a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  3706 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Smithsonian calls video games art, adds two to permanent collection

Sorry I'm late, I just read all this. (Go hubski newsletter!)

So, I just caught myself thinking the following: "some video games are art, but some are not." Now, on the surface that sounds reasonable. Shadow of the Colossus or Myst might qualify, GTA V doesn't. But then I tried substituting "some music is art, but some is not"; "some movies are art, but some are not"; ....

Those make much less sense in my opinion, especially music -- you can't judge some music art and some not (can you? ha!). So where does that leave us? Because I firmly believe that some video games are beautiful works of art, but most just aren't.

Out of time to write anymore unfortunately, very unpolished thoughts. Will ruminate more while driving. EDIT: eightbitsamurai





briandmyers  ·  3706 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Shadow of the Colossus or Myst might qualify, GTA V doesn't.

Art is in the eye of the beholder, also. I believe there are, absolutely, moments of art in the GTA games; mostly in the dialogue and cut-scenes, but here's a better example: if you've played through GTA:SA, there's a point in the game (which is set in the 1990's) in which the city erupts in rioting. THAT was some A-1 art there, IMHO. Maybe not beauty, but definitely art; it was a jaw-dropping history lesson, extremely well executed and with a visceral emotional punch, if you are old enough to remember this :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots

user-inactivated  ·  3706 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've heard the 'cut scenes are art' argument, for GTA and others -- maybe, but is that proof that video games are art or that you can embed little movies into video games?

Never seen the specific bit about the riots, I've only played GTA like four times.

I know that art is in the eye of the beholder (within reason), so why do I have the kneejerk reaction that some video games are art and some aren't, which I don't have with music/paintings/etc?

briandmyers  ·  3706 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I suspect it's simply the newness of the medium.

Back in the old days, I'll bet a lot of folks argued over whether those new-fangled moving-picture-shows could really be considered an art form - but few would doubt it now (in spite of the prevalence of crap in the medium, to this day).

Whatever it is, I believe it's art, if it can stir your emotions - not very objective, I know. I remember clearly the first time I thought that way about a video game - it was in FF7, when Aeris dies. I was a little in awe, that a game could get under my skin like that.

If anything can pull you in and mess with you emotionally like that, how can you say it's NOT an art form?

user-inactivated  ·  3706 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I remember clearly the first time I thought that way about a video game - it was in FF7, when Aeris dies. I was a little in awe, that a game could get under my skin like that.

Mine was that business with the Wind Fish and Marin in Link's Awakening. Special place in my heart for that little world.

I imagine you're probably right that I just can't wrap my head around the idea that a video game as -- sorry -- pointless and idiotic as GTA V is art because it's so new to me. I'll get over it.