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'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

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Opinion: Daniel Robson says art is fine, but games are better

The debate about whether games are, or are not, art has always struck me as deeply stupid, for the following two reasons.... read more

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'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Masamune27 » 03 Nov 2012, 20:37

A lot of beautiful video games out there so I definitely consider them to be works of art. I've experienced plenty that have simply taken my breath away leaving me appreciative and happy. I also believe this not only applies to visuals, but also the music as well.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Lsnake » 03 Nov 2012, 20:48

That cover picture....if Nintendo had made their next 2D Mario look like that, I would buy the Wii U. Just for that. I adore that style. Like a properly painted Yoshi's Island.
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'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby getup2k » 03 Nov 2012, 20:50

Art is only really so when the work purposefully elicits a particular emotional response. In that respect, games are always artful, though it could be argued much of it is shallow, with one of the main responses as that of success/victory. However games that use this mechanic to simply drive the player along so that deeper emotions can be explored in other parts of the game are undoubtedly artful. Bioshock is a great example of that. Tetris? I would say not. Though even then a case can always be argued. Can tetris make you feel a certain way that no/very few other artforms before it can? or does it do it in a way which no/few other artforms had tried before? I think it's these questions which allude to a works real value as art. With that I'd have to put demons souls up there (going by what I've experienced from dark souls). silent hill 2. amnesia. assassins creed 2. hell, maybe even burnout 3's crash mode! So whether a particular game is worthwhile art or not is a very complex question. But it is art, and I've no doubt that in many cases it is at least more so than installation art.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby SirDMCalot » 03 Nov 2012, 21:18

Games aren't art but I don't mind. Games that try to be art (not art style) cease to be video games like say, 'Passage' holding right does not make it a videogame. Video games are just pure escapism and that's perfectly fine.

Edit: I think Da Vinci would see Kojima as a hack, Kojima does a lot homages (read:ripoff) to other films and most of the films he 'pays tribute' to are of 'Mr and Mrs Smith' caliber. Also you consider music and films not art over videogames?!
Last edited by SirDMCalot on 04 Nov 2012, 00:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Sunjiro » 03 Nov 2012, 21:59

Is this a serious article? You lost all validity in my eyes when you denounced cinema as essentially meaningless and hollow. You clearly are not very cineliterate. Try watching something in no way associated with Marvel.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Shommy » 03 Nov 2012, 22:04

What a stupid article. The author is so biased and yes we know games are art. So why make an article about it? Also why compare it to other art and say one is better than the other? Everyone has their own particular tastes in art, you can't say one thing is better than the other when it is 100% opinion based. So like I said, stupid article, it must of been a very slow news day.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby sf2rock » 03 Nov 2012, 23:23

This is why video games will never be considered art, because of the multitude of imbeciles associated with gaming, much like the writer of this piece:

"trying to find personal meaning in sunflowers and molten clocks and starry nights, is usually only for the purpose of impressing a girl or looking clever"

What an idiot.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Gator » 04 Nov 2012, 02:09

Traditional art - the stuff on walls - is bloody boring...

The emotions you feel when gaming - excitement, empowerment, amusement, rage, euphoria - are more extreme than anything traditional pictorial art will give you.

...usually only for the purpose of impressing a girl or looking clever.


Unbelievable. What an ignorant moron. I can't believe this article was posted.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby getup2k » 04 Nov 2012, 03:27

I think the writer has a point, traditional art can be quite inaccessible, which surely makes it completely pointless for a great part of today's audience? Games have a massive potential to be richly artful, and sometimes are. An oil painting of sunflowers, or fallout 3? Both very different types of art of course, but can you really deny that there's no contest between which more successfully evokes emotion? Van Gogh was an amazingly skillful and influential artist, showing his presence in every part of his paintings, making his images sing with the essence of his subject. Yet for me, his paintings are nice to look at for a couple of minutes. I'm not a painter, maybe I'd love it if I was. I'm sure I would if we lived in his time, but we don't, and there's a difference between respecting art and enjoying it. I don't know much about the people who made fallout 3, but I know how I felt standing on a balcony watching a town blow up after meeting all its inhabitants. Or perhaps meeting my first colossus in sotc. Or sunset sand-surfing in journey for the first time. There's at least an argument to be had and I don't think it's ignorant of him to raise the point.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby getup2k » 04 Nov 2012, 03:54

Although I will say that the statement 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games' doesn't make sense. Art can be games. The fact that we're joining in doesn't stop the game from controlling our emotions at all, and can often supplement the art if done properly. That town in fallout 3 blowing up was supposed to happen after you visit the town and meet the people there, with the emotional payoff heightened by your interaction. Also, the gameplay of dark souls and the pacing of the struggles you encounter are integral to the art of that game. So no, that is b**locks, art can sometimes be the game itself.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby beastie » 04 Nov 2012, 04:13

Gator wrote:
Traditional art - the stuff on walls - is bloody boring...

The emotions you feel when gaming - excitement, empowerment, amusement, rage, euphoria - are more extreme than anything traditional pictorial art will give you.

...usually only for the purpose of impressing a girl or looking clever.


Unbelievable. What an ignorant moron. I can't believe this article was posted.



Me neither, you can tell whoever wrote this doesn't get 'art', and it isn't for everyone but I found myself feeling sorry for him, art, like music, can move people in ways words can't explain.
and sure some people don't listen to music or feel anything from art, it is a shame though.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby HelloLadies » 04 Nov 2012, 07:43

The author sounds like an uncultured swine in some of his statements. The first time I saw Café Terrace at Night by Van Gogh many years ago it gave me a really unexplainable feeling and took me away when looking at it and at the time I would not have called myself a lover of Van Gogh's work. I think video games can be art but the mere inference of this gives weight to arguments against blatant cash cow franchises and how they are called out for what they are. I believe its a fine line to tread between whats art and what is simply a source of entertainment.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Balladeer » 04 Nov 2012, 09:19

There are any number of posts here saying exactly what I was going to say. I'm not sure whether the author was trolling for that sort of response, whether he hoped that the majority of CVG's readership was as uncultured as him, or whether he generally is as thick as he sounds. If it's the first one, well done: otherwise, take some time off playing Shooty McShooterson's Shooting Gallery (With Guns) and broaden your mind, you philistine.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby Gator » 04 Nov 2012, 09:55

getup2k, I don't think you quite get art either. The purpose of it isn't to be understood by everyone who looks at it, That's like saying books are pointless because loads of people don't read. It requires some sort of interest, a thirst to learn, so yeah, it probably is inaccessible to a great part of today's audience.

getup2k wrote:but can you really deny that there's no contest between which more successfully evokes emotion?--

That town in fallout 3 blowing up was supposed to happen after you visit the town and meet the people there, with the emotional payoff heightened by your interaction.


There is no contest, just because art doesn't invoke emotion in you doesn't make it any less credible. Remember when Ash let Butterfree go? That made me sad, but that isn't more important than Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Or how about when they play 'When You Believe' on X-factor as the judges reveal their decision? Is that art?

"The Raft of the Medusa" is a heartbreaking painting, with a lot of history behind it, most people could look at it once and not give it a second thought, but things like this will be remembered long after the world has forgotten about Fallout 3, and rightfully so. It's an offence that people would compare something so important to a videogame, or put them in the same category.

Also, Your description of Van Gogh seems rehearsed and(hilariously) patronising.
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Re: 'Videogames can be art, but art can never be games'

Postby toaplan » 04 Nov 2012, 10:34

I think as a visual art, video games stand comparison with and can even surpass the other visual arts. However, as a narrative art, games have a hard time matching the best books and films. It's still a young medium, so hopefully the storytelling will evolve over time.

But I don't think the storytelling aspect prevents games from qualifying as art, since as a visual art games are currently pretty much the most exciting thing out there.
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