Veterator wrote on Apr 18, 2010, 23:36:
If it's created for profit is it art? At first answer I'd say no...because it almost becomes manufacturing then. Although a lot of what is held as prominent examples of art today were created for pay. It's just more convenient to assume they would have went on to make it even if there was no money involved.
Exactly. In fact, nearly everything that we consider religious art was contracted and paid for, and for hundreds and hundreds of years, art *was* a business.
Great composers generally didn't just "compose", they were contracted to write pieces too.
With the exception of maybe poetry, I can't really think of any art form that doesn't have a significant profit motivator attached to it.
Also, I generally enjoy reading Roger Ebert, what he has to say generally has some merit, but what he is essentially saying is that games can't be art because A) They can be won and B) They adhere to rules.
But here's the problem. Single player games are "won" in the sense that you come to the end of the story. This is conceptually no different from reaching the end of a movie or the end of a book. You've reached the end of a narrative. This is a conceptually flawed argument of his.
Second, he complains that video games adhere to rules. This is bunk. Movies establish their own system of rules internally (much like video games) and the best movies adhere to these rules, or break them very intentionally.
Why did the Matrix sequels suck? Among other reasons, they sucked because they completely glossed over the rules established in the first film. Why does Casablanca work so well? Because Rick breaks his rules at one point, for one specific reason. He sacrifices. Otherwise, the rules are consistent.
Would Schindler's List be as moving as it is if ninjas swarmed the screen in the final act and killed all the bad guys and saved all the Jews? That's not adhering to rules, but that wouldn't make the movie any more a form of art.
The problem with Ebert is that he says over and over that art is subjective, and then he projects his viewpoint onto the rest of the world that nobody will find video games to be art. In doing so, he may break his own rules, but he neither manages to be significant, nor artistic about it.