Art Games

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Post » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:39 pm

[quote="Emperor Ing":2p0ydcd7]In short, I've always wondered a little bit why, if we're going to call games art, just not list the best fucking games we've ever made, instead of these really short and often not-very-fun platformers and screensavers.[/quote:2p0ydcd7]

Because if it's not pretentious and/or boring enough, it's not "art". =P

But seriously, I hear you and I'm with you. The whole problem with art games as I see it is that people are kinda going about it the wrong way (though when you talk about "art" there is no wrong and anyone telling you different is completely right). Instead of judging games on their own merits, people need to compare games with other artforms. You don't judge a painting the same way you judge a piece of violin music right?

To add to the list:

Shadow of the Colossus, Silent Hill 2, Secret of Mana, Terranigma, Megaman 1-ZX
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:11 pm

A game isn't art just because It's good. It's art when the creator intended it to be art (this is not a waterproof rule, but in most cases this is true). If the intention is purely to entertain, then it's entertainment. If the intention is to invoke feelings or thoughts in the player, then it's more towards art. The focus of art is not to entertain, but to spread and invoke thoughts and ideas.

Games as an artistic medium is so young compared to other artforms. there's LOTS of new ground to break. Unlike many artistic areas, everything hasn't been done yet, Far from it! Even after decades of gaming tradition and a huge amount of technical improvements opening up doors, most games still follow the exact same concepts as the first generation of games. Some day, when games are picked up by artists, not geeks, games are going to take a whole new direction. This will probably happen around the time when art schools start to accept game devs, educate them, and push them to do artistic research.

Art as a concept is an extremely hard word to understand or define. People with artistic background constantly debate it with each other, people without artistic background usually have no idea what it means.

Since I'm pretty sure that Tetris or Mario Cart was made purely to be entertaining (really REALLY entertaining), I don't see them as art. They are really good games, but chess is a damn good game as well, but it's not designed to express anything or make you think. Deus Ex on the other hand has some political and philosophical thoughts on a whole different level, and is to me just as much art as mona lisa.

I've been studying dance and contemporary circus for five years now, and circus, just as games, is also traditionally seen as entertainment, but has broken into the artworld and is now a widly accepted artform. There's a clear line between contemporary and traditional circus, and while this is great entertainment, It's not made to be art, like for example this is. So far, most games being made fall in the same category as the chinese acrobats. Great entertainment. Little thought.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:55 pm

IMHO, very few games can be qualified as art. In most case, videogames are a pale copy of an technically innovative games. What you see, what you hear, it's nothing but 0s and 1s and the real game artists are the ones who allows other artist to showcase their own art with the fewest limitations.

The only ones capable of making videogames an art, are the ones who make them. Until programmers publicly showcase their code and that can easily be admired and appreciated by non-programmers, videogames will remain a medium to showcase other people's art.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:56 pm

Can't agree with that. With the right ideas and intentions you can make an art of most things. If you're a programmer working for a director, then yes, you're not really an artist. But in many indie cases the programmer has a lot of freedom and is basically building a universe from scratch. It's not just code, but level design, dialogue, story etc. Also, indie-games often have an artist, musician and programmer working as a team, where everyone contributes with thoughts and ideas. It's the combination of everything that forms the final product.

Saying games is a medium to showcase other people's art is like saying movies are a way to showcase the soundtrack. Knytt has an amazing soundtrack, and it can be seen as art in itself. But together with a game it forms a much stronger atmosphere and can project a feeling in a totaly different way. Some music nifflas made himself, and the rest is made by his friends who where very involved in the process of making the game. The actual code in this case has nothing to do with the artwork. You don't have to see what tools someone used in photoshop to create a picture, it's the final product that counts.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Well, I guess you're right. Afterall, boxing is an art too. Where's the limit between mastering a discipline and becoming an artist. Cleaning a room and making it a nice, warmth and relaxing place is also a form of art. Whatever pass through any of our senses to modify how we feel can be consider art. It will move some, and leave others cold as ice. A lawyer is an artist who gently and subtly pulls strings of literature and morality.

But personally, I still believe that art is how you do it and not what you do.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:33 pm

When we talk about art and games the focus is almost always on the aestethics, audio story and intent of the games. While those are all fine and valid points of discussion I think the scope of discussion has become stunted. A large part of what makes games games is the mechanics and I think that the discussion needs to encompass that as well, because that is what makes games unique.

Take previously mentioned Tetris for example. Why can't that be considered art? Sure it doesn't have an intended meaning, but it doesn't have to. You can easily derive meaning from the mechanics alone if you wanted.

For me I think it all boils down to one thing. Can games be art? Yes, but they don't have to be.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:53 pm

No such thing as an art game , It would look ridiculous if i had to paint on my screen lmao that's one answer i got when i asked someone about art games. :lol: Games can categorized as creative art.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:17 pm

[quote="Attan":2r1iolnk]A game isn't art just because It's good. It's art when the creator intended it to be art (this is not a waterproof rule, but in most cases this is true). If the intention is purely to entertain, then it's entertainment.[/quote:2r1iolnk]

I see your point, but I have to disagree. Again, I'm not saying that games are high art, the way a painting is. But they are a kind of art. Art with a purpose is still art, though it is a sub-category of art called "craft." For instance, pottery, acting, and furniture design are all crafts... they all require applied artistic skill, but they each have a purpose other than to exist merely as art.

Games are born of the creative process. And while a game may or may not have a message to send, it is still comprised of artistic elements. Those elements however serve a purpose (as we both agree, that purpose is to entertain), and so games fall under applied arts, or craft. Even if your game is made of colored boxes, you still have to call upon your creative process in order to realize it.

Of course there are varying degrees. A simple match-3 game obviously doesn't have the same artistic value as, say, Limbo. Much as a child's stick figure drawing doesn't have the same artistic value as the Last Supper.

[quote="Attan":2r1iolnk]Some day, when games are picked up by artists, not geeks, games are going to take a whole new direction. This will probably happen around the time when art schools start to accept game devs, educate them, and push them to do artistic research.[/quote:2r1iolnk]

Art schools are already doing this. Perhaps not fine art schools, but applied art or design schools are. For instance, the Art Institute (where I went to school) has a game design program. (By the way I was there for animation, not game design... go figure :P) And while it might be a chain school, it is still accredited and all students are required to take not only core academic classes, but core art classes as well, so even if your major is game programming you still have to learn color theory and art history and life drawing, etc.

[quote="Attan":2r1iolnk]They are really good games, but chess is a damn good game as well, but it's not designed to express anything or make you think.[/quote:2r1iolnk]

I understand what you're trying to say here, but I'd like to point out that chess is designed to make you think like crazy :P.

At any rate, chess as a concept is not art. You are correct. Is is purely a game. But, a specific chess set with hand-carved pieces is a different story. The skill and creative talent that it takes to make such a set would elevate that particular set more towards art than if you were, say, playing the game in your head. Video games are like that, only they are intrinsically linked to their pieces, so to speak. Mario Kart isn't a game concept in the way that chess is a game concept... you can't walk into a store and purchase a different "brand" of Mario Kart that was made by a company other than Nintendo. Yes, there are lots of kart racing games out there and they are all somewhat similar, but you can't just up and decide "I am going to make my own Mario Kart" specifically. Well, you could, but that would be like saying "I am going to paint my own Mona Lisa." There is only one, it's not really yours to paint.

Tetris on the other hand has become more like chess in that regard. It's ubiquitous nature has allowed it to transcend the original game and become more of a concept that just about anyone can put their own spin on, even if you can't legally call your creation Tetris.

[quote="inkBot":2r1iolnk]When we talk about art and games the focus is almost always on the aestethics, audio story and intent of the games. While those are all fine and valid points of discussion I think the scope of discussion has become stunted. A large part of what makes games games is the mechanics and I think that the discussion needs to encompass that as well, because that is what makes games unique.

Take previously mentioned Tetris for example. Why can't that be considered art? Sure it doesn't have an intended meaning, but it doesn't have to. You can easily derive meaning from the mechanics alone if you wanted.[/quote:2r1iolnk]

To continue the Tetris discussion...

As I said before Tetris has pretty much been reduced to a set of rules rather than a specific work. Pick any one Tetris game or clone and you can say whether or not that specific work is art, and to what degree. Much in the same way that you can point at any one particular chess set and judge it on it's artistic merits. But the mechanics themselves are purely game. They are a set of rules. It's no more art than the concept of chess, or poker, or hopscotch. But that is Tetris specifically.

As for the rest, I'm just thinking out loud here... I have yet to fully form this idea so bear with me:

As far as game mechanics go, they are the medium in which the work is displayed. They are the canvas on which you paint, as well as the raw paint and the brush. They are also the genre in which your work fits. They are the game... what makes your game a game rather than a painting or a movie or whatever. It's a little trickier to see as it's a really complex canvas.

They are also the major factor in what makes your game entertainment (applied art) rather than high art.

The design of game mechanics and their skillful implementation are integral to the experience, in so far as they are necessary to experience the game. It takes equal measures of creativity, critical thinking, and skill to construct a good mechanic. Just as you may appreciate the skilled brushwork of an artist (especially in something like pointillism where brushwork is the key component to the meaning of the image) you can likewise appreciate the clever craftsmanship of a game designer's mechanics.

Good mechanics make the experience more enjoyable, or easier to digest, but they are still just the means by which the work is presented. I have yet to play any game in which the mechanics were themselves something more than a set of rules and controls by which you interact with the rest of the work.
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:29 pm

I think a good definition of art would be any form of expression beyond function or need.
Therefore one could say just about all games are artistic to some degree, whether it be from the coding or the graphics with in it, or even the fact that its a game, and may serve no purpose other than to entertain.

Another big question is why do we make art?
The answer to that is debatable, but in cave man terms, the simplest answer is mortality.
We all want to live forever, failing that we all wish to leave some mark on the world.
Given that the usual method is procreation, is it any wonder why so many of us developers are geeks?
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Post » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:49 pm

[quote="sved":kmbqlh5w][quote:kmbqlh5w]Or run away, when they see the hat and the eye patch .[/quote:kmbqlh5w][/quote:kmbqlh5w]

That's not me, it's Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3. :?
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