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Games are not art!

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Degausser said:
LilChicken22 said:
Everybody considers art different. For me games are art because it's extremely difficult to bring a made up world to life with music, artist, characters and good gameplay. I don't consider paintings like this http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nN4X_z40N0U/T0D-DZIdEkI/AAAAAAAACSk/2gJtrX4SAdU/s1600/Pollock_no-5.jpg as art because boring people see things that aren't there. (FACT: this is the most expensive painting ever).


 In the study of Chaos in Physics, you can analyse patterns and shapes for something called their fractal dimension, which basically analyses how repeated the shapes or patterns are within a picture. They're basically patterns that repeat themselves as they are created through a mathematic formula or equation which is repeated over and over - I'm sure you've seen fractals before. Anywho you can apply this analysis to any picture and get its fractal dimension.

 Whats interesting is if you analyse Pollocks work to find their fractal dimension they actually have a (non-integer, as expected) value! and as you look at the painting throughout his career as he went along over time the painting have a higher fractal value so as to suggest his 'style' improved or became more formulaic / adjusted / improved as he went throughout his career. 

http://discovermagazine.com/2001/nov/featpollock#.UV3uwJM3vIM

 I did a pretty bad job of explaining it so read the link above to get a better idea - point is I think it's a great argument against people just saying abstract art like Pollocks work is just smoke and mirrors. The mathmatical analysis done on his work isn't something that would give any type of fractal dimensionality if I had just throw paint at a canvas.


personally, I define art as anything that expresses something that's very hard to express.  I don't know what your definition is but I would agree with lilchicken.  Games expresss so many complicated themes.. While I see why pollocks painting should gain appreciation now.. I don't see it expressing anything of the human condition.



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If Transformers is art then so are videogames.

Any medium that is created by humans to transmit something to other humans can be considered art. It doesn't mean it has to be moving, life-changing or groundbreaking. Otherwise some movies are art and some aren't, same with sculptures, paintings, etc.



No troll is too much for me to handle. I rehabilitate trolls, I train people. I am the Troll Whisperer.

Wow.. I forgot I made this thread... anyway...

snyps said:


personally, I define art as anything that expresses something that's very hard to express.  I don't know what your definition is but I would agree with lilchicken.  Games expresss so many complicated themes.. While I see why pollocks painting should gain appreciation now.. I don't see it expressing anything of the human condition.


Hey, I like that.  I can agree with that, but, I would also have to say was made out of passion as well.  I don't see how you could call anything an art if you're not making it out of passion.



Ebert HATED Transformers 2 and 3. Very funny reviews.



I think what complicates videogames as art is the way games are consumed. If the viewer could edit, rearrange, and change Citizen Kane to their own liking, would it still be art?

Do some games have artistic merit in how they look? Yes. In the stories they tell? VERY rarely. Games have never made me cry or tear up, while many movies and books have.

Even the best game stories wouldn't rate as movies or books (see any MGS, GOW (either one), FF, or whatever.

Have we had a Citizen Kane, Godfather, Chinatown, or any other masterpiece that truly says something worthwhile about the human condition? Not yet. I don't even think we have had a Birth of a Nation yet. Games with interesting stories often rely too much on other media like film, television, or books.

Games like Braid and Journey do show that we are getting there, but we aren't there yet.

It is early days yet.



There are many forms of art. Movies, games, or anything done with the imagination and your own creation. Even acting is a form of art. Then you tell me Taylor Laughtner is an actor.......Well I didnt say everything was good art ;)



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vfguy said:
Ebert HATED Transformers 2 and 3. Very funny reviews.



I think what complicates videogames as art is the way games are consumed. If the viewer could edit, rearrange, and change Citizen Kane to their own liking, would it still be art?

Do some games have artistic merit in how they look? Yes. In the stories they tell? VERY rarely. Games have never made me cry or tear up, while many movies and books have.

Even the best game stories wouldn't rate as movies or books (see any MGS, GOW (either one), FF, or whatever.

Have we had a Citizen Kane, Godfather, Chinatown, or any other masterpiece that truly says something worthwhile about the human condition? Not yet. I don't even think we have had a Birth of a Nation yet. Games with interesting stories often rely too much on other media like film, television, or books.

Games like Braid and Journey do show that we are getting there, but we aren't there yet.

It is early days yet.

I have never felt a sudden sense of loss and loneliness when my mysterious partner disappears, nor a sense of joy when we understand each other through simple motions as in Journey.
I have never felt as nervous during a movie when I have to leave my partner behind as in Ico.
I have never felt a sense of guilt for my actions during a movie as in SotC.

And then there are all the wonderful worlds to get lost in, even in simple games like Dear Esther and Proteus.
Or different ways of story telling like Thirty flights of loving, To the moon or The company of myself.

I have felt more emotion and introspection from certain games then from Citizen Kane, Godfather and Chinatown. Sure, there have been other movies that did that better for me then games, but art is a personal experience. Movies far more often evoke emotion, no surprise with over a hundred years of movies. Same with books, which have been around far longer.

Yes, it still is early days. Yet plenty games have already managed to evoke that feeling of having witnessed something special just as much as a good book or movie can.



Roger Ebert is one of my heroes. No single person has had a greater effect on my love for movies than he has.

But this is one area where I disagree with him. Video games ARE art.

Anyway, this is a really sad day. Ebert was a brilliant critic -- brutally honest, funny, and, at times, even poetic. There will probably never be a critic as knowledgeable, as cutting, and as eloquent as him again.

Sorry to go off-topic. Just wanted to get that off my chest.



snyps said:
Degausser said:
LilChicken22 said:
Everybody considers art different. For me games are art because it's extremely difficult to bring a made up world to life with music, artist, characters and good gameplay. I don't consider paintings like this http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nN4X_z40N0U/T0D-DZIdEkI/AAAAAAAACSk/2gJtrX4SAdU/s1600/Pollock_no-5.jpg as art because boring people see things that aren't there. (FACT: this is the most expensive painting ever).


 In the study of Chaos in Physics, you can analyse patterns and shapes for something called their fractal dimension, which basically analyses how repeated the shapes or patterns are within a picture. They're basically patterns that repeat themselves as they are created through a mathematic formula or equation which is repeated over and over - I'm sure you've seen fractals before. Anywho you can apply this analysis to any picture and get its fractal dimension.

 Whats interesting is if you analyse Pollocks work to find their fractal dimension they actually have a (non-integer, as expected) value! and as you look at the painting throughout his career as he went along over time the painting have a higher fractal value so as to suggest his 'style' improved or became more formulaic / adjusted / improved as he went throughout his career. 

http://discovermagazine.com/2001/nov/featpollock#.UV3uwJM3vIM

 I did a pretty bad job of explaining it so read the link above to get a better idea - point is I think it's a great argument against people just saying abstract art like Pollocks work is just smoke and mirrors. The mathmatical analysis done on his work isn't something that would give any type of fractal dimensionality if I had just throw paint at a canvas.


personally, I define art as anything that expresses something that's very hard to express.  I don't know what your definition is but I would agree with lilchicken.  Games expresss so many complicated themes.. While I see why pollocks painting should gain appreciation now.. I don't see it expressing anything of the human condition.

 Pollocks paintings represent nature though - the underlying laws of physics and mechanics which make up the shapes of our coastlines, our forests, our landscapes. He's managed to capture chaotic dynamics into his work, and throughout his career further improved and develoepd his style - and I'd say that is something very difficult to express. I find it fascinating how paintings with a fractal dimension are generally seen as more visually appealing psychology tests and the ideas of how this relates to evolution and whatnot.

 Anywho, I'm not really trying to disagree with you, art is subjective and all that, I just find it fascinating. I'd normally scoff at the idea of a load of paint being throw on a canvas being worth millions. But Pollocks work intriguies me, because as someone who studies physics, it is science that shows they actually have a meaning and something which you can attribute that value too. I could throw paint at a canvas but it wouldn't capture nature like the refined and precise style of Pollock did. And I guess now I've seen one artist like this clearly has something more to his work then being contrived  - it makes me question weather more art is like this, and I just can't appreciate it.



As far as the context and meaning of art may reach, I wouldn´t conside games as art due to a simple matter: games are not meant to be only appreciative, like the traditional forms of art - painting, music, dance, sculpture, cinema. You either create them or you just appreciate them with your senses (audition, vision). You´re not supposed to intervene in them, just appreciate.

Games are essentially a challenge to be solved, be it a challenge against the CPU or against other players, or even against your own goals. They have more similarities with table games than with art itself. But games DO use a lot of artistic elements and concepts, such as music, acting, design, artwork. Then I´d say that those elements are art, but not the game itself.



depends on the game obviously.
Some are art, some aren't, just like any other medium.