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Gaming as an Art Form

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Mar
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#1

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:54 AM

Hello Gamers!!

I'm a bit of an older member who comes in and out of the scene of GTAF, but I've had some thoughts going through my head lately and I want to know what other people think. Rather than putting this in discussion, I wanted to put it in Gaming so people who wouldn't usually think of discussing why they like their favorite games get an opportunity to really think about why they do and how it has impacted their lives.

Do you think Video Games should be considered an Art Form in the humanities aspect?

For instance: If you're taking a basic art history or humanities class you spend a lot of time going into how certain generations historical events basically mold what their mainstreaming of art is going to be. For example you have MGM in the 1940s-1950s (Unsure of exact dates) who basically combined the popular form of musicals and rehashed them to make an escape for people who were living in poor times of depression and war. They combined music, dance, and stage acting to mainstream an art form. So, I'm asking you if you think that this generations form of art escape is Video Gaming?

And lets be honest, most of you are going to agree that it is. In my opinion, I find it personally amazing that games have flourished as much as they have within these past few years. It seems that companies are taking advantages of the new technology and are shocking us constantly with what they can do. Video games can now create such a story that gives us emotional impact towards a character, and also let us not just see but live the artist's fantasy they created in their minds.

What games can you think of that you've had an emotional impact towards their story? Or what game had such a musical score that it resonated with you so well that you had to buy the soundtrack? Or can you remember a character design or concept that fascinated you and impacted your imagination?

I'm really curious to see what games, characters, music, stories, or concepts that people resonated with. To give you a background story, I first starting playing games on my genesis and I strongly got into gaming when I received an Nintendo 64 for my birthday one year. Since then I've addicted to the escape. It doesn't help that I've worked at a Game store for the past 7 years. I know that my life has been changed by games. They're my escape from stupid life worries and they provide a world in my imagination that I know is unique. I think it's kind of amazing that games can do this to us. They've changed from playing Pong on your TV at your grand-parents house to being able to hang out with your friends online who may live thousands of miles away.

I could ramble for hours why I think that Video Games are such an amazing form of art that is looked over by many, but I want to know your opinion. Do you think the next generation is going to hate video gaming because it's becoming such a big business? Or do you think it's just going to grow and grow and become something we never imagined it to be. Hopefully people actually respond and don't take this as a joke. sad.gif


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#2

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:24 AM

The only people who think games aren't art are those who hasn't played a Team ICO game before.

Seriously, look them up. They'll one day be hung up in museums alongside Mona Lisa.

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#3

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:45 AM Edited by finn4life, 13 April 2012 - 10:40 PM.

I'm not going to post specifics, too many to name, most decent games now have compelling and emotional storyline, if movies are an art form video games should be too, but all the video game activists prevent this.

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#4

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:05 PM

Games are definitely an art form. Obviously there's the art aspect, illustrators become the character and level designers, musicians also play their role if the game has an original soundtrack and even if they don't music during cutscenes and gameplay do add to the atmosphere. There's also the story telling aspect, obviously some games are more story based and driven than others. Video games is an art form that combines art and story telling much like movies but in a more interactive state.

Some examples are the Final Fantasy series, Halo and Call of Duty, some may not care about story telling but it still can't be appreciated.

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#5

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:10 PM

I wrote my dissertation on this and came to the conclusion that it's only a matter of time. The arguments for other games and sports being art interested me, as some people suggested that competition is what makes them games, rather than art. Is there art in the moves of a chess game? Gymnastics? People who are involved in these would probably be as adamant as we are about video games. I think it will get to the point where even playing games will be artistic. There's already something mesmerising about watching people play Kinect. Imagine that combined with a ballet game, for example.

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#6

Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:32 PM

Definitely not in the state current games are in.

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#7

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE (Warlord. @ Wednesday, Apr 11 2012, 13:32)
Definitely not in the state current games are in.

Why not? If Films are art so must be Games.

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#8

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:39 PM

Only some indies and very very few "big" games can be labeled as art.

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#9

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

Roger Ebert- the acclaimed film critic- did a couple of interesting articles on this very theme a couple years ago. Worth a read...

Videogames can never be art - Roger Ebert

Okay, kids, play on my lawn - Roger Ebert

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#10

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

Its a very interesting question. I see Video-games as more of literature that you interact with than art, like some have stated artwork does go into a game, but 9 times out of ten this has literature in it to make the game. So without a storyline then yes it would probably be art. This then brings us back to the mashup to make something new videogames could be an entirely new form of expression. For now im going to settle with the term i use! Interactive storybooks!

Certain plot twists in the story will tug at your emotions sometimes the loss of a character the end of a fight, But these are things that goto make up a good book rather than a good piece of art!

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#11

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

All valve games come to mind.

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#12

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:27 PM

Modern Warfare 3 isn't any more art than the latest Michael Bay sh*tfest. There's a pretty distinct difference between an artwork and something that's just supposed to provide some good times, I don't think anyone would seriously argue that a webcomic has the same artistic merit as a van Gogh. Sure some games could be considered art, but being of a certain medium does not automatically qualify it as such. I don't think a run-of-the-mill video game should strive to be an artwork either, if it gets in the way of actually being fun to play.

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#13

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:37 PM

QUOTE (Warlord. @ Thursday, Apr 12 2012, 05:32)
Definitely not in the state current games are in.

I disagree. Games are like what movies were in 30s. People are realizing that they're not just technical, they can be political as well. Its an exciting time and its been highlighted with great games such as Silent Hill 2, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

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#14

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:57 PM

Simply, yes. The vast majority have little artistic merit but many do rise above pop-entertainment to become something greater.

And I don't mean in terms of story or artwork. I think Tetris is a brilliant piece of art.

Funny enough, I read the title of this thread and thought something entirely different. "Gaming" as an art form? As in the act of playing a game, being an artform? I've actually seen it done.

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#15

Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:08 PM

QUOTE (Warlord. @ Wednesday, Apr 11 2012, 16:32)
Definitely not in the state current games are in.

I'm not sure in which way you meant this comment, but I'm using it to base my comment upon.

I am actually shocked whenever I read an article about videogames not being 'accepted' as art yet, and always fail to see how they come to this conclusion, and just see it as some pathetic attack on videogaming.

Games these days could be art, but companies seem to be more interested in re-creating real-world locations, characters, events etc, rather than using their imagination and drawing up some fantastic character and level creation etc.

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#16

Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:02 AM

Only a few games can be considered art, the majority of them not being released this gen. The majority of the games in this gen are utter sh*t (literally) with absolutely no innovation nor creativity, considering this sh*t to be 'art' is the kind of thing that would make the likes of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci roll in their graves.

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#17

Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:18 AM

of course gaming is art. technically all games are art.
because video games start as an idea that is eventually created in physical form and expressed using a medium that can be shared with people all over the world.

and that's essentially the definition of art.

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#18

Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:51 AM

Rockstar Games believe this is true, but you saw a more forthcoming studio in Naughty Dog showing off the art in game as you unlocked features (Uncharted)
There was a book set to show Rockstar's art, and of course, some non game collectibles, so there's really no question, despite anti Graphic debates that come up on this very forum

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#19

Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:47 AM

If movies are considered art then videogames must be considered art as well.

There is ugly and stupid art and then there's beautiful timeless art.

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#20

Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:20 AM Edited by John The Grudge, 13 April 2012 - 08:25 AM.

monocle.gif

I think it's really subjective. I might not consider some paintings, songs or films to be art. Though even in the case of Michael Bay films and Call Of Duty there may be at least one person who has artistically expressed themselves on the project (obviously not Michael Bay himself though).

Personally Mirrors Edge appeals to me on a deeper level than simple entertainment so I might consider it to be art. More than anything its immersive city of bright colours such as white and red and the sounds provide an escape. Most games simply portray an environment that reminds me of the one I see day in day out. Mirrors Edge feels more like an artistic expression. There's much about GTA IV (and many other games) that I consider to be art. It may be nothing that hasn't been done in film before though, so I think the medium has much evolving to do.
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#21

Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

The US Supreme Court sees video games as art, and are thereby protected under the First Amendment. From a political standpoint here in the States, it's basically case closed.

However, much like film, music, literature or any other artistic medium, not every game is going to be considered a "work of art". At some point I'm sure that art museums will have gaming exhibits that showcase titles merited as "exceptional" art.

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#22

Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:09 PM

Ahh, Mirrors Edge is a good example of games being art. The way the game uses color was simply brilliant.

I believe they are two type of games: Games for the explosive junkie and games for the artistic individual. Take for example, shooters like Modern Warfare, Battlefield and Gears Of Wars, sure, they may be fun games, but I don't consider them art at all. They're just simply mindless-shooting fun.

Now games for the artistic individual has a different feeling to it. It just brings a new experience to gaming and therefore considered art. Some Indie games such as Braid and LIMBO comes to mind, where the artists that made the game created a atmospheric world with just some of the finest 2D graphics.
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Not only Indie games can be considered arts. Some of the major titles out there too can be considered art. Take Borderlands for example. It's odd but beautiful cel-shaded art style definitely brought a fresh new experience to the shooting experience.
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#23

Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

Inevitably, I think they will be. But now? Not so much.

Interactive mediums are the obvious next step in art creation. We've gone from simple, one dimensional creations (visual art, music) to combined mediums (film, music videos) and interaction just seems like the next step to me. But at this point in time, I think we're only just starting to see what videogames can be, and what we as a culture (as in, everyone, not just young, middle class males) want them to be.

It's a lot like film, in the early days, when the tech was simple and the medium untrusted, you tended to get pictures that amounted to tech demos with little and simplistic, if any, storytelling. Then as it moved on you got a lot of (what we now consider) mediocre and middle-of-the-road films that a particular demographic enjoyed. Sure, you occasionally got your Citizen Kanes and your 12 Angry Men, much as you get your Portals and your whatever these days, but largely there wasn't many greats in the earlier days.

I reckon we're still a while away from having serious classes about the nuances and finer details of making video games like we do for film now. If you tell people you're taking a film class these days, they might think you're a bit pretentious, but tell them you're taking a videogame class and the eye-roll you'll get could power third world nations.

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#24

Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:59 PM

QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 06:06)
From a political standpoint here in the States, it's basically case closed.

but not because the Supreme Court said so.

video games have always been art by definition.

QUOTE (Robinski @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 06:24)
Inevitably, I think they will be. But now? Not so much.

ok, now I've seen several people echo this same exact sentiment.
but you're wrong.

just because you personally don't find today's games to be "beautiful" or something, you say they aren't art.
or just because they don't have all the "fine nuances" of a great feature length film, you say they aren't art.

but that was never the qualification for art.
art can be ugly. art can be crude with little detail.

the definition of art is the expression of creative ideas that can be shared with others.
that's what video games are.

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#25

Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:05 PM

That'd all be well and true if the question was "Are games art?", but it was;
QUOTE
Do you think Video Games should be considered an Art Form in the humanities aspect?


Personally, I'm one of those soppy people who will define anything done as expression as art, but we're talking about acceptance by society as a whole and the establishment, not at an individual level.

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#26

Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:30 PM

Whoa whoa whoa. Hold on. "Simple, one dimensional [media]" - what are you smoking?

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#27

Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

I mean like paintings, sculpture, architecture, music etc. You're either looking at it or listening to it. There's one way you take it in.

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#28

Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:22 PM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:59)
QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 06:06)
From a political standpoint here in the States, it's basically case closed.

but not because the Supreme Court said so.

video games have always been art by definition.

Actually within the context of my post, yes, because the Supreme Court says so, hence the significance of them being protected under the the First Amendment like every other artistic medium.

QUOTE
because video games start as an idea that is eventually created in physical form and expressed using a medium that can be shared with people all over the world.

and that's essentially the definition of art.

The problem with this definition is that it's too generalized. By such a definition some twat could try to defend, in the literal sense, child porn, bestiality and snuff films as art. Obviously freedom of expression should never be granted to anything that violates human or animal rights. Extreme examples, but the right to freedom of speech is essential when properly recognizing a medium as an art form, at least within the US it is.

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#29

Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:34 PM

QUOTE (Robinski @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 14:05)
but we're talking about acceptance by society as a whole and the establishment, not at an individual level.

are we?

there are many types of art that were not "accepted" by "society as a whole" until long after they were created.
just because it took time for them to be recognized as art doesn't mean that they were not art before then.

they were always art.
society is slow to change when it comes to almost anything. that doesn't make them right.

QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:22)
Actually within the context of my post, yes, because the Supreme Court says so, hence the significance of them being protected under the the First Amendment like every other artistic medium.

but the "context of your post" is not universal.

video games were art long before the Supreme Court said anything about them.

QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:22)

The problem with this definition is that it's too generalized.

says who?
that has always been the definition of art.

QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:22)
By such a definition some twat could try to defend, in the literal sense, child porn, bestiality and snuff films as art.

well sure.
but we already know that obscenity (especially when it causes physical harm to other living things) is NEVER art.

that doesn't change the definition of art.

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#30

Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:16 PM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 17:34)
QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:22)
Actually within the context of my post, yes, because the Supreme Court says so, hence the significance of them being protected under the the First Amendment like every other artistic medium.

but the "context of your post" is not universal.

Oh, but it is.

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 17:34)

video games were art long before the Supreme Court said anything about them.

In a totally subjective and unprotected sense, they sure were.

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 17:34)
QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:22)

The problem with this definition is that it's too generalized.

says who?
that has always been the definition of art.

Fine, let's say the idea of having to take a sh*t enters my mind, then I eventually turn that into a physical form in a public restroom. I leave my pile of sh*t sitting in the toilet to share with others. Not many would classify that as art, so yeah, too generalized.

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 17:34)

QUOTE (Xcommunicated @ Friday, Apr 13 2012, 15:22)
By such a definition some twat could try to defend, in the literal sense, child porn, bestiality and snuff films as art.

well sure.
but we already know that obscenity (especially when it causes physical harm to other living things) is NEVER art.

that doesn't change the definition of art.

If you mean "we" as in "everybody", then that would definitely be ideal, but you'd be sorely surprised.

My whole point is simply that by video games being protected under the first amendment, developers have a right to artistic expression. Had California successfully banned what they deemed as violent video games, that would have set a precedent for other states to do so. It'd be hard to recognize a medium as an art form if it's being censored or denied public access, which would basically contradict the very definition you're throwing around in the first place.




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