The Best Parts of my Friend's Wedding (Pinball and Pacman)

Always remember what you say... I told my friend I would be honored to be his best man for his wedding, who wouldn't? Out of all your friends who could be, you're the one he chose to stand up there, in the middle of all their memories! An honor, right? Well, that honor ended up turning around and biting me right on the ass like a venomous snake.

So it came to be, that despite the economy, gas prices and general burden crossing half the country entails, my friend decided he would get married in Las Vegas this summer. When I heard that he had decided the venue would be 1200 miles away from where we lived (Omaha Nebraska) I thought to myself, "well, I could just fly in for the wedding and come back home the next day, it would be a lot of money, but it would be fast..."

It was about that time that my fiancee bought a new car, a Honda CRV. A mini SUV was just what the doctor ordered for driving us and a few friends around town! Thatt was when she we thought we'd drive instead of flying to save a few dollars and have character building experiences(she was we were so excited!). What a brilliant idea! So we took to the road and made our way to Nevada.

Four days we would stay, and four horrible days they were. First, the suit was about four sizes too big, then my fiancee got food poisoning from the Rainforest Cafe, and to top it all off, I missed the one thing I was looking forward to, the Penn & Teller show that was during our last night in town.

Needless to say, I was pretty bummed pissed off. Luckily, on our way back home(we stupidly drove) we managed to stop by DreamWorks and The Pinball Hall of Fame before leaving town. These are the pictures I managed to take and I give them to you! The little bit of happiness I derived from the whole trip are distilled in these pictures, along with the solemn vow that I would never step foot in Las Vegas again.

DreamWorks (all pictures were taken by me):

DreamWorks was a big deal to me, mainly because my local arcade is slowly kicking the bucket. Above the line is the pictures from DreamWorks, below is a video I submitted to the arcade edition of I Love Mondays, and next to it, the craigslist ad showing the arcade games for sale from said arcade. RIP Omaha Family Fun center.

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Family Fun Center in Omaha

They're Really Overpriced
They're Really Overpriced

The Pinball Hall of Fame:

The pinball hall of fame was pretty awesome. Each pinball machine was either a quarter or two and I managed to stay about two hours with five bucks. The sign was a big boring though! (Sorry my photos were bad, my camera is old and seems to have forgotten how to focus correctly)

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From the book of tired old arguments: Video games are art!

(this will be cross posted to my own web blog, just the article, not any comments)
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I know it's been done to death, but I had to get my own thoughts out on this.  I took a fine tooth comb to my own ideas on the topic and I thought I'd share them with, well, you, the person or hyper-intelligent canine who is currently reading this.  Most of the articles I read that deal with this topic fail to address specific issues that people have with the statement, "Video Games Are Art."
Before we get to this, I must clarify what art is with a very bold statement:
The definition of art is completely in the eye of the beholder. 
Take the average mother for instance.   As a general consensus, Vincent Van Gogh can be considered as one of the masters of his particular craft, that being said, the average mother would trade a hundred Van Goghs for the art collection on her refrigerator door.  The individual mileage may differ on particular mediums, but as long as it has added meaning to someone, it's art.
With that out of the way, we can start breaking down some of the arguments...
 Some people believe erotic art is not true art and should not be protected speech.
 Some people believe erotic art is not true art and should not be protected speech.


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.
The argument, to me, is cut-and-dried.  Some people don't want video games to be considered art, because of what the term "art" conjures in their head.  I believe it's art, not only because it's a medium that can invoke thought and feelings, but it's also a medium that deserves first amendment protection.