top_image
Author Message

<  3D Aesthetics  ~  Are games art?

Michael
Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
It had to happen sooner or later: GameSpy wants to know if games are art:

http://www.gamespy.com/publisher/february03

A question to which there are two answers: yes and no.

Both are equally meaningless/meaningfull.



Laughing Twisted Evil Wink Smile Shocked Shocked Shocked
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Michael
Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 6:25 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
But an article about this on a major forum is encouraging.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Michael
Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 10:29 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
The article refers to the beginnings of film as a medium, when the products were not more than technology demos, similar to many games now. But by now, the article argues, film has become a mature artistic medium.

What I wonder about its whether, in the beginning of film, people had similar dreams. Or, more recent, video. Is anyone on this forum old enough to know if video went through this not-art phase before it became an artistic medium?

(I worry that too many fantasies about the potential of a medium might kill it. Much like what happened with the world wide web.)


Last edited by Michael on Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Vision
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 2:30 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Nov 2003 Posts: 3 Location: Wiltshire, England
I think that without a doubt computer games are DEFINATELY art! But I think that they pose real challenges to the definitions of art and also what games are. Now I'm just learning about game creation processes as part of my research so please excuse my naivety if I get things wrong here (and let me know)!

I'd be really interested to see a poll on how designers view their profession - do they see it as art? From my point of view I think it is an extremely bold and complex art form. A handfull or more of people come together on a project each with their own skills in rendering, 3D animation, sound, voive-acting, etc and orchestrate their talents - not on a "set" like in a film, but in a digital environment where they must work within the confines of the programs they use.

All of the things that the team create are then sown together as a game. Sure, the graphics in games are varied in quality and if you are railroaded into a definition of art as being Picassos' or Monets' etc then there's not going to be a contest.

But it's important to remember that the production of games relies on radically different technologies and processes than "traditional" art (even film). Once storyboarding and concept art has been done (examples of concept art REALLY show the talents of people involved in games) the majority of the process occurs digitally. Now I've got this (probably wacky!)theory that people underestimate games as art due to the way the artist has to digitally "extend" themselves into the program. The canvass or the set is on the computer - the body and eye of the game artist does not work in the same way as a painter or director who (usually) works within and/or manipulates their immediate tangible environment

I know that this statement is rife with underestimations (and I hope people will respond to it) but at an ideological level of the definition of art and on the role of the senses and the body in the creation of art - computer games (due to the fact that they rely on technology for their creation) break from the norm of artistic process as they are caught up in technology and it might be that art and digital technology are culturally regarded as being at odds.

Just because the game artists' canvass or lens is the monitor or the program does not mean that their skill should be underestimated - in fact it ought to be regarded as exemplary - that they are able to create (often 3D, multi-angled) representations whilst working with a team of other people all doing their thing and then sowing it all together to create a navigable environment. The fact that at some level this artistic expression has come out of a program governed by a binary code of 1s and 0s gives games further reason to be celebrated as a new art form.

Art (be it film, sculpture, painting) is representation and abstraction and simulation. The game In Memoriam poses a fantastict example of this. GTA3 and Theif II are also fine examples where by detail and graphics (both 3D and rendered) are not only good quality but which also (in my opinion provide bold commentaries on society: violence, capitalism, globalisation (GTA3), greed (GTA3 and Theif),and the relationship between technology and nature (Thief).

When games begin to make socio-political statements or reflect ideologies then I would say that they are addressing some of the key reasons why societies have art. GTA3 and Theif II are one example, other examples can be seen at the fantastic watercooler website.
View user's profile Send private message
Michael
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Saying that computer games art art because they are difficult to make, does not make sense. Would you call a Swiss watch a work of art?

Saying that computer games are art beacuse they include social commentary, is not sufficient either. Would you call CNN art?

It takes a bit more to constitute a work of art. I take my definition of art from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. The last sentence is of this poem is crucial: "for there's not one spot that doesn't see you. You must change your life." I'm sorry, but I haven't played one game that touched me so deeply that it changed my life. Some games have elements of art or moments of artistic experience. But most still carry too much game-ballast (the fighting of the ghosts in Ico, the puzzle solving in Uru, the kill-all-zombies in Silent Hill, etc).

I would love to see art-games. In fact, it is probably one of my greatest desires. Because there is this huge and undicovered potential in this technology. But to just call games art and that's that is too easy. Unless you don't mind games being called bad art.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Michael
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Mad Crying or Very sad I fell into my own trap. Shocked

It's completely futile to discuss whether games are art or not. Because it doesn't matter.
I can name a million "internatinally recognized works or museum-quality art" that mean a lot less to me than a session Capture the Flag in Halo. And I don't even lke shooter games.
Most contemporary art that I see is stupid, arrogant and meaningless. There is a lot more to admire in games.
I would want game designers to become a little more aware of artistic values but god forbid that they turn into "real" artists. Games would become so boring!!!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Vision
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Nov 2003 Posts: 3 Location: Wiltshire, England
Thanks for posting your thoughts Michael.

I didn't say that computer games should be seen as art because they are difficult to make - what I meant was that the artistic processes that contribute to the creation of games are all the more impressive (to me at least) because they produce quite often amazing, highly skilled and crafted images (eg. like Halo and In Memoriam).

The Swiss watch thing is an interesting comment. Swiss watches are infamous for their precise craftmanship - that is not art in my opinion (but many might say it is). Game programers also work with a precise skill and that skill is used to cooridinate and manifest all the components of a game so it becomes playable. the fact that game production takes place within this kind of environment, the creative qualities in the programming, the graphics, the sound, the cut-scenes - basically the areas where people have used their creative faculties as an individual or team to create something - to me is art - because my personal definition of art is that if someone imagines - and creates from that imagining a representation that can be shared with others (but not necessarily agreed upon or liked) then it is art.

I agree with you in that much contemporaty art is stupid, arrogant and meaningless - and people out there who might say the same about games.

I disagree though about the futility of discussing games as art. Sure, at some level it does not matter - but then why should anything matter, and what a dull homogenous world it would be if nothing mattered and great forums like this one didn't exist because people thought "what's the point" - I know that's not what your saying!

Like you said "there is this huge and undiscovered potential in this technology" - I think that part of the process in that potential coming out is, yes mainly in the hands of programers and producers - but also in the discussions that surround games - not only art but also (for example) in the numerous other great forums on this site.
View user's profile Send private message
Michael
Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 5:14 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
"sound created by the kind of creator that lacks the necessary knowledge ends up creating pain for the listeners"
Akira Yamaoka


Last edited by Michael on Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Crusty
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:04 am Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 Posts: 8
one game changed my life:

the first one I ever played
View user's profile Send private message ICQ Number
Auriea
Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 454 Location: at your fingertips
and which game was that Crusty?
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bogdan
Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:53 am Reply with quote
Joined: 29 Jan 2004 Posts: 2 Location: Charleroi
I'm not "that kind" of artist, but I have one opinion about art. I do not define the art as beautifull. Of course, generaly speaking, it is beautifull. Probably you heard about "The Art of Computer Programming" by Donald E. Knuth. I thing this book it's a piece of art, and it could create artists. The Art always inspires peoples.

http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/taocp.html

My point of view is simple:
Very good programs writer = artist. Sui generis, of course, but he is indeed an artist. Some things are becoming pieces of art when they are perfectly made.

Cheers!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Michael
Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:10 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
That is the traditional definition of art. The pre-modern definition. And I do tend to prefer it as well. Modernity has confused matters by defining art as something that would involve personal expression or send some kind of message.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
MoriartyL
Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Nov 2005 Posts: 69 Location: Israel
Can games be art? Yes.
Is gamism an art form? No.
Then is gamism a form of entertainment? No.

To say it is a Form of art or entertainment would be selling it short. The fact is, just about any type of experience you can imagine, be it artistic or otherwise, can theoretically be captured in a game. This includes all existing experiences (reading, watching a movie, playing music) as well as many which we are not creative enough to even conceive. Gamism is not a single art form- it is the medium in which all Forms of art and entertainment can coexist. It is the medium through which the boundaries between all other mediums will cease to be relevant. Gamism is the whole of all possible art, combined with the whole of all possible entertainment, transposed to a digital medium. "Art form" and "form of entertainment" are classifiers of the past; Games transcend them. Gamism is the second greatest medium ever controlled by man. Understanding this, to call it an art form would be blasphemous.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
MoriartyL
Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Nov 2005 Posts: 69 Location: Israel
As for how to differentiate art from entertainment, it hardly matters, but I do have a simple answer. Entertainment is enjoyable without having to think about it, digest it, or understand it. Art is enjoyable on a higher level, though not necessarily on the lower level. If it has a real-world message, it takes some thinking to come up with it, so it is art. If it goes against current tastes, then it demands one to overcome his own culture- this effort makes it art. In general, whenever it takes an effort to uncover the beauty of a work- it is art.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Michael
Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:42 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I agree that interactive technology is a very important medium because it is radically new. I wonder which is the first in your list?

I don't agree that games, as you seem to suggest, could replace all previous artistic media. No medium ever has, and even a revolutionary one like games, will not. Paintings, books, theater, architecture, music, sculpture, will all remain very valid on their own. There's nothing that a game can do that can replace our even improve on the experience of a Bernini marble or a Van Eyck canvas. I think interactive technology should explore its own strength, rather than trying to be everything at once.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Display posts from previous:  

All times are GMT + 2 Hours
Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum