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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Video games=/=Art?

A common debate that has raged on over the years, can video games be classed as art?

Well, dictionary.com defines art as being:

1.
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
 
So translated into English for normal people such as me and you, and by reading into it a bit, I read that to say that by judging of how something looks, does it feel significant in someway, something "better than normal", something that will stick with you after you have experienced it.
 
Now the games that are usually mentioned to me as being works of art are both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Shadow of the Colossus has been described with much praise, with Gamespot saying "the game's aesthetic presentation is unparalleled, by any standard".
 
Now here is where I fall down a bit now, having never played either of these games I find myself with very little to go on. So if you have played this game please comment and let me know your thoughts, do you agree that this game counts as art?

Swiftly moving on to a game made by the company who are known for producing amazing writing and for their ability to build a believeable world in their games, Bioware, more specifically, Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect 2 won Game of the Year, Best Story, and Best RPG, along with many others. But, does that classify the game as art?

In my view, and experiences playing the game, yes it does. With the soundtrack, character backgrounds, and lore you will yourself very immersed in the game world, and watching the final suicide run you will definately find yourself thinking you are watching a movie, instead of a game. Is it the greatest game out there? No, but it does something different and it does that very well so, in my opinion, I feel it deserves a place in being called art.

I'm fully aware I have been as vague as can be with this blog post, but overuling everything I have to say is that this argument comes down to the individual. Some peices of "art" these days are nothing more than somebody turning a light off and on in an empty room, which I find ridiculous, yet many people adore. So therefore I believe that some games (not all, good god not all, if Blops ever gets mentioned as art I think I will eat my own face) deserve mention and recognition as being more than just a simple entertainment medium.

So, thoughts? Or does anybody have any other games they feel deserve a mention as being something "above the norm" that deserve to be recognised?

Also to note, last night this blog reached over 1000 page views and over 70 followers, so I would like to say a massive thank you to all who have supported me. Know that I read every single comment posted and endeavour to read all the blogs that I follow daily, so your support is very much appreciated.

6 comments:

Hom Diddly said...

I think that video games can definitely be considered a form of art, or at least some, just like film. Wiki says "Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect." so by that definition some video games could certainly be considered art.

SuciƓ Sanchez said...

Some Vidya Games are more artistic than any movie I've ever seen so, if film is an art form, so is the vidya game.

Jordan said...

yes, i think video games are like an art form in a way

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Some Guy said...

I agree with the comments above and would like to point out that video game makers hire a lot of ARTISTS to design different aspects of the game: someone needs to write the storyline, someone has to write the dialog, people have to act out/speak the dialog, someone had to design the people and the landscapes... and all these are also opportunities for these creators to express something.

So yeah, video games can be art. It can also be shitty profit-oriented entertainment.

Doo said...

Yeah they are art to some extent. Now these days everything can be considered as art. Just depends on some persons point of view :)

Silver said...

@Doo: That is exactly art in itself; art is all subjective.

I have played Shadow of the Colossus and ICO. Personally I enjoyed Colossus more, however I would definitely agree to them being considered a work of art. The story of Colossus is quite moving, and even the actions you commit move you a little. In the game you have to kill these huge beasts, each of them with their own character and seemingly schedule. I remember there were some that fought back as you tried to kill them, and others just continued on as if you weren't harming them-each was moving to watch fall as you stabbed your sword into it's final weak spot. Such beautiful creatures had to die, to save your loved one.

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