Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Sionnach Glic » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:52 pm

Again, I'd argue that the same could be said of many modern day movies. I certainly don't recall any deep philosphical subtexts in 300 or Transformers 2, for example.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby shran » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:04 pm

I believe that in due time video games will be appreciated as art. At one time, motion pictures were considered little more than gimmicks of science, now they have several sub-branches as an art form, including things like video art.

Art would be to me whatever is labeled art and also that what lets the beholder engage into a process of contemplation, appreciation or any other form of thought.

I can't figure this one out quite either. I can say that with so many forms of art around, there is not a single definition which encompasses all forms and is pleasing to everyone. As long as I have studied art history, I have never seen a single definition being presented in classes.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Mikey » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:42 pm

Sionnach Glic wrote:Again, I'd argue that the same could be said of many modern day movies. I certainly don't recall any deep philosphical subtexts in 300 or Transformers 2, for example.


I could argue either one of those pretty succesfully, although I wouldn't really be convinced myself and that's really not the point. Critically dissecting a subtext is only one of the methods by which art may be appreciated, but the difference is this - films are meant to be watched, not played.

It's definitely a finer distinction than it reads. As I said, I'm not convinced that Ebert's correct. You can certainly argue for the fact that films are watched or books are read in much the same arena as games are played. On the other hand, it could as easily be argued that if video games are art, so is a sandlot baseball game or playing a round of ultimate frisbee on the quad.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby stitch626 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:02 pm

Difference from vid games and sports: video games must be created and produced by someone, and thought up in a creative process. Sports require no more creative process than eating... IMO of course.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:40 pm

God fucking dammit I hate Roger Ebert sometimes. :bangwall: I swear, he's more full of shit than an actual sack of shit.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Mikey » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:12 pm

stitch626 wrote:Difference from vid games and sports: video games must be created and produced by someone, and thought up in a creative process. Sports require no more creative process than eating... IMO of course.


Really? I've watched a high-school OC draw up a playbook for a run-and-shoot offense - the creative process is staggering.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby sunnyside » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:12 pm

I'd say a definition of art should start out from the root of:

Something that should have no practical value, but that is valued by people nonetheless.

And than add some qualifiers such as

-the something must be created by humans

However I fear another qualifier might be:

-that something must be something that one experiences through their senses, but that they do not actively participate in.

That seperates games from a piece of canvas someone crapped on.

The reason people want to bother about it is that at some point in the past "art" became this noble thing, and so getting the label added on to whatever improved societies opinion of the thing. I think i'd rather see "art" knocked off its pedistal than games raised up to it.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Lighthawk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:37 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:So's this:

Image

Indeed, it's considerably more expressive than a blank wall


Yes, but that was never meant to be art. It was an attack on America by religious extremists. While its possible some art has been started by mistake, I'm sure most art is done with the intent to create art.

just because a person isn't "skilled" doesn't mean they can't make art.


Yes it does.


Really? So tell me, where is the line? At what point does a drawing go from being lines on a page to art? Where is the lower limit of skill needed to qualify, and who or what organization(s) have the authority to pass judgment over a work as to whether a piece of "art" qualifies as such?

I just can't agree with that, because how do you fairly measure artistic skill? There is so much opinion involved when it comes to art, whether it is good or bad, that trying to lay down rules on it just seems pointless to try.

For example, as Stitch said, he finds the photo you posted somewhat artistic. Well when photography first came around, most "serious artists" didn't consider photography art because it was too easy. Anyone could take a picture. Yet try to deny photography as an artistic medium now. Looking down on photography was just a form of elitism.

Or how about what Mikey brought up, a child making art. Just because they might not have the painting or writing skills of a professional doesn't mean they can't make something that can touch people. Granted in a child's case the odds of them making something that will last the ages or impress upon people outside their own family is pretty slim, but that they can through some medium put down an expression of their thoughts or emotions or ideas and share it with others, even if it's just their parents, and invoke an emotional response is enough for me to call it art. It's not great or high art, but just because it's not amazing doesn't mean it can't be art.

Fair enough, amend the first requirement to invoking an emotional reaction by visual means.


So music isn't art?
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby stitch626 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:00 pm

-that something must be something that one experiences through their senses, but that they do not actively participate in.

So nothing man-made is art, for the artist would have actively participated... maybe bad reasoning on my part, but I don't get anything else from that statement.


I consider cars and planes and boats to be works of art too... maybe there is something wrong with me. :lol:
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Lighthawk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:06 pm

stitch626 wrote:I consider cars and planes and boats to be works of art too... maybe there is something wrong with me. :lol:


Not at all man. Not at all.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Sionnach Glic » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:38 pm

Well, since two people now have brought it up, I'll challenge it. Why does something stop becoming art when it becomes interactive?

I think most people here would agree that movies are a form of art, yet for a number of games the only real difference between it being a video game and a movie is that the protagonist has a health bar. So why does it cease being art the moment the viewer gets to take part?
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby stitch626 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:32 am

the protagonist has a health bar

Heavy Rain being an exception to this...

As to your question, I have no idea why this is considered the case. I've even heard of stuff in a gallery being called "interactive art", so i can't understand how the interactivity would prevent artness.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby sunnyside » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:16 am

Sionnach Glic wrote:Well, since two people now have brought it up, I'll challenge it. Why does something stop becoming art when it becomes interactive?

I think most people here would agree that movies are a form of art, yet for a number of games the only real difference between it being a video game and a movie is that the protagonist has a health bar. So why does it cease being art the moment the viewer gets to take part?


I think it's a fair thing to challenge, but "art" is sort of a arbitrary term defined by society. And think society considered "interaction" to be one of the borders of art. I.e. a book can be art, but a choose your own adventure book cannot.

It's just how most people seem to feel.

However that also means it's subjective and can change.

I think the question is less if video games will become art and more if the definition of art will evolve to include video games.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Sionnach Glic » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:02 am

Aye, I know that's what the common perception is. I'm asking people here who think it to explain why.
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Re: Games Aren't Art, At Least According to Roger Ebert

Postby Mikey » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:57 am

Sionnach Glic wrote:Aye, I know that's what the common perception is. I'm asking people here who think it to explain why.


Intent. I don't know how many more times I can say that without cracking up. Intent, intent, intent. How about if I say it like this: purpose. The purpose of a video game is not to be admired as a work of art - it is to be used in the manner for which it is made; i.e., played. A soda can isn't a work of art of itself, for its purpose is to hold a bunch of soda. If a someone takes that can after it's empty and integrates it into a sculpture, now it's art - because of the new purpose of the can.

I keep a print of Ulysses deriding Polyphemus in my bedroom. It is art. I keep my beard trimmer in my bedroom. It is not art. Get it?
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