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Can video games be art?
Yes
92%
 92%  [ 23 ]
No
8%
 8%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 25

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Nightmare
Vintage Newbie


http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.h tml

Roger Ebert released an article a few months ago effectively calling video games below him and not worth his time. An accomplished game developer gave a speech that video games are beginning to cross over into the art phase, and Ebert decides to give his opinions on what he sees.

So, are video games art? Can they be?

I'm not sure I have an answer, but my biggest problem is he destroys the examples she gives based on next to nothing. That's like calling a movie horrible based on someone giving a description of it. As a film critic, you think he would know better.

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mr pine
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i dont know how anyone can play a game like bioshock, or mass effect, or even halo, and not call it art.

i could see if one wanted to make a case against pac man, or peggle.

but dead space? or dante's inferno? no way.

it is art for sure.

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olimario
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Ebert has his artistic outlet of choice and can't seem to think outside of it.
I wonder how he would have handled the harsh critics of film when it was in its infancy. Films weren't widely considered art for a very long time.

Video games are basically a collaboration of a bunch of artists pouring their soul into a work that aims to envelope an audience through ambiance (graphics, story, music) an interactivity (gameplay).

Take a game like Mario Galaxy
You have artists, modelers, composers, orchestras, programmers, writers, planners, etc... all coming together to make a cohesive final product that can only be called a labor of love.
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wilsmith
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If animation is art, then computer rendered animated stories are art when executed properly.

My proof:

ICO


The best games are interactive CGI films.

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olimario
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ICO is a great game, but we disagree on what the best games are.
The Playstation era brought us the "Interactive Film" with Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and Final Fantasy VII. The gameplay was pretty terrible and unfun in all 3.
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wilsmith
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When I say Interactive, I mean GOOD interaction a la' the original PC Prince of Persia, God of War, Gears of War, any game where the gameplay is VERY fluid and engrossing. That's the part that make the "gaming" aspect good, but when you couch that into a great story, it's incredible.

I even believe creating a great game mechanic, or "play style" is an art in and of itself. Tetris is art in that way, or could be if the mechanic is executed well enough in game design. It's a sort of Hand Eye dance on par with the best choreography.

And I will be honest and admit that I spend most of my Junior Year of College watching FF7 being played completely enraptured. But to be fair I had the same reactions to Tekken 2 and 3 because of the fame play mechanics involved.

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Last edited by wilsmith on Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SamuraiPunk
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Were talking about Roger Ebert's opinion? Does anyone really fallow him anymore?
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mad_sam_purple'ead
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art is born out of experience of living on this earth, and tries to represent that experience, or experiences, in a form that is creative and yet can be understood by others. It should therefore say something about the nature of humanity, or creation - the difficult part is making others understand what is being said.
In creating an artpiece, an artist makes a statement about how they view the world, and gives it up for discussion. Without such a statement, art is meaningless. It doesn't have to be controversial, or a new point. A landscape photographer, or someone doing a still life aims to portray what they see in the scenery as much as what is actually there.

I don't see video games doing that. They may explore certain themes of life, but they require the player's active thought processes to help define statements. That's not art.

I'm not denying that video games these days are beautiful pieces of creation. But they don't have a proverbial "it", a statement, or series of questions about life.

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wilsmith
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mad_sam_purple'ead wrote:
art is born out of experience of living on this earth, and tries to represent that experience, or experiences, in a form that is creative and yet can be understood by others. It should therefore say something about the nature of humanity, or creation - the difficult part is making others understand what is being said.
In creating an artpiece, an artist makes a statement about how they view the world, and gives it up for discussion. Without such a statement, art is meaningless. It doesn't have to be controversial, or a new point. A landscape photographer, or someone doing a still life aims to portray what they see in the scenery as much as what is actually there.

I don't see video games doing that. They may explore certain themes of life, but they require the player's active thought processes to help define statements. That's not art.

I'm not denying that video games these days are beautiful pieces of creation. But they don't have a proverbial "it", a statement, or series of questions about life.


Play Ico. That's all I'm saying.

Beyond that, some games are morality tales like any other story, that say a lot about life, and only prompt the player to explore the interactive dynamic while uncovering the story and message. Some go so far as to employ multiple narratives with variations and complete departures for their primary theme to express other views and attitudes on life and it's meaning and purpose, the human nature, and existential issues. Some do this better than others, but it's happening, and it's fascinating.

So, I love your point about art, I just feel you've not played the games I would elevate to art (in execution and craft of play and story, not just pretty graphics). Maybe you have and you're not as sold as I am. I'll just say that there's a reason that Hollywood is licensing so many games as films, action and suspense alike. They realize the games are basically CGI films, sometimes with more compelling stories than theatrical releases. Anything that can keep a person rapt for 40 or 50 hours has something going for it right?

I say this as someone who hasn't purchased a gaming console since the Sega Genesis, and only had possession of a PS1 to test the difficulty of games for his nieces and nephews before giving them to them when they were young. So, for the better part of 15 years I've enjoyed watching people play games, and seeing their narratives unfold like people who got to Gallery openings.

It's an acquired taste, but no less art than a band who uses Call-and-Response in their songs, or revels as the fans sing every word and the vocalist just points his mic outward like this

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olimario
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mad_sam_purple'ead wrote:
art is born out of experience of living on this earth, and tries to represent that experience, or experiences, in a form that is creative and yet can be understood by others. It should therefore say something about the nature of humanity, or creation - the difficult part is making others understand what is being said.
In creating an artpiece, an artist makes a statement about how they view the world, and gives it up for discussion. Without such a statement, art is meaningless. It doesn't have to be controversial, or a new point. A landscape photographer, or someone doing a still life aims to portray what they see in the scenery as much as what is actually there.

I don't see video games doing that. They may explore certain themes of life, but they require the player's active thought processes to help define statements. That's not art.

I'm not denying that video games these days are beautiful pieces of creation. But they don't have a proverbial "it", a statement, or series of questions about life.


That's such a narrow definition, though.
I like the one from the dictionary.

Quote:
Art
the products of human creativity


Video games are collaborative works of many different people's creativity.
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SamuraiPunk
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Some video games are a combination of art, literature, and animation. Voice acting is also an art form. See art is many things to many people. That's part of what i love about it. I'm not watering down the meaning when i say Metallica's Master Of Puppets is a masterpiece. Salvador Dali's Presents of Memory is also a masterpiece. Art and music. Art and the musical arts. Star Wars is also considered a masterpiece. You take these three forms of art and you have people of these fields collaborate with Programing director,Art director,Sound director,voice director and you then get people to debut all the code and the next thing you have is a game. Not only that in some games the player is the artiest.
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CUBSWINWORLDSERIES
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SamuraiPunk wrote:
Were talking about Roger Ebert's opinion? Does anyone really fallow him anymore?


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wilsmith
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After Oprah, and his review of Kick-Ass, he matters again, it's true.
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CUBSWINWORLDSERIES
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wilsmith wrote:
After Oprah, and his review of Kick-Ass, he matters again, it's true.


He really should stick to reviewing movies. He is good at reviewing movies. He has a following as a movie reviewer. However, his political writings of the last couple years have made me respect him far less. He rails against the lunatic fringe when he is in fact clearly a member of the other fringe.
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DRMS_7888
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mr pine wrote:
i dont know how anyone can play a game like bioshock, or mass effect, or even halo, and not call it art.

i could see if one wanted to make a case against pac man, or peggle.

but dead space? or dante's inferno? no way.

it is art for sure.


That sentence is pretty silly. ICO is the correct answer to this question. The next best answer I have would be Metroid Prime or Half Life 2.

olimario wrote:
ICO is a great game, but we disagree on what the best games are.
The Playstation era brought us the "Interactive Film" with Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and Final Fantasy VII. The gameplay was pretty terrible and unfun in all 3.


Oiy! I've never played Resident Evil, but Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy 7 both have fantastic gameplay. What was terrible about it?

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