I'm giving away memberships! And my blog on video games as art!

Hey Duders!
I’m sure the title grabbed your attention, so here’s the deal on how this is going down.

I’m starting up a blog, and I need both followers and critiques.  So all you need to do is read the following post, and comment. After I feel as though the post is “dead”, and not going to be read regularly anymore, I’ll pick three of the most insightful comments and gift the users memberships- I don’t know if I’m going to extend current memberships or not, I’ll deal with that when the time comes. I’ll be looking for well-articulated comments that offer constructive criticism, as well as interpretations and expansions of my ideas; posts that keep the discussion moving. That doesn’t mean you need to post under these guidelines though, or that you can’t be nice too! Just say whatever you’re thinking, but make sure you help me by commenting on my style and the way I convey my underlying concepts, and you’ll be in the running. Also, I'll only be giving out memberships if I get a good amount of responses.

…Given you want the membership- of course anyone is free to simply leave their thoughts and move on. If you do want to help me but don’t want my charity, just say so.

And without further ado, my first blog post:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hi everyone,
I recently decided to make a blog. Why? Because I’m an English major (at the moment, of course that’s subject to change), and I figured I should start writing regularly about things I like. Also, it seems…cathartic. But anyway, I figured I’d start my blogging days with the age old Are Videogames Art? argument. Cliché and done to death? Or course! But this is going to be my chance to get my feeling down and observed- normal people don’t discuss these things in real life, especially in a well formatted, detailed manner. So here we go. 
Before categorizing, it’s always important to define your terms. We all know what video games are, but what about art? It’s a definition that’s been argued for centuries, but I like to see art as any man-made creation that can be interpreted or elicits emotion. I feel as though that encompasses all the major players, from literature to architecture. A pretty fitting definition if I say so myself. So case closed? No, of course not! Video games, in order to stand among the likes of those giants, needs to have some sort of edge- a defining characteristic that you don’t have from the others. Just like the book Lord of the Flies
can’t be translated into film, some game experiences can’t be replicated in another art form. I’m going to look at three games I think cement the games as art argument. These are not my three favorite games, the three games with the best stories, or the three most structurally sound games. No, these are the three games that I feel exemplify gaming’s claim to fame- interactivity. I’ll be looking at our first two games in this blog post, and the final one in part two- if I ever do it.  

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Classic Nintendo

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (which I’ll from now on abbreviate as the awkward NSMBW) is a game that captivates the essence of fun itself- something Miyamoto has done very well along with the rest of Nintendo. I think I can confidently say that I have never had more fun playing a video game. I played through NSMBW with my cousin. We finished the game in about a week or so, playing in four hour chunks. That’s something I find disgusting, as I usually can’t play a game for more than two hours without getting up and taking a quick walk around the house or something. But me and my cousin played nonstop; we laughed, we yelled, and we threw each other off cliffs. NSMBW is a game that isn’t afraid to be a video game- even its credits are a blast to play.

NSMBW is a throwback game- a reminder of the origins of games and their original intent of enjoyment and happiness. It doesn’t try to saturate the experience with a tacked on story. Instead, it embraces fun for everyone and anyone. The game is easy enough that mostly anyone who’s played a video game should be able to get through it. But us “serious” gamers will get a kick out of collecting all the hidden coins and playing through the secret world. Getting that last coin left me and my cousin screaming at the screen for twenty minutes. The addition of a friend also embraces of fun by not limiting or handicapping to keep balance, but allowing chaos and cooperation. Plenty of the game’s challenges can be circumvented with the help of a friend. In fact, I’d say the addition of one and only one friend is quintessential to getting the full experience. And not someone online, you need someone on the couch with you. That’s the only way to move a brisk pace without having to restart after each death. At the end of the day, the reason I put NSMBW on my list is to show that art doesn’t have to be melodramatic or thought provoking. NSMBW, like a fun romp through a book, is pure fun, and the only place to interact with it and experience its emotion thrills is through the lens of video games.


Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Alright, I lied when I said that I wasn’t including my favorite games on this list. I will admit that MGS2 fits into my holy four (maybe I’ll do a blog on that one day) games of all time, but that doesn’t rob it of its merit or design that places it in my argument. And of course I’m going to love all the games I talk about when it concerns this matter. MGS2’s fourth-wall breaking shenanigans, controversial marketing, and general themes and story are all ideas that couldn’t thrive without a video game to house them. And beware, this is going to get into SPOILERS.

 Everyone's favorite guy was coming back...

Like NSMBW, MGS2 isn’t afraid to be a video game. It relishes in the fact. It even gleefully defies the industry it’s a part of. But before I can delve further into the inner workings of MGS2 and why I love it so dearly, a little context may be necessary. The original Metal Gear Solid was one of the most highly praised games ever, and Solid Snake was the badass of gaming scene. So when Konami announced MGS2, of course everyone was giddy with excitement. The trailers were epic, the release was a worldwide event, and Snake was back to kick some more ass. But then, about a quarter of the way through playing the game, Snake died. Or course everyone knew Snake wasn’t really dead, but after the intermission, things were…odd. Snake didn’t look, act, or sound like himself. Colonel Campbell seemed to be treating him oddly (and his voice-over seemed a tinged stiff- something I still can’t discern as intentional or amazingly accidental). And the entire scene was eerily similar to the original MGS’ opening. And then came the big reveal.

You were not going to play as Solid Snake.

Though it may seem minor without context, this was a big goddamn deal. After a marketing blitz that promised the continued adventures of everyone’s favorite anti-hero, to find him as only a supporting character set the internet ablaze. And of course no reviewer could tell you it was going to happen; everyone was under heavy Konami embargo. MGS2 continued with heavy parallels to the original MGS: cyborg ninjas attempting to chop off Ocelot’s hand, a rogue faction of super humans, a sniper segment. The list goes on. It got to the point where I was pissed off the story was simply a retelling of the original MGS. And then came the second twist.

MGS2 was ostensibly a metaphor…for itself.

I could go into detail on all the layers, but you can look up an in depth analysis on your own if you want to. But the basic gist was that Raiden was actually a mirror of the

 Unexpected/10

player- a “soldier trained in the digital world” who had certain expectations that were both fulfilled and destroyed by the creators. Kojima/ the Patriots expertly crafted the game/ S3 experiment to gauge the consumer. MGS2 was the only game where you named your player (through the dog tags) for a reason. Metal Gear Solid 2’s direct address to the player makes a compelling argument towards interactivity eliciting emotion. Each back stab and revelation is reflected to both the avatar and the player, enhancing the effect. And of course, this is all an interpretation. No movie can create the relationship shared between Raiden and the player because you don’t control the protagonist in any other form of media. You could argue that much of the shock and “meme theme” don’t play well without the marketing, but the same could be said on The Blair Witch Project. Kojima uses MGS2 to show that video games’ interactivity can be a powerful tool even when they’re not playing the game. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So there it is, the first blog. I know there’s a lot of context in the forefront, and this is probably way longer than it ought to be. But those were the points I wanted to make. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the final game. Hint: it’s from this generation, and if you’ve seen me on the boards, you might have seen me sing its praise.

14 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by Xtrememuffinman

Hey Duders!
I’m sure the title grabbed your attention, so here’s the deal on how this is going down.

I’m starting up a blog, and I need both followers and critiques.  So all you need to do is read the following post, and comment. After I feel as though the post is “dead”, and not going to be read regularly anymore, I’ll pick three of the most insightful comments and gift the users memberships- I don’t know if I’m going to extend current memberships or not, I’ll deal with that when the time comes. I’ll be looking for well-articulated comments that offer constructive criticism, as well as interpretations and expansions of my ideas; posts that keep the discussion moving. That doesn’t mean you need to post under these guidelines though, or that you can’t be nice too! Just say whatever you’re thinking, but make sure you help me by commenting on my style and the way I convey my underlying concepts, and you’ll be in the running. Also, I'll only be giving out memberships if I get a good amount of responses.

…Given you want the membership- of course anyone is free to simply leave their thoughts and move on. If you do want to help me but don’t want my charity, just say so.

And without further ado, my first blog post:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hi everyone,
I recently decided to make a blog. Why? Because I’m an English major (at the moment, of course that’s subject to change), and I figured I should start writing regularly about things I like. Also, it seems…cathartic. But anyway, I figured I’d start my blogging days with the age old Are Videogames Art? argument. Cliché and done to death? Or course! But this is going to be my chance to get my feeling down and observed- normal people don’t discuss these things in real life, especially in a well formatted, detailed manner. So here we go. 
Before categorizing, it’s always important to define your terms. We all know what video games are, but what about art? It’s a definition that’s been argued for centuries, but I like to see art as any man-made creation that can be interpreted or elicits emotion. I feel as though that encompasses all the major players, from literature to architecture. A pretty fitting definition if I say so myself. So case closed? No, of course not! Video games, in order to stand among the likes of those giants, needs to have some sort of edge- a defining characteristic that you don’t have from the others. Just like the book Lord of the Flies
can’t be translated into film, some game experiences can’t be replicated in another art form. I’m going to look at three games I think cement the games as art argument. These are not my three favorite games, the three games with the best stories, or the three most structurally sound games. No, these are the three games that I feel exemplify gaming’s claim to fame- interactivity. I’ll be looking at our first two games in this blog post, and the final one in part two- if I ever do it.  

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Classic Nintendo

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (which I’ll from now on abbreviate as the awkward NSMBW) is a game that captivates the essence of fun itself- something Miyamoto has done very well along with the rest of Nintendo. I think I can confidently say that I have never had more fun playing a video game. I played through NSMBW with my cousin. We finished the game in about a week or so, playing in four hour chunks. That’s something I find disgusting, as I usually can’t play a game for more than two hours without getting up and taking a quick walk around the house or something. But me and my cousin played nonstop; we laughed, we yelled, and we threw each other off cliffs. NSMBW is a game that isn’t afraid to be a video game- even its credits are a blast to play.

NSMBW is a throwback game- a reminder of the origins of games and their original intent of enjoyment and happiness. It doesn’t try to saturate the experience with a tacked on story. Instead, it embraces fun for everyone and anyone. The game is easy enough that mostly anyone who’s played a video game should be able to get through it. But us “serious” gamers will get a kick out of collecting all the hidden coins and playing through the secret world. Getting that last coin left me and my cousin screaming at the screen for twenty minutes. The addition of a friend also embraces of fun by not limiting or handicapping to keep balance, but allowing chaos and cooperation. Plenty of the game’s challenges can be circumvented with the help of a friend. In fact, I’d say the addition of one and only one friend is quintessential to getting the full experience. And not someone online, you need someone on the couch with you. That’s the only way to move a brisk pace without having to restart after each death. At the end of the day, the reason I put NSMBW on my list is to show that art doesn’t have to be melodramatic or thought provoking. NSMBW, like a fun romp through a book, is pure fun, and the only place to interact with it and experience its emotion thrills is through the lens of video games.


Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Alright, I lied when I said that I wasn’t including my favorite games on this list. I will admit that MGS2 fits into my holy four (maybe I’ll do a blog on that one day) games of all time, but that doesn’t rob it of its merit or design that places it in my argument. And of course I’m going to love all the games I talk about when it concerns this matter. MGS2’s fourth-wall breaking shenanigans, controversial marketing, and general themes and story are all ideas that couldn’t thrive without a video game to house them. And beware, this is going to get into SPOILERS.

 Everyone's favorite guy was coming back...

Like NSMBW, MGS2 isn’t afraid to be a video game. It relishes in the fact. It even gleefully defies the industry it’s a part of. But before I can delve further into the inner workings of MGS2 and why I love it so dearly, a little context may be necessary. The original Metal Gear Solid was one of the most highly praised games ever, and Solid Snake was the badass of gaming scene. So when Konami announced MGS2, of course everyone was giddy with excitement. The trailers were epic, the release was a worldwide event, and Snake was back to kick some more ass. But then, about a quarter of the way through playing the game, Snake died. Or course everyone knew Snake wasn’t really dead, but after the intermission, things were…odd. Snake didn’t look, act, or sound like himself. Colonel Campbell seemed to be treating him oddly (and his voice-over seemed a tinged stiff- something I still can’t discern as intentional or amazingly accidental). And the entire scene was eerily similar to the original MGS’ opening. And then came the big reveal.

You were not going to play as Solid Snake.

Though it may seem minor without context, this was a big goddamn deal. After a marketing blitz that promised the continued adventures of everyone’s favorite anti-hero, to find him as only a supporting character set the internet ablaze. And of course no reviewer could tell you it was going to happen; everyone was under heavy Konami embargo. MGS2 continued with heavy parallels to the original MGS: cyborg ninjas attempting to chop off Ocelot’s hand, a rogue faction of super humans, a sniper segment. The list goes on. It got to the point where I was pissed off the story was simply a retelling of the original MGS. And then came the second twist.

MGS2 was ostensibly a metaphor…for itself.

I could go into detail on all the layers, but you can look up an in depth analysis on your own if you want to. But the basic gist was that Raiden was actually a mirror of the

 Unexpected/10

player- a “soldier trained in the digital world” who had certain expectations that were both fulfilled and destroyed by the creators. Kojima/ the Patriots expertly crafted the game/ S3 experiment to gauge the consumer. MGS2 was the only game where you named your player (through the dog tags) for a reason. Metal Gear Solid 2’s direct address to the player makes a compelling argument towards interactivity eliciting emotion. Each back stab and revelation is reflected to both the avatar and the player, enhancing the effect. And of course, this is all an interpretation. No movie can create the relationship shared between Raiden and the player because you don’t control the protagonist in any other form of media. You could argue that much of the shock and “meme theme” don’t play well without the marketing, but the same could be said on The Blair Witch Project. Kojima uses MGS2 to show that video games’ interactivity can be a powerful tool even when they’re not playing the game. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So there it is, the first blog. I know there’s a lot of context in the forefront, and this is probably way longer than it ought to be. But those were the points I wanted to make. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the final game. Hint: it’s from this generation, and if you’ve seen me on the boards, you might have seen me sing its praise.

Posted by Legend

First!

Edited by Ghostiet

MGS2 wasn't the only game where you named your player for a reason. Earthbound or Nier did it in very meaningful ways, one could argue to an even better effect than MGS2.

I believe video games are art already because of the degree of interactivity they offer. It gives a pretty good way for writers to give the viewer a kick in the nuts, even in piece of shit plots like the Modern Warfare series - remember Shock and Awe and No Russian? Sure, you could argue it was only for shock value and boosting up sales through controversy, but it were impressive bits of interactive storytelling. At least I hope, since that theory got kinda weak after MW3 and its "might be offensive" moment that was put in purely for a tug of the heartstrings.

If you're looking for games that like to play around with the medium, check out the aforementioned Nier. It's probably one of the best plots in video games, with tons of subversions and playing with tropes. The final ending, Jesus.


About your writing, it's too stiff at points, especially the paragraph about NSMBWii.

Posted by MikeGosot

Oh, man! I still need to play Sons Of Liberty so i avoided to read the thing because of Spoilers. Ugh, i hate to lose a big part of the blog. 
And even though i don't agree completely with you definition of art ( Are cellphones art? Is society art? Money is art? These are all man-made creations who provoke emotion, duder. ), it's very hard to define art, so i appreciate that you show your vision to us because at least you HAVE a vision. Also, i love your first argument and i agree completely with the inclusion of New Super Mario Bros. . But the thing is, stuff who aren't tought provoking or melodramatic are usually looked down upon. That's the hard thing to show to people that think games can't be art:  To break the stigmas that games are either ultra-violent or extremely simplistic and silly and thus, they can't be art. 
Also i don't agree that games are art. I think that games CAN BE art. Of course, it's easy to defend the argument that Flower is art, that The Binding Of Isaac is art, that Portal is art.... But i challenge you to show that 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand is art. 

Posted by Pazy

MGS2 was an interesting idea and when you lay it out it presents some interesting concept but I think the problem is it showcases them very badly. Though there are people who appreciate what Kojima does, and they appreciate it a lot, I don't believe that he presents the ideas very skillfully. Though I appreciate the things he is going for, that he is trying to do more than most video games do, the mere fact that most of the audience doesn't understand means that I would personally not be able to view him as a great writer since I would say the main purpose of writing, or at leasts its original purpose, was to impart information and he doesn't present that information well.

Ive played through the entiery of MGS2 and though I watched and I listened, and tried to understand since I heard its reputation, none of the things you say came across. I can understand that if you can see his vision it must be amazing and could certainly rank the game highly but without his vision to back it up I don't think the game has any real merit to it.

I don't mean to berate the game especially because I wish I could see that vision. The things people talk about in relation to those games and that whole universe sounds amazing but much like the fun of EVE it simply escapes me. Though it may dilute his vision I think that it would be worth working with another writer for the purpose of slightly reining him in to allow a greater number of people to see whats going on in that mind, its freaking crazy!

Posted by mordukai

You know we can sit here and argue for hours about this subject. At the end it really comes down to the personal feelings. Personally I think some games are art but not all. For example: Bioshock, imo, is a perfect game of how you can integrate art into a game. As a HUGE fan of art deco I was in complete heaven while playing Bioshock. They just captured the spirit of the times and I just love how art deco was incorporated into every day items just like the period of the times.

I think like any other kind of media where someone output his/her vision to the outside world then it's subject to the opinions of the people viewing it.

Posted by sungahymn

Video games are art. There's no way around that. After all, it's pretty much an interactive movie with the immersion and length of a book (most of the time), but way better than it sounds. Games give (or supposed to give) a deeper connection to that world that you interact with than many other forms of media. As you said, games take advantage of that connection and make it fun or, in the case of MGS2 and many others, screw with your mind.

I liked your blog, but I felt like it babbled a lot. You need to be more...concise or consistent.

Edited by mosespippy

@Xtrememuffinman said:

Hi everyone,
I recently decided to make a blog. Why? Because I’m an English major (at the moment, of course that’s subject to change), and I figured I should start writing regularly about things I like. Also, it seems…cathartic. But anyway, I figured I’d start my blogging days with the age old Are Videogames Art? argument. Cliché and done to death? Or course! But this is going to be my chance to get my feeling down and observed- normal people don’t discuss these things in real life, especially in a well formatted, detailed manner. So here we go.
Before categorizing, it’s always important to define your terms. We all know what video games are, but what about art? It’s a definition that’s been argued for centuries, but I like to see art as any man-made creation that can be interpreted or elicits emotion. I feel as though that encompasses all the major players, from literature to architecture. A pretty fitting definition if I say so myself. So case closed? No, of course not! Video games, in order to stand among the likes of those giants, needs to have some sort of edge- a defining characteristic that you don’t have from the others. Just like the book Lord of the Fliescan’t be translated into film, some game experiences can’t be replicated in another art form. I’m going to look at three games I think cement the games as art argument. These are not my three favorite games, the three games with the best stories, or the three most structurally sound games. No, these are the three games that I feel exemplify gaming’s claim to fame- interactivity. I’ll be looking at our first two games in this blog post, and the final one in part two- if I ever do it.

Here are some notes and edits to your opening section.

  • I used to do the parenthesis in the middle of a sentence thing all the time. I don't anymore because it breaks up the flow of the sentence. If your sentence is a well formulated thought then don't interrupt it with an interesting aside. A more elegant way to include the aside and not break up the sentence is to place an asterisk and make it a foot note.
  • You have bolded and underlined a number of things that shouldn't be. The first one "Are Video Games Art?". It seems to me like you placed emphasis here because it should be the subject of your thesis statement. It isn't your thesis statement though. Your thesis statement is about why you are writing, not the actual topic of your piece. The second time you underlined something it was because it was a definition. In most cases a definition can be placed in it's own line indented within the paragraph.
Kind of like this but this isn't a definition so it's a bad example.

The third* instance is an acceptable usage; the title of a book. The fourth time it's used to place emphasis on the word I. I'm not sure on what the proper formatting on this should be but I'm certain underlined bold is wrong. Italics or bold is probably acceptable but I'm not sure which and underline is definitely wrong.

  • I've strike-throughed a number of instances of "word, word". Most of these are a comma splice while one is an oxford comma. This is the toughest habit to break; placing commas where they don't belong. Everybody does it. Their sentence starts as a thought in their head that they hear as if they would say it out loud. They have pauses in the way they would say it aloud so they place commas where those pauses go when they write it down. Written word and spoken word are very different. Treat them as such. All the commas that I've marked can be removed from the sentence because it doesn't belong there.
  • Your first couple uses of a dash should be a semicolon. I'm not sure about the use of the final one.
  • Try to cut back on starting sentences with the word "but". The sentences "But anyway, I figured I'd start..." should be "I figured I'd start..." and "But this is going to be my chance..." should be "This is going to be my chance...". It makes the sentence more direct and seem like less of an afterthought. In a similar vien of thought, the sentence "No, these are the three..." would be more of a direct statement if it was "These are the three...".
  • You are right; it is too long. It's 1334 words from the start of the blog part to the end. Did you read through it afterwards and cut any unneeded parts?

I haven't read the rest of the post yet. I had enough style guide notes after reading the first section that I knew I could spend a long time going over it. I'll take a break and read the actual argument shortly. I'll probably have a similar length post about the games as art topic and I don't want my style edits and subject arguments to be juxtaposed.

*The formatting limitations of this editor prevents this line of text from indenting correctly. It should line up with the above argument as a continuation of that bullet point.

Edit: Holy shit; I spent an hour and twelve minutes writing that.

Posted by mosespippy

@Xtrememuffinman: I think games are art yet I think you're argument for it is a bad one. A lot of your arguments for MGS2 have a dependence on the art consumer also consuming the MGS2 announcement, marketing push and the first game. If Frank Merica picks up MGS2 in Wal Mart because he heard it was a good game then he won't know any of that other stuff. You need to focus on the message that MGS2 is trying to deliver. Only the content of the game is what the developers put out for the public to purchase. They can't guarantee that the player has played MGS1 so MGS2 needs to be judged for the content of the disc.

Your argument for NSMBW seems to be that it is fun and anyone can play it. You laughed with your cousin and you had a blast. Great; but "fun" isn't an emotion and your definition of art states "can be interpreted or elicit emotion." If you are going to establish a definition at the start of your article* then your arguments need to refer to the definition. The definition sets the foundation while the arguments build on it.

Some more editing notes: "I think I can confidently say..." is not saying something with confidence. If you were confident then you would have written "I can confidently say..." or leave that out completely and just state what you want to say. "I have never had more fun playing a video game." That sounds more confident doesn't it? Apparently NSMBW and MGS2 aren't afraid to be video games. What does that even mean? Can you think of a game that IS afraid to be a video game? These parts of your argument felt like they were there to fill space because they say nothing at all. Elaborate more so that it supports your argument or cut it so that your argument is more concise.

*Which is a good thing to do so keep doing it. It establishes your arguments basis early on and can be referenced later as you build your argument.

@MikeGosot: I don't know much about 50 Cent Blood on the Sand other than Fifty had a skull stolen that he want's it back and there are sick ass ramps for him to hit during driving sequences. So basically the game is a metaphor for life. In the beginning Fifty has the skull given to him. That's like childhood. In childhood you are taken care of by others. Everything is provided for you. Then you get older and have to work hard for what you get. This is like when Fifty struggles through combat scenarios to get closer to his goal of getting his skull back. Along the way he hits some ramps. That's like when you take a break from working to do something fun. I don't know how it ends. Either he gets the skull, which is like retiring, or he doesn't get the skull, which is like dying before achieving your goals.

Posted by MikeGosot
@mosespippy: Followed.
Posted by Xtrememuffinman

Thanks for the input so far guys. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little disappointed by the lack of numbers despite the incentive added through memberships, but whatever. Writing down my thoughts is mostly for personal reasons.  Here are addresses to the comments so far:
 
-I'll have to check out Nier sometime in the future after I clear up a bit of my backlog. I remember enjoying the QL the duders did, but I have a lot of games stacked up right now. Also, "No Russian" definitely had an impact and captured the argument I'm trying to make.
 
-Of course not all games are art, just like not all movies are. I'm simply putting up games that help differentiate them and exemplify the defining characteristics of the medium.
 
- The Metal Gear series has its fair share of problems, but I'm one of the people who is able overlook those to see the intent and diamonds in the ruff. It's a very divisive series, and I'm on the side of the apologists who adore the games, warts and all. 
 
- I've yet to play through Bioshock, though I have it. I decided to read through Atlas Shrugged first, which I'm about half way through, though I'm reading it very slowly. It's an interesting read...and I'll leave my thoughts on the book as that for now.
 
- Brevity is something I've struggled with in the past. Striking the balance between bullet points of information that barely explain an idea and long winded narratives that beat the concept over the head is difficult to say the least.
 
 - Thanks for all the notes man! It's a little heart-breaking seeing my stuff ripped apart, but it's for the greater good. I'd like to point out that I mostly write objectively for school stuff and that this was an attempt to be more candid. The "Are Videogames Art?" was meant to serve as a title rather than a thesis, though I did kinda forget about it later on. The other instances of underlining were meant emphasize, but that is an admitted sign of weak writing. Emphasis should be contextualized more fluidly, but again, this was candid, as if I was speaking. Which also explains the comma splicing. It is a very hard habit to break, and I'm not one to pay particular attention to grammar as I've always felt that at a certain point, the point gets across and only hardcore writers get upset at usage. But still, a weakness nonetheless. Yes, I know writing is supposed to be confident, not whishy-washy. Again, attempt at stream of conscious for a blog. And I did little cutting. For most papers, I end up going through at the end and begrudgingly cutting roughly a fourth of the thing. I didn't really take the same care for a blog though. 
I do think that MGS2 stands on its own, though decidedly less so. Most of its meaning is still spelled out without the pre-release context and can be consumed. But it stands strongest as part of a franchise. The same can be said about something like the God Father 2. As for NSMBW, fun was meant to be extrapolated into joy and such. And "not afraid to be a video game" implied embracing the medium for its specific touches and using them to its advantage. Uncharted for example, apes movies. Again not explicit in the post but hinted at. My fault, I was trying to balance that line of letting the reader interpret and coming out with it. 
 
So yeah, there we go. A nice little bump there, I'll admit, but I'm trying to squeeze out a few more reads. I already bought the memberships, so no worries there. I'm just going to try and hold it out a little bit more.

Posted by mordukai

@Xtrememuffinman: You are missing out on a truly great game by not playing Bioshock. reading Atlas Shrugged will add nothing to your Bioshock experience.

Posted by Masha2932

@Xtrememuffinman:

I think you need to expand on your definition of Art. It seems to broad and all encompassing. For example when I get an injection I hate the doctor. My pain elicits an emotion-is that art? Maybe, I don't know. Given the limited definition, the paragraph on New super Mario Bros Wii just feels like a gameplay description and reads like a review than a justification of its artistic nature. You could have gone into detail on how the co-op experience helped you appreciate the game more. Were you having fun because you were playing with a partner or did the game mechanics affect your co-operation? Did the interactivity make the game art or would it have worked as well if you were watching someone else play the game?

Congratulations though on starting your blog. It can only get better from here. I've been planning to start one myself so Kudos on the effort. I think you should also read more on the games as art debate to fill out your arguments.

Also:

Posted by plainplease

Rather than get picky about grammar and structure (there are a few missteps and mistakes here and there), I think some big picture comments would be more helpful. For instance, in the intro, you addressed the fact that you would be discussing the age-old and cliche topic of video games as art. Not only is this a huge, multi-faceted topic that scores of books have explored (and therefore, maybe a bit too overarching and nuanced to properly address in a brief blog), but I am struggling to find what exactly you mean to bring to the argument. Your intro defines what art is, but then fails to thoughtfully bridge the gap from art to video games in a clearly stated manor.

Then, when you get to your examples, it seems that there is a bit too much discussion of the games and your experience with them. Maybe focus in a little, find a few, specific elements of the game that exemplify why the game is art to you. Remember, the smallest details lend legitimacy to your work by showing care, thoughtfulness and planning.

Most importantly, keep writing and keep seeking comments and critiques (C&C). Maybe draft a thoughtful boilerplate to sign-off each blog in friendly, comment-inviting tone. I'd love to read more of your work. For your next piece, I'd like to see something much, much more focused. Don't grasp for a "video-gamesy" topic. Just write about the video game you are playing (and take notes while you are gaming). Take notice of the moments in games that cause you to react, and then analyze those moments. How did you feel? What did the developers do so well to cause you to react and take notice? Who are those developers, and what else would gamers recognize from their work? What could have been better (when done right, this topic can be incredibly interesting to gamers, critics and even developers looking for feedback from the community)? Good luck with the blogging and the degree!!!

;-p

Posted by Xtrememuffinman

Yes the art definition was vague, but art is one of those indefinable things. I felt my definition got the basic feel though.
 
But with that said, I'm packing up the bags on this one. @Ghostiet: @mosespippy: and @Jesky: getting the prizes. Hopefully some of the people who read this blog will read the next.