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

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johnip
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do not be afraid. wrote:

again: art is a tangible, physical, thing, used to express oneself


Can a digital photograph be art?

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do not be afraid.
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johnip wrote:
Can a digital photograph be art?

yes, because while you may not be able to touch, taste, smell, or hear it, you can see it, and so it's still “tangible” on at least that level.

Merriam-Webster wrote:
tangible: capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch.


you can't really "perceive" a “game” as a concept, only the realization of that concept through playing it, and playing a game is fundamentally not about artistic self-expression.

Merriam-Webster wrote:
perceive: to become aware of through the senses.

Merriam-Webster wrote:
game: a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other.


oh, and i'm just having fun with the definitions…
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jdstories
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I think Roger Ebert lives in Temple Terrace, FL. Wink, and he LOVES EISLEY!!!
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jdstories
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do not be afraid. wrote:
I'm not entirely sure you people understand what Roger Ebert was saying, honestly...

Saying a video game is art is about as patently ridiculous as saying that, say, a game of chess is art! Chess is a game, and it's objective isn't artistic expression or experience of any kind, but, rather, the personal challenge of winning. Now — and this is sort of the whole point I'm trying to make here — a beautifully crafted chess set or chess board can very much be works of art, but a game of chess played with those works of art isn't any more a work of art because of it! In the same way, a video game's graphics, or music, or storyline, can all be great works of art, but the primary objective of the video game isn't to experience those works of art — it's, well, the challenge of winning — and, if it was, it wouldn't be a game (but it would be art!)


I have often found, during my education, that what contributed most to my appreciation of art was the challenge of understanding a piece of artwork. Putting the pieces together and coming to the realization of what the artist was trying to tell me with their work. Afterward, I felt like I had won, and then that work of art became a part of me as I took my increased understanding and ability with me out into everyday life. So, for me, it was almost a game, and yet still art.

do not be afraid. wrote:
johnip wrote:
Can a digital photograph be art?

yes, because while you may not be able to touch, taste, smell, or hear it, you can see it, and so it's still “tangible” on at least that level.

Merriam-Webster wrote:
tangible: capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch.


I am not quite sure why you'd bring up that flawed idea again. Didn't you previously edit a post to retract the thought that tangibility has anything to do with art? After all, that would exclude many forms of dance and virtually all forms of oral tradition. It would be like saying The Iliad was just words spewing from an old story teller's lips until it was finally written down centuries after.


do not be afraid. wrote:
you can't really "perceive" a “game” as a concept, only the realization of that concept through playing it, and playing a game is fundamentally not about artistic self-expression.


Maybe you can't realize a game as a concept, but I can. Even while playing a game I am often conscious of the message it is trying to convey and appreciate the intellect, programming skill and managing acumen it took to create what I am at that moment experiencing. Sounds like art to me. Then again, maybe I'm not understanding what you meant by that statement.

JD

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do not be afraid.
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jdstories wrote:
I am not quite sure why you'd bring up that flawed idea again. Didn't you previously edit a post to retract the thought that tangibility has anything to do with art? After all, that would exclude many forms of dance and virtually all forms of oral tradition. It would be like saying The Iliad was just words spewing from an old story teller's lips until it was finally written down centuries after.

by “tangible” what i mean is simple: that you can experience it with your senses. you can see it, hear it, taste it, touch it, smell it. you can see a dance, you can hear a story, and doing so is essential to experience them, so they're as “tangible” as anything. there might be a better word to use, but that's just the best one i came up with last night...

jdstories wrote:
Maybe you can't realize a game as a concept, but I can. Even while playing a game I am often conscious of the message it is trying to convey and appreciate the intellect, programming skill and managing acumen it took to create what I am at that moment experiencing. Sounds like art to me. Then again, maybe I'm not understanding what you meant by that statement.

you can't see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, a set of objectives, obstacles, rules, strategies, and all of other components which make up a game. sure, you can read them on a piece of paper, or hear them aloud, but that's not experiencing them as part of a game, that's simply learning about the game. similarly, you might be able to “perceive” them on other levels — intellectually, emotionally — through inference from what you do see, hear, taste, touch or smell while playing the game, due to how they shape those elements within the game, but you can't “perceive” them directly, through your senses, in a tangible way.

okay, okay, okay, let me put it this way:

if you took any of these video-games that you consider art, and strip away all of the art contained within the game — the graphics, the sound, the story — and simply left nothing but the game itself, would you still consider them works of art? i'm going to guess “no.” would you still enjoy them just as much as a game? which is to say, as simply being presented with a problem to solve, and, then, well, solving it? similarly, i'm going to guess “yes.”

why?

because, there's two distinct concepts which make up a video-game — the video and the game — and while the “video” elements may be artistic, they're simply the means for interacting with “the game”, and any artistic expression contained within them has as little relevance to the game itself as the artistic expression contained within a chess set, or a poker deck, or a football. just because you're playing the game with artfully crafted implements, doesn't make the game any more a work of art. again. and again. and again.



i'm probably done with this topic for now — unless i think of something new to say…
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Nightmare
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What about the Kobiyashe Maru?
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lessthaninfinite
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This is the most useless thing I've ever read.
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Nightmare
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lessthaninfinite wrote:
This is the most useless thing I've ever read.

Cool story.

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rmlawrence
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do not be afraid. wrote:
because, there's two distinct concepts which make up a video-game — the video and the game — and while the “video” elements may be artistic, they're simply the means for interacting with “the game”, and any artistic expression contained within them has as little relevance to the game itself as the artistic expression contained within a chess set, or a poker deck, or a football. just because you're playing the game with artfully crafted implements, doesn't make the game any more a work of art. again. and again. and again.


I definitely see where you're coming from. You've actually provided a good explanation. I still disagree with you, however.

I think the problem is here there is no standardized definition of what a video game is for the purpose of this thread.

You seem dead set on not counting the game as a whole (all of the individual artistic and non-artistic elements) as art. The gameplay itself (rules, objectives, etc) may not be art, but not every video game is just game play.

You're comparing video games to things like chess and poker. Sure, chess and poker are not art. BUT... if you made a poker video game the had beautiful music and visuals and had a great story to go along with the gameplay (that was influenced by what you did in the game), that specific video game may be a work of art.

If you applied that same criticism to movies, would they not be considered art? If you don't think so, I might be OK with that. At least you'd be consistent. (Hopefully you didn't offer you opinion on that already. I can't remember.)

You could argue that a movie is just a story and all the costumes, script, sound, music, backgrounds, etc. are just a means for telling the story. The story itself may not be a work of art. Sure, the screenplay may be, or if it were prose, that may be art. But if the foundation for a movie were:

"A very rich, very powerful guy says a word as he dies. A reporter is sent to find the meaning of this last word. He talks to many people who give some insight into this man, but ultimately he never finds the the meaning. Turns out this word was a sled from the deceased man's childhood."

Would that be art? I don't really think so. You have to start building on that to bring it to the level of art.

It's similar for a video game. You have some original objective in mind and you may even have a story to go along with it. And then you start building on that.

To quote you again:

Quote:
while the “video” elements may be artistic, they're simply the means for interacting with “the game”, and any artistic expression contained within them has as little relevance to the game itself...


So you may argue, however, that the artistic elements of a movie ARE relevant which makes the movie as a whole art. But I would argue that the artistic expression within a game can also be relevant. They create a world in which the game is played and that adds to the whole experience in the same way that costumes, sets, a score, and a script add to the experience of a movie.

Watch the movie "The Invention of Lying" and see the way "movies" are portrayed in that movie. Basically, the premise of the movie is that it takes place in a world where lying doesn't exist. Because all fiction would be lying, all movies are just a guy reading about historical events. If that's what movies were like for us, would that be art?

I've spent too much time thinking about this.

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rmlawrence
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lessthaninfinite wrote:
This is the most useless thing I've ever read.


Isn't that what 90% of this forum is anyway? Unless you don't consider interacting with people and/or using knowledge and reasoning to defend your position useless. I don't.


Listening to Eisley's music is useless. It doesn't provide anything for me biologically. It doesn't earn me any money to support my family. To doesn't improve my social interactions (I'm already a member based on listening to Eisley in the past). It's absolutely useless. Except I enjoy it.

And I've enjoyed reading the debate.

I would argue that the threads (or posts) that you've read but didn't enjoy and didn't respond to were even more useless because you gained nothing from them (unless it helped you understand what you don't enjoy). This thread, however, gave you a reason to post. And now I've responded and you might actually read my response. Therefore, it has been of some use to you. It allowed you to express your opinion. And if you were hoping for somebody to reply to you, then it helped you get one more thing.

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lessthaninfinite
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rmlawrence wrote:
lessthaninfinite wrote:
This is the most useless thing I've ever read.


Isn't that what 90% of this forum is anyway? Unless you don't consider interacting with people and/or using knowledge and reasoning to defend your position useless. I don't.


Listening to Eisley's music is useless. It doesn't provide anything for me biologically. It doesn't earn me any money to support my family. To doesn't improve my social interactions (I'm already a member based on listening to Eisley in the past). It's absolutely useless. Except I enjoy it.

And I've enjoyed reading the debate.

I would argue that the threads (or posts) that you've read but didn't enjoy and didn't respond to were even more useless because you gained nothing from them (unless it helped you understand what you don't enjoy). This thread, however, gave you a reason to post. And now I've responded and you might actually read my response. Therefore, it has been of some use to you. It allowed you to express your opinion. And if you were hoping for somebody to reply to you, then it helped you get one more thing.

I guess my original post was a bit hyperbolic... what I meant is that it's 5 pages on the semantics of the word "game," and it seems like it could go for 500 pages without anyone convincing anyone of anything.

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Saellys
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lessthaninfinite wrote:
rmlawrence wrote:
lessthaninfinite wrote:
This is the most useless thing I've ever read.


Isn't that what 90% of this forum is anyway? Unless you don't consider interacting with people and/or using knowledge and reasoning to defend your position useless. I don't.


Listening to Eisley's music is useless. It doesn't provide anything for me biologically. It doesn't earn me any money to support my family. To doesn't improve my social interactions (I'm already a member based on listening to Eisley in the past). It's absolutely useless. Except I enjoy it.

And I've enjoyed reading the debate.

I would argue that the threads (or posts) that you've read but didn't enjoy and didn't respond to were even more useless because you gained nothing from them (unless it helped you understand what you don't enjoy). This thread, however, gave you a reason to post. And now I've responded and you might actually read my response. Therefore, it has been of some use to you. It allowed you to express your opinion. And if you were hoping for somebody to reply to you, then it helped you get one more thing.

I guess my original post was a bit hyperbolic... what I meant is that it's 5 pages on the semantics of the word "game," and it seems like it could go for 500 pages without anyone convincing anyone of anything.


Yes, welcome to debates on the Internet!

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rmlawrence
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lessthaninfinite wrote:
I guess my original post was a bit hyperbolic... what I meant is that it's 5 pages on the semantics of the word "game," and it seems like it could go for 500 pages without anyone convincing anyone of anything.


I figured hyperbolic. I think I was on a roll arguing. Sorry about that.

And you're probably right about no one convincing anybody else. I feel like a lot of people pick a side for whatever original reason (and maybe it's a good reason) and stick to their guns no matter the evidence because changing their minds means they've "lost." As if it's a competition. Even giving up some ground equals defeat.

But I find it interesting how people respond to other people's facts, logic, and reasoning. The process is interesting even if there is a stalemate in the end.

Of course, this same reason is why I hate political discussions. When people argue and can't come to any agreement because each side sticks with whatever "good" evidence they have to support their positions, it's very disillusioning because the debates involve very real, important topics. If we can never agree on what constitute art, oh well; life goes on. Not finding the answer (if there even is an answer) isn't going to hurt anybody. But if we can't agree on the best way to handle health care, for example, we run the risk of keeping things the same or making them worse, and that's really significant.

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wilsmith
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the only thing that can save this thread is Dr. Manhattan.
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rmlawrence
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wilsmith wrote:
the only thing that can save this thread is Dr. Manhattan.


Darn you for making me have to go to Google so know what the heck you're talking about.

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