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Author Topic: Are video games artistic?  (Read 7367 times)
SweetSassyMolassy
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2008, 03:14:44 am »

I'd define art as intentional communication (from artist to a recipient) of creative (i.e. not strictly factual) content intended to affect the thoughts and/or emotions of the recipient (e.g. aesthetic appeal or repulsion) without utility. This rules out e.g. engineering (factual, has utility), lies and propaganda (have utility, at least to their creator) and pure mathematics ("the set of useless theorems", but factual). As a work can contain some aspects that are art by the above and some that aren't, the definition gets a bit fuzzy in practice. For example, a song or book becomes less art the more it is intended to achieve a practical goal (e.g. change election results).

So, is entertainment a form of utility? If so, movies are no longer considered art. If not, a stripper can be considered an artist.
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2008, 12:39:36 pm »

I tend to use this as my working definition of art:

"Anything made at least partially with the intent for it to be art."
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Megagun
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2008, 02:47:35 pm »

Hmm, I just produced a fine piece of art in my toilet...

(Either way, I completely agree with Novus; couldn't have said it any better)
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Resh Aleph
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2008, 05:03:09 pm »

Hmm, I just produced a fine piece of art in my toilet...

The fact you don't actually mean that reinforces his definition. Tongue


About art having no utility - what about a satirical comic frame in a newspaper? It has important utility in the form of critique, one of the cornerstones of democracy.

I don't think you can really define art, as no one can agree on what is art and what is not. I'm sure many mathematicians and math(s) fans think of pure math(s) as a form of art, for example. It seems like it is actually this lack of definition that defines art...
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Death 999
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2008, 05:20:22 pm »

All those JRPG's which are 90% cutscene are also art of a sort, no doubt.

But that's just by making a game mostly a movie.
Play Earthbound.
This is art of an entirely video-game sort. You can even tell what school of art it is - reconstructionist.
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AngusThermopyle
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2008, 05:26:28 pm »

What about film? I imagine it takes some serious willpower for many people to try and watch a black & white, silent film. Does that make it any less valid as art? What about film in a language you don't understand? Or film that looks like it was taken (or perhaps actually was taken) with an old recorder or handicam? By your argument, these are disqualifying film as an art form as well.

No one would argue the artistic elements of say, Metropolis. Like I said before, it's all about perception. Because it's a silent film, only film buffs and sci-fi fanatics like us will ever appreciate it. Without society's reverence as a whole, it will never gain the sort of artistic stature as some of my previous examples. (Interestingly, take The Wizard of Oz -- made only a decade and change later -- and you have something that could possibly challenge the big boys.)

But, going back to the original question, I do not believe video games to be on the same artistic level as the previous examples I gave, as perceived by society as a whole (I'm pretty sure that's what Ebert was talking about). I think it would take a major paradigm shift on society's part to start viewing video games on the same level as history's great paintings, sculptures, etc.
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Novus
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2008, 09:22:59 pm »

About art having no utility - what about a satirical comic frame in a newspaper? It has important utility in the form of critique, one of the cornerstones of democracy.
The way I see it, the intent to critique is functional, not artistic, but most of the rest of the comic (graphical presentation, fictional characters, situations, exaggerations, whatever) is art, making the result a lot of art around a tool of social change.
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2008, 11:47:52 pm »

I don't think theres any evidence that video games CANT be as artistic as other mediums. But generally speaking, video games rarely attempt to be artistic, rather focusing on other elements and valuing them more highly.

So video games can be artistic, but no one yet has really set out to create a truely artistic game.
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2008, 12:41:23 am »

So video games can be artistic, but no one yet has really set out to create a truely artistic game.
Harlan Ellison did ^_^
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2008, 11:44:41 pm »

As a summery of my thoughts regarding this thread; which is a good discussion IMHO, a final thought. The actual topic aside: Here’s an example of one reason I hate Roger Ebert’s reviews.
The 1993 film, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, in my opinion, was one of the most hilarious and entertaining films ever made. 
In Roger Ebert’s review of the film, at no point does he say anything about actually liking the film or suggesting that the reader view it. Overall his review is rather generic and matter of fact. He describes the formula of the film, with no statements of appreciation or detest. To someone who’s never seen the film, there’s not much in his description that would suggest that seeing this film would be a good idea. A grave mistake, I think.

The review IS in Ebert's 3 star category, but I feel that's not enough.


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RTyp06
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2008, 11:06:31 pm »

Hmm, I just produced a fine piece of art in my toilet...

There is actually some truth to this. Art, like beauty, really is in the eye of the beholder. A serial killer may find art in the way he arranges severed heads on a shelf in his dungeon. A mathematician may find artistic value in an elegant math equatuion. Some may call Justin Timberlake or Michale Bolton an "artist". Just as many may agree with Roger Ebert, many will not.
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Lukipela
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2008, 06:57:46 pm »

Hmm, I just produced a fine piece of art in my toilet...

There is actually some truth to this. Art, like beauty, really is in the eye of the beholder. A serial killer may find art in the way he arranges severed heads on a shelf in his dungeon. A mathematician may find artistic value in an elegant math equatuion. Some may call Justin Timberlake or Michale Bolton an "artist". Just as many may agree with Roger Ebert, many will not.

In other words, society defines art on one level, groups within society on a second, and individuals on a third. If any of the three disagrees with each other, it becomes a shouting match. Whoever shouts the loudest and wields the most clout gets to define general societies approach to it, whereas the others grumble angrily between themselves. And then we get into semantics.
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Death 999
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2008, 10:28:49 pm »

He describes the formula of the film, with no statements of appreciation or detest. To someone who’s never seen the film, there’s not much in his description that would suggest that seeing this film would be a good idea. A grave mistake, I think.

On the contrary, I thought his indication that it went well beyond comedy was good. It is, however, not by any stretch of the imgination a three star film. There I agree with you.
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Battlefrank
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2008, 01:55:38 am »

I dissagree.
About the graphics thing, that's what really makes me angry. People valuing graphics above gameplay.
A debate with a PS3 fanboy ended tragically with "but you do agree that gameplay is what really matters, right?"
"no, man Graphics all the way"
There was this feeling I had. For the first time, I actually wanted someone dead. I call this feeling natural selection.
I didn't kill him, of course, that would be stupid. But I couldn't talk to him anymore. I think graphics are valued too highly.
SC2 is the best game ever in my opinion, and it has horrible graphics by today's standards.
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RTyp06
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Re: Are video games artistic?
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2008, 03:20:49 am »

I dissagree.
About the graphics thing, that's what really makes me angry. People valuing graphics above gameplay.
A debate with a PS3 fanboy ended tragically with "but you do agree that gameplay is what really matters, right?"
"no, man Graphics all the way"
There was this feeling I had. For the first time, I actually wanted someone dead. I call this feeling natural selection.
I didn't kill him, of course, that would be stupid. But I couldn't talk to him anymore. I think graphics are valued too highly.
SC2 is the best game ever in my opinion, and it has horrible graphics by today's standards.


...so you actually wanted someone dead for having a different viewpoint? Amazing.
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