I figured I'd ask this question in response to the increasing popularity of video games in today's society. I guess the most prevalent software that is globally known is the Wii - a console which has wangled its way into appealing to the older demographic and a much larger female audience. Perhaps a more extreme example of how video games are taking over is the eStadiums in Korea - huge gaming halls dedicated to online gaming tournaments. These halls are vast, but don't play host to sports. Instead they house thousands of connected computers where 'top' gamers participate in competitions for cash prizes. This means, a lot of these gamers now do it for a living, scary huh?
What say you on video games? Are they mindless? Or are they no different to art or cinema?
From what I remember hearing years back in South Korea, is that there were already a number of "professional gamers" who were making a nice sum of money by participating in tournaments in a professional basis. Such games as Starcraft and Counter-Strike were and are popular there for this type of thing.
I don't think video games are mindless, unless you get a game that doesn't have much to do in it. I think it's just another avenue for people to enjoy themselves with, sitting there and playing video games is no different than sitting there and watching soaps, sports, etc.
I don't find them mindless. Some of them are very thought provoking.
I don't find it scary at all that you can make money playing video games professionally in Korea. It's the same as Americans who love football. Just because one side uses their bodies and the other uses their fingers should have no relevance whatsoever.
As for video games themselves, I feel a mass majority of them have something to offer the mind. Whether it be creativity, puzzles, intriguing story lines, character development, etc. Even Grand Theft Auto has its place. Just because something is graphic AND interactive, I still feel it does not take away from video games simply being an interactive art form.
Regarding mindlessness as well, I just think people are always looking for a new martyr. It's happened to one of the most acclaimed of authors throughout history. Now we live in an age of technology. A game would be as mindless as a crappy TV sitcom, so if it's a game made by terrible developers, then yes, it probably is mindless.
Are these our only two options?
Video games are not a form of art. They are a form of technology.
Cags, have you played World of Warcraft?
In fact, let me rephrase that... screw playing it: Have you just walked a character through it?
It's a freaking world. With weather. Creatures. Not just dragons and griffons and great, mythological beasts (although there are many of those, amazing and so, so fun to go after over the months and even years it takes to be good enough to best them). But, yes, creatures. Little ones, like rats and rabits and squirrels running along tree branches that drop leaves which float gently, slowly in pendulous arcs to the grass below, to the stone, the dust, the snow where your character leaves foot prints when it passes, foot prints that crunch like they really do.
Curtains and gowns and reams of cloth are diaphanous, weather changes, planets and stars move across the sky. Animals howl or chirp, the wind blows and you hear it and see it, watch your clothing move, your hair.
There is a story, a long, long, complex story that spans books and books, real books and books you read in the game, history, written by an actual person who created that story that came to life with technology, true, but that is art just like the world that comes to life in a picture that uses paint to make it, a world that uses pages and ink, one that uses actors and song...
speaking of song... the music is beautiful, complex, amazing in places.
It's art, dude. Trust me. It's art.
They CAN be art, but like anything else it's a subjective view. Personally i cant see how Damien Hirsts 'Shark' can be classed as art, but i digress.
I think half the problem is children in particular are allowed to play on them too much. My kids play them, but i wont let them sit in front of the screen all day like some of their friends do. I'd much rather they were playing in the garden (weather permitting) or doing something a bit more stimulating.
Games can however be quite educational and teach things like logic,co-ordination and even geography and history.
Thats my 2c
That "what is art" conversation is asinine. This doesn't just apply to videogames, but in general. Did you put a creative effort into something? It is art. The term art shouldn't be elevated into some beatified honor that only great minds can achieve.
When people ask if something is art or not, the question they're (usually) asking is whether or a piece of art can be considered good, intellectually satisfying, or moving.
I can't think of a video game that has come close to the levels of intellectual discourse that the best books, novels, and films have. That doesn't necessarily make them inferior platforms for conveying art, but it does mean that the medium has a long way to go.
You obviously haven't played games like Indigo Prophecy or Heavy Rain then. Intellectually satisfying? Are you kidding? Those two I just named along with many, MANY other games have plots that require a lot of thinking, just like books. Just like movies. In fact, these two games are probably better than a lot of books out there, considering all mediums can fall under a spell of cliches and wannabes.
It was very easy to become attached to someone of the characters in Heavy Rain and to watch them die from such a small decision YOU made, I would certainly consider it a moving piece. It is one thing to watch a character die in a movie, or in a book and be brought to tears. It is another to be the sole cause and reason of that character's death.
And if you guys want to talk about art in terms of even traditional, awe inspiring visuals, Mass Effect had some of the most gorgeous spacial effects and texture rendering, as well as being a fantastic RPG with an engaging story.
So I really don't see how there could be so many opinions on how games are NOT art. They most obviously are. Painters paint. Writers paint with words. Movies combine scripts, effects and actors to offer a new visual perspective and video games do all the same things, but make it interactive. With that said, if anything created by another human being can move one so much to facilitate an emotional response, I would have to say that would most certainly include video games in the category of art.
I haven't played Heavy Rain, but Indigo Prophecy was laughably absurd.
While this is true, I still feel it was a complete sleeper hit and inspired a new pinnacle in how video games can be presented. It seemed more of an interactive movie than a game, if you've ever come across one of those.
As for it's absurdity, may I ask why you think so? I just mean, it's story certainly wasn't more absurd than say, Jaws, which would be considered a classic thriller, despite the fact it would be unthinkable a great white could ever sink a ship.
But then again, I may just be straying off topic.
Honeslty, I've never seen a story go off the rails faster and more completely. I thought it was a fun little crime story with some supernatural undertones and then... well, what was actually happening was just dumb. I won't spoil anything in the middle of an unprotected thread, but the entire trip to the arctic and everything that came with it was... not what I call good storytelling.
I have heard Heavy Rain is much better and will probably buy it once it is a little cheaper sometime later this summer.
IMHO, Videogames used to be art. Before 1999 or so. Think of the "Baldurs Gate", "Fallout" series. There were other great games, like "Birthright".
At some point it changed and became all about money. Look at the brand new Fallout.
There's a few good games that feel like a piece of art nowadays. For example the "Dragon Age Origins" and their fade art - this is heavily inspired by lucid dreaming, but is pretty great
I guess it is the same with hubs - some people write them for fun and to educate, some write them for money.
Like any art, money always enters the equation. You don't think Super Mario Bros. 3 made a lot of money? (And yes I defend SMB's aesthetics.) As an older gamer who grew up on nintendo, I can sympathize because games have changed a lot over the years. But video games are huge enterprises that developers wouldn't make without the assurance of some profit. Check out Final Fantasy XIII, or the new Assassin's Creed and the art and gameplay are both beautiful
How is making money playing videogames and different from making money reviewing movies? Both seem pretty fun and each can have is large income depending on who you are.
Who would of thought skating boarding would of been as big as it is now days. Skate parks are being put up in communities across the United States. Skate Boarders like Tony Hawk have made a very nice living for themselves. I see video games as just another avenue for people to enjoy themselves and maybe even make a few bucks.......
Some games are really crossing the violent limits and others entirely revealing the secrets. Entertaining games should always be welcomed.
Any deliberate attempt to manipulate a medium (in this case computer code) in order to acheive an aesthetic effect is art. That being said, not all art is good.
Regarding the bane of society - I vote for games being the bane of society! They are too damn fun! The success of World of Warcraft means more addictive games in the future
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