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Are Videogames Art?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the questions-revisited-...-with-a-twist dept.

Games 376

Angry Black Man asks: "The San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art is currently debating whether or not videogames can be considered a type of art. They are currently holding a symposium entitled "ArtCade: Exploring the Relationship Between Video Games and Art." What do you guys think about this? Also, if videogames are considered art than what stops other computer programs from also being considered art? Censoring videogames because of violence or even programs because of DMCA-type laws may be considered censoring art - something that many Americans have traditionally been very opposed to?" When Slashdot covered computer graphics as fine art, many of you agreed that it was. When asked about beautiful code, many thought so and gave their reasons as to why. Now comes a question about the combination of the two. Are computer games not considered art simply because of its nature as an entertainment medium, or can video games be considered art precisely because they can be thought of as combinations of graphics and code?

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First Post (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551303)

...the video game

Second Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551310)

the sequel to the award winning video game

"Excellent troll" - PC Gamer

total hullaballo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551311)

If there's one thing I've learned from emphasizing my studies in the philosophy of aesethetics, it is that the concept of art changes from period to period. And fact is, during this post-modern time, people are not willing to accept videogames as art. This site, as usual, is very pretentious and will of course claim that code is art. However, code is just a skilled labor position, much like assembly work or something along those lines. You people really need to think before you post.

Skilled labor? (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551374)

What? Painting is also manual labor!

In fact, from a traditional art history point of view (pre-post-modern), the only distinction between art and craft is the effort behind the intellectual drive of the work in question.

And in the same vain, there is a *bigger* difference between the intellectual activity of renaissance artists like Leonardo and today's academically post modern artist; because they were engineers aka science nerds.

Therefore, if the team of laborers behind something like Quake was directed by Orlan or Stelarc, it could very well be fine art in it's present institutionalized form.

And since liberal academia is playing catch up to today's technological nihilist unwashed masses, their peasant tastes as fine art is everything *BUT* pretentious.

In conclusion, fuck off.

Re:total hullaballo (5, Interesting)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551421)

trollin' trollin' trollin'...

If there's one thing I've learned from emphasizing my studies in the philosophy of aesethetics...

Yawn. All that makes you is a critic.

However, code is just a skilled labor position, much like assembly work or something along those lines. You people really need to think before you post.

Code is to a computer game as scaffolding is to a sculpture. You've missed the point, Mr. Aestheticist. If it gives the audience an experience, that makes it comparable to any narrative work, which makes a computer game just as much a work of art as literature or film. How it goes from inspiration to final product is irrelevent.

Re:total hullaballo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551471)

Yawn. All that makes you is a critic.
How can you be so dumb? It is the act of criticism that creates art; without the critic all one has is objects devoid of social context.

Mind you, idiotic posts like yours are kinda what I expected from this thread. I mean, ask a bunch of twatty nerds what art is and receive a bunch of retarded answers, why don't you?

Re:total hullaballo (0)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551497)

How can you be so dumb? It is the act of criticism that creates art; without the critic all one has is objects devoid of social context.

Entirely incorrect. Two different critics could have two completely opposing opinions on whether or not something is a work of art. Does it automatically qualify if one says it is even if the other says it is not? The only constant is the artwork itself and its inherent quality. No offence, but the posturings of a deluded philosophy student mean nothing.

I'm not negating the importance of the audience, but art is an ongoing evolution of communication between all sorts of audiences. Try playing both sides of the ball, and then come back here with an opinion.

Re:total hullaballo (1)

vtechpilot (468543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551512)

This is just like The Statue of Liberty. Its a beautiful Statue, but it would not stand without the steel frame within. Anyone who has taken the tour will tell you the Statue of Liberty is just as beautiful inside as out. The graphics, sounds, and story of a video game are nothing without the code underneath. The code doesn't support the art. The code is part of the art of video games.

Skilled labor! (2, Insightful)

Paul the Bold (264588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551456)

You know that Beethoven was the first musician be considered an artist. Before that, they were considered skilled laborers. Mozart was very skilled at cranking out beautiful music in short order. Now, we consider music to be art. Photography and motion pictures went through the same transition. What happened? Debates like this. So, thank you for calling programming a "skilled labor position." It gives this debate a certain legitimacy.

You should note that "assembly work" (by which I assume you mean "assembly line work") is not considered to be skilled labor. Also, I was not aware that "code" is a position. Maybe you, too, should think before you post.

Re:Skilled labor! (addendum) (1)

Paul the Bold (264588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551464)

When programming is considered an art rather than a "skilled labor position", will we talk about "starving programmers" and "suffering for your code"? Maybe, in our current economy.

Re:total hullaballo (-1)

crossbow_of_speed (527135) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551515)

.tsop uoy erofeb kniht ot deen yllaer elpoep ouY .senil esoht gnola gnihtemos ro krow ylbmessa ekil hcum ,noitisop robal delliks a tsuj si edoc ,revewoH .tra si edoc taht mialc esruoc fo lliw dna suoitnetrp yrev si ,iausu sa ,etis sihT .tra sa semagoediv tpecca ot gnilliw ton era elpoep ,emit nredom-tsop siht gnirud ,si tcaf dnA .doirep ot doirep morf segnahc tra fo tpecnoc eht taht si ti ,scitehtesea fo yhposolihp eht ni seiduts ym bnizsahpme morf denrael ev'I gniht eno s'ereht fI

Second Post (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551312)

...the crappy sequel, made after the original developer lost the rights to the name to their publisher.

Yes (1)

USS Enterprise (462656) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551315)

Yes! There is creative genius behind todays great videogames!

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551334)

Is this like a rerun story or something?.... Yes. Simply put. End of story.

Anything can be art... (5, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551321)

... if their creators believe that it is. Whether or not someone thinks my drawings are art, I think they are -- and that makes them art. They take skill to create, and I take joy in making them. That, I think, is art.

Re:Anything can be art... (4, Informative)

Fly (18255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551398)

I agree. I think that different types of video games would be considered art by various people. RPGs and some of the progression-scenario RTS games (e.g. Warcraft, Age Of Empires, and Rogue Spear) are similar to more traditional types of storytelling such as novels and movies.


Other types of computer games, such as platform and first-person shooters might be considered art by a different group of people. I don't see quite as much of what I consider art in Quake III as I do in Baldur's Gate.


Do we consider Magic (the card game) to be art? The cards certainly have as much artwork as many computer games. Do we consider baseball art? Why would a computer simulation of baseball be considered different from real-life baseball? Both are entertainment for sure, but are hitting and pitching Art any more than The Art of Computer Programming?


Shoemaking is an art, though it's aesthetic is not the same as Impressionist painting, and thus I wouldn't put some Johnston & Murphy wingtips on display in the same place as a painting by Monet.


I think the SFMoMA should consider them art since computer games do require some artistic aesthetic in order to be more appealing than their competitors in much the same way movies, paintings, novels, and sculptures do.

Re:Anything can be art... (5, Informative)

SuzanneA (526699) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551489)

First, let me say that I'm a games developer, so perhaps I'm a little biased here..

Now, the way I see it is this, SOME games are art, some are simply entertainment. Ok, 'thats obvious' you might be thinking, however, WHERE the line is may not be.

The way I see it, a baseball/other-sport simulations is simply entertainment. It might have artistic elements (presentation issues usually), but overall it is entertainment.

Games such as RPGs, RTS, etc are obviously art, since a storyline is often involved, and I'm pretty sure that most people will agree that story telling is an artform.

As for games such as Quake, UT, etc. Yes, they are art, IMO, and heres why... These games are not based around existing concepts from real life, oh sure combat exists, but the environments, the character/monster design and other such issues all require a form of story telling. The story may not be a linear form of plotline, but there is still some story telling involved in designing 'scary monsters', or an alien landscape.

These elements require someone to put thought into telling the story, whether its via a plotline, or through the environment and creatures inhabiting it.

Anyway, thats the way I see things on this topic :)

Re:Anything can be art... (4, Insightful)

het3 (68871) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551420)

I would say that anything can be Art if the *audience* thinks it's Art. Just as you can think you're funny, you might not be. Your audience gets to say if you're funny or not.

Anything is Art if it produces an aesthetic reaction in the viewer. Intent on the part of the artist can't be part of the definition: it would exclude much that is in fact Art, and include much that isn't, so it's a bad cut to make with your logical scalpel.

Re:Anything can be art... (1)

cronot (530669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551424)

A friend of mine who works with me and happen to also be an artist, said that to the folks at my job and this generated a funny discussion about the concept of what is art and what is not. The guys over there, and me as well, agreed that the concept of art is something too subjective. My friend's arguments was exactly yours, and he gone even further by saying "if you draw a single line on a paper and call it an art, so it is". Oh c'mon... That's way too much... I tend to think that art is a more common sense concepted. If a group of people think something is art, even if the author itself doesn't think it is, so it is... :-P IMHO, anyway...

Re:Anything can be art... (1)

Alorelith (118865) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551477)

Art is what you just said. The only people, IMO, who try to define art are those who try to legislate it.

Sure (1)

Foxxz (106642) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551322)

Video games can create a awesome sunset or excellent graphics. just because its electronic doesnt mean the artist/programmer didnt spend as much time on it as a painter. or maybe his code is unqiue and introduces new ideas to the programming code. or invents a new algorythm that is terribly efficient for what it does.people see beauty in different things and different forms. if you try hard at perfecting something, most anything can become an art.

-Foxxz

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551476)

Did you write that post in the nude?

Movie analogy (4, Insightful)

keath_milligan (521186) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551324)

Video games are as much art as movies are. In fact, one of my hopes for the gaming industry is to see it mature - at least in some ways - into something similar to the movie industry, where there is room not only for the heavily-produced blockbusters, but also for more artisticly-inclined "indy" titles.

Re:Movie analogy (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551408)

there is a subscene of those crappy games for people that are really intrested in a genre.

Problem is they are just crappy.

If a movie is filmed with a shaky handcamera thats acceptable, a game with a crappy interface isnt.

Re:Movie analogy (1)

ChazeFroy (51595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551495)

If video games are art, can we label John Romero as a "starving artist"?

An expression of thy self (1)

rockwood (141675) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551329)

I see art as a basic expression of the artist views of life and the world around them. It doesn't matter if it is a video game, graphic, code or a molded pile sh*t. One who has created something that had not previously existed, or one that has taken something and modified it into how they see it; so that the worl can see it as they do... this person has created art. It's that simple!
There is an artist out there that can sign his name to Mr Hankey... and if someone can sign their name to a tird.. then video games are first rate Mona Lisa's!

Are video games art? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551331)

No more so than Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or Scrabble.

Let me be the first to say "Duuuuuhhhh" (5, Insightful)

IdocsMiko (534405) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551332)

Of course video games are art! Designing a video game is designing an experience for an audience. You balance a variety of elements such as sound, color, pace, all of which come together to form a unique whole. Different people have different tastes and will come away from the art piece with different impressions.

Art forms like video games tend to get mired in these sort of debates because they lack snob appeal. People figure that if it doesn't need an endowment, it's not art. People don't sit in high-rent apartments in an artsy-fartsy section of town in fancy clothes sipping spritzers and discussing the finer points of Q3, so it must not be art.

Science fiction has gotten mired down in this debate, as has commerical art of all forms, as did theater at one time. Good grief.

Entertainment is art. (1)

amaprotu (527512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551333)

The fact that games main purpose is entertainment adds to the argument for them being art, it doesn't take it away. Film, plays, concerts etc. are all considered art ('fine art'), and their primary focus is entertainment. Video games are just another form.

Hoi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551336)

As anyone who's played First Samarai on the A500 knows - yes.

Art or craft? (5, Insightful)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551337)

To me, it seems that computer graphics can definitely be art. But programming is more of a craft. It's about making something well. And just like a well-executed piece of furniture, a program's internal beauty is irrelevant to the users-- it's how it looks and how it works that matters to the people who use it.

Sure, computer games contain art. Their music and images often have artistic worth. But we want computer games that are well designed and skillfully executed, not artistic statements.

I'm a programmer, and I've got a lot of respect for the creativity and hard work that goes into computer games. But I see them as a craft, not an art.

Anyone know why this is a story instead of a poll?

Re:Art or craft? (1)

AstroJetson (21336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551399)

But I see them as a craft, not an art.
Why are these things mutually exclusive? Painting is a craft; using that craft to create, say, the Mona Lisa, is art. The art is the idea behind it, the craft is the translation of that idea into a tangible form.

I agree with the poster who said that if the creator says it's art, then it's art. If he/she is trying to convey some message or emotion by it, that makes it art. How successful they were at expressing that message determines whether it is good art or not.

Re:Arts AND crafts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551473)

of course programming is a craft -- what makes craft INTO art is the new or different inventiveness and/or novel levels that someone has taken that craft into

but the opinion of the "artist" is irrelevant as to whether something is "art" or not -- one reason being many artists can be more accurately described as craftsmen/women, and sometimes unable to recognize their own capacities as so-called artists, or more often don't care to

in fact I never trust someone who refers to themselves as an "artist" as someone that actually IS one!! -- kinda like that "those that say don't know, those that know don't say" thing!

Legend of Zelda = The Last Supper (0)

rygarsdad (322009) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551444)

Or I guess you could say that 8 bit NES games are equivalent to caveman drawings.
I think those primitive games (and the even more primitive 2600 and ancient DOS stuff) are an art to an extent as some of them are so bizarre they could be considered more of a form of self expression than a commercial persuit. Of course, they ARE strictly intended as a commercial product, and that doesn't help the case for them being True Art. Most of the artifice attatched to videogames, especially as the effects become more complex and flashy, is included merely to boost their appeal. Explosions and sweeping camera movements, morphing and the like- it is art to the same extent that twinkies are gourmet desserts.

Re:Art or craft? (1)

SuzanneA (526699) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551530)

But programming is more of a craft. It's about making something well.

Bear in mind that programming apps and programming games can be very different tasks.

Games programming CAN be an art, it depends on the programmer. In the past, performance was always such an issue that artistic approaches to solving a specific problem were a nessecity. These days that isn't so much of an issue, but there are still areas where an 'artistic' attitude is beneficial. Still, even with 3D acceleration and fast CPUs, there are many areas where you have to start thinking 'outside the box'.

As an example, shadows aren't automaticly generated, so when people first started with shadows, they went with the tried and tested approach of a translucent circle rendered flat on the ground. People started trying to come up with more innovative methods of achieving the effect, including pre-rendered outlines, lower-detail rendering, and the standard trick thats used these days (in OpenGL based games at least) which is to use the stencil buffer.

General programming (Apps, etc) generally starts with a goal, and there are distinct steps to take to achieve that goal, usually there are clearly documented methods to get to that goal, and little room for direct innovation. Games programming can start with a storyboard and a fairly basic design document that usually outlines the overall issues. Graphic and gameplay features are often introduced as ideas along the way, ideas that may not immediately have any established steps to achieve it. The programmers then either say that it can't be done, or they sit down and try and find some way to achieve the seemingly impossible. THAT is an art.

short answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551340)

no, video games are definitely not art...

Video Games Are Art (3, Insightful)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551342)

It takes both talent and skill to create the very best of works of graphic art. Such pieces inspire emotion and awe.

The same is true with video games. System Shock 2 *IS* scary and only a skilled team of artists could craft such a thing. Does anyone remember playing DOOM at night and being in an area with strobe lights, those invisible demons growling and the like? Did that stir any emotions in you? Probably yes. Such a feat is a work of art.

Creating such things is an artform that is developed and perfected by people who like to do it.

Are boardgames pieces of art? (1)

CapTVK (207542) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551343)

I have to counter the question of computergames being art with this question: Are boardgames also art"? The main point of computergames is that they are interactive but this also counts for boardgames.

Is a game of chess a piece of art? I would say Yes. But if so, does this also count for other games( tic-tac-toe, snakes&ladders etc..) as well?

Re:Are boardgames pieces of art? (1)

O2n (325189) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551388)

But if so, does this also count for other games(tic-tac-toe, snakes&ladders etc..) as well?

Don't know about tic-tac-toe, but I'm sure Solitaire is a form of art, albeit dark art: how else can one explain Windows' world domination? :)

You bet! (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551344)

It's art. And like all art, it's crap [daikatana.com] .

Art as entertainment (1)

Artana Niveus Corvum (460604) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551345)

The question "can video games be art or are they simply an entertainment medium?" (more or less) was posed above. I'd like to remind /.ers that many people get a great deal of entertainment from going to art museums. As to code being skilled labor, in many cases (i.e. Michelangelo) art was the profession of the artist, who would be hired and paid for by one or another rich noble. A medium does not have to be A) boring or B) originally done as a hobby to be art. Think about it.

Re:Art as entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551482)

actually, I think if something isn't entertaining in any form at all, it isn't art in any form at all

Someone has to ask it... they always do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551346)

What is art, really?

Maybe not right now... (2, Interesting)

xxxtac2 (248028) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551347)

They may not be considered art by the moajority of people right now, but given a few years I expect that they will be. With the amount of work by ARTISTS that goes into the design of these games and the skill of some of the best coders around, its hard to believe that they arent considered art already. Even now there are thousands of people who obsess over classic video games, emulating old systems and collecting thousands of game roms. Its only a matter of time before people begin to view these games as probably the most innovative and original art form of this century. In the age of multimedia and computer graphics, video games are the epitome of these arts.

Entertainment as art (-1)

MultimanZ (43332) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551348)

"Are computer games not considered art simply because of its nature as an entertainment medium"

So you're saying movies and television aren't art? Well fuck, someone better alert the Academy.

Gaelen

Are movies art? (3, Funny)

ChristianBaekkelund (99069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551349)

I mean seriously, did you SEE the Pauly Shore movies?

IMHO, there's art and there's entertainment...and both movies and videogames can fall into either category...

My $5.95.

Are we stretching things here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551350)

Being somewhat outside of the whirlwind of emotions that is Slashdot, I look at this thinking this art-computer games connection may be stretching things a bit. I can agree with digital graphics being art, maybe the same with code, but placing computer games in that same category doesn't seem appropriate. Is the 'geek' (for lack of a better term) community just trying it's damndest to cram itself into a brighter spotlight or what?
Gaming is fun, it's an entertainment medium and I don't think there is usually an artistic intent when it comes to making the game. Granted, there may be a few games out there that are MEANT to be eye-popping and meaningful, but that doesn't apply to the majority, does it now?

*shrug*

Of course their art (1)

damieng (230610) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551354)

All programming is an art.

It has to be functional the same way as any other consumer good. It has to be constructed out of mathematics and logic like anything that's been engineered.

With games you also often have traditional artwork, sometimes 3D, and a powerful but simple interface (Black and White anyone?)

What I'm wondering is why demos (the ones created to show off coding/art skills - not a product taster) aren't being considered. They're the computer equivalent of a music video.

[OT] Where can I find coding/art skill demos? (1)

uchian (454825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551414)

What I'm wondering is why demos (the ones created to show off coding/art skills - not a product taster) aren't being considered. They're the computer equivalent of a music video.

Does anyone know any good sites to go to view this kind of demo? It just occured to me that the last time I saw one was back on the good ol' Atari ST, and I'd forgotten all about them.

TV, Movies (2)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551355)

If either of these are considered art, then video games have to be also. So what if it's primarily an entertainment medium, so are TV and Movies. All art has an entertainment aspect.

And yes, I am an artist (mostly music, but I dabble in just about everything).

Not yet (1)

gmarceau (119282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551357)

The functionnality of video certainly takes away from their artful claims. I remember this entry in a art exposition, some guy had blodied himself scripting a poem right off his skin. Didn't made the it throught, deemed too self-serving.

There is a well know word for what coding is about. It's a craft, not an art : purpose full beauty and skill.

In the end, art is about wider forms of human-to human-communication; anything beside the mere straitly purposeful prose we use everyday. Under that angle, I don't see many video games thus far behind used as a medium for political statements, comments on the fatefulness of the human condition.

I'd say not really, because (2, Insightful)

GISboy (533907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551358)

I dunno, consider when Unreal came out.

Absolutely stunning even in low res.

Remember the userfriendly cartoon:
"That is the prettiest slide show I've ever seen.
What is it called?"
Answer: "It's 'Unreal'".

Now, the code being beautiful, by extension.
Humm...code is the tool of the trade, the brush, if you will, the screen the canvas and the results can be artistic.

But then again, coding has been called "an art form".

Form is the active word. Not art, per se, but a way to create art, or express yourself via code.

Any other thoughts out there?

I hate questions like this... (3, Insightful)

melatonin (443194) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551360)

they just mean that someone somewhere is ignorant and/or snobby.

If I throw a urinal into a museum, or yell "DADA!" out in the streets, everyone agrees that it's art (because it's been established as so).

But if I band together some talented artists, animators, and ingenious programmers, and create something truly remarkable like Deus Ex or Halo, people question it.

Such things (vidgames) would not exist without human creativity. They're physical manifestation of human creativity. If that's not art, what is?

my take (1)

yawnmoth (534382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551361)

I don't know about most video games, but I do think that rpg's should be considered a form of art, just like works of literature are. As for code being art... well... I think that the development of a new algorithim can be considered an art, but not a piece of art. I mean, it doesn't have any intrinsic aethetic value, does it? As for whether or not sprites can be considered art, or not... well... yeah - I believe they are art, but that's not really the question I believe we should be asking - are they worthy of being put into a mueseum? First off, I don't see how one can say they aren't art... Anyways, as for whether or not they should be put into a museum, I believe they probably will never achieve that level of success - i believe sprites are a less respectable media than even comics, mtgcards, or even pokemon are, and they are actually hand drawn, in the conventional sense.

Why? (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551363)

Of course they are.. Most of them have somesort of story behind them, and all of them - even pong, use some sort of representation to portray a situation. Some of them even have mini-films in them or plot based gameplay.

If your trying to make this into a legal issue so no-one can censor games because they are art then good :) but it probably won't work

but why is censoring art any different from censoring anything else? Just because ideas are not portrayed with creativity does that mean you should be able to censor them? Or vice a versa.

If parents don't want their kids playing violent games or watching films etc, then thats their business, not the governments.

IMHO the worlds view on censorship (and IP) is totally backwards.

creative writing vs. technical writing (3, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551364)

Personally, I've always thought of computer games as art, no matter what the "officials" may say. The defining factor, I think, is the fact that it has a story. A computer game tells a story with a protagonist, an antagonist, a setting, theme, plot, climax...everything you need for a decent novel. Sure, many computer games are very shallow, which would make them bad art...but still art.

As for programming in general...it depends. It can be art, or not. Generic programming is much like technical writing. It is utilitarian, not artistic. It is a task assigned to someone, that any old monkey could do - not an artistic expression of one person's vision. However, this is not always true. Just as there are generic chairs that sell for $10.99 at K-Mart and then bizzarre sculptures of chair-like things on display at galleries, there can also be artistic programs. Someone can write artistic code...but code doesn't have to be artistic.

I think it's just a little early yet for most of the world to accept code as art. I'm sure it took a while for people to recognize the artistry that can go into photography as well.

yrs,
Ephemeriis

Yes'm (1)

l33tsp34ker (513990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551368)

Video Games are undoubtedly art. Take just one screen shot of Chrono Trigger, and look at the detail put into it. Worthly of framing and putting up on your wall. In short, video games are just interactive art, made more indepth and attention-grabbing with a plot and length.

Art, Schmart (5, Insightful)

timothy (36799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551369)

Why do people agonize about whether particular things can be "considered" art?

If you consider something to be art, who the heck is going to stop you? Other people might disagree (hey, my thoughts on art may vary from yours -- so what?) but that's about the extent of it.

Now given that, I don't particularly agree that video games are art, *unless that's what the creator intended*, in which case I have no objection -- then it's art. IMO (which one one else has to buy), Art is *intentional* - accidental doodles, sunsets, plants, shadows, streams or functional objects might be artful, or beautiful, or even artistic, but things get too floppy for me if anything that happens to look nice, or that makes you think, is automatically "art." Not everything sculptural (Zhang Ziyi, for instance, or a Nagra tape recorder) is actually sculpture.

Having groused that practical objects which happen to be pretty aren't, I would say that the other direction is not quite the same, though. An artwork could have a hands-on function which rendered it a useful object ... again, a matter of intention. If I make an object with a long metal prong flattened into a small, blunted, flat-edge blade that happens to fit into the slot at the end of a woodscrew, and declare that the primary purpose and my artistic intent is for it to be manipulated by human hands to express the beauty of simple machines by inserting or removing screws from objects, Fine -- it's art that happens to serve as a screwdriver. That doesn't make every screwdriver art.

Maybe this helps to explain why I think the money given to the NEA would be much better given to model rocket clubs around the country, or never taken from taxpayers in the first place.

timothy

Let's see... (2, Insightful)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551370)

I'm an avid video game player, and have been for several years. At first, I read this story and said to myself "HELL NO", as I really don't buy into much of the modern art out there today. A lot of it does not seem to be the result of talent, thought, meaning, or artform. The same thing can be said about MANY video games. This is why I originally said "HELL NO". However, there are exceptions. Final Fantasy is perhaps one of the most moving video game series every produced on this planet. It has story, it has beauty, depth, and meaning. It is art. Just as there exists art with little or no apparant worth to me, there exist video games with little or no apparant worth. Yet, there are the few that truly qualify as art. So, in conclusion: some video games should be considered art, just as some "art" should really not be considered art.

Most *definitely* (2)

trilucid (515316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551371)


and for reasons even "Average Joe/Jane" can easily appreciate.

To begin with, (as a programmer) I consider most code art in and of itself. When you consider that video games are composed of creative code, graphics, and sound, you have to classify it as an art form.

The very fact that the people who create the visual environment for video games are most commonly described as "graphic artists" is compelling evidence that our society considers their work a form of art in a very tangible sense.

I for one would love to see an exhibit that's based on various interpretations/muses on video games, both in part and as "complete packages".

What do you consider art? (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551372)

Just what do you consider art?
I mean, last I checked, those storyboards I sketched up, and those computer graphics I designed were considered art.
This sheet music I composed for the opening score is considered art too, no?
I guess all that is really left to consider is the underlying code of the game. Well, consider this: Music is considered an artform, right? So which aspect of it is considered art? The manuscript scribbled with notes, or the final product(aural)?
If sheet music is considered part of the artform, then what is to exlude computer code from fitting part of the definition?

Just because people who don't understand programming don't "see" the code in action, doesn't mean it's not there. The fluid animation in Quake 3 didn't get there by chance. It was the result of good code. The pretty graphics had little to do with it.

So really, where does the line begin?
The final product(graphics, animation), or the code that drives it?

Hell, I've seen some pretty artistic ASCII pr0n. Doesn't that at least count for art? ;)

All games are art (1)

Spezzer (101371) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551373)

Art has always been such a subjective topic that it is hard to say what is just a game and what can be considered art. It almost seems as if a game is only 'art' if it somehow sheds a kinder light upon games and shows that it is more than just a medium to button-mash and scream with joy.

I will bust out some of the dictionary terms of art to try to objectify this:

1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.

No doubt many FPS and RTS games do exactly this by creating a sense of real-life shooters and war. 3D engines themselves seem to try to imitate nature as best they can. In a way it is similar to any CG art you see on the internet. Just because it doesn't look real does not mean it isn't art!

2. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

A great example of this would be Alice. Not only was this game awesome to play, but it had an aesthetic value that simply wowed us. We had never seen some of the environments displayed in that game, and it required a lot of artistic interpretation to create levels like that.

I could include more definitions but that would just muddle my point. While I would love to say that only some games are art, any game out there can qualify as some kind of art, whether it is the art of creating perfect ambience, the art of texture and environments, or even the art of character design and skins/sprites. I am sure the artists of games put a lot of time into their work, but you can't credit just them for the piece of art that results.

Just like art, everything comes together at the end and can blow us away, like Alice, or make us cower in shame, like Daikatana.

Yes, but there's more... (2, Insightful)

Naerbnic (123002) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551375)

As many of my compatriots have already stated, there is no doubt that Games are art, or have the potential to be. The question for me is: What can Games do as an art, which is different from Movies and Books? The answer is simple, if not a little obvious: The if statement. Although it has been tried with interactive movies and Choose-your-own-adventure books, only in games have truly interactive stories come to some sort of life. The basic difference is the role of the viewer/reader/player in the story world. For both Movies and Books, the user is just a passive observer, seeing exactly what the artist wanted them to see. With games however, leeway is given; they become an active character in the story, which opens up whole new avenues of experience. Very few if any games have taken real advantage of these differences as of now. But I think (or hope perhaps) that as games become a little easier to develop (via more generalized code components) it will become a much more rich medium. For a first glimpse at this sort of thing, check out the 2001 Interactive Fiction Competition [ifcompetition.org]

Art... (2, Insightful)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551378)

Ok, movies are considered art. Music is considered art. These are both entertainment mediums so I would highly doubt that if it is infact because it is an "entertainment medium" that video games would not be considered art. I think the biggest deal lies in the interactive nature of it. A sculpture, painting, etc are not interactive besides looking and maybe touching. Video games take in all your senses except smelling and I'm sure the ps7 will even do that. But think about it, how many of you have put a game on and just been blown away by it to the point where you sit there like an idiot just watching? I can humbly say that there have been a few ocasions I have done that... the biggest being the Lunar series for Sega CD which blew away anything else at the time. Lets see what else... maybe Myst the first time I saw it (even if it is a stupid game), Ecco the Dolphin on Sega CD, etc. I guess it all comes down to the definition of the word art, which dictonary.com [dictonary.com] says is:

art1 (ärt)
n.

1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
2.
1. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
2. The study of these activities.
3. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
4. A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
5. A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
6.
1. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
2. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.
7.
1. Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.
2. Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: ?Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice? (Joyce Carol Oates).
8.
1. arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
2. Artful contrivance; cunning.
9. Printing. Illustrative material.

I would say that just based on the first two definitions that video games are not only art but infact are more art than anything else. Just read them again and think about them in regards to video games.

Definining Art (1)

rbeattie (43187) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551379)


I've always thought of question of "what is Art?" as the answer to one of two other questions: "Can you do it?" And "Would you do it?"

For example, some art museums have examples of art that are these huge canvases covered with splatters of paint. Your first thought is normally, "Hell, I could do that..." But the in reality, WOULD you have done it? Would you have thought, out of the blue, to create a work of art of enormous size and the scatter random paint on it? Probably not - that's why it's art - because of it's innovation.

The other examples of traditional art are those fantastic, almost-real, oil paintings in fine-art buildings. Yes, I could paint a picture of a bowl of fruit. People do it every day - but I can't do it with such grace, skill and ability. Thus, it's art by sake of the skill it took to create the work. (Maybe with some innovation thrown in.)

Okay - so in my definition above, Video games are a combination of both. Almost every successful new video game that comes out is by definition innovative. It does things that no other game before it has. It can be interesting, beautiful, horrific or just surprising, but it's something that no one else has thought of. The second is the technical ability to create these games is insane. The cutting edge of computer development is the most difficult of any programming tasks (IMHO). Not only are the games usually innovative, but they take amazing skill to implement.

So video games in my opinion are obviously Art - at least the interesting, new and creative ones and not the 4th generation knock-off first person shooters.

-Russ

Think about it (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551383)

"Are computer games not considered art simply because of its nature as an entertainment medium..."

Music is an entertainment medium and it is art.
Paintings (use to be/still are) a form of 'entertainment' and they are art.
TV shows are an entertainment medium, and do people consider them art?

If something is an entertainment medium where people create original works for the purpose of entertainment, that's all the more reason for the work to be considered art.

Civilization 3 (2, Redundant)

Apreche (239272) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551385)

Have you played Civilization 3? If you don't consider that one of the great masterpieces of all time, then I don't know what is.

Re:Civilization 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551463)

Looks like you don't know what are is then.

Art is actually (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551387)

a video game. And also a big black cock and a festering cunt. And Slashdot is very, very, gay.

Absolutely. (1)

cascino (454769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551395)

Anyone that's experienced any of Square's masterpieces - especially Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Xenogears - will be able to agree with me that videogames can be some of the most expressive, passionate, and masterful pieces of immersive storytelling of our time. That's not to say they're all wonders of human creativity - but, as with television and movies, there are brilliant works that can be considered nothing other than art.

I can't say the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be able to pick up on this - games are, unforunately, in the public's mind, nothing more than "games" - but I certainly suggest the above titles as justification for my belief.

Ask a silly question... (2)

Nindalf (526257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551406)

...start a silly flamewar.

No two people agree on what "art" means. I would suggest these are the most popular definitions:
1) image created by human skill and effort using general marking tools (not photography), or field of creating such images, or collective product of this field
2) any field of human endeavor, or products of same (formal, somewhat archaic)
3) any admirable human effort or product of human effort
4) anything with no practical value other than aesthetic appeal
5) anything displayed behind a velvet rope in an art gallery

The word is so muddled that there's no point in using it without further clarification, except perhaps with the first or second definition, when the context makes it clear. It just provokes pointless arguments where nothing gets resolved.

wrong question (1)

Aardappel (50644) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551409)

should "Is X art"? always be a yes/no question? To me, obviously not. Debating wether something is "art" by definition is pretty pointless.

Like classical "art", is there enough in video games that arouses your interest, makes you think, is aesthetically pleasing, original, or creative? most definitively.

a new kind of art ? (0)

fymidos (512362) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551413)

i have always considered coding an art, mainly because of the demo scene. But it's the result that counts not the tools used ..

and what about the scenario?

In no way do videogames constitute art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551418)

Art is a form of human expression. Videogames are not art; conversely, they are an interactive, electronic medium designed with the sole intent of earning corporations money.

Perhaps the stories and graphics contained within the games are of artistic merit, but the games themselves speak neither for the human condition nor illuminate the labyrinthine passages of the human mind.

Musings (4, Insightful)

Murdock037 (469526) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551419)

Forgive me if this doesn't seem to have much direction, but this is something I've thought a bit about. I'm a student at a private fine arts college, and I'm one of the few there with interests in video games, programming, etc.

Scott McCloud of "Understanding Comics" fame once wrote that art is anything not springing directly from man's need to survive or procreate. In that sense, well, playing video games could be considered an art, but making them stems from a creator's need to earn money, so he can eat, so he can survive-- not art. But there are other, easier ways to make money; the video game creator chooses to make games because he or she is good at it and (hopefully) has an interest in the field. He or she puts personal touches into their work and it's different from what anybody else could do-- art.

It's a tough call, this. Because since Marcel Duchamp put a bicycle wheel upside down on a pedestal almost a hundred years ago and declared that it was art because he said it was, a sort of Pandora's Box has been open: we've got the most liberated sense of art there ever has been (an artist can do anything he wants and try to sell it, really) but we've also got cretins that feel art is simplistic and easy, because they don't understand the thought behind found objects or abstract expressionism or anything else to come along in the twentieth century.

I tried telling a friend while we were in a Renaissance history class about how it seemed to me that the development of 3D engines like Carmack's Quake and Sweeney's Unreal had some interesting parallels to the development of rendering techniques in Italian painting of the 15th century onward. The Italian painters started off with flat images, little depth, and distance was conveyed by placing objects higher on a picture plane-- it was the Wolfenstein era, you could say. But then artists like Giotto (if memory serves) came along, and started figuring out better ways to shade, to manipulate color, and to make objects seem rounded-- to actually occupy a space. The Renaissance of painting started, and it was like the first Quake. And so on and so forth.

Where are we now? Well, the technical craft has all but been mastered in video games; it's not photoreal, so games are somewhere around the middle-18th century, I'd wager. I can't wait until the technical aspect becomes so perfected that it becomes boring to the artists making video games; then the modernist era of videogames begins, and we can see just what kind of creativity these guys really have.

(A note on the above: I'm no expert in the history of painting or the history of games, so the paragraphs above are mostly meant to illustrate the similarities in the goals of the painters and the programmers. Anybody's free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

But then there's the commercial aspects of the video game industry. A lot of games are made for money. It's much like the film industry, I think, where you've got some works that are obviously done to make a buck (the latest Schwarzenegger flick) and then some that are done for the passion of the craft (Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, to name a few of the better of the younger generation, and so on). But it'd be impossible to say that there is no art in the film industry, just because it's driven by money. It applies the same way to video games: Miyamoto's "Pikmin" is art, the new "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" probably is not.

So where am I ending up with all of this? I don't know, I suppose it's all just food for thought. My personal feeling is that video games certainly are art, and it's nothing but snobbery from the elitist old guard that says they're not. You've gotta get with the times.

Code is the paint. Video games are the art.

Programs as Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551423)

I think we have yet to reach the art stage because these damn computers are so hard to program.

You ain't seen nothin yet

Art vs Craft (1)

Slurm-V (513189) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551425)

A few points that may be salient:

Craft and art are inextricably intertwined, a fact that is perhaps most clearly demonstrated by a persian rug. The weaving is the craft, the resultant pattern is the art. The pattern may be described in full beforehand, or emerge from the aesthetic consideration of what has come before in the craft process. The craft thus becomes the tool that allows the aesthetic to become real.

Whether the resultant pattern is 'interesting' (read: pleasing, challenging, 'artistic') depends on the the desgner and the viewer in equal parts. In the case of the rug, this is generally a visual response, but their is no reason why sound, spatial sense, touch etc can't be part of it.

Computer games are generally created around functional rather than aesthetic considerations. This is their craft - code effiency, gameplay, level design etc. Each of these has it purpose - responsiveness, longevity, addictiveness (possibly respectively).

The response to the whole games, however, also depends in equal parts on those who create and those who 'play'. The experience is multi-media, incorporating more than one sense, and interactive, which makes it harder to quantify, as it's by its very nature different for each person. But saying this prevents it from being art, is like saying that sculpture that moves in the wind is prevented from being art. The mere fact that they use light, sound, writing, and coding in conglomeration makes it harder to ascertain their aesthetic value, but no less worthwhile.

That said, not every game aspires to be as 'interesting' as it can be. Some only want to be as much like something else that was interesting as possible - mostly for financial reasons. Just as the art world has its stylistic periods, so do video games. Just as the art world has originators and imitators, so do video games. Just as art critics are informed by the history of their chosen media/um, so is the video game connisseur.

--

Considering the things that *are* consider art... (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551426)

...there's no reason video games shouldn't fall undre this category. Every few months at the News of the Weird [newsoftheweird.com] , there's a new story about someone who's bottling their urine, or putting a homeless guy in a glass box, or something even more stupid. And all of this is considered art.

I think that just about anything that people put their "heart and soul" into - anything that has different appeal to different people - can be considered an art, from creating a masterpiece painting to choosing the fastest line at a shopping mall during the Christmas rush. The question is whether people will care about this art, and what the best forum for the artists are. I think that mailing lists and web pages are probably the best places to showcase your coding art, as those are the places that your audience will most frequent. A painter wants his work displayed in a gallery because that's where the painting afficionados hang out.

That being said, I have little appreciation for paint as a medium of artistic expression, and that's why I don't visit galleries. Perhaps branching into atypical mediums will give galleries and museums a more universal appeal?

The greatest art form of art yet. (2)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551428)

Video games are the greatest form of art to come along in human history. Both visual and aural stimulation combine to envelop the player in an experience forged by the game's creator. Expression is taken to levels never seen before in video games. As video games progress, we will see video games that become more and more expressive of a single person's concepts and ideas, because the tools to make the games will eventually become simple and fast enough for a single person to use to create a game. Neverwinter Nights, an upcoming role-playing game with the capability for users to design their own games with it, is a great example of just how this will all work out.

I am bored to tears with modern games, am I old? (1)

mnf999 (137795) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551436)

I just tried Black and White and put it on the shelf after 4 hours of mind numbing stupidity.

I went back to playing "Sokoban" on linux...

I like the way it teases my brain, the graphics are crappy, the action is nil, it is all in the brain.

That being said I am 32, soon to be 33, and I guess that is old so I don't relate to the new games out there.

marcf

Stupid question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551438)

"Also, if videogames are considered art than what stops other computer programs from also being considered art?"

If sculpture is considered art then what stops your dinner table from being considered art?

The Art of making Computer Games is a bit dead.... (1)

Quazion (237706) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551442)

When i got my first Atari ST i played loads of computer games, when i look back at some i dare too say that they are art, look at stuff from the Bitmap Brothers like Gods or Speed Ball, it had great game play looked awesome and had good sounds also.

It where creative games with a original game play i guess, but best of all the grafics where real pieces of art for the time it was created in.

Today you only get a 3d engine with some objects in it, yes ofcourse some are nicer to look at then others, but still i think the oldschool 2d grafics look better, way better!

Playing Pirates or Dungeon Master night and day was a great way to spend my teenage years, but nowadays i only get a 3d shooter with some puzzles and a crappy storyline, they are just here too sell off, what happend with people being very creative ?

Sure i missed some good games from these days, which are art, and maybe when i was young there was a load of crap around too, but still i think some games should be in a museum and some should be not. They arent all Art...but some are yes they are.!

Quazion.

obviously, (1)

cosmo7 (325616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551452)

if you said "are oil paintings art?" you'd sound insane. but asking "are videogames art?" sounds reasonable.

therefore, videogames are not art, QED.

Of course they're art... (1)

InferiorFloater (34347) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551459)

Are you kidding me? The good ones (No One Lives Forever, Grim Fandango, etc) all do horribly in terms of sales, while the total crap (deer hunter, who wants to be a millonare) continually top the bestseller list.

Of course they're art.

Comparison to Cinema (1)

blueskatz (241135) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551462)

Most major video game developers have people on their staff called art directors. You need artists to create the graphical content for your games. For your concepts, sprites, backgrounds, and textures you need illustrators. For your models, you need modelers.

The same would be true for things like websites though or any graphical interaction with a user. Go to www.microsoft.com [microsoft.com] . I guarantee you an artist designed the layout. But I wouldn't consider that art. There is a big difference between making something pleasing to the eye and creating art.

Probably the best example of something similar to video games is cinema. At what point do you consider movies art? What's the difference between Pearl Harbor and Pi?

Then add the interactivity. How does the interactivity of a game contribute to the artistic vision of the piece?

All you base are.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551467)

At least Zero Wing has become a form or art

Depends on the game. (2)

Maul (83993) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551479)

Much like television, pictures, photography, movies, and music, I only consider the top echelon of video and computer games to be "art."


For example, I would consider a game like Black & White to be Art, but not a game like Daikatana. Naturally, to make this distinction requires some personal judgement. I'm sure John Romero thinks that Daikatana is a piece of art.

When code is considered art... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551480)

then Windoze will be considered art. That is not cool!! :)~

Old Farts (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551481)

There are still millions of people born pre 1973 that don't consider games art.

When they die, and us youngens take control it will become mainstream. I predict in another 15 years this will happen. Until then those that consider games art will have to hide in our little "command centers" appriciating our artform with others over the net.

Only have to say one thing... (1)

mfos.org (471768) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551485)

A Mind Forever Voyaging

As a games programmer myself... (1)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551488)

I would have to say no. At least, I don't think of myself as an artist. Then again, I don't consider programming to be an art, its more of a craft for me.

However, art is an entirely personal thing. If you think they're art, I'm not going to say you're wrong! Especially if its not something I worked on [criterionstudios.com] :o)

We're still waiting for the Citizen Kane (5, Interesting)

mcarbone (78119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551490)

Any time a new art form comes along it takes awhile for the public to accept it as legitimate. Take film for example. In the first 30 years of the century, film was a medium for popular entertainment mostly but had yet been embraced by the intelligentsia. The medium was mostly used for entertainment, but here and there were glimpses of art or social messages or what have you.

When Citizen Kane came along, here was a movie that used all of the unique elements that make up film for artistic purposes. It was groundbreaking in that the lighting, photography, music, camera angles, editing and so on all came together to form this wonderful work of art.

I don't think videogames have come this far yet. Now, there are many games that give us glimpses of art and beauty (Zelda games, SNES Final Fantasy games, a glimmer in Black and White, etc.) but no one has yet made the Citizen Kane.

And why not? Well, in the film industry, it took the genius of one man (Orson Welles) and the amazing backing of a studio system (which later destroyed Welles). But the videogame industry is so much harder to work with when art is concerned. Not only are videogames really expensive, but they are looked down upon by those people who could afford to fund game art. The problem here is that a game has to be aesthetically pleasing and interactive, which, if you think about it, is really hard to do. Most people just want to run around and shoot people in realistic environments.

So I put out a challenge to all of you videogame makers out there: try to make the Citizen Kane of video games - it doesn't have to be popular among teens or particularly well-liked by the public, it just has to be good. I've tried thinking of ideas myself, but I've failed so I leave it to the geniuses that I know are out there but who probably don't have financial backing. If you are someone like this, I wish you the best of luck!

Maybe some games (1)

Jormundgard (260749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551492)

Something like Loom might be considered art. And an original concept and delivery like The Fool's Errand might be considered art too. Something like Legend of Zelda was novel when it came out, but the two I mentioned are still unique and special, even today. I don't think that the majority of games are. Most games, from old to new, are designed to be cool fun, and maybe memorable, but don't really try to achieve anything new. Maybe games worthy of the title "Art" also aren't necessarily as fun (like of like movies). Well, that's how I see it at least.

Are computer games art? .. well (1)

ixo111 (531660) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551494)

Are images art? Are films art? Why wouldn't an interactive film be just as much 'art' as a non-interactive film? Thats essentially what a video game is .. especially with today's technologies. s/symposium/a little thought/g

Linus apparently thinks it... (1)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551499)

Linus Quote:

Also note how I said that it is the BSD people I despise. Not the HP-UX implementation. The HP-UX one is not pretty, but it works. But I hold open source people to higher standards. They are supposed to be the people who do programming because it's an art-form, not because it's their job.

Ok granted thats about programming and I believe we already decided that programming is an art-form. But if thats the case, how can we ignore video games? I mean technically somebody could code the mona lisa (I know I know, actually not that impressive of a painting but deal with the example) by using a text editor and manually putting bits into a file until it ends up being mona_lisa.jpg. Impossible? No... it can be done. Basically has anyone noticed that all these arguments about art, copyright, disk security, etc all go back to an arguement on what constitutes software. Is it the code, or the compiled code? I believe that if movies, music, paintings, sculptures (3d-objects) are all art, and on top of that... if code is art... then how could something up of all those pieces not be art?

2 Games to consider - ICO and Planescape: Torment. (2, Informative)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551506)


Having recently finished ICO on the PS2, I'd have to insist that anyone considering this question play this game to completion. As pure visual and emotional art, it is more complete than more works I've ever experienced.

On the literary side, I'd also have to insist anyone considering this subject thoroughly explore the game Planescape: Torment. The way this game reacts to actions, expectations, and self-reflection is quite amazing. If you read any review of this game, you can appreciate how difficult it is to put in a few words how ... jarringly profound this game can be.

Both of these games tell a story that would be _Impossible_ to tell without the freedom to explore the story, and the strength of the choices given to one exploring it. These games fundamentally connect to many core aspects of the human state in both the same ways 'traditional' art does, and in many ways impossible to do so before - they are fundamentally art in my eyes.

Ryan Fenton

Movies? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2551509)

Can they be any less of an art than cinematography?

Art vs. Product (2, Insightful)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551514)

Most modern videogames (and the same is true for movies) are far too complex for any one person to do by him- or herself. What you end up with is large teams working by committee towards a similar objective. However, quite often the artistic vision of the creator can be limitted by the skills and distinct visions of those other members of the team, and also by those marketing types who just want something that will sell.

The effort to combine storytelling, visuals, music and game mechanics requires an enourmous amount of talent on the part of a director / producer for his vision to shine through. The same is true for movies.

This is why it is much easier to look at a painting or a poem and see that it is a reflection of the artistic and creative vision of the creator, as he or she had full control over the creative process.

As far as coding itself is concerned, IMO the idea of it being a craft seems for the most part a little more fitting. Squeezing performance out of a limitted hardware platform is more a result of skill and intelligence, much like an innovative design for a bridge.

___
Cogito cogito, ergo cogito sum.

Sports and Amusement Parks (2)

Vegan Pagan (251984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551524)

From http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=art :

1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
2.
a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
b. The study of these activities.
c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.

3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
4. A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
5. A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
6.
a. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
b. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.

7.
a. Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.
b. Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: ÒSelf-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practiceÓ (Joyce Carol Oates).

8.
a. arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
b. Artful contrivance; cunning.

Dictionary.com thinks video games are art.

Ice Hockey for 8-bit Nintendo: That shit is art. (2, Funny)

joshjs (533522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2551531)

nuff said.
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