Topic: Do video games have the capability of being art?

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@RR529 It was kinda escalating quickly I think.

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I think perhaps the most crucial part of the 'are games art' argument is to first define what you mean by 'art'. Only then do you have a basis against which to test various media to determine whether they can be labelled as such.

I'm going to go with the definition of: "Art demonstrates creativity on the part of the person/people who produced it, is able to elicit emotion from those who see/listen/hear/otherwise interact with it, and inspires one to think about it in detail".

If one takes that perspective (and I'm quite happy for you not to - that's my definition after thinking about it for 5 minutes) then games certainly are art, as they possess the qualities listed above.

In addition, games consist of various elements that, alone, are generally accepted as being art: story, music, graphics etc.

However, not all games are GOOD art - just like not all movies are GOOD movies, and not all paintings are GOOD paintings. You get the idea.

Having said all that, I believe that the interactive nature of games can sometimes undermine their artistic nature. Glitches (although see GlitchHiker, which made artwork out of glitches), being able to stray from the thrust of the story in ways the developers didn't intend, generally just running around and goofing off - all of those are the reasons that still make me hesitate to unequivocally equate games with art. Still, one could make the argument that the developers' choices in how people interact with games also contribute to the artistic nature of games as a medium (bugs, glitches, unintended consequences included) - I'd like to see someone argue for that.

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Klyo wrote:

Yes, I think so. An Art is something that takes talent and effort. So it is an Art. But a great peice of Art has to be innovative, and distinctive, though so I would call something like New Super Mario Bros. 2, a great game, but not the best work of Art. Wolfenstein 3D, however, I would call a great peice of art.

So this is art:
Because it's different. Perhaps even distinctive.

But this:
That isn't art, since that's just using age old techniques that have been honed for hundreds of years, and doesn't have an obvious distinctive touch to it that differentiates it from another of a similar type?

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There are some games where the interaction is what makes the emotion come out. Shadow of the Colossus springs to mind. It's all about the adventure and the interaction. Since the story is largely open-ended, it works out well.

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Marcel Duchamp (the artist who was the first to put a urinal in a museum, btw) thinks so.

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I'd say games like Windwaker and Skyward Sword can definitely be regarded art, Skyward Sword more so than Windwaker.


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I personally think so

Edited on by StarBoy91

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Games are composed of separate forms of art such as music, character/environment design/drawing, and even the story can be considered art. How can something made up of art not be art? See: NightSky

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GreyShadows16 wrote:

Just like beauty, Art is in the eye of the beholder.

And just like beauty, we have groups of people who judge that stuff professionally, regardless of how bizarre their choices may seem.

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DarkKnight wrote:

Video games have the capability of being art. It saddens me that this is even up for debate.


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You know
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Well art is used for one to express himself, so Videogames are definately art, especially in indie games...

Currently playing: Rhythm Heaven, Minecraft (XBLA), Pokemon B/W 2, Halo 4, The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave, Fallblox, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GCN)

Will be playing soon: Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Cave Story +, Wii U: NSMBU, Nintendo Land, (And lots more!)


Radixxs wrote:

How can something made up of art not be art?

This is what I'm wondering too. Interaction takes it even further, as that allows the player to experience emotions from a game easier than other forms of individual art. In additon, the player can put their playstyle into the game and create the potential for many ways to interpret the art. For instance, I speedrun Metroid Prime Hunters, so I would interpret Samus sprinting through areas and getting problems resolved quickly if not recklessly. Now if I were going for 100% in that game, my interpretation would be a bit different of the character where I would view the hunter as more analytical and cautious toward immediate action as to develop a plan for success involving dangers of the areas.

Even something like choosing to attack or ignore Zoomers can be considered an art with the actions' interpretation and expression. The scan for the Zoomer in Metroid Prime Hunters states that they are "responsible for the spread of flesh-eating bacteria on Zebes, resulting in the extinction of many native species." Samus, having lived on Zebes for years, could consider this creature a threat due to the disease they could carry and possibly lost some Chozo friends due to that flesh-eating bateria if not had an experience with the disease herself in the past. To the player, these would be like suped-up scurrying cockroaches and could simply want them dead from their own experiences with those critters. Ignoring them though leads to a "I don't bother them, they won't bother me" mindset for both Samus and the player, and again could reflect on both the character's and player's experiences. Interaction with enemies opens up doors to expression by the player and can lead them to relate with the experience, and while this is only one example in one game, I'm sure many games are filled with these kind of examples.

Edited on by I-U

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While art is a subjective term, I certainly think that video games could be called art. They combine a number of already accepted art forms, not to mention that the Smithsonian has an exhibit with video games being displayed as art. Now that's an exhibit I'd like to see!

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When I visited LA this past summer a family member coaxed me into going into going to an art gallery that she said "those in the know" had been raving over for months. When I got there I found that all of the pieces had been formed by the artists gluing and shaping pieces of trash to a large metal pole. I mean, literal trash: some of the pieces had used cans of food (thankfully cleaned, at least) and newspapers making up the bulk of the "sculptures". And sure enough everyone I heard was talking in hushed and excited tones about how fabulous what they were seeing was. It that crap can be art then so can video games.

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anything can be art, you just have to look at it the right way, from the right perspective. whether the graphics are amazing, the story, the impact it leaves, anything.


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rayword45 wrote:

GreyShadows16 wrote:

Just like beauty, Art is in the eye of the beholder.

And just like beauty, we have groups of people who judge that stuff professionally, regardless of how bizarre their choices may seem.

Don't get me wrong I think Video games have always been art, but what I meant is that we may think it's art but not everyone else does there for it is in the eye of the beholder. As for the groups that judge professionally there are also people who don't give a damn about their opinions.



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