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Old 01-24-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
ACCloud
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Default Are Video Games an Art Form?

Hello,
I'm new here, so forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong section. I'm currently in Year 12 and doing a subject called Society and Culture. For this subject, I have to do a major work in the form of a Personal Interest Project. In mine, I am examining the question "Are Video Games an Art Form?". I need to gather multiple opinions on the topic across a wide range of groups, and so I would like to ask the designers, artists, programmers, writers, testers, audio designers - members of the video game industry - of this board to fill out the following questionnaire.

1. Which game consoles do you own?
2. What genre of games do you play?
3. Which area of the industry do you work in?
4. Do you think that video games are an art form? (Yes/No/Maybe)
5. Why?

This project has a very large impact on my final mark in Society and Culture, so I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Either way, though, thank you very much for your time.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:55 AM   #2
Adrir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCloud View Post
Which game consoles do you own?
PSX, PS2, XBox360

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCloud View Post
What genre of games do you play?
Nearly everything except sports. My favourites include RPG, FPS, RTS, MMO, casual and racing games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCloud View Post
Which area of the industry do you work in?
Student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCloud View Post
Do you think that video games are an art form?
Definitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCloud View Post
Why?
According to McCloud (1993), art is "any human activity which doesn't grow out of either our species two basic instincts: survival and reproduction" (p. 164). Other definitions include "the products of human creativity" (Google, 2010) or "something that is communicative and transformative" (Schreiber, 2009).

Clearly, from here, games are creative and expressive works and are consequently art. Some may argue that these definitions are too broad, and therefore I am wrong, but that is something you need to investigate yourself!

McCloud (1993) Understanding Comics.
Schreiber (2009) http://gamedesignconcepts.wordpress....games-and-art/
Google (2010) http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define%3A+art
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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Thank you for your quick, well written response Adrir. That Schreiber link you provided shall also be very useful. Thank you very much!
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:21 PM   #4
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I own an Xbox 360 and a Wii. I love to play all types of games, from FPS to RPG to puzzle. I have a soft spot for co-op online play as well (e.i. Borderlands, Left 4 Dead). I'm a student. I think video-games are an art for because I see no reason why they shouldn't be. After all, (good) video-games have plot, visuals, soundtracks, and even architecture (the houses/buildings in games). Video-games are expressions of creativity. They are something that humanity does not need to survive, but makes anyway (my art teacher in school told me this was one definition of art). In fact, video-games bring a new form art with them; the interactive part. This is what makes games different, and in some cases better, than from other forms of art.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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I am learning programming, play sonys machine, microsoft and PC. Yes game making is an art but not playing.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
1. Which game consoles do you own?
PC, Wii, GameCube, Nintendo64.

Quote:
2. What genre of games do you play?
During vacations and summers: RPG, action/adventure
During school: "Casual games" ie: short games with easy to learn interfaces and mostly puzzle based mechanics

Quote:
3. Which area of the industry do you work in?
Currently a student

Quote:
4. Do you think that video games are an art form? (Yes/No/Maybe)
Definitely.
Quote:
5. Why?
Art is an experience meant to give an impression on its audience. Some artists, like Jackson Pollock, just want their audience to accept their art for what it is and not try to dig too deep into it. Others, like Diego Rivera, use their art as a way to communicate a cause and motivate their audience.
While art is typically though of as a purely visual experience gained from a still image, in recent times this has changed. First there was the introduction of film, which consisted of moving images and later sound that accompanied them. Today, there are artists like Golan Levin (http://www.flong.com/) who use technology to create interactive works.

I feel that most games today take Jackson Pollock's approach to their works, except they don't realize that they are artworks instead of simply commercialized products. However, deeper themes are found even in these games. Whenever you have an RPG that has different "races" (elves, humans, and all that yadda) the game automatically deals a little bit with ethnic/culture issues and conflicts, even if it's just inherited through the genre.

Some games take the artform to a whole new level. The the games of Molleindustria (http://www.molleindustria.org/en/home) highlight injustices in the today's world by trapping the player in a closed system where they must either make unethical decisions or lose the game.
Calabouco Tetrico (http://www.loodo.com.br/2008/09/calabouco-tetrico/) reskins the game of tetris to comment about the torture of prisoners, and uses tetris' infinite play time thus inevitable loss of the player to drive home the message the crimes of torture will eventually catch up to us.
Endless Migration (http://www.kongregate.com/games/HotA...less-migration) also uses infinite play == inevitable doom mechanic to illustrate the obstacles an everyday bird such as the Canadian goose has to face because of mankind.

These are only a few examples, I'm sure there's lots more out there.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:25 AM   #7
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Computer games are just a form of media and like other media, they can be used to express art. An interesting thought is that whether all other types of games (cards, board, D&D) can be used/considered to be art forms?
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:13 PM   #8
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There has been some open debate about the validity of video games as an art form and I was hearing about something Robert Ebert said in regards to the art. Here is a link to the article quoting Ebert's criticisms. Through further discussion with peers of mine, we realized how ridiculous it is to think about a critic of a seperate art genre judges a topic that they have no expertise in.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2...ays_Hecker.php
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #10
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If creating music with pre made beats is art, than working for over an year on a game building from ground up and seeing it's final piece being loved by many.. if that isn't art I fon't know what is.
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