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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Do you see games as pieces of art? *potential spoilers*

 

Are games a type of art?

Yes 37 68.52%
 
No 11 20.37%
 
Undecided 5 9.26%
 
Just want to see the results 1 1.85%
 
Total:54
Chrkeller said:
Kakadu18 said:

Music is also art and it isn't visual.

And this is still where I disagree.  My wife studied art at university....  want to guess how many music classes so took?  None.  Music is a different field.  Art is so broad at this point we might as well consider gym shoes art, given they have visual appeal.....  which is fine if that is how people feel.  I just don't.  Art is art.  Music is music.  Architecture is architecture.  

I couldn't disagree more with the notion that only purely visual products are art. I am not aware of any definition of art that excludes non visual things from it.

Makes no sense to me.



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Kakadu18 said:
Chrkeller said:

And this is still where I disagree.  My wife studied art at university....  want to guess how many music classes so took?  None.  Music is a different field.  Art is so broad at this point we might as well consider gym shoes art, given they have visual appeal.....  which is fine if that is how people feel.  I just don't.  Art is art.  Music is music.  Architecture is architecture.  

I couldn't disagree more with the notion that only purely visual products are art. I am not aware of any definition of art that excludes non visual things from it.

Makes no sense to me.

Which is fine.  Everybody is entitled to their opinion.  I don't anticipate (nor am I trying) to change anybody's mind.  Just giving my opinion.



Chrkeller said:
Kakadu18 said:

Music is also art and it isn't visual.

And this is still where I disagree.  My wife studied art at university....  want to guess how many music classes so took?  None.  Music is a different field.  Art is so broad at this point we might as well consider gym shoes art, given they have visual appeal.....  which is fine if that is how people feel.  I just don't.  Art is art.  Music is music.  Architecture is architecture.  

I think you are confused in what arts degrees teach. You wife didn't studied arts, she studied plastic arts. Or visual arts, or whatever. Arts are very broad definition, it's impossible to put everything together. It's a word akin to science. Nobody studies science in university, we study a specific field of science. And it's alright to arts be a broad term, just like engineering or science. Not every word need to be specific

Last edited by IcaroRibeiro - on 16 June 2022

IcaroRibeiro said:
Chrkeller said:

And this is still where I disagree.  My wife studied art at university....  want to guess how many music classes so took?  None.  Music is a different field.  Art is so broad at this point we might as well consider gym shoes art, given they have visual appeal.....  which is fine if that is how people feel.  I just don't.  Art is art.  Music is music.  Architecture is architecture.  

I think you are confused in what arts degrees teach. You wife didn't studied arts, she studied plastic arts. Or visual arts, or whatever. Arts are very broad definition, it's impossible to put everything together. It's a word akin to science. Nobody studies science in university, we study a specific field of science. And it's alright to arts be a broad term, just like engineering or science. Not every word need to be specific

She studied fine arts...  which didn't include music, gaming, architecture, etc.

Keeping with science, you are right.  I am a chemist.....  broadly it would be incorrect to call me a biologist, geneticists, biochemist, physicists, engineer, etc.    



JWeinCom said:

I don't necessarily subscribe to the definition of fine arts. I would include some things like comedy, comic books, wrestling, and etc in the category of art that are not traditionally included. But I do agree with the creative expression part. That is the key, and I'm pretty sure that's what 99.9% of people mean when they ask if videogames are art. I think the reason fine arts are defined as those that are purely aesthetic is to isolate that creative expression. 

Pretty much no art is ever purely produced for creative expression, but video games require functionality in a way that the other mediums really don't. Even architecture has less functionality required, because typically, based on my understanding, making a building that stands up is pretty simple and what the building looks like is then completely up to the architect. With games, you have to worry a lot about players being able to actually play it, and enjoy the gameplay systems, and I think with a lot of games that is more of a focus than telling a story or creating the visuals etc. I don't know if that disqualifies games as art, but it makes me question it with a lot of games. Like, Undertale I'm pretty comfortable in calling art, but Mario Kart I'm not so sure.

Of course that is why there is need for a lot of discussion and studies to keep going on, the aesthetic seeking intention and creative expression are central concepts in the fine arts theory, that should be suposedly be the primary points artists should be aiming to for their art to be called a fine art product, that is commendable, but even within the areas recognized as fine art many times the aesthetic as a primary objective is questionable and I would said that is because even "the arts" have evolved past what was considered of them even before the centuries when the fine arts classification arised:

like in Litherature or Painting which originated for communication/transmision of ideas purposes, and that even now have products that are difficult to qualify as purely aesthetic.

-in the case of Literature there has always been more a thing for transmition by the author that is primary, then what it is evoked on the reader can be on a completerly different level for several reasons, and now there is also a lot of "experimentation" with the ways things are written, but also the themes and ideas that are written are now considered and are part of what has made it probably the most "important" art to our days, not only having poetry and some kind of novels being recognized, now even diaries, memoirs essays and other kinds of written products are acknowledged, that is why now we have literary theory and literary analysis.

in painting as IcaroRibeiro said not only we have paintings that are anything but pleasing to look at, and still are considered by "specialists" as top fine art products, but also we have people experimenting with things like primary recognition of visual patterns, transmition of ideas through allusions instead of realism, and even some weird things like those sometimes almost scam like artist that just spray paint randomly on a canvas.

Architecture, edificating, building something is anything but simple, and this one i know because my sister has a degree in Architectonics and i have read her books, is not that they have come way past the "build something that looks pretty" long ago now, is that even since the ancient times even thought some tried to put aesthetics on top of utility or function, several if not most theorist and scholars reached the conclusions that you can't truly separate the "how it looks" from realizability/achievability which in buildings is closely tied to utilitarity:

The practice of architecture, which began in the prehistoric era, has been used as a way of expressing culture for civilizations on all continents.

Roman architect Vitruvius, said that "a good building embodies firmitas, utilitas, and venustas (durability, utility, and beauty)"

Leon Battista Alberti developed his ideas further, "seeing beauty as an objective quality of buildings to be found in their proportions".

Louis Sullivan declared that "form follows function".

Defintions that has been "modernly" used by several authors some decades by now, have the central point in Architecture is that we as expressive beings, modify the landscape to "make the space ours":

"Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures, where Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements."

"Architecture encompasses the consideration of the entire physical environment that surrounds human life, because architecture is the set of modifications and alterations introduced on the earth's surface in order to satisfy human needs for habitability where they can express themselves"

Same for other arts, they have originated with something else in mind: satisfying needs for communication, for space, for congregation, for entertainment, for teaching, for spiritual purposes, etc., ever since antiquity lots of them have had let's say "dual identities" as aesthetic pleasing products, but also fulfilling other purpose and most of the time they haven't been able to separate this, also they have been commercialized or used with economic purpose in mind since forever(in fact lots of people that adhere furiously to the "fine art" labeling are people that want to profit generously by trading it), or have already surpassed in several aspects what was considered of them merely by the aesthetic theories of fine arts by having broader areas of study.

I agree if we take the corpus of videogame and analyze it we may find lots probably the majority of products that may not be considerated artistic using several criteria, and even fewer ones could be considered as some kind of even "higher form" of artistic expression, but that is why I think we still need no keep analyzing videogames from several approaches, it's true that they main objectives may be selling and entertainment, doesn't mean we can't find the artistic value in them.

Chrkeller said:
Kakadu18 said:

Music is also art and it isn't visual.

And this is still where I disagree.  My wife studied art at university....  want to guess how many music classes so took?  None.  Music is a different field.  Art is so broad at this point we might as well consider gym shoes art, given they have visual appeal.....  which is fine if that is how people feel.  I just don't.  Art is art.  Music is music.  Architecture is architecture.  

As I remeber the fine recognized by most theories were

Literature - not about visual aesthetics 

Music - not visual 

Painting - visual

Sculpture - visual

Architecture - visual but having secondary things about human utilitarism

Performing - as dance and theathre, visual in a way, but they interwind with music and or literature

Film - audiovisual, kinda like performing arts but recorded



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In my opinion? Some are, some aren't. COD? Not so much. Shadow of the Colossus? Yes! But it's really a gray sort of thing and totally up for debate.



Some things are Art. Most things are Fart.



Isn't an art from something which conveys emotion, expressed vividly through a variety of means. Or is art simply referring to something drawn or put on paper, illustrated in some way. But then you have sculptures and chiseled masterpieces.

Either way, i've seen videogames that seem like paintings come to life. Or highly detailed worlds brought to life using a variety of artistic details. Great level design with artistic design could be seen as an evolution of art, artwork brought to life and evolving, not still, in motion.



According to Google, which claims their definitions are provided by Oxford dictionary, art is "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power". By that definition, I think that video games tick all the boxes; human creative skill and imagination is present in video games in various forms, like making unique character designs, buildings, environment, story, music, gameplay mechanics, artstyle etc. Video games are primarily experienced in visual form. And lastly, video games are appreciated by their beauty and emotional power, if we think about the award ceremonies for visual artstyle, graphics, games for impact, best narrative etc. as well as critic reviews, user score and personal experience. In general, video games are art in my opinion. Also, iirc same discussions had been made decades ago for cinematography, which is now considered an art form as well. We might need some more years to recognise video games as art.



I answered ”No” on the question in the poll.

And in general I stand by that even if there are some (few) exceptions.

Generally speaking if we look at the present day games are mass produced consumer goods more similar to a plastic garden flamingo that you buy at The Dollar Store than art. Games can contain assets that in some circumstances can be considered art, but in most cases they don’t.

A big reason for me saying this is that the industry as it stands today is extreamley formulaic, and as soon as you are formulaic you aren’t art you are massproduced consumer goods. Once in a while there comes along a game that truly does something new and then we have the exception that would be considered as art, the copycats that come after that follows the formula are not art.

There where more games that I would consider art in the early days of computer/video games, in part because the less formulaic approach, an example to this is a series like Zelda that nowaday (until BotW) has been extremely formulaic but if you look at the first 2 games there was no formula (yet).

But also because the bigger limitations in hardware. The hardware simply didn’t allow for grand visions so the developers had to come up with workarounds to try to get close to that grand vision and in the process actually sometimes created a piece of art in the process, an example of this that springs to mind is the first Silent Hill.

When it comes to storytelling I have not seen or experienced any game that even approeches the lowest level pulp stories. And to me John Carmacs quote from the mid 90ies: ”Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important.” still holds true. To me it’s obvious that people raving about how good the story is in a game simply don’t read books.