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Op Ed

Wall Street Journal - The Year Video Games Became Art.
2012 was an important year for video games. Prime examples of the form were curated for the first time by museums such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Museum of Modern Art—with the MoMA even going so far as to add video games to its permanent collection. This is not to say that videogames were not art beforehand, or even to accept that “art” is the best term to use in describing video games. Video games are still, on some level, “ones and zeroes.” And they always will be. But it’s nonetheless culturally significant that a curator from an institution as hallowed as the MoMA finally said that they are also “ones and zeroes that get to form whole spatial structures and whole experiences.”

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20 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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20. Re: Op Ed Jan 4, 2013, 09:20 sauron
 
Some games are an overtly artistic statement (Journey), others are more similar to a good theater production (Planescape:Torment). Still others are an escape into imagination and other worlds, similar to a novel (Morrowind). I think all of the above qualify as art.

Does a cheap action movie or bodice-ripper novel qualify as art? How about a derivative FPS or Leisure Suit Larry? Ducks on velvet or caricature bought from an artist on the street? All creative endevors can produce works that qualify as great art. All can just as easily churn out complete rubbish. It's all relative.
 
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Kittens!
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19. Re: Op Ed Jan 4, 2013, 05:16 netnerd85
 
Sepharo wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 22:51:
Sistine Chapel, not art.
Dude was just doin a job.
If it has nudes then chances are it's art.

Video games need more penis to really be considered art.

DMC5 is our chance for that
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 22:51 Sepharo
 
Sistine Chapel, not art.
Dude was just doin a job.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 22:37 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 21:30:
Sepharo wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 21:02:
I like Tycho's bit on this from a few years ago:

"If a hundred artists create art for five years, how could the result not be art?"

Because it's work, not art. It all depends on the intent. Just because a guy uses a paintbrush instead of a hammer to make a living does not an artist make.

So it can only be art if the guy making it remains a hippie shithead who lives in an attic with half-finished paintings everywhere, smokes dope, and bitches often at society keeping him down? An artist isn't allowed to get a job in which he does what he was doing back when it was called art (and still have it called art?)

I find that a dubious distinction. If I took a scene from Bastion and put it on a canvas and hung it in a museum, plenty of people would consider it to be beautiful art. But because it's in a game, it's not art?

Obviously we can quibble endlessly over what really constitutes art, but I think some of the graphics work in games is well deserving of the term art. For that matter, so is some of the sound work. We call John Williams' work art, but Jeremy Soule's work isn't?

Creston
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 22:03 Sepharo
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 21:30:
Sepharo wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 21:02:
I like Tycho's bit on this from a few years ago:

"If a hundred artists create art for five years, how could the result not be art?"

Because it's work, not art. It all depends on the intent. Just because a guy uses a paintbrush instead of a hammer to make a living does not an artist make.

An artist making concept art is not producing art. Got it.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 21:30 Cutter
 
Sepharo wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 21:02:
I like Tycho's bit on this from a few years ago:

"If a hundred artists create art for five years, how could the result not be art?"

Because it's work, not art. It all depends on the intent. Just because a guy uses a paintbrush instead of a hammer to make a living does not an artist make.
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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14. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 21:02 Sepharo
 
I like Tycho's bit on this from a few years ago:

"If a hundred artists create art for five years, how could the result not be art?"
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 20:23 dj LiTh
 
I personally consider film (movies, whatever you wanna call them) to be art, and video games are a natural extention of that.  
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12. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 19:28 Asmodai
 
Imo they're art, and that's the only opinion that matters to me. Art for me is evocative. Amnesia, for example, evokes a hell of a lot of emotions in me. 8 |

Obviously, everyone will have their own opinion and they are entirely subjectively correct as well.

The only person who'd I'd like to personally shove my opinion down their throat (now made much easier by the removal of his lower jawbone) is that wanker Ebert.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 19:12 D4rkKnight
 
Video games are just 0's and 1's the same as music is just a series of alternating sound waves. Drawings are just marks on a piece of paper and the life is a series of four walls!

Am i doing it right?
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 18:39 Creston
 
If an artists draws a scene from, say, the witcher 2 on a canvas, it's art. If he puts said art in a videogame, suddenly it's not art anymore?

Anyway, thanks for chiming in, WSJ...

Creston
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 17:43 Prez
 
I've always hated this argument. Games to me are so much more than art. Take a screenshot in Just Cause 2 while on a high precipice, and it looks like it could be a painting of a beautiful island vista - THAT is art. Call games art if you must, but I think the debate ends up selling games short in the end.  
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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8. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 17:06 netnerd85
 
2011: RAGE is art.  
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7. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 15:54 jdreyer
 
Bodolza wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 13:22:
I've always preferred the definition I heard long ago. Art is a decision. The moment someone decides to create anything a certain way, it becomes art.


Subway agrees!
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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6. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 13:22 Bodolza
 
I've always preferred the definition I heard long ago. Art is a decision. The moment someone decides to create anything a certain way, it becomes art.

Yes, it's a very broad definition, but since almost anything could be considered art, it has to broad. It also doesn't take a subjective stance. There can be bad art and good art. Just because it's bad, doesn't mean it's not art.
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 13:08 Cutter
 
Ben Jonson: Politics? My play has nothing to do with politics. It's just a simple comedy.

Earl of Oxford: It showed your betters as fools who'd go through life barely managing to get food from plate to mouth were it not for the cleverness of their servants. All art is political, Jonson, otherwise it would just be decoration. And all artists have something to say, otherwise they'd make shoes. And you are not a cobbler, are you Jonson.

- Anonymous (if you haven't seen this yet...do!)

I'm a firm believer that art is a statement and not just some sculptured stone or paint on canvas, perhaps not political but it strives to communicate something or it really is just decoration. However, I'm also of the 'I don't know if it's art but I know what I like' school as well. Most video games are decoration but some are art.
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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4. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 12:32 dj LiTh
 
PropheT wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 12:17:
dj LiTh wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 10:03:
Like anything having to do with the word "art" ... eye of the beholder

I don't know about that.

With a video game, you have a program where often times thousands of hours are spent designing, drawing, coloring, shading, and putting together a specific look and perspective for each scene the viewer sees. The only part which seems to get people stuck on the difference between what you see in a video game and what you see in an animated movie is that you can interact with and play the game, somehow making it not art to certain people. It makes no sense.

Then again, a lot of those people will think a shit log on a table is a profound statement of post-modernism, too, so it's probably an argument doomed to exist forever.

Perceived value
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 12:17 PropheT
 
dj LiTh wrote on Jan 3, 2013, 10:03:
Like anything having to do with the word "art" ... eye of the beholder

I don't know about that.

With a video game, you have a program where often times thousands of hours are spent designing, drawing, coloring, shading, and putting together a specific look and perspective for each scene the viewer sees. The only part which seems to get people stuck on the difference between what you see in a video game and what you see in an animated movie is that you can interact with and play the game, somehow making it not art to certain people. It makes no sense.

Then again, a lot of those people will think a shit log on a table is a profound statement of post-modernism, too, so it's probably an argument doomed to exist forever.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 10:03 dj LiTh
 
Like anything having to do with the word "art" ... eye of the beholder  
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1. Re: Op Ed Jan 3, 2013, 10:00 StingingVelvet
 
Endlessly seeking mainstream acceptance.  
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