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W3R3W00F

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15th April, 2011 at 04:46:44 -

Poll: Are games art?
Yes. - 22 votes
No. - 4 votes
It depends. - 13 votes
Possibly. - 3 votes
I haven't decided yet. - 0 votes
I don't know. - 0 votes

I think most games could be qualified as art, to some degree.

Edited by W3R3W00F

 
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Neuro

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15th April, 2011 at 05:27:26 -

I think that like it or not, games are art. Every single one.

 
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15th April, 2011 at 06:25:06 -

Not only are they art, they are the highest form of art. It's a combination of everything, music, visuals story. It has one thing that sets it apart from all other forms of art, it's interactive. The player is fully immersed in the game with the choices they can make.

 
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15th April, 2011 at 07:11:40 -

Derp. Its not a debate, its just most people don't have a clue, especially when the clueless have the loudest voice. They think art = shit. When art basically = the good stuff.

 
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Pixelthief

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15th April, 2011 at 07:49:56 -

Is looking at a painting art?
Is playing a video game art?

------>

Is a painting art?
Is a video game art?

 
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s-m-r

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15th April, 2011 at 13:12:16 -

Here's a master critic of the cinema on whether or not games today are art. The short answer from him is "no."

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html

Anyone care to counter this?

 
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15th April, 2011 at 13:26:31 -

Image

If that's art, video games are art.

 

  		
  		

Chizuko



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15th April, 2011 at 14:36:50 -

What is art? Does people think about it often enough? Often people picture famous paintings, and traditional art, but what does the word art really mean?

It's like asking, what's "god", it it in the dictionary? Some have a lot to say about "god", but are they entitled to force everyone to believe what "god" means to them?

I'm not going to tell anyone that they should believe games are art. To me, art means beauty. That's how I like to see it, if a man can find beauty in it, then he is facing art... life is the art of god!

All in all, are games art? I definitely think so, yes! A game is a composition of experiences, shapes, colors, sound, everything. And who is to say it isn't art? I wouldn't let anyone stick their belief into me without a good explanation, even if leonardo da vinci came to me and tried to tell me just to believe games aren't art. Same thing if the Pope wanted to convert me to christianism, just because, I'd tell him to piss of BYATCH! and he'd die from a heart attack, because he's human, just as I am, and neither him or anyone else has the right to tell me what to believe!!

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!

Btw I'm asian

 
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Matt Boothman

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15th April, 2011 at 15:28:53 -

I voted no. Art is just a tag, made meaningless by being applied to anything and everything. Games are much more than that.

 
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15th April, 2011 at 15:35:36 -

Don't be fooled by the braindead. They'll put a toilet/poo etc. in a gallery and call it art. What most people mean when you hear them say "art" is "crap". Its basically a race to the bottom, rather than to the top (currently the highest art being videogames).

Can you imagine people in awe when they see great statues for the first time? Would they be in awe of a few squares on a canvas too? I bet the people who made cave paintings would be laughing at us.

 
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Duncan

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15th April, 2011 at 16:50:15 -

Image

If that's art, video games are art.

 
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Phredreeke

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15th April, 2011 at 17:47:36 -

I don't think there's a hierarchy that says that video games is the greatest art, with other arts below it. I don't consider all games to be art, neither do I consider all movies, music or books to be art.

Image
Art? Yeah right...

Problem is, what is art? Is it more artistic to make a flawed game that's never been done before, than to make a perfect game in an already established genre? For example, is Maniac Mansion more or less artistic than Monkey Island 2?

 
- Ok, you must admit that was the most creative cussing this site have ever seen -

Make some more box arts damnit!
http://create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=285363

Pixelthief

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15th April, 2011 at 18:36:14 -

I think the problem is in context. Theres no art in a 12 year old playing Duke Nukem 3d.
But the game itself- its enginework, its graphics, its music, its raw elements, its cohesiveness- they are all art.

Can you appreciate the art of a game playing it? Of course. Could you jerk off to a nude painting? Of course.
The problem is in context- those like Ebert looking to tie the interactions of games to their artistry.
Would we call the Mona Lisa "art", if humans had no eyes and ate paintings? If it was little more than a meal?

The experience chosen is irrelevant. What was created is still the same.

 
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W3R3W00F

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15th April, 2011 at 20:26:50 -


Originally Posted by Pixelthief
I think the problem is in context. Theres no art in a 12 year old playing Duke Nukem 3d.
But the game itself- its enginework, its graphics, its music, its raw elements, its cohesiveness- they are all art.

Can you appreciate the art of a game playing it? Of course. Could you jerk off to a nude painting? Of course.
The problem is in context- those like Ebert looking to tie the interactions of games to their artistry.
Would we call the Mona Lisa "art", if humans had no eyes and ate paintings? If it was little more than a meal?

The experience chosen is irrelevant. What was created is still the same.



More or less what I was thinking. Playing the game isn't art, but the game itself is, in some way. That's probably why Ebert claimed games were not and could not be art: he never made one.

I don't know if I'd call games the "highest form of art" yet, but it does combine other forms of art to make an entirely new form of art, so I suppose it's possible.

Another reason games could be considered art is because they are made from the ground up with, like Pixelthief said, raw elements. They're more or less made the same way songs are: There are 12 different types of musical notes, but when placed in an intricate fashion, they form something greater.

Edited by W3R3W00F

 
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markno2



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15th April, 2011 at 20:48:22 -

I'm gonna say "no."

Mainly because games that try to be "art" (like Knytt) usually suck.

 
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15th April, 2011 at 21:03:34 -

Doesn't matter if you find 1 game that's lame; heck, even if ALL games sucked, that wouldn't mean anything! If all oil paintings in the world were ugly, would that mean oil paintings aren't a form of art?

Of course some games have no heart in it, no beauty, but other games are true art pieces imo, like the turret game, for example, made by the best game developer in tdc, can't remember his name, I've heard his user was removed by circy, so was his story, truly sad.

Edited by Chizuko

 
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s-m-r

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15th April, 2011 at 21:39:23 -

I'd offer to change my vote from "yes" to "no."

After some contemplation and in shame of my knee-jerk reaction of scoffing and immediately voting yes, I'm comfortable with noting video games as "creative products" as opposed to "art." Kind of like sports equipment or sex toys; they allow you more opportunities to enjoy yourself if you're into that sort of thing, and often include innovative design and/or new and different features.

I am a tabletop game designer as well, and I feel the same way about them, it seems. Same criteria, different medium.

 
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Hayo

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15th April, 2011 at 22:17:58 -

In my opinion they can be as much art as a movie or a piece of music can be art. I tend to go with Boothman on this though.

 
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Phredreeke

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15th April, 2011 at 22:20:42 -

I disagree with your comparison with sports equipment and sex toys. Those are tools, just a means to an end. Like the paintbrushes an artist use to make a painting, or the controller you use to play the game.

 
- Ok, you must admit that was the most creative cussing this site have ever seen -

Make some more box arts damnit!
http://create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=285363

Alonso Martin



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15th April, 2011 at 23:42:59 -

Film wasn't "art" in its beginnings. It was first done to document life (sell), then to entertain (sell). As time went by, some people began developing new films which were not made to sell, but to talk about some truth about the author and his way of understanding the world. In the same vein, I think most videogames until now have been made to sell/entertain. Once someone begins making games not with the intent of entertaining, but to invite the gamer into contemplation, there will be art in videogames. I'm sure the same happened with sculpture, painting and music. You could say Bach still sold his pieces for a living. Yes, of course, but nobody really understood what he wrote. Rembrandt also sold his paintings, but to people who didn't realise what genius painted them. If things are pulled toward the selling/entertainment department, then you HAVE to make things that people understand, which is why Hollywood is so successfully dull. Of course, this is my perspective, based on what I've read from Heidegger, Deleuze and some of the greeks. If someone's read any of them, I'd love to discuss further.

 
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Muz



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16th April, 2011 at 09:24:55 -

IMO, art is just a label applied to things. It has lost its meaning (as Boothman said). People try to call things art to gain respect. Most forms of art, even culture is just what people do when they have too much excess productivity. Art is basically just a waste of time. But once you call everything art, then art is no longer a respectable thing, and a lot of people get so goddamn defensive about it.

IMO, real art is something that invokes emotions and thought. Common art may have done that at one point, now they're just drawing blobs and forcing interpretations on it. Games invoke emotion and thought way better than movies or books or paintings. In that sense, it's a form of art.

A lot of gamers like to call their stuff art, so that they can gain respect and try to get a lot of money doing something for fun. I like to avoid those people.

(btw knytt doesnt suck. the fact that people interpret knytt differently, get emotional about it, and enjoy it to different extents makes it an art form in the first place )

Edited by Muz

 
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Duncan

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16th April, 2011 at 12:35:37 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r
Here's a master critic of the cinema on whether or not games today are art. The short answer from him is "no."

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html

Anyone care to counter this?



See, to the average wikipedia-user outside of the US, Roger Ebert is just another inscrutable facet of North American intellectual life. Why is he partaking in this debate exactly? Is he trolling Shadow of the Colossus fans?


But the game itself- its enginework, its graphics, its music, its raw elements, its cohesiveness- they are all art.



But that's just craftsmanship!


looking to tie the interactions of games to their artistry



As they fundamentally should be? It's what games are. It's inescapable. It's great!


The experience chosen is irrelevant. What was created is still the same.



But there's got to at least be the possibility of a meaningful experience rather than an opiate sense-dulling one, right? Maybe that can be delivered by a nice texture, I don't know.

We've all played art games with Themes and Metaphors, right? Like in nineteenth century novels, you know? Are games literature?

 
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Chizuko



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16th April, 2011 at 14:27:50 -

When people think about art they think about traditional art only!

 
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Alonso Martin



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16th April, 2011 at 17:42:47 -

Traditional art is the only kind of art that most does what art is supposed to do. This is going to sound incredibly cryptic, but the work of art is where a truth operates, and the viewer can operate with it. The work of art is a signalling toward something that couldn't be brought to words otherwise; so much cannot it be brought to words that it cannot be otherwise "spoken" of. It can, however, be felt. This is the purpose of the work of art, to bring it to the viewer what is otherwise concealed. With "truth", I only mean reality (what we think is reality doesn't have a name yet [because we haven't yet noticed this difference]). But truth is discovered or unconcealed only in parts. The work of art discloses parts of the truth of the artist, but also of the viewer. That is why all great pieces are glorified in museums, and why great works of art seem to be immortal. Everything else that doesn't disclose part of the/a truth isn't a work of art--it is craftsmanship or something else.

I am sure nobody will undertake this enterprise, but you can read a very astonishing (and mystical) interpretation of the work of art here:
http://www.4shared.com/get/1RE4SxK1/HEIDEGGER_-_ORIGIN_OF_THE_WORK.html

And a topic-guide, I suppose. I wouldn't trust this too much:
http://homepage.newschool.edu/~quigleyt/vcs/heidegger-owasum.pdf


Oh, and to go back to the topic, videogames are not yet a work of art. They are very good examples of craftsmanship, but as long as they keep on trying to sell instead of pointing toward some truth (and do it metaphorically and not symbolically), videogames are not works of art.

Edited by Alonso Martin

 
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Hayo

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16th April, 2011 at 19:41:49 -

But then, could you say the mainstream games are entertainment and we are the real artists?

 
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Alonso Martin



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16th April, 2011 at 19:59:00 -

In terms of videogames, I would not dare to call myself an artist. I make the most typical games possible (even if I try to give them an interesting story). I've never seen any videogame comparable to the astonishing experience of watching a Tarkovsky film, or listening to Bach, or reading Woolf. I'm probably a neophyte when it comes to knowing all the games made by the indie communities, but I only speak from what I've seen.

Edit: I should mention I have had, naturally, very aesthetic experiences while playing videogames. But I think that's not quite the same as being pointed toward something that changes me.

Edited by Alonso Martin

 
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Neuro

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17th April, 2011 at 00:32:12 -

I don't think there's ever anything you'll see/hear/play at first glance and say 'yeah that's art'. I didn't take more than a second's glance at most paintings and sculptures in the Louvre, just like I'll skip over a lot of games that I could easily download or play a demo of.

I don't think art has to be good or get attention or even intend to be art to be art. I see that in any creative medium there is potential for 'art', so what the hey, it's all art.

Edited by Neuro

 
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Matt Boothman

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17th April, 2011 at 15:45:17 -

I know what Alonso is getting at, but it's also true that art is subjective and individual. Just because you don't see a 'truth' in any game, doesn't mean that somebody else might not. And this is also what I mean by the word 'art' being applied to everything - because it is subjective and individual, you cannot argue with some other person's perception of 'art'. I would find it hard to say that when I first played FFVII, it didn't change my life. But I don't think it revealed truth to me. In fact, nothing I've ever seen (ie with me eyes) has ever revealed truth to me.

 
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17th April, 2011 at 15:51:10 -

Certain paintings are very artistic, other paintings are less artistic. Does that affect how much the act of "painting" is an art form? I don't think so. The closed minded need to grasp that concept before they can understand that game development can be an art form.

 
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Alonso Martin



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17th April, 2011 at 16:27:29 -

Matt: I regret not mentioning that I don't mean truth as in "tree" (the origin of the word; steadfast and firm) or "veritas" (verifiable: either true or false statements). The much handy definition is "ἀλήθεια" (alé-thia; unconcealment), which is inherently subjective and individual, but part of a totality of truth ( ἀλήθεια ) which sustains everything else. I don't mean an ulterior truth (which can be known progressively or in percentages), but a truth that can only be known in parts (and it does not mean that the sum will equal the totality). These parts (that are unconcealed) are what each human being understands or fails to understand about his being-in-the-world. Works of art are also called "pieces". Word play, yes, but "pieces" of truth.

Neuro: In Louvre, everything is glorified as a work of art. Unfortunately, it massifies the collection and, thus, people only browse for a few seconds something that took months or years to craft. There are even "marathons" to see every piece. Art doesn't work like that; you have to contemplate the piece for it to open itself to you. Contemplation requires time and, especially, disposition (of which you had not very much when you browsed the Louvre, by the sound of it). Great works of art immediately stand out as "art", whether you pay attention to them or not. Again, you have to be in disposition, and the Louvre is not the kind of place to have an intimate moment with anything. Nevertheless, to this day, I've never seen anyone deny the classics as artists.

Chizuko: One is precisely close-minded if one thinks art to be something progressive or quantitative (thus, phrases like "more artistic than", "less artistic than" arise). You need to read carefully what I wrote to understand my perspective. I wrote it carefully

Edited by Alonso Martin

 
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Matt Boothman

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17th April, 2011 at 19:52:50 -

You do not need Greek to tell me what you mean by 'truth', I am well aware of duality of meaning. I completely understand what you meant the first time.

"Art does not reproduce the visible; it makes things visible." - Paul Klee

 
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Candle
18th April, 2011 at 15:13:04 -


Originally Posted by Phredreeke
I disagree with your comparison with sports equipment and sex toys. Those are tools, just a means to an end. Like the paintbrushes an artist use to make a painting, or the controller you use to play the game.


Very well. I'd then compare computer games to playing sports and masturbation. Creative, certainly. Art, not likely.

 
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Chizuko



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18th April, 2011 at 16:53:20 -

I see many people here jumped too fast into the debate, I'd start by checking out the dictionary and see the several definitions of arts, you'll see it's open to interpretation. You can't believe you didn't do that earlier, do you? Anyway, the definition I like the most is art as the creation of beauty, the more you put your heart into something, the more artistic it is, and there's no reason that shouldn't include game development.

 
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Alonso Martin



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18th April, 2011 at 17:04:14 -

Again, Chizuko, it seems you're the one that most quickly jumps to conclusions. I very much recommend reading Heidegger's perspective. He explains several understandings of art, matter and form (which is something nobody has mentioned yet), truth and beauty. Dictionary definitions are not very handy, unless you're trying to define something very simple.

Matt: Precisely this duality is what I tried to leave out when I brought the Greek understanding of truth. Whether unconcealed or concealed, it is all simultaneously part of the same something (which inaugurates a new perspective). It's more about monoism, rather than dualism.

 
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18th April, 2011 at 17:28:47 -

For me art is something that means something to someone. That being said, I do believe games are art.

s-m-r: Put it this way: Playing a video game is the same as watching a movie. By making a game or a movie you are making art. You can't "make sport" or "make masturbation", or in others words, there is no creation involved with sports or masturbation whatsoever.
Masturbating or practicing sports have no emotions involved, only physical stimulus and therefore, enjoyment. A videogame is much more than that, there is the experience factor. When you look at a painting, watch a movie or play a videogame you are connecting your personal experience with what you are currently experiencing. Once you're done with the movie/painting/game, you will gather what you just felt/experienced and add it to your personal experience.
That's the ultimate goal of every piece of art, having a long lasting experience, have a strong meaning/impact on the spectator, and that's something videogames have but sports or masturbation don't.

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
18th April, 2011 at 17:48:15 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look
For me art is something that means something to someone. That being said, I do believe games are art.

s-m-r: Put it this way: Playing a video game is the same as watching a movie. By making a game or a movie you are making art. You can't "make sport" or "make masturbation", or in others words, there is no creation involved with sports or masturbation whatsoever.
Masturbating or practicing sports have no emotions involved, only physical stimulus and therefore, enjoyment.



You're saying there's no emotional involvement, no imagination, no intellectual stimulation or learning, no passion in those activities? Then you've either never played a sport, or never masturbated. I've done plenty of both and experienced much, much more than only "physical stimulus." But maybe that's just me.

I certainly don't want to jump to conclusions here, but if you've never experienced those phenomena while doing something other than making a piece of art or making a video game, then please try them again. But different this time.

I for one have the opinion that there is plenty to be learned and experienced from activities beyond "making art." however, I won't have so much conceit to say that I'm making art by doing those other things. I'm living in the moment and putting my energy and attention toward what I think is important at the time. I draw from and appreciate what that experience has to offer throughout my later life, in a wide variety of circumstances.

 
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Chizuko



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18th April, 2011 at 17:50:14 -

Because art is abstract and open to interpretation it doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge its definition on the dictionary, we must agree on that. If it comes to the point one has to disregard whatever the dictionary says to define a word, it's no longer a fair debate.

Another definition of 'art' is doing something right. The art of doing things the best you can, example: the art of game development.

 
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s-m-r

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18th April, 2011 at 18:51:54 -

Then why discuss anything at all, if to settle any debate all we need to do is look in the dictionary?

Secondly, "the art of game-making" is a euphemism; it's an expression that describes the process of creation of video games. So, by definition, video games are not to be considered as art, but making video games could be.

If you want to go that route, then hell, "excreting waste" is art. Every time I've taken a dump, it's art. This is because I only go when I really, really need to. Others can see it, smell it, taste it, touch it; this elicits a natural response from them as I'm not sharing the response only with myself. And since I'm 34 years old now, I've become really good at it. I'm practically an Old Master at it.

My point is that you're arguing to support the idea that everything is art. I don't agree with such a statement.

You want to say that video games are art, go right ahead. I can't be one of them. The only concession that I'll ever give video games is that it takes a lot of discipline and creativity (among other qualities, of course) to make them. They are the end result of the creative process and what I would consider "judicious technical application." But that does not make them art, in my opinion.

 
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Johnny Look

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18th April, 2011 at 19:28:38 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r

Originally Posted by Johnny Look
For me art is something that means something to someone. That being said, I do believe games are art.

s-m-r: Put it this way: Playing a video game is the same as watching a movie. By making a game or a movie you are making art. You can't "make sport" or "make masturbation", or in others words, there is no creation involved with sports or masturbation whatsoever.
Masturbating or practicing sports have no emotions involved, only physical stimulus and therefore, enjoyment.



You're saying there's no emotional involvement, no imagination, no intellectual stimulation or learning, no passion in those activities? Then you've either never played a sport, or never masturbated. I've done plenty of both and experienced much, much more than only "physical stimulus." But maybe that's just me.

I certainly don't want to jump to conclusions here, but if you've never experienced those phenomena while doing something other than making a piece of art or making a video game, then please try them again. But different this time.

I for one have the opinion that there is plenty to be learned and experienced from activities beyond "making art." however, I won't have so much conceit to say that I'm making art by doing those other things. I'm living in the moment and putting my energy and attention toward what I think is important at the time. I draw from and appreciate what that experience has to offer throughout my later life, in a wide variety of circumstances.



Firstly, tone down. This is supposed to be a constructive discussion, being aggressive doesn't make your point any more valid.

Secondly, you obviously missed my point entirely. When you practice a sport or masturbate, who or what do you relate your experience to ? When you watch a movie, play a game, look at a painting, etc there is a message,a pre-defined experience to be had that the artist(creator) wanted you to gather/relate to. You are relating your experience to the creation of someone else. That's communication, art is a form of communication. Practicing sport or masturbating aren't forms of communication or anything even close to art but videogames, at least a good bunch of them, are. Sport or masturbation aren't physical objects, they are activities so I don't even know you brought this into the discussion.
Also, making a game or a movie isn't art. The game and the movie are the piece of art, and the creator(s) are the artists.




 
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Phredreeke

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18th April, 2011 at 19:33:39 -

Johnny Look's post sums it up pretty well.

 
- Ok, you must admit that was the most creative cussing this site have ever seen -

Make some more box arts damnit!
http://create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=285363

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18th April, 2011 at 20:40:03 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

Also, making a game or a movie isn't art. The game and the movie are the piece of art, and the creator(s) are the artists.


The discussion about the definition was related to someone else's post about agreeing on the definition of art, as represented in the dictionary. It wasn't meant to diffuse your point.


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

Practicing sport or masturbating aren't forms of communication or anything even close to art but videogames, at least a good bunch of them, are. Sport or masturbation aren't physical objects, they are activities so I don't even know you brought this into the discussion.



If you consider art as communication, I can understand your disagreement about masturbation (generally speaking, it's not something that has an audience) so I'll drop that for the moment. That comment of mine stemmed from someone else's disagreement that certain tools were used to create an experience; I likened video games to sports equipment and sex toys. That was argued against, saying that those physical items were simply a means to an end, like paint brushes or game controllers. I rolled with that, and responded that the acts of using those tools may still be creative experiences, but not making art in itself.

There is a creative process in the conception of tools (the "means to an end" described previously), but just because the creative process was utilized to develop a tool does not mean that the tool itself is art. By extension, the use of artistic talent, creative writing skills, new ideas, and technical prowess to bring a game to market does not mean that a video game is a work of art.

Going on what I've proposed above, I still say that video games are not art. They are not created specifically for the communication of ideas. They are there to facilitate an experience through a given medium. Whether it's an abstract twitch game, Final Fantasy VII, Serious Sam, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Meat Boy, Mario Kart 64, Braid, Half Life 2, whatever people are playing these days...They may have ideas within them that are aspects of the experience, but - to use someone else's phrase - that idea is a means to an end.

If art is about communication, then what are games communicating that sports are not? The passion and excitement experienced not only by the players but the coaches, spectators, and fans can also communicated during a video game. How are the two so different? Wouldn't the physical object of the CD or game controller be a means to an end, and therefore not art? And what about digital downloads, that are not so much physical objects as pulses of electricity? Sure they can be converted to physical media, but it's not necessary to access. But then again, computers would be required to access the games...does that make computers art? They are communication tools; does that make them art-worthy?

If you want to say the practice of sports is not art, but a video game is, then it's like saying a World Cup '98 cartridge is art while the act of sitting down in the seats of the stadium and watching a soccer game is not. (not to belabor the point, but I have an opinion that sporting events and video games are similar, while you propose that they are altogether different).

Perhaps I'm looking for a level of sophistication from works of art that I don't currently see in video games, and that's where our disagreement comes from.

 
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18th April, 2011 at 20:43:39 -

@ Johnny: And hey, it's unfortunate if you see my response as aggressive. I reckon I really can't do anything about that.

EDIT: Ah! I don't mean to be insinuating that/accusing you of either masturbating or playing sports, or needing to. I realize I later used that as a personal anecdote to make a point, but that wasn't intended as a "get thee to a nunnery!" jab or anything. I apologize...!

Edited by s-m-r

 
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Johnny Look

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18th April, 2011 at 21:22:28 -


If you consider art as communication, I can understand your disagreement about masturbation (generally speaking, it's not something that has an audience) so I'll drop that for the moment. That comment of mine stemmed from someone else's disagreement that certain tools were used to create an experience; I likened video games to sports equipment and sex toys. That was argued against, saying that those physical items were simply a means to an end, like paint brushes or game controllers. I rolled with that, and responded that the acts of using those tools may still be creative experiences, but not making art in itself.
There is a creative process in the conception of tools (the "means to an end" described previously), but just because the creative process was utilized to develop a tool does not mean that the tool itself is art. By extension, the use of artistic talent, creative writing skills, new ideas, and technical prowess to bring a game to market does not mean that a video game is a work of art.



Tools can be art if the artist wants them to be, but generally they are not meant to offer an experience, at least not directly. It doesn't matter how art is made, what matters is the intent of the artist.
Pollock was famous for his paintings but all he did was throw paint at some huge blank canvas and call them art. Video games aren't art because they contain art within, they are art because of the experience they want to convey.


Going on what I've proposed above, I still say that video games are not art. They are not created specifically for the communication of ideas. They are there to facilitate an experience through a given medium. Whether it's an abstract twitch game, Final Fantasy VII, Serious Sam, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Meat Boy, Mario Kart 64, Braid, Half Life 2, whatever people are playing these days...They may have ideas within them that are aspects of the experience, but - to use someone else's phrase - that idea is a means to an end.



Movies, music and even a painting might not be created exclusively for the communication of an idea but that doesn't exclude them from being considered a piece of art.
However, I strongly disagree with you, games are actually made for the communication of ideas/concepts/experience, it's just that a lot of people don't even notice that.
Game design revolves mostly around the concept of experience, or more exactly around summing up all the possible experiences you can take out of an idea and make them enjoyable/fun. I'm sure that every game you played has offered an experience of some sort to you, regardless of how memorable or enjoyable it was. Still, whether a game fails or not at crafting a solid experience on you doesn't make it more or less artistic. Like I said previously, what matters is the intent of the artist, and if his piece of art meant something to someone then he was successful.



If art is about communication, then what are games communicating that sports are not? The passion and excitement experienced not only by the players but the coaches, spectators, and fans can also communicated during a video game. How are the two so different?



That's not the same sort of communication I was talking about. All art is communication but not all communication is art and like I said sports is an activity so that automatically excludes it from being art.


Wouldn't the physical object of the CD or game controller be a means to an end, and therefore not art? And what about digital downloads, that are not so much physical objects as pulses of electricity? Sure they can be converted to physical media, but it's not necessary to access. But then again, computers would be required to access the games...does that make computers art? They are communication tools; does that make them art-worthy?



The art isn't the file, the game controller or the cd, but the game itself. It's very much physical since you can see it and even interact with it. The same can be said for a painting or a movie, except they can't be interacted with. Music is art, but you can't see it, only listen to it.
You can't see or hear sports, you can see people practicing it but that's about it. It's an abstract thing while a game is not.

edit:

Originally Posted by s-m-r
@ Johnny: And hey, it's unfortunate if you see my response as aggressive. I reckon I really can't do anything about that.

EDIT: Ah! I don't mean to be insinuating that/accusing you of either masturbating or playing sports, or needing to. I realize I later used that as a personal anecdote to make a point, but that wasn't intended as a "get thee to a nunnery!" jab or anything. I apologize...!



Ahaha no it wasn't because of that.
I just thought your tone was a bit too agressive, as if I ofended you or something but it's all good by me, apologies accepted.

Edited by Johnny Look

 
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s-m-r

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19th April, 2011 at 03:32:25 -

Ah well, if you're comfortable in saying that art is all in the intent of the artist, and that art only needs to mean something to someone somewhere, but then you want to put arbitrary limits on the variety of communication that qualifies as art, then I'm stepping out. It's interesting to me that you're willing to say that it's simply up to the individual artist to determine what is art, but then limit the types of communication that could be considered art.

...Of course, I could simply jump back in later after lurking for a few weeks, and break all my promises of not contributing anymore. It's been known to happen.

 
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Johnny Look

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19th April, 2011 at 04:00:14 -

To have art (communication) you need two things, the artist (the communicator) and the work of the artist or piece of art (the message). What you were talking about is something entirely different, it's not even communication. There are no ideas/experiences being communicated by an individual, and there isn't an actual message.

I don't put arbitrary limits on what kind of communication counts as art, art is communication there are no right or wrong sorts of communication. You must have misunderstood something, or I did.

 
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Alonso Martin



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19th April, 2011 at 04:25:34 -

Art is precisely not a tool. What tools have is that they're half works of art and half tools. Their utility obfuscates the other half, precisely because they are to be used by man. This is all much better explained in the essay I suggested before (The origin of the work of art), but things have been driven to a very unfortunate place. Communication is what modern cartesians use as metaphysics to smear a missaprehended Aristotle unto more originary understanding of the world. For the past 4 years, i've studied a career in communications. Believe me, this is the worst road to take. Art is not about communication (even if it happens incidentally). If it were, then publicity and marketing would be the glorification of the work of art. The world is ugly enough as it is. If art has to be about something, it's about founding the world of man.

I'm also desisting from this thread. Regardless of our differing views, we're not exploring the subject of art, but limiting it. Thanks for reading, though

Edited by Alonso Martin

 
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19th April, 2011 at 06:02:23 -

When a debate is about a word, then yes, we need to check out the dictionary, I would had believed that's pretty obvious. No wonder some people are having such hard time getting around the core of the issue here (no base, no grounds).

Alsonso Martin seems to be living in the world in backwards, haha.



 
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Duncan

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19th April, 2011 at 11:06:46 -

Art - is it games? Is art games?

Reading Pale Fire? Looking at the skull in that Hans Holbein painting? Last Year In Marienbad or Drowning By Numbers?

Is Finnegans Wake more difficult than Megaman?

 
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19th April, 2011 at 12:31:59 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

I don't put arbitrary limits on what kind of communication counts as art, art is communication there are no right or wrong sorts of communication. You must have misunderstood something, or I did.



I can go along with that for the moment, but...


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

That's not the same sort of communication I was talking about. All art is communication but not all communication is art...



...Which I can also wrap my head around. And before that, I saw...


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

For me art is something that means something to someone. That being said, I do believe games are art.



I'm having trouble following this line of thinking, is all. On their own, it's permissible and possible. I am having trouble combining the three, and coming up with an answer to the question of whether games are art.

 
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Chizuko



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19th April, 2011 at 13:24:24 -

Arguments against games being art are losing their power! For example, implying that games are not art because one should always specify that it's actually the making of games which is art, is like telling someone that paintings aren't art because one should always specify the making of paintings is art.

I'd say this debate requires less writing and more thinking!

Edited by Chizuko

 
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Johnny Look

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19th April, 2011 at 14:08:45 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r

Originally Posted by Johnny Look

I don't put arbitrary limits on what kind of communication counts as art, art is communication there are no right or wrong sorts of communication. You must have misunderstood something, or I did.



I can go along with that for the moment, but...


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

That's not the same sort of communication I was talking about. All art is communication but not all communication is art...



...Which I can also wrap my head around. And before that, I saw...


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

For me art is something that means something to someone. That being said, I do believe games are art.



I'm having trouble following this line of thinking, is all. On their own, it's permissible and possible. I am having trouble combining the three, and coming up with an answer to the question of whether games are art.



Perhaps I didn't use the right words for the second quote, now I think I understand your confusion on your previous post. At first I thought you were talking about the communication between players/coaches/etc so I said that kind of communication is different from art. I then realized what you means and corrected you by saying it wasn't communication at all for the reasons I pointed out.

Alonso: Well I've been studying art for 5 years, almost 6 now.
I don't understand why you say that art is not communication and that publicity and marketing would be the glorification of the work of art. Marketing and publicity and art are only similar in semiology where they are both seen as symbols with a message to communicate but other than that they are distinct kinds of communication because their ultimate goal is different. Simplifying things, publicity aims to raise awareness to a product while art aims to provide an experience. Publicity can also be art (it's called commercial art, and andy warhol is well known for that kind of art) but generally speaking art and publicity have little to do with each other, other than being both forms of communication. Whether someone likes it or not, art IS communication and imo the most beautiful form of it.

 
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Alonso Martin



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19th April, 2011 at 16:08:50 -

I think I understand your position, Johnny. What do you mean by "studying art"? Is it a specific type of art or is the career just generally about art? The reason why I initially made the comparison between film and videogames is because I do both; I simply don't think videogames have been around enough time for someone to develop a road toward finding meaning with the medium. I think publicity and marketing are not very good examples of works of art: a work of art is supposed to be transparent--to point you to an "overwhelming question", as Eliot would say. Publicity and marketing are so opaque that they don't even look for the aesthetic (which is another way of knowing the world; thinking is one, having faith is another, feeling is another)--they just look for beauty shots and creative ways for you to buy the product they sell. That's their use. If a work of art has use, then it becomes a tool. Tools are half works of art (in that anything that humans make is a work of art), but also half utilities (in their usefulness). And this usefulness (communication) is what hides the original condition of their making.

To be clearer, I can't agree with you more about publicity and marketing being works of art, but only half works of art, and dimmed by their usefulness. I seriously encourage you to read, at least, the passage about Van Gogh's painting of the shoes. Besides being incredibly mystical, it gives you tremendous insight. When I was a teenager, I thought I understood what art was, but eventually I noticed I didn't. I just had personal opinions and prejudices about art. Heidegger goes back to the original cartesian definition of art (shape/form and matter) and explains other views. I can honestly say I was handicapped (more than I am now, anyway) before reading that essay.

In any case, I understand your position and probably why you're standing there. I'm just inviting you to read something that perhaps you'll like


Originally Posted by Chizuko

I'd say this debate requires less writing and more thinking!


I couldn't have made a better assertion!

Edited by Alonso Martin

 
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Phredreeke

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19th April, 2011 at 17:43:27 -


Originally Posted by Alonso Martin
I think I understand your position, Johnny. What do you mean by "studying art"? Is it a specific type of art or is the career just generally about art? The reason why I initially made the comparison between film and videogames is because I do both; I simply don't think videogames have been around enough time for someone to develop a road toward finding meaning with the medium.



So, are you suggesting that Georges Méliès films aren't art, because film hadn't been around long enough?


 
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Make some more box arts damnit!
http://create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=285363

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19th April, 2011 at 18:02:52 -


Originally Posted by Phredreeke

So, are you suggesting that Georges Méliès films aren't art, because film hadn't been around long enough?



Well, yes. Deleuze and Derrida also thought similarly. Méliès' films were like Spielberg's or Cameron's today (forgive me for the comparison) in that they were made to excel technically, entertain and sell. Compare him (again, anachronistically) to Tarkovsky, Kieslowski, Bergman, Boe, etc. This distinction (entertainment vs contemplation) I've been trying to make since my first post. :/

 
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19th April, 2011 at 18:55:07 -

I guess the thing closed minded people is having most trouble getting around is that... if game development is art, then everything can be art! This is a matter if abstract thinking, where are the boundaries to what art is?

In math you have to define every value, and that value is the same to everyone. With art, everyone has their own view. Ask 10 people to draw a beautiful tree, none of the trees will be the same.

Edited by Chizuko

 
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MasterM



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19th April, 2011 at 20:05:59 -



Is Finnegans Wake more difficult than Megaman?



I'm not sure about that. At least it isn't as solid as a rock
man

 
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20th April, 2011 at 01:14:31 -


Alonso:

More specifically, I'm pursuing a degree in multimedia arts but I already finished a three years course in high school (in multimedia arts).

I agree that it will still take some time for the majority to see video games as art, the same way movies took a long time before they were considered art and even music and for the same reasons. Movies were seen as entertainment, not art, just like videogames still are nowadays and music was a long time ago. Back then someone who didn't like to watch movies would laugh at your face if you called them art. The same way someone who doesn't like videogames will laugh at you for saying videogames are art (and will probably call you nerd in the process). I think that how someone perceives games as entertainment and not art comes down to how that persons sees a game. Personally I believe games are more than just entertainment. Some games go way farther than just entertain you, they touch you and offer you unique experiences you wouldn't have otherwise. Games have that power, they can just mess with the player's feelings and leave a mark or at the very least an impression, just like a good movie or a good song can do.
Of course, this and everything I've said in this thread isn't the standard definition of what art is, that doesn't even exits, but at the very least it coincides with what most scholars and artists define as art.

I understand what you mean when you talk about half-work of art and half-tool and I agree to an extent. A movie, a song, a videogame or even a painting might have been made with a primary intent that includes some sort of utility (entertain, serve as decoration, etc..) but I wouldn't really call them half-art, more like "useful art", so to say.
I think every piece of art can have some sort of utility, regardless of what was the primary intent of the artist so calling them half-art can be a bit diminutive. A good example of that would be architecture, it's one of the purest forms of art with utility.

By the way thanks for the pointer on Heidegger's article. It seems like a very interesting read, I will surely check it out once I find a little free time.



 
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21st April, 2011 at 00:58:30 -

I think the above post more or less ends this thread, but I'll still throw in my two cents.

I believe that all video games are art, just as all paintings are art. But depending on the game or the painting itself, this claim might be easier or harder to believe. The Mona Lisa is, with question, art. Likewise, I feel that Shadow of the Colossus is a prime example an artful game.

However, we can not pick and choose which submissions are art and which are not. The whole group has to be considered. So, while it might be hard accept, Dr. Mario and my 2 year old's scribbles are art as well.

 
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21st April, 2011 at 12:38:17 -

The more I read people who claim "games aren't art", the more I think they don't know the meaning of art. Also outside this thread.

 
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22nd April, 2011 at 09:37:04 -

penispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenispenis

 
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Phredreeke

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22nd April, 2011 at 17:29:37 -

Why should art and entertainment be mutually exclusive?

 
- Ok, you must admit that was the most creative cussing this site have ever seen -

Make some more box arts damnit!
http://create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=285363

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23rd April, 2011 at 05:47:46 -

art entertains the mind, and the soul

 
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23rd April, 2011 at 20:38:21 -

Art is only in the eye of the beholder.

 
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24th April, 2011 at 08:12:35 -

Art is never finished, only abandoned

 
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HorrendousGames

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21st May, 2011 at 07:18:41 -

I think it depends.

I would consider a jingle a form of music, but not necessarily art. Art typically has to be an expression of something, while you could argue "I WANT MONEY" is something you could express, personally I wouldn't consider it a very favorable expression.

On the other end, someone mentioned art that is trying to be art, honestly when I hear the phrase "trying to be art" it usually seems as if they don't actually understand what art is, and they are just grasping at straws hoping someone will pick up something on it, in other words, they aren't really expressing anything either.

The best art, in my opinion, comes from experience. If you haven't had any life experience that builds you as a person, like if you've had everything handed to you your entire life, then yeah, you're probably going to have a hard time expressing anything creative. However, there very well may be someone who fits that criteria that still excels at expressing themselves (usually due to some other deep seeded trait). Would you consider a singer who has no part in the writing portion of their music an artist? (I think they've actually changed the term to "entertainer" or something like that).

But it all comes back to "it depends". The hard part about having an opinion is that if something comes along to challenge it, most people will stick to their guns. There is no such thing as an absolute truth, and everything is subject to change, especially something as abstract as the concept of art.

(Sorry metal heads )

 
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21st May, 2011 at 14:16:34 -

Some games are art in my opinion, but it really depends on the game.

Talking of art, I do think there is a fine line between art and complete drivel. In my 1st year of my degree I had a free module so I chose design and graphics (more women than engineering!).

The lecturer showed us an "art" film where potatoes walked around and moved themselves to another basket, bread sticks got up in the middle of the night, and lumps of coal was line dancing. Good stop motion but what was the point? The lecturer asked what we thought of it and someone shouted "A load of b*ll*cks", she just stormed out of the lecture hall... I miss my time as an undergraduate

 
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21st May, 2011 at 18:56:26 -

I think it was Scott McCloud who said that anything not for survival or reproduction is art. However, I do not think all games are good art, but nonetheless, they are part of an art form.

 
Go into my head, then come back out and tell me I'm wrong.
   

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