Are Games Art?

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Are they?


  • Total voters
    58

Exigent Circumcisions

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True & Honest Fan
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What is art?

Also; don't care. Some games are fun, some are kind of moving but I don't pay attention to the story unless I'm forced to.

This whole debate reeks of insecurity on designers' part. Are you worthy of the same respect as any other artist? Pretty gay thing to worry about.
 

Fek

What could possibly go wrong?
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Certain aspects of a game can be, sure. It's not terribly common for artistic interpretation to even be necessary for a video game, but when it does occur I find it most welcome. Planescape: Torment comes to mind as solid example of what I'd consider the artistic potential of a video game. Might be a bit rough for you younger types to get into given how dated it is now, but it's well worth a play-through.

Now, that being said? I think game mechanics are anything but art. They're simply a tool. You can be creative with game mechanics and end up with something that seems worthy of being called art on its own (typically some form of physics engine manipulation or sandbox crap a la Minecraft), but that doesn't suddenly make the tools used anymore art-worthy on their own than a goddamn periwinkle crayon.

Of course, I find art so utterly subjective across the board that I doubt anyone's gonna have an ultimate answer for you here. I find Dancing Mad's...cover? reinterpretation? by the Black Mages quite meaningful (I'll spare you the novel on why), but I don't expect a single other person on the planet to go "oh man what an absolute connoisseur let's listen to his stupid opinion."
 

Lemmingwise

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There should be a poll option that says: "Games aren't art, because art is shit and some games aren't shit"

People who say games are art (and I used to be one of them) are exceptional. Not because games can't have some transcendental or transformative messages/experiences, but because the motivation is that you want to be taken serious for pissing away your time on dopamine simulators. It's a form of coping with your wasted time and potential.

A good example is the WOW ads:


They too are engineered to make games seem more cool and meaningful than what sitting behind a blinking screen really is. And I think most people have seen at least one friend destroy his life for a while playing that game.

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But all of that is not the real reason why "games are art" is an exceptional point of view. And it's because the art world has so thoroughly been hollowed out, that it's no longer a mark of craftmanship, of artistry, of beauty to be considered art. Art has become synonymous with the puerile, the work that depends more on the note explaining what it is than the work itself and after you've read that, exit through the gift shop. Half the art world is a laundering scam that works in a simple manner. Artist A, Banker B and Curator C meet and agree upon a simple plan. A throws some paint at a canvas. B buys it for a million. Then B donates it to a library and reports it as a tax writeoff. C as the expert on A's work, values the painting at a million. The library has no incentive to deny that the gift they received is so valuable. They'll either display it proudly or at some point, sell it. They have an incentive for people to think it's expensive. This is also why ugly art has become the standard, because if A actually had to make good art, they can only run this scam twice a month at most, but if just some random dripping painting is art, then you can make several per day. There are a lot more scams going on in the art world and of course now that A is such a well renowned artist, he can also sell his paintings to rubes for lots of money.

If you're interested, there's a good youtube documentary on it that takes a look inside the art world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK5zh8ZTKO0

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At its heart it just really shows how out of touch avid gamers are with what happens outside their bubble. You don't want games to be art. It would be a step down for the dopamine simulators to be considered art. You can see that briefly in the infatuation with indie art games and the incestuous art festivals with judges that made their friends game win when those games weren't even elligible to be entered into the contest. On top of that judges had financial ties in the games they made win. THAT is where games are art. THAT is where games are like the art world.

Don't be fucking art, games, be yourself instead. A place to fuck around and have fun.
 
Last edited:

Jimmy Durante's Ballsack

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Given the state of the video game industry, I think we would be better served asking if a game is competent. We've still got broken shit coming out and this profession is over 50 years old. How do you fuck up a platformer in 2019 when Mario figured it out three decades ago? How do you manage to make Mass Effect into shit? How in the hell do you re-release Chrono Trigger and it ends up playing worse on better hardware and having more bugs than the original that came out 25 years prior?


Fuck art. Is it competent?

If a game comes out and is something that I would consider "the complete package" then yes, it's probably this field's definition of art. Video and examples very much related.
 

Lemmingwise

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Certain aspects of a game can be, sure. It's not terribly common for artistic interpretation to even be necessary for a video game, but when it does occur I find it most welcome. Planescape: Torment comes to mind as solid example of what I'd consider the artistic potential of a video game. Might be a bit rough for you younger types to get into given how dated it is now, but it's well worth a play-through.

This is one of the few games that would be considered literature if it were a book. It leaves you differently than when you pick it up and you can never fully leave it behind.
 

francesco

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Games could be art, but they aren't and will likely never be because people who make them and play them are just looking for a cheap dopamin shot. Art needs to be more than just hallow pleasure.
 

Foxxo

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Games are not art. The more art-like a game is, the less you can do in it. The story of a game can be artful, the graphics can be nice, and the engine and game mechanics can compel you to come back for another play-through; your toys have colors, input bits, and the occasional voice line, too, however.

That being said, linear RPGs are art museums.
 

Ponchik

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i can name plenty of games that have more artistic value than most of the shit hollywood puts out for example (silent hill, for one) but the vast majority of them are all at least a decade old at this point because the industry's more focused on churning out cinematic schlock than actually doing anything important with the medium

games are absolutely art, but they will never come into their own as an artform until the games industry desperately stops trying to be big and epic and cinematic. and no, indie devs aren't much better when most of them are making circlejerky walking sims which can barely be considered interactive at all. at that point you might as well just be making interactive fiction
 
S

SJ 485

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I think the question of games as art always leads people immediately to the wrong conclusions about what qualifies as art in games, because of misconceptions about what exactly art is in the first place. Graphics and music get brought up as if games need to be compared to other media we already consider art as a way of justifying the idea that they are art. This is the wrong way of thinking about it imo.

The arrangement of mechanics to create a unique and engaging gameplay scenario is the highest art a game can aspire to be. It can also tell a good story or have good visuals or music that evokes emotion etc. but those are not requirements, nor should they be the main focus of discussion about games as art.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a sadly underrated piece of art, often mischaracterised as just a meme streamer rage game (although I won't say that it isn't also that.) The game is designed to make the player despair as they fail over and over again, it's intended to frustrate and it succeeds at that. The unconventional (although completely consistent, predictable and fair) control scheme ensures that nobody who plays the game for the first time can succeed without a lot of learning and a LOT of failure.

Getting Over It is the traditional hero's journey distilled into its purest form as a game. It puts the player directly into that story in the most intimate way any piece of art possibly could, the player acts it out for themselves. They don't project themselves onto the main character and empathise with his experiences like a person reading a book or watching a film, everything is felt directly, the player is the protagonist, it's all literally happening to them as they play. That's why video games are art, not graphics or music.
 

Kamiii

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It's easily art. Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, (personally Fallout, but only if you take the time to explore the game, it's not in your face art), Limbo, Final Fantasy, BioShock, arguably Portal. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Anything that takes time and passion to create and makes you proud of it when it's finished is art to me.
 

Recoil

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After the kind of shit I've seen in the art world, I don't want games to be art.
All my favorite shit was better when it wasn't art.
Once things graduate to the status of 'art' they run a risk of losing their magic & attracting cancerous people, big time.
 

whatever I feel like

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Art as a concept is dumb. I think that watching, not playing but watching, sports is art. You are telling the story, and the more you know about the teams you are watching, the better your art is. Now get rekt, "artists."
 

Shaved Kiwis

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Art as a concept is dumb. I think that watching, not playing but watching, sports is art. You are telling the story, and the more you know about the teams you are watching, the better your art is. Now get rekt, "artists."

Who is to say that it isn't? Story telling is an artform in a sense. IMO it counts if you create output i.e. voice the story, write it down or something. Big time sports announcers get paid a lot because they can turn a bunch of hairy faggots running around groping balls into a heart pounding battle. As far as video games go even shit like Barbie's Magic Horse Adventure has some artistic merit. It takes both creative and technical skills for people to make it happen. From the people designing the sprites, to the people that had to code the game logic under various limitations. Basically unless it's an asset flip I'd consider it art. Whether it is good or not is an entirely different matter.
 

Marissa Moira

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Art by definition is something that someone else made that you sit around and look at and cannot interact with, because if you do men will pop out of the walls hold you down and call the police on you.

You know what here's the solution. Have it be "Are games a creative process or collaboration?" the answer would be yes. On that merit they can be judged fairly.

Art is a creative process but games are not art because both are different forms of a creative process.

Faggots want it to be art so they themselves can appear cultured, it's a selfish demand. It's like trying to get e-sports to be considered real sports.
 

Chin of Campbell

Un-chinny Valley
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1. Yes. If a woman shitting period blood on a diaper and rolling in it on stage is art, so is a space lady shooting a purple dragon with a laser gun.

2. Literally who the fuck cares what people consider "art" or not. Video games are meant to be fun first and foremost and the more people that try to make video games "artsy", the more shitty walking simulators about trannies there will be.

The sooner people trying to make video games be recognized as a legitimate art form fuck off the better. Games that are fun first and foremost will always be better than walking simulators, movies pretending to be video games, and AAA factory-made "products" shit out to sell infinite copies to the lowest common denominator.
 

whatever I feel like

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Art is a creative process but games are not art because both are different forms of a creative process.
I like "creative process" or "mental creation" as a term for a slightly broader definition of art. Would really make the normies ree though.