fun, it's different, it's minimalistic, but people spout this as one of those games that is an example of "games as art" (which games aren't and will never be), but I haven't beaten it yet so maybe I just haven't experienced enough to know what people are talking about.

 

All in all though this is a GREAT collection. I liked the HD upgrade, and playing Shadow of the Colossus in 3D is neat for a few minutes. I wouldn't recommend it to the CoD/GoW crowd, but if you like video games that try something different, or are in the mood for something that isn't the norm, try this out, it's 2 fun games. (For those who don't already know about these games)

 

edit: 2 Hour speed run for Ico? Oooh that'll be fun to try!

Edited by Mortiis558
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Heh. Glad someone picked up Baytor's 'obnoxious ragging on beloved properties' torch. I'm sure someone had to fill that slot. I'm keen to play these so am reserving judgement on opinion, but how will games never be art?

 

there's gotta be an existing thread for what will become a massive tangent here

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  • 2 weeks later...

Games are not art for me because they do not fit either definition I have for art.

 

1. Art leaves you questioning. And not in a "they didn't fill in all the story gaps" kind of way.

 

2. Art can have no other purpose than itself.

 

Video Games are entertainment. They can have truly beautiful art IN them, but the games themselves will never be art. Would you call a book art? No it's a book! lol But really, "art" is the wrong term for what I think everyone is trying to allude to. Games are becoming more mature (and not in a sex/violence way) and games are starting to tell some great stories and even try to philosophize at times, and I think that is a good thing.

 

One example that kinda crosses the line I can think of would be the "interactive video" Linger in Shadows on the PSN. Is it a game though? I am not all hip on the latest trends of what constitutes art though, so take this as you will. If interactive mediums can be art is something I will have to see for myself. I guess it all depends on what you consider to be "art." Is music art? Or are we mixing up the terms beauty and art, or some other descriptive term?

 

Back to topic, SoC is damn breathtaking! They need more of the essence of SoC in games now a days. It almost harkens back to when I was a kid playing games for the first time, when everything was still new and you didn't know what to expect based on titles or screenshots or even genres. Ico is fun to play because you've been hearing about it for 10 years and never got to purchase a copy, but SoC is fun to play period.

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Stupid fucking quotas! Hakuing you a +1.

 

edit: perhaps an asplanation is in order. I was agreeing with your statement about SoC. Re the art thing- since you brought up definitions that made my points invalid, I have to uh, I guess posit an opposing opinion which is to say: I'd regard art as an evolving form, engaging us in an age where still image or sculpture isn't enough. Would cyborgs like you and I be talking art were it not for the blurring of definition?

Edited by The JZA
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Well see that is my problem. Art is an ever-evolving medium as much as anything else. So video games do not fit my own definition of what I think art is and is not. I would love to hear some other people's definitions of art. Or why they feel video games are art regardless of my own definitions. These are all opinions of mine, not stringent facts I hold dear. It is just a lot of people (when you work at gamestop almost everyone) says that video games are art/can be art, but NO ONE has any clue how to explain how they are beyond regurgitating some article they read that they themselves don't even understand.

 

Like people comparing Bioshock to Ayn Rand philosophy. I have YET to have anyone explain what said philosophy is and how it relates to Bioshock in any way. But they have no problem proclaiming this to a layman who has no idea what Bioshock is, or Ayn Rand for that matter. It just sounds good. Same with "Games are art." It sounds good, but could someone please explain HOW they are art??

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See, I've got a really broad definition of art.

 

Pretty much, it's anything that someone does that creates something and has absolutely nothing to do with survival.

 

That might be music, that might be scratches on the walls of a cave.

 

For some people, it's making games. Now, are video games high art? Not yet, but nothing says they can't be. I can't see how something entirely composed or art can possibly not be art itself.

 

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Yeah, the "games aren't art" argument is just invalid for me as anytime somebody makes the case against I automatically picture them in a v-neck t-shirt holding a cigarette holder and wearing thick black-rimmed glasses.

 

Everything from books to quilts are art and judging something as "high" or "low" art is almost just as pretentious. Games are made up from nothing but art, which makes them art.

 

The Mona Lisa, Youngbloods #1, Pride and Prejudice, The A-Team, Requiem for a Dream, and Drake and the 99 Dragons. These are all examples of art and not a one is more or less a valid example of art than another. Sure, some were lazily done and some were dumb as shit but I highly doubt that whoever painted buffalo on a cave wall was going for a post-modern commentary on the predatory nature of man.

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Pretty much, it's anything that someone does that creates something and has absolutely nothing to do with survival.

 

 

That is a very interesting point. One that I had never considered, but I can completely understand and agree with that, to a point.

 

I guess that there is just so much stuff now that is created that has nothing to do with survival, that just about anything COULD be called art.

 

But games themselves aren't completely made of art. Now I am not saying that math or formulae can't be artful or beautiful, but for me see games have a point they are trying to make. If nothing else though, games are made to be entertaining. Plus it's not like people have been saying video games are art for decades now. I doubt anyone in the world would claim E.T. for atari is art. Or that Wii Sports is art. Or even Mario 1 or Zelda. None of these have been called art, and no one is going back and claiming these to be art, because they aren't.

 

But Baytor just to play devil's advocate for a sec, Do you think the person who did paint buffalo on a cave wall was doing it AS art? Or as entertainment, or merely a depiction of every day life? Do you think (if the person who did it knew what art was) that they themselves would call what they did art? Which kind of goes back to my first definition of art. We don't know why buffalo were painted. We don't know anything about it really. Same goes for a lot of art up until this very day. But I have never heard any artist of old saying they created art solely for entertainment. "Picasso! Picasso! Why did you create "Guernica?" "Well I just wanted to create this piece to entertain the masses and make as much money as I can."

 

So I don't know. Games still aren't art to me. Neither are movies or books, even comics. I will ammend my first statement to say that they may be art at some point, but nothing yet has been what I myself would call art.

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You have a weird definition of art. Dali was rich as a nazi, wasnt he? And famous. And an entertainer. That shits still art.

I think you may be too casually dismissing what used to pass as entertainment, both for the viewer and for the artist themself.

Lemme tell ya, when you have a passion for it, drawing is a lot of fun. Same with pretty much any artform, I suppose. Thats why someone drew a buffalo on a cave wall: they got a kick out of it.

There are also a lot of people making games that dont make a dime and dont plan to, are those

people automatically artists?

Shit, Ive made RPGs before, with no intentions but for the fun of doing it and showing my friends. That shit was art!

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I guess that there is just so much stuff now that is created that has nothing to do with survival, that just about anything COULD be called art.

 

This. If faeces can be arranged on a toy fire engine and be considered a serious statement about the union and still be considered art, why not Cooking Mama high-falootin' games?

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Like people comparing Bioshock to Ayn Rand philosophy. I have YET to have anyone explain what said philosophy is and how it relates to Bioshock in any way.

 

it's the reverse of communism - everything is about the individual, and any idea of sharing things (tax, public goods etc) is anathema because it stunts individual greatness. pretty much every poster you see in the game, or time you hear Andrew Ryan talk, it's playing with rand's objectivism, in a way that's more approachable than her awful, lengthy book.

 

also, i'm trying to find where "survival" became a factor in the equation? because to me, that's actually a notion that plagues the idea of art - tons of great pieces, from graffiti to sand sculptures, are about the transient notion of art, existing only in a moment. i forget the name of the sculptor, but there's one building where the artist insisted it not be restructured, because the inevitable rust was part of the piece, and the idea of art = immortality was nothing but vanity and people's fear of dying, both notions which struck him as not art.

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Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

'No!' says the man in Washington, 'it belongs to the poor.'

'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'it belongs to God.'

'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'it belongs to everyone.'

 

I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture. A city where the artist would not fear the censor; where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality; where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well.

 

2 minutes into the game and it's already setting the stage for a Rand-ian ideal.

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2 minutes into the game and it's already setting the stage for a Rand-ian ideal.

But if you don't have any clue what a Rand-ian ideal is you miss the entire point. Like me! But thanks you guys for actually explaining it to me, cause I bought Atlas Shrugged, read 4 pages and was like "fuck this!"

 

Back to games as art/what is art. Logan, Dali may have died rich, and I don't mean to say Art can't make you rich, but I don't hear of many people going into art to get rich or entertain the masses. And I may be dismissing it a little too casually, but I never viewed art as "entertaining" per se. It is there for more than enjoyment. Whenever I look at my Dali piece (yes I own a Dali fuck you) I am not "entertained." Bah, it feels like I am arguing stupid semantics in a way. Ok games COULD be art, but they aren't there yet. As for how games could be compirsed of art and not be art themselves...well I have been trying to think of an example of how something could be made of something and yet not be that, and the only analogy I can come up with is matter itself. 99% nothing, 1% something but we don't call everything nothing.

 

So my next questions to ya'll...Does intent when creating something/art matter? If someone makes something and calls it art, is it art? What games (if not all) qualify as art?

 

Lastly, Logan I have played some of those RPG's you made, and they, good sir, were NOT art! :worship: They WERE entertaining though! You need to dish out for an RPG Maker on the computer and start making games for XBLA and PSN and Steam...hell if shit like "Controller Vibrator 20XX" can get on there then I am sure you could.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Logan I could very well put up the same picture and switch Trine for say...Chicken Shoot on the Wii....does that still work?

As much as I want to not say it, shitty art is still art, but no one has said shitty video games are art. Everyone always argues that certain games are art. So it is all or nothing, and I am going to love you guys explaining how every video game ever made is art...go!

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wait, if you're accepting that good/universally acclaimed games are art, and not shovelware, id rather hear you say why.

because logan's point stands, even shitty/tired post-modern art is still art, any quantifiers you put on an entire medium and say "x is art, y is not" again strike me as disastrous, so yeah, if some are and some aren't, where's the line for you?

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