• 108 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
#1 Edited by Aegon (5759 posts) -

I've heard this said over here on giant bomb by Jeff and others and at other places, but I'm not sure if I understand this fully. Movies, drawings, music and literature are considered art, right? For me, video games are the number 2 best form of art. Right behind literature. The thing is, though, not ALL video games are art. In fact, there's been a movement since their conception from just "gamey ass games" to games with plots and atmospheres surrounded by music and cinematics, or the new breed of cinematics and gameplay mixed together.  That's what's great about video games, they're really versatile. They could literally just be about getting the highest score, or just be you walking around looking at stuff until you reach the end.  Those are the extremes, but most games are somewhere in the middle. You can either care about the art aspect of games, or ignore it. It's your choice, but for a game like uncharted, playing through the single player campaign just for the "gamey parts"...I don't think that would do it for me. 

#2 Posted by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

I've always held that artistry and craft are very much involved in the game creating process, but it's still too marred in commercialism to emerge as a proper art form. We're getting close, but give it a few years. People need to be making games for the sake of art, and not sales, and have this be a common occurring before I think of it as a true art form. I feel like we're on the cusp of a new-wave of sorts of indie games, but they're still commercial properties. And art games just aren't prominent enough yet. I think it's an emerging art form, but I hesitate to call it actual art at this point.

#3 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1805 posts) -

Games are full of art, to be sure, but precious few games have explored the inherent potential of video games in any meaningful way. Once "player agency" means more than dialogue trees or what weapon to use, then games will have finally come into their own as a form of artistic expression.

#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@XII_Sniper said:

I've always held that artistry and craft are very much involved in the game creating process, but it's still too marred in commercialism to emerge as a proper art form.

You should really study the history of art.
#5 Posted by Aegon (5759 posts) -
@SoldierG654342 said:

Games are full of art, to be sure, but precious few games have explored the inherent potential of video games in any meaningful way. Once "player agency" means more than dialogue trees or what weapon to use, then games will have finally come into their own as a form of artistic expression.

Oh, well that's a totally different idea. I'm talking about enjoying the art other people have created, while you're talking about (I think), the user having more creative options within the games? 
#6 Posted by MaddProdigy (1041 posts) -

I'm not even sure I consider anything outside of actual art to be art. Perhaps movies, literature, and music are art forms in that they require talent or something, but generally they don't require skill in art.

I don't think games are art either. That's not a bad thing, that doesn't make them unintellectual.

#7 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

This has been discussed to death already.

#8 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1805 posts) -

@H2Oyea said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

Games are full of art, to be sure, but precious few games have explored the inherent potential of video games in any meaningful way. Once "player agency" means more than dialogue trees or what weapon to use, then games will have finally come into their own as a form of artistic expression.

Oh, well that's a totally different idea. I'm talking about enjoying the art other people have created, while you're talking about (I think), the user having more creative options within the games?

That's the thing though. Games aren't passive. If you are simply enjoying the art others have created, then that is not an example of video games as art. It's not an invalid experience, but it's not video games as art.

#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

@H2Oyea:

Not that I don't believe you but how could you not know what this is about?

#10 Edited by Aegon (5759 posts) -
@Unknown_Pleasures said:

This has been discussed to death already.

Thanks for the input. 
 
@JasonR86 said:

@H2Oyea:

Not that I don't believe you but how could you not know what this is about?

Never heard any lengthy conversations actually discussing this. Just people mentioning it then making angry noises (Jeff + Vinny)
#11 Edited by Trylks (829 posts) -

The problem in the "games are (not) art" debate is that it's biased from the start, art is considered valuable and good, just for the sake of having the "art" label.

Sorry, but no. I couldn't care less about what you consider art or not.

Hipsters...

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

@H2Oyea:

Dude, you have over 1K posts. It seems like this is brought up every month at least once. Plus, man, it's every where on everything that relates to games. I don't know, I guess that whenever I see this post made, again, I just roll my eyes because I know it goes no where fast.

#13 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

The problem with games as art is that they are a non-linear experience, so whatever experience the developer wants to craft is slightly muddled by the player. It's like the whole Uncharted dying thing. While the developer wanted to create a tight action setpiece, some players will reach that setpiece and just get hit by frustration.

Games can be art, and the nonlinearity of a game can indeed be part of its artliness. So can frustration: bashing your head against a wall until you figure out what can kill a Colossi in SotC is an immensely rewarding and cathartic experience. Video games have the potential to tell more about the audience than most other mediums, as the audience participates in the story, usually bringing in their own morality and intelligence. However, this adds a lot of hurdles, that can get in the way of games becoming art.

#14 Edited by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

You could say, because the one thing that distinguishes video games from movies is their gameplay, that video games are art, but they're all the exact same piece of art (since gameplay does not wildly change from one game to the next), or you could say they're all art, but bad art.

Now pick one. Or say they aren't art.

#15 Posted by Aegon (5759 posts) -
@gladspooky said:

You could say, because the one thing that distinguishes video games from movies is their gameplay, that video games are art, but they're all the exact same piece of art (since gameplay does not wildly change from one game to the next), or you could say they're all art, but bad art.

Now pick one. Or say they aren't art.

That doesn't make sense.  
 
@Red said:

The problem with games as art is that they are a non-linear experience

Dancing is considered an art right? That's pretty non-linear. Break dancing competitions and whatnot where you can choose your own moves to do. 
#16 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

I'm art.

What.

#17 Posted by Aegon (5759 posts) -
@Cloudenvy said:

I'm art.

What.

You are to religious people. 
#18 Posted by oatz (1103 posts) -

They aren't.

#19 Posted by Dtat (1627 posts) -

@SoldierG654342 said:

Games are full of art, to be sure, but precious few games have explored the inherent potential of video games in any meaningful way. Once "player agency" means more than dialogue trees or what weapon to use, then games will have finally come into their own as a form of artistic expression.

I don't think player choice is necessary for artistic value in games. Movies and paintings don't let you make choices.

#20 Edited by AlexW00d (6382 posts) -

Art is such a stupid fucking blanket terms nowadays it really doesn't mean anything. All people mean when they say art is an expression.

The only way a developer can express anything with videogames is if they remove the game part. YOU personally cannot play the game the exact way they intended, therefore it cannot be an expression.

#22 Posted by Paulus (176 posts) -

If people are allowed to call the rubbish bearing the name "jackson pollock" art then I can call videogames art.

#23 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

@Paulus said:

If people are allowed to call the rubbish bearing the name "jackson pollock" art then I can call videogames art.

then why would you use a term you clearly don't have any confidence in to describe something you like

this is the problem with this conversation

also the fact that it isn't dead yet

#25 Edited by CornBREDX (5800 posts) -

It mainly stems from there being no real definition for Art therefore believe who do not believe everything you put your soul into is Art like to whine about people who think it is. The whole thing initially started when Roger Ebert flat out said Video Games are not art and it got a bunch of people all talking about it and me doing a thesis on it in college.

I think anything can be art if its something you work hard to create and care about or do with a passion. I would argue what the Giantbomb dudes do is a form of art and I also believe video games are art.

It's cool if other people dont agree, no one has to. =)

Edit: SO MANY TYPOS! I couldn't keep myself from fixing my horrible typing

#26 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

@H2Oyea: The search feature makes it pretty simple, there was also a pretty recent thread on this subject but I can't seem to find it.

#27 Posted by Paulus (176 posts) -

@gladspooky said:

@Paulus said:

If people are allowed to call the rubbish bearing the name "jackson pollock" art then I can call videogames art.

then why would you use a term you clearly don't have any confidence in to describe something you like

this is the problem with this conversation

also the fact that it isn't dead yet

I have confidence in the term art, I'm also very confident that there are a lot of gullible idiots in the world that can be convinced that a piece of shit on a cake is art.

#28 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -
#29 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1805 posts) -

@Dtat said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

Games are full of art, to be sure, but precious few games have explored the inherent potential of video games in any meaningful way. Once "player agency" means more than dialogue trees or what weapon to use, then games will have finally come into their own as a form of artistic expression.

I don't think player choice is necessary for artistic value in games. Movies and paintings don't let you make choices.

Art is about using what is unique to your medium to express. Pairings have visuals, music has sound, literature has language, theater has acting, film has cinematography, and video games games have player agency. Until developers start exploring player agency to it's fullest, games won't mature as art. They are great at utilizing other mediums, but have yet to capitalize on their own.

#30 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

@Paulus said:

@gladspooky said:

@Paulus said:

If people are allowed to call the rubbish bearing the name "jackson pollock" art then I can call videogames art.

then why would you use a term you clearly don't have any confidence in to describe something you like

this is the problem with this conversation

also the fact that it isn't dead yet

I have confidence in the term art, I'm also very confident that there are a lot of gullible idiots in the world that can be convinced that a piece of shit on a cake is art.

except the definition of art isn't "spite" no matter what you tell yourself.

#31 Posted by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@XII_Sniper said:

I've always held that artistry and craft are very much involved in the game creating process, but it's still too marred in commercialism to emerge as a proper art form.

You should really study the history of art.

But I already did.

#32 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@XII_Sniper
 
If you did, then you'd know that the "commercialism invalidates art" thought is a bunch of shit.
#33 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

I can't believe the crux of your argument for "art as games" is Uncharted.

Somebody shoot me.

#34 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Napalm said:

I can't believe the crux of your argument for "art as games" is Uncharted.

Somebody shoot me.

Shooting you would be bad. : (

#35 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@XII_Sniper: If you did, then you'd know that the "commercialism invalidates art" thought is a bunch of shit.

Art wasn't originally a commercial entity, but people eventually saw huge value in these works of art, and it became a commercial thing. Art wasn't born out of commercialism, but very few artists ended up being as such considering the value of their pieces.

God, I hate this topic. I might puke. I have no idea who I was defending or agreeing with.

Or I could totally fucking be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's how it went.

#36 Posted by Aegon (5759 posts) -
@Napalm said:

I can't believe the crux of your argument for "art as games" is Uncharted.

Somebody shoot me.

Lol, the crux? Talk about hearing what you want to hear, figuratively speaking. 
#37 Edited by Loose (419 posts) -

@H2Oyea said:

@Red said:

The problem with games as art is that they are a non-linear experience

Dancing is considered an art right? That's pretty non-linear. Break dancing competitions and whatnot where you can choose your own moves to do.

I don't think you understand what he was trying to say. Even improvisational arts like dance or jazz music is linear, there is a beginning and an end, the artists do construct the "piece" along the way but do not have to conform to the needs of the audience. The problem with video games is the "game" part; interactivity means that the audience is left to decide what how, when and at what pace the game, what is supposed to be the artistic piece, begins, progresses and ends. Artistic mediums like film, music, literature, visual arts etc. consist of pieces that are completely linear experiences created and defined by the artists' decisions and intentions rather than that of the audience.

Also a break-dancing competition is perhaps a poor example of dance as art because of the "competition" part.

@AlexW00d said:

Art is such a stupid fucking blanket terms nowadays it really doesn't mean anything. All people mean when they say art is an expression.

The only way a developer can express anything with videogames is if they remove the game part. YOU personally cannot play the game the exact way they intended, therefore it cannot be an expression.

Generally this is the way I feel about games as art. I respect the creativity involved in the medium but I'm skeptical about its potential of an art form because of its interactivity. I get the feeling that a lot of gamers and perhaps game developers (haven't heard a lot of developers' opinions on the subject) want games to be "art" because the term has some sort of meaning, or importance associated with it. I certainly do believe that video games can offer rewarding experiences beyond pure entertainment but I have my doubts about the medium ever truly becoming art of the highest caliber.

#38 Posted by FilipHolm (669 posts) -

Video games is art, especially when you look at games like Journey or Flower, the story telling of Uncharted, or the social and political satire/commentary of Grand theft auto...

#39 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

The problem with saying something 'is' or 'isn't' art is that there really isn't a good way to objectively define 'art'. It relies on so much personal opinion and subjective experiences that any objective definition is impossible. So, what ends up happening is that, based on one person's idea of what 'art' is doesn't include video games while another person's idea of 'art' fits for video games and both think they are right and the other is wrong. So, ultimately, there is no good way to have this conversation because, in their own way, everyone is right in their opinions.

#40 Posted by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -
#41 Posted by AngelN7 (2972 posts) -

What is art?

#42 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i think video games can be art. this has been done to death. 
 
art really isn't anything anymore.

#43 Posted by OppressiveStink (357 posts) -

@Loose: @AlexW00d:

Sorry guys, I gotta call bullshit. The problem with that line of thought is to assume everyone digests media in the same way. This isn't true. There's as many ways to watch a movie, or listen to a song as there is to play a video game.

For example, let's pretend a deaf man goes to the movie, he never hears a thing, so he watched that movie in a way that it wasn't intended. What if that same deaf man "listens" to drum and bass music because with a really heavy sound system, he can actually feel the beats. Is that music no longer art, because someone is digesting it in a new way? A blind man can read a book in braille, a foreign man in a different language, does this invalidate the artistic value?

Movies are edited for content in DVDs sold at certain retailers, edited for length on TV, edited to get a rating, edited because the flow doesn't work out, edited because an actor dies, as soon as there is an edit, is it no longer art?

I'm sorry, that argument doesn't hold water. Everyone digests media in a million different ways, in chunks, in darkness, in different languages.

@Napalm:

Art was a commercial product as soon as it was conceived. About the only people who could hire artists were churches and religious sects because they had all the money and power, so they hired artists to make all those glorious religious paintings. Almost like a movie poster, or propaganda posters through history. Art only survives on commercialism, you can't eat your ideals.

#44 Posted by Dtat (1627 posts) -

@SoldierG654342 said:

@Dtat said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

Games are full of art, to be sure, but precious few games have explored the inherent potential of video games in any meaningful way. Once "player agency" means more than dialogue trees or what weapon to use, then games will have finally come into their own as a form of artistic expression.

I don't think player choice is necessary for artistic value in games. Movies and paintings don't let you make choices.

Art is about using what is unique to your medium to express. Pairings have visuals, music has sound, literature has language, theater has acting, film has cinematography, and video games games have player agency. Until developers start exploring player agency to it's fullest, games won't mature as art. They are great at utilizing other mediums, but have yet to capitalize on their own.

Oh I agree that games should find ways to make player interactivity important and unique. They can use it in a way to express things other media can't. But I also think games are uniquely artistic even if then don't have what you call "player agency." Simply by being able to move through environments I would agree all games are unique as an artform. It's how developers choose to make use of what they have.

#45 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11994 posts) -

Yep. It's this month's obligatory "Games are art bro"/"Games aren't art bro" thread. I'll say it once and I'll say it again: I don't care. Art is such an immensely subjective term that any discussion on such is absolutely fruitless. Also, it doesn't help that the term is thrown around in such a hipsterlike fashion.

#46 Posted by McShank (1629 posts) -

Uncharted is an art piece.

#47 Posted by blackbird415 (777 posts) -

@MaddProdigy: why would art not require skill?

#48 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1194 posts) -

I don't know about that one, Howie.

#49 Edited by Itwastuesday (981 posts) -

@AngelN7 said:

What is art?

Duke Nukem Forever

#50 Posted by spankingaddict (2727 posts) -
This game IS art ! Anyone agree ! : )