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Op Ed

Forbes - Conan O'Brien, Hitman, And Ludonarrative Dissonance In Video Games.
Basically each of his jokes says something profoundly important about games whether or not he realizes it, and this is (I suspect) mainly because here we have someone who doesnít play video games at all playing one and simply speaking his mind. The conceit of many video games these days is that you can get away with bad writing and preposterous narrative choices simply because itís a game.

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11. Re: Op Ed Feb 13, 2013, 13:44 Creston
 
NewMaxx wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 01:05:
Creston wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 00:08:
Gameplay trumps everything else.

This poses a unique conundrum for someone who wants to place video games under the umbrella of art. On the one hand, it's obvious that the definition of art has grown far away from form, realism, etc., as it was for most of human history. Video games fit this mold as they belong within the fold of modern art forms, but having gameplay trump everything else is similar to saying form should trump everything in general art, which would be false by today's standards (it'd be closer to Apple's mantra).

On the other hand, you could argue that games are a novel type of "ars gratia artis," where games are made for the sake of making games (entertainment). This presents a unique middle-ground between formed product (Call of Duty) and pure gaming art (Okami) where the game is defined by its emphasis rather than any unipolar determination. I agree that in both cases, gameplay trumps everything, but the problem is that gameplay differs depending on the genre, the objectives of the game design, etc., which means it must be considered separate of the artistic merit by your definition - the alternative is for the only artistic merit to be gameplay.

Ergo, if gameplay is everything, then either games are not art, or their entire artistic value is in their gameplay (or at least the greater part), and I think it's clear that neither option is fully valid.

That's a valid argument. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that gameplay SHOULD trump everything else, because isn't that why we play games? But it's likely true that more and more people play games just for the sake of a few hours of entertainment, and said people could probably care less about gameplay. The fact that millions of people downloaded that Curiosity bullshit seems to heavily hint at that fact (just tapping your screen to remove a block doesn't really seem much like 'gameplay' to me.)

However, with regards to the "are games art or not" argument, I tend to think that the large majority of games are made for one purpose: To make money, and I kind of like the idea that in order for something to be art, it can have no other purpose than to exist AS art.

Anyway, end tangent.

Creston
 
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