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Are games art?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Vlajdermen, Mar 26, 2019.

?

Я games art?

  1. No

    21.8%
  2. Who the fuck cares

    40.3%
  3. Only if labeled as such by Janjetina

    1.7%
  4. It is impossible to know because there is no clear definition of what art is

    6.7%
  5. To be fair, you have to have a very high iq to understand games as an art form

    17.6%
  6. Only The Last of Us and Dad of War

    5.0%
  7. Slava Rodu (I don't get that Kingcomrade meme)

    6.7%
  1. Kit Walker Totally Not Captain Shrek

    Kit Walker
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    Subjects become art when there is a structure to them which is communicable. This structure must be unique to that particular subject. For games, that structure is the player agency, i.e. that the player can insert their actions into the game and can have tangible influence. In that sense, games are well on their way to becoming art as designers are able to fill the mechanics, the presentation of the games to their capacity to communicate ideas specifically unique to games and not generically associated with visual or written media. Examples of such things are visually communicable C&C, attention to "immersive" mechanics etc. The fact that these are done *badly* is exactly analogous to other arts which can also be *executed* badly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  2. DJOGamer PT Magister

    DJOGamer PT
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    They have the potential as to be art, like every other medium.
    The main problems are:
    1. Modern Art is absolute shit - so it's highly unlikely for something artistic to come out from a still very young medium in a age where people with actual knowledge of art are rare sight;
    2. Again videogames are a very recent medium, so the criteria for which they can be artistically evaluated is not well defined (and due to the above problem, proper characterization won't happen any time soon);
    3. Most developers that want to make artistic games (specially western ones), are ashamed by the fact they had to turn to videogames to ''express themselves''; this is quite clear as they never try to make actual games but cinematic/novel experiences and are more focused on delivering "muh feelz" than actual gameplay and content (you can even see on interviews that those kinds of devs never give out other games as sources of inspiration, they always refer either to books or movies, and the few times they do say other games it's also artsy-farsty games like the ones they are trying to make); they are the same people that think pure action games are preventing the medium from being taken "seriously" and becoming ''high art'', so they are people that in general don't like videogames.
    4. And finally they always try to make their games artistic not by playing to the medium's strengths and unique traits (that is the interactivity and reactivity) but rather by the visuals, script and audio (the strengths of other mediums)

    Ultimately I would take a good, fun and challenging game that isn't afraid of being gamey and has very little artistic value. Over a serious, well written, "artistic" game with shallow mechanics and no replayability. Every time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  3. Shinji Learned

    Shinji
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    I never once in my life questioned if the game I was playing was "art" or not, but whether I was having fun with it or not.
    So I don't really care whether people think games are "art" or not, my enjoyment wouldn't be invalidated because of that.
     
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  4. Squadcar Learned

    Squadcar
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    I like how there's not a Yes option.

    I dig this answer the most. Art is not something that cannot be criticized. A lot of things can be art. And I can appreciate a lot of art. There's also a shit ton of bad and/or lazy art.
    I'd also say the way you do something can be art. Gotta have good style. It's better do something dull with a unique style than it is to take a risk in the most boring way possible.
     
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  5. Average Manatee Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Average Manatee
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    I won't define what makes a game art, but anything that has DLC can't be art. No artist would allow their art to be sold piecemeal any more than an author would allow a rough draft of their book to be sold or George Lucas would allow a copy of Star Wars with Han shooting first to exist.
     
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  6. yellowcake Arcane

    yellowcake
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    Modern art (at least when we are talking visual arts) is actually pretty clever. The problem with it is that most of it is very self referential, which means that one has to be well versed in art history to appreciate it. While it was easy to appreciate say mimetic painting - Nederland Masters, French Classicists etc. (hey that fur hat on the painting looks like real) in order to appreciate say Rothko or French "matter" paintings from fifties you have to be aware of a painting's dual character as a flat canvas covered with paint that at the same time is a representation (so you have to know say Titian, Velasquez, Rembrandt etc, how the laborous traces of a brush on their works becomes a collar of a dress if you back down a bit). In order to appreciate Pollock you have to know the history of french Salon d'art (what is art - art is this which has been created by an artist and is in a salon or museum), therefore if an artist spills some paint on a shroud it becomes a piece of art. Ditto Duchamp with his "Fountain".

    Basically, every (modern or approached in a modern way) painting contains whole history of painting in itself (from greeks of which we only have descriptions and some late hellenistic stuff), through byzantine icons, early medieval stuff, etc, etc. The same is with sculpture and to some extent architecture.

    As far as criticizing games as artworks I think it would be productive to approach them as if literary or narrative works (drama) with the same critical apparatus. Major tell is one could argue that games are not "realized" when they are developed but rather when they are being played. The act of playing a game is when its art is realized. This is the same as in modern literary critics where the act of reading a work of literature is treated as when it becomes a piece of art (this critical apparatus has been applied to visual arts too).

    Modern visual arts are no longer supposed to appeal with "techne" that is artisanal mastery but rather they should evoke certain state of mind in the spectator, of contact with the absolute, or paradox, or ZEN, wu, etc. It is not indifferent to greek icons if you think about it. An icon is a window to another dimension of absolute. As is the work of art or as a game may be. The moment when art is realized is in the eye of the spectator or gamer for that matter.

    And yes, for games to attempt to be treated as works of art they need to consider qualities that are intrinsic and unique to their medium itself that is narrative, mechanics, systems etc, which means the "gamey" qualities.

    Last but not least if there has to be art, there must be an artist. An auteur with powerful vision and full control over the creative process, not a committee. I only know of Yoko Taro who may be considered as such :oops:
     
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  7. Egosphere Savant

    Egosphere
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    So, basically, you have to have a very high iq to understand modern art
     
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  8. Valky Cipher Manlet

    Valky
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    Art is a meaningless buzzword more often used by pseudo intellectuals to attempt to rationalize their behavior into being approved by their peers as "mature". People who call video games art are the people who are trying to kill video games.
     
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  9. Mikeal Savant

    Mikeal
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    Of the highest kind.
     
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  10. Zed Duke of Banville Arcane Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Not only can games be art, it's possible --- though certainly rare --- for a game to be good both as a game and as art. A few examples, mostly replicating categories of traditional art:

    2D/Painting/Drawing: Myst (1993), Muramasa (2009), Dragon’s Crown (2013), Apotheon (2015)

    3D/Sculpture/Architecture: Okami (2006), Dark Souls (2011)

    Music: Faery Tale Adventure (1986), Lemmings (1991), Final Fantasy series (1987-2001), Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

    Literature/Theatre: Planescape: Torment (1999)

    Cinema/Television: Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018)

    Setting/World-Building: Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002), Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

    Gesamtkunstwerk: Final Fantasy VI (1994) and IV, IX

    Atmospheric: Another World (1991), Ico (2001), Shadow of the Colossus (2005), Demon’s Souls (2009)

    There are many more examples of games that have some success at being a particular kind of art while not being good games, e.g. Defender of the Crown (1986):

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Vlajdermen Learned

    Vlajdermen
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    I wasn't gonna acknowledge anyone taking this thread seriously but what the hell.

    Couldn't've said it better myself.

    Roger was taking the piss. I'm sure of that. He knows that people will be the most butthurt when what you tell them is true; especially if you don't elaborate. He also knows these ''games r art'' people would kill for his approval.
     
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  12. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Games are craft; at its highest point craft can be art.

    Show Spoiler
    yeah I'm not good at this, I just like to kill kobolds and level up
     
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  13. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    No, they can't.

    A game can have elements of art, like gorgeous graphics, melodic music and witty writing, and it itself may borrow upon artistic elements from established art styles, like Lemmings does with its frequent use of classical music.

    My argument (which has popped up several times in various forms throughout this thread) is that games are meant to be fun and interacted with, while art is not. Art is a static item (an image, a shape, words or music) that is to appreciated as it is, and almost always not to be messed with in any way. There is no input except that of the artist, otherwise it's only output.

    Games are fluid and dynamic by design, but most importantly they require the input of the participant, and gamers can, via their input, change the output of the game.

    Both art and games can be enjoyed, but there's still a fundamental difference between the two that sets them apart (unless you subscribe to the godforsaken notions of post-modernism, in which case there's no point trying to explain art to you anyway).

    I'll concede that this is only the current situation, the future may one day allow software (and possibly even games) to be counted as art.
     
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  14. Assisted Living Godzilla Savant

    Assisted Living Godzilla
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    Those two statues are so lifelike.
     
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  15. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Nah, he MIGHT know people would be most butthurt about it. But he could not have known how many people would call him out, challenge him to play a game they consider best proof of game being art. And when he tried to avoid playing any of it by saying he doesnt have computer to play, dont know how to set it up correctly to play (this is the days of Windows XP), dont have program to play, dont have those games to play... people volunteer to lend him a correct rig, a technician would have set it up for him, games being lent to him. He just need to click to play...

    And then he refused to play any of it, thus proving to all that he doesnt know enough about games to say what he said, and didnt have the energy to self educate to keep his opinion. Thus all the gameRart people can realize what a noob in that field he is. Why would we want a noob's approval in a field he's clearly refused to dabble into (games)?

    If he would know how things would turn out, he wouldnt have touched the subject at all.
     
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  16. Zed Duke of Banville Arcane Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Ah, but now you've moved from asserting that games can't be art to asserting that gameplay can't be art. :M

    The Codex's number one RPG of all time is esteemed not for its gameplay but for its perceived literary, artistic merits. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus would have been considered masterpieces of the Symbolist movement if somehow they had been created a century earlier. Music in the Western "classical" tradition has undergone a revival in videogames. Okami, Muramasa, and Apotheon took existing, long-abandoned art-styles and breathed new life into them. The Codex has a thread about "2D Art Appreciation" that consists mostly of pixel art, an art-form made possible by computers. A vast amount of art has been created as an integral part of videogames.

    Certainly, it's a trickier proposition to argue that gameplay such as level design or game mechanics is art, and it's unlikely for those who don't play videogames to ever recognize gameplay as art, but even here there are a few possibilities such as Katamari Damacy (2004) or Flower (2009).

    [​IMG]
    Art created in homage to a videogame that is also art.
     
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  17. Tehdagah Arcane

    Tehdagah
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    The good games are
     
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  18. Tweed Learned

    Tweed
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    You can't rush art.
    Most games are rushed.
    Therefore, most games are not art.
     
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  19. Dexter Arcane

    Dexter
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  20. Squadcar Learned

    Squadcar
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    Some people say that art is a piece of work that stands out above the rest, more than ordinary. Some say it's to evoke an emotional response from the viewer which is usually an intended emotional response. It's a very up in the air kind of debate I'd say. To define something everyone has very different opinions on. Hell some music circles won't consider some music art and others wouldn't consider the music that circle likes as art either. Seems like too much hassle to bother with. If you like it and find it artistic, it's art. If you don't, then it's not.
     
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  21. Assisted Living Godzilla Savant

    Assisted Living Godzilla
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    He called his class performance art piece "Art School Stole My Virginity" but had safe sex? F. Way to not commit to the central idea of the piece dude.
     
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  22. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

    Maxwell's Demon
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    Did you know that The Brothers Karamazov was serialized? It was, in fact, sold piecemeal to readers throughout its first publishing. No wonder it's so long.
     
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  23. Jokzore Savant

    Jokzore
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    DLC also vary vastly, some of it is cut from the original game, leaving it butchered and desecrated and some of it builds and adds to the original. There's plenty of DLC that are on par or better than the vanilla game, look at pretty much anything Fromsoft made in recent history .... and then there's horse armor.
     
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  24. Average Manatee Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Average Manatee
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    That's kind of different. I'm talking about selling an incomplete game when the full game is ready. That would be selling the 1st part before the 2nd part is ready.
     
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  25. Dexter Arcane

    Dexter
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    Pretty much, most of the people extremely butthurt by "Roger Ebert", whinging about it in dozens of articles or holding grudges and bringing them up at inopportune moments:
    [​IMG]
    and earnestly pondering whether "games are art", are the same people that usually can't appreciate games for what they are and most of the time don't appreciate either interactivity, gameplay mechanics or difficulty. They will usually hate games like "Dark Souls" or "Cuphead", while praising Indie shit and Walking Simulators e.g.:





    [​IMG]
    https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.p...w-the-indie-clique-hates-complex-games.94137/
     
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