#1 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -

From Wikipedia: Art. 
 
Under forms, genres, media and styles: 
 
An art form is the specific shape, or quality an artistic expression takes. The media used often influences the form. For example, the form of a sculpture must exist in space in three-dimensions, and respond to gravity. The constraints and limitations of a particular medium are thus called its formal qualities. To give another example, the formal qualities of painting are the canvas texture, color, and brush texture. The formal qualities of video games are non-linearity, interactivity and virtual presence. Theform of a particular work of art is determined by both the formal qualities of the media, and the intentions of the artist. 
 
Further down the page, under Motivated functions of art: 
 
Art as entertainment. Art may seek to bring about a particular emotion or mood, for the purpose of relaxing or entertaining the viewer. This is often the function of the art industries of Motion Pictures and Video Games. 
 
Well, I guess that's the end of that then. 
 
It's clearly indisputable. 
 
... 
 
*checks watch* 
 
But seriously, how was this ever a debate to begin with?

#2 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

Oh no, not this again. And Wikipedia as your source? This isn't going to end well.

#3 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@SpikeSpiegel said:
" Oh no, not this again. And Wikipedia as your source? This isn't going to end well. "
Yeah, I figured as much. I'm wearing a hard-hat and drinking stern vodka for extra protection.
#4 Posted by FourWude (2245 posts) -

Wikipedia actually started life as a database for pedo's. It was known then by Usenet users as Wikipedo. It morphed during the great clampdown of paedo's especially in the UK during the late-nineties, to be an all encompassing encyclopedic database. Initially the users of the new WikiPAEDIA were pedo's themselves.

Not a lot of people know that.

#5 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -
@Tebbit said:
" @SpikeSpiegel said:
" Oh no, not this again. And Wikipedia as your source? This isn't going to end well. "
Yeah, I figured as much. I'm wearing a hard-hat and drinking stern vodka for extra protection. "
Mine sharing the vodka? I'm having a terrible day. :P
#6 Posted by memo (421 posts) -

Yes but no one will ever accept them as an art form just violence on screen

#7 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@FourWude said:
"

Wikipedia actually started life as a database for pedo's. It was known then by Usenet users as Wikipedo. It morphed during the great clampdown of paedo's especially in the UK during the late-nineties, to be an all encompassing encyclopedic database. Initially the users of the new WikiPAEDIA were pedo's themselves.

Not a lot of people know that.

"
Wait a minute... YOU'RE NOT A REAL DOCTOR! Get out of here! 
 
@SpikeSpiegel said:
" @Tebbit said:
" @SpikeSpiegel said:
" Oh no, not this again. And Wikipedia as your source? This isn't going to end well. "
Yeah, I figured as much. I'm wearing a hard-hat and drinking stern vodka for extra protection. "
Mine sharing the vodka? I'm having a terrible day. :P "
Can do! You should expect a suspicious package in the mail within 4-6 weeks.
#8 Posted by MattyFTM (14442 posts) -
Moderator
#9 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@MattyFTM: I actually stumbled upon that article a few days ago, for whatever spiritual definition-bender I am currently on. It definitely provided  some different ways of looking at the argument. I'm not too sure about that one guy, who was going on about Othello, and questioning how it being interactive would make it "better". I mean, it's not about being better, right? It's about that interactivity being a legitimate element of art. 
 
@memo said:
" Yes but no one will ever accept them as an art form just violence on screen "
Perhaps that was the case 10 years ago, but I here's hoping the times, they are a-changing, right?
#10 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

"Definitive answer"? Have you read the rest of the article? Particularly the "Classification disputes" section? Or the entire article about that topic? If you're going to use Wikipedia, use it properly.

#11 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

I take Hideo Kojima's view....meaning I don't think video games are art.

#12 Edited by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@LordAndrew said:

" "Definitive answer"? Have you read the rest of the article? Particularly the "Classification disputes" section? Or the entire article about that topic? If you're going to use Wikipedia, use it properly. "

Of course I read those. The fact that there are "disputes" doesn't take away from the fact that video games are classified as art within the article. Its like, there can be disputes as to whether it is Mayonnaise or Dijonnaise in a sandwich, but that doesn't change its status as Delicious. 
 
EDIT: "they" being video games. 
EDIT 2: Why didn't I just change it to video games... also I'm keeping these edits for posterity.
#13 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

I see it as art, regardless of what others may think. 

#14 Posted by BeachThunder (12608 posts) -

Video games *can* be considered art. 
 
It seems really weird to take the extreme stance that they invariably aren't/can't/will never be art =/

#15 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@Unknown_Pleasures: Kojima is crazy, man! Although I do harbour a dangerous amount of respect for him... 
 
@BeachThunder said:
" Video games *can* be considered art.   It seems really weird to take the extreme stance that they invariably aren't/can't/will never be art =/ "
I'm equally extreme on the other side of the fence. I think it's crazy that anybody could say with any authority that video games are not art. Who can you trust!?
#16 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3158 posts) -

There is a trap when you start pigeonholing anything into one slot, when someone plucks it out of the hole you have to figure out where to put it back.

First of all 'art' is just art. It is merely one type of human accomplishment. So maybe the argument should start from basic premise that video games are games, and yet much more too.
 
Physiologists have been saying that 'play' is a fundamental part of any healthy sane mind. Most recent studies show that our minds need to play, to role play in many instances even for a few milisceconds to make nay rationa desisions. Therefore, a mind that does not play games, not matter what those games might be, degrades and is not a healthy functional mind. If games are in fact so crucial to cognitive human development, then the argument if games are art or not art misses the point that possibly they are more important then art.  In nothig else what games are is least of which art and mostly games which are far more important.

I think people confuse art with the pinnacle of human achievement. But, maybe that is wrong and maybe given they way video games cross over the fields of art, games, tools, communications, and problem solving they are the pinnacle of human achievemen  I'm sure if we sat down and thought about what games "do" we would soon find they go past showing images, they go past telling stories, they go past providing problems for our minds to solve, they go past teaching, and they go past being a form of communications of ideas. I would almost say games are one of the most sophisticated tools animals with a neocortex have ever created.


Marine mammals, felines, canines, hooved ungulates, Elephas & Loxodontas, and most other higher animals play. There might even be ties to the possibility of sentience with play. That means if nothing else PLAY might be the only constant attribute to intelligence. We might have nothing in common with any other mind in the universe except play. If that is true then video games might be the only form of communication between to alien minds. It certainly has proven true with the other sentient minds on earth. One of the few things we do with other animals aside from kill or enslave them is play with them.

So, that's my argument: games are not art because they are more important then art.  And, while some art can be other things as well very few things are so many things as games.  My final word: Games are the human intellect's greatest achievement.  ;-)   

#17 Posted by peligroy2k (247 posts) -

Is art "art", now thats the question!!.lol...Hell yea they are art!!.. If fucking movies are, why not videogames!!
#18 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -
@Tebbit said:
" Of course I read those. The fact that there are "disputes" doesn't take away from the fact that video games are classified as art within the article. Its like, there can be disputes as to whether it is Mayonnaise or Dijonnaise in a sandwich, but that doesn't change its status as Delicious. "
But you wouldn't state on Wikipedia that it is indisputably delicious, especially if there are a number of reliable people stating it's not. Unless that part of the article gets proper citations, I don't think it belongs in the article at all. Not when it's verifiability a contentious issue.
 
It may currently classify games as art in that part of the article, but I can also make the article classify sandwiches as art if I wanted.
#19 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@MonkeyKing1969: That was potentially the greatest thing ever written in support of video games. Ever! However, if they are more than art, could they not also be art? Like that toilet some artist contentiously called Art. Sure, say that's art, but it's also a toilet, something beyond art. You can go poos and wees in it! 
 
@peligroy2k said:
" Is art "art", now thats the question!!.lol...Hell yea they are art!!.. If fucking movies are, why not videogames!! "
Oh god! I think the answer to "is art art" would collapse my fragile mind. And yes, if not video games, why movies!? It makes no sense! 
 
@LordAndrew: To be honest, I was quite surprised it was there too. I assumed (and we all know what that does to you and me) that those contentions were by vocal minorities, rather than the majority. Also, if you look at the other examples of classification disputes in that article: Cubism, Impressionism, and movies for example are certifiable as "art" in the 21st century. They were contentious at some stage, but are now accepted as art forms. I inferred that video games had also been accepted as such.
#20 Edited by MikkaQ (10346 posts) -

Because wikipedia is totally a definitive source on an objective, and constantly contested issue.  
 
 
Anyway, I have no opinion either way. I can see perfectly good arguments for both sides. There are some artistic games, and there are some commercial blockbusters... hey kinda like movies. So there's no definitive answer, really. Some is art, others are entertainment. Depends on the game. Is Halo art? No, not really, but you could argue something like Limbo would be.

#21 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3158 posts) -
@Tebbit said:

" @MonkeyKing1969: That was potentially the greatest thing ever written in support of video games. Ever! However, if they are more than art, could they not also be art? Like that toilet some artist contentiously called Art. Sure, say that's art, but it's also a toilet, something beyond art. You can go poos and wees in it! 
 

Ha!  The reminds me of something Steve Martin wrote:   

  The Bohemians
 Were they rebels? Were they artists? Were they outcasts from society? They were all of these. They were The Bohemians. 

These Bohemians, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Williams, and their seven children, Biff, Tina, Sparky, Louise, Tuffy, Mickey, and Biff Number Two, lived in a notorious artist's colony and planned community. 

Naturally, the bohemian's existence thrived on creativity. Early in the morning, Mrs. Williams would rise and create breakfast. Then, Mr. Williams, inspired by his wife's limitless energy, would rush off to a special room and create tiny hairs in a sink. The children would create things, too. But being temperamental artists, they would often flush them away without a second thought .   

   
#22 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5484 posts) -

If a painting counts as art and doesn't make us feel with as much emotion as a video game then why can't a game do that?

#23 Edited by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -
@Tebbit said:

" To be honest, I was quite surprised it was there too. I assumed (and we all know what that does to you and me) that those contentions were by vocal minorities, rather than the majority. Also, if you look at the other examples of classification disputes in that article: Cubism, Impressionism, and movies for example are certifiable as "art" in the 21st century. They were contentious at some stage, but are now accepted as art forms. I inferred that video games had also been accepted as such. "

Those have been around a lot longer than video games, and have been accepted as art over time. The video games as art debate is much more recent, and still ongoing. It's not over. There is no definitive answer yet.
 
I did some research and discovered that the section containing your second quote was added by a single user in June 2008. Reading through some of the stuff on his site, it seems he his own opinion on the games as art debate. So it does not appear to be a definitive answer, but a rather the work a single well-meaning single contributor who unfortunately may have let his own opinions slip through to the article.
 
Edited to reflect the fact that I only researched one of the quotes in your original post
#24 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@LordAndrew: Quite right, though if you want to read very slightly into it, that article has been edited upwards of 300 times since he made that change. Surely one of those editors would have recognised it if it were truly contentious? That totally doesn't refute your point, but I think it indicates either a lack of interest in debate over the issue, or an acceptance of it. Obviously I'm rooting for acceptance but of course, whatever anyone says on Wikipedia is ultimately pretty nebulous.
#25 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -

The definitions seem too broad, following the logic of how sculpture passes the first test any physical object has those properties, so therefore any physical object that causes us to feel something is art.almost everything provokes some form of response internally therefore everything physical is art.at the point where we can say that then what have you done to make videogames distinct from say, a pile of horse shit on a walking trail?

#26 Posted by Tebbit (4489 posts) -
@beej: I think they say something in there about it being intentional, rather than just, ya know, horse shit on a walking trail. If someone had arranged that horse shit, I think then its classified as art. A window then, is not art, but a stained glass window is. Also I don't know why anyone would arrange horse shit on a trail. It seems like a poor idea to me.
#27 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -
@Tebbit:  Well Horseshit was an exapmple, but how about pants? Pants help not only keep me warm but they also exist to help me avoid awkwardness that society has created regarding not wearing pants. So within those terms aren't pants art? I'm not saying videogames can't be art, but what I am saying is that if your definition of art is so loose it doesn't mean anything.
#28 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -

Here's your answer. 
 
Video games are not art. 
And its good they're not.

#29 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3625 posts) -

I don't like the word Art, in fact I fucking hate it. >:(

#30 Posted by OllyOxenFree (5003 posts) -

Oh boy! This thread again!
 
Anyways, everything is art.  Somebody might see the shit I took an hour ago as art.  In other words, anything and everything can be art.  If somebody says that video games are not art then that is just their opinion.

#31 Posted by BeachThunder (12608 posts) -
@Tebbit said:
"Also, I don't know why anyone would arrange horse shit on a trail. It seems like a poor idea to me. "
Well, here's the video game equivalent :o
#32 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4899 posts) -

Surely anything that expresses something is art? That's the definition of art.
 
Some videogames are very expressive, some are vacuous as shit. Same can be said for music, film, literature, or paintings.
 
I'd say the work of Hideo Kojima is a lot more artistic than, say, the work of Banksy, Girls Aloud, Michael Bay, or Stephenie CUNTINGFUCKWAD Meier.

Online
#33 Posted by OppressiveStink (357 posts) -

Are video games art?  Does a bear shit in the woods?  Is the sky blue?
 
Listen, art is completely in the eye of the beholder. 
 
Let's take the average mother for instance.  She may be cultured and understand how good an artist like Van Gogh was, but she may sell a thousand Van Goghs for the art collection on her refrigerator door.  Your mileage may differ on particular mediums, but as long as it has added meaning to someone it's art.
 
Now, let's break down the arguments.  
 

Argument: Video games are created for profit and thus, not art.


Many would consider Michelangelo's art perhaps some of the greatest art ever created.  What you have to take into consideration though is that all his art is commissioned art for the Catholic Church.   Essentially, every piece of art he made was an advertisement for the church (which was in power at the time.)  As the church(and perhaps rich nobles) was the only place that could afford to give money to artists, nearly every commission was a religious propaganda piece.  Does that invalidated his efforts as art?   Almost every movie made was made to sell movie tickets for profit, yet movies can still be art.
 

Argument: Video games can't be art because you can't "Play" art.

 
When you "play" a video game, it is the way you consume the media.  You "watch" movies, "look" at paintings and "read" books.  All art requires some sort of effort to derive meaning from the material.  If you don't understand the fundamentals of why things are in a particular medium, you may not get the full impact of the piece.  Focusing on books, if you don't have a decent imagination, fiction could get real boring.  Almost every artistic media requires your input to be digested properly.
 

Argument: I can play a game in the way that the original creator did not intend.  You cannot "change" art and make it the same piece.

 
 This kind of ties in with the last argument.  Playing video games is the way to consume the media.  This may include people doing whatever they want inside the media.  To be the Devil's Advocate for a moment, let's pretend that art can only be consumed the way the original artist intended.  That would mean a the moment a blind person listened to a movie or a book, would render those works from being considered art.  Furthermore, if a piece of art is translated, such as a movie, or a book, it always loses a bit in translation.  Does this remove it's artistic value?  How about someone with developmental disabilities that does not completely understand what a painting is trying to capture, does that refute it's artistic status?  What if you watch a movie on an iPhone, it sure wasn't intended to be experienced sitting on a school bus, or how about someone who's offended by curse words and buys a censored version of a CD at Walmart, does that remove all meaning?  In this day and age, we can choose how we consume our artistic media, but that doesn't mean we cannot see the artistry in it.
 
Games are art, if you like it or not.  If you don't like it, continue considering them not to be art.  I'm sure the artists who work so hard on these projects won't lose any sleep.
#34 Posted by Perspicacity1 (61 posts) -
@OllyOxenFree said:
" Oh boy! This thread again!  Anyways, everything is art.  Somebody might see the shit I took an hour ago as art.  In other words, anything and everything can be art.  If somebody says that video games are not art then that is just their opinion. "
This person is right, please read what they wrote and stop trying to create arguments. Art vs non-art  is just the old way of saying the work of the elite is better than the work of the rabble. Society accepts each new medium eventually, do we need to bicker in the meantime (it just slows down the process)?
#35 Posted by Canberra (1065 posts) -

I doubt it is and you shouldn't care anyway.