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Re: welp, i posted a comment
Posted By: Cody Miller <speedruns@codymiller.org>Date: 4/18/10 7:59 p.m.

In Response To: welp, i posted a comment (Hawaiian Pig)


: so no one in his comments was saying what i wanted to say, so i posted this

: (yes, I shamelessly lifted from my earlier post):

: "Video Games:" An Identity Crisis

: Video games have become a nexus of competitive activity and art, and this
: appears to be the root of the problem. It is the meeting of these very
: incompatible concepts that deeply complicate their development and
: confound this debate.

: On the surface it would seem that video games have recently begun to shoehorn
: elements of other art forms into what is essentially competitive activity.
: To many, it's like giving chess a make-over and an epic storyline; one may
: argue that the game itself is not the art, but rather that the make-over
: and the story line are.

: I'd suggest that this is an unfair and overzealous approach that overlooks
: what video games have become today.

: When one considers the word "game," they conjure up images of
: competitive activities, be it competition with others, or with and against
: a specific set of rules and goals. The current medium of "video
: games," however, have so far departed from this image that it would
: no longer be fair to consider them nothing else but a mere chess match
: with dressing.

: An Artistic Melting Pot

: The development of video games as a medium for portraying art is particularly
: stark when one investigates the drastic variance in the use of art in
: different games over time. While the examples provided to you are perhaps
: the worst I could imagine to that end, there do exist games that attempt
: to "appeal to the senses or emotions." While in the past, the
: art in games had existed mainly to provide dressing, the aim in video game
: development has definitely shifted. Developers of games seek to build
: convincing or unique environments for one to explore, to script sequences
: that both engage and stimulate the player, or to tell a compelling story
: worthy of critical acclaim.

: The latter, I will admit, is harder to find than the rest. Though they are
: rare, there do exist moments in games that generate suspense or emotion
: for characters involved. Rattling off examples of such specific
: experiences within games to you would be a lengthy and unnecessary
: exercise. I need not explain to you why colours on a canvas invoke
: emotion, or why light on a screen can bring one to tears; while the extant
: body of video game titles lack tear-jerking examples, the medium itself is
: surely capable.

: There comes a point where, when you throw enough elements of art into
: something, it becomes its own art form. Movies themselves are a nexus of
: various art forms (visual art, music, written narrative, and performance
: to name a few). Without these, movies are nothing but light on a screen.
: Unsurprisingly, video games have sought to include these various art forms
: in an attempt to craft a unique experience. If you can tell a compelling
: narrative from the first person perspective, and do so on film, then why
: can you not do so in a video game, where the player is guided through the
: story? Surely there is room for art here.

: It's at this point that one ought to step back and view video games as a
: summation of their parts, and not a set of art forms slapped together on
: top of a game. In the same way that a gripping movie may rightly be called
: an engaging "experience," so too can a video game. The
: difference is simply the interaction of the viewer.

: The Interactive Element

: I find the stance taken by those who discount the medium are often simply
: inexperienced with video games or are misunderstanding the form that has
: developed today. "Video Games" have ceased to be solely a matter
: of competition (between one and a computer, or one and another player),
: but rather have entered the realm of crafted interactive experiences.

This is where you are incorrect. Every game is still fundamentally based on competition of some sort, namely reaching the end of a level, killing bad guys, solving puzzles, or finding items. Such things are in the very nature of the video game.

: If there truly is no example of video games as art as of yet, it's due to the
: above variation in what people want. It would seem that "video
: games" have not yet decided what they are; the medium is far too
: young. There are games that focus solely on competition , games that
: seek to provide fleeting amusement , and games that seek to provide
: immersion.

Video games are games. The medium is not young. We already know how to craft amazingly complex fun games. Compare Street Fighter 4 to Karate Fighter and Starcraft 2 to Herzog Zwei and tell me games haven't matured immensely.

: This mediocre production of art and development of competitive games stems
: from the unfortunate reality that games are extremely expensive to
: produce. Because people seek games for all sorts of reasons, developers,
: in order to stay in business, are left with the task of pleasing everyone.

Games do not have to be expensive to produce. It cost the same to scan a sprite into the computer at 1080p as it does at 480p. It's only our obsession with cutting edge 3D graphics that makes game cost more.

: Undoubtedly one can depict a narrative on paper, through radio, or on film,
: and I find it not a great stretch of the imagination to extend
: storytelling into something like a three dimensional computer generated
: environment. Through the development of elaborate graphical set pieces,
: the employment of musical scores, the use of talented vocal performers,
: and the programming of a game's scripted sequences and parameters, a game
: designer can guide a player through a narrative in a way that is both
: extraordinary and intriguing. In bringing together various forms of art
: into a single unique package, one cannot help but treat the entire package
: as art. Honestly, to claim that these potential carefully produced
: interactive experiences are not art would be quite na´ve and impetuous. To
: say that such experiences have not yet been crafted and the medium not yet
: fully explored? Well that's up for debate...

Such an experience is fundamentally flawed, since by giving the player control you relinquish your control as an artist to determine how your work is presented. And so it suffers over not giving your audience control at all.

: yep.


Message Index




Replies:

(F)ART OR NOT?Miguel Chavez 4/18/10 4:06 a.m.
     Re: (F)ART OR NOT?NsU Soldier 4/18/10 6:19 a.m.
     (F)ART *NM*hyokin 4/18/10 7:14 a.m.
     Re: (F)ART OR NOT?DHalo 4/18/10 9:03 a.m.
     Vague, abstract terms are just headaches!Leviathan 4/18/10 12:16 p.m.
           Re: Vague, abstract terms are just headaches!Jillybean 4/18/10 3:10 p.m.
           Re: Vague, abstract terms are just headaches!Cody Miller 4/18/10 7:01 p.m.
                 BLAAAAAAAAAAAHRiceatron 4/18/10 7:30 p.m.
                       Re: BLAAAAAAAAAAAHCody Miller 4/18/10 7:47 p.m.
                             Re: BLAAAAAAAAAAAHRiceatron 4/18/10 7:51 p.m.
                 Re: Vague, abstract terms are just headaches!Leviathan 4/18/10 9:16 p.m.
     Re: (F)ART OR NOT?General Vagueness 4/18/10 1:28 p.m.
           Re: (F)ART OR NOT?General Vagueness 4/18/10 1:30 p.m.
           Re: (F)ART OR NOT?SonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 1:46 p.m.
                 Re: (F)ART OR NOT?General Vagueness 4/18/10 2:27 p.m.
                       Re: (F)ART OR NOT?SonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 3:29 p.m.
     A view from outside HBOSonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 4:54 p.m.
           cut/paste failSonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 4:56 p.m.
           Re: A view from those asshole Hardcore gamersHawaiian Pig 4/18/10 5:24 p.m.
                 Re: A view from those asshole Hardcore gamersSonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 6:03 p.m.
                       welp, i posted a commentHawaiian Pig 4/18/10 7:45 p.m.
                             Re: welp, i posted a commentCody Miller 4/18/10 7:59 p.m.
                                   Re: welp, i posted a commentHawaiian Pig 4/18/10 8:10 p.m.
                                         Cody.Riceatron 4/18/10 8:57 p.m.
                                         Re: welp, i posted a commentCody Miller 4/18/10 9:20 p.m.
                                               JRPGs don't give up a lot of control bro *NM*Hawaiian Pig 4/18/10 9:24 p.m.
                                                     Re: JRPGs don't give up a lot of control broGeneral Vagueness 4/18/10 10:08 p.m.
                                                           Re: JRPGs don't give up a lot of control broHawaiian Pig 4/18/10 10:39 p.m.
                                               Re: welp, i posted a commentSonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 9:38 p.m.
                             Re: welp, i posted a commentLeviathan 4/18/10 8:29 p.m.
                                   Re: welp, i posted a commentSonofMacPhisto 4/18/10 9:02 p.m.
                 Re: A view from those asshole Hardcore gamersGeneral Vagueness 4/18/10 9:34 p.m.
     Re: (F)ART OR NOT?Cody Miller 4/18/10 6:47 p.m.
           Re: (F)ART OR NOT?NsU Soldier 4/18/10 7:08 p.m.
     Re: (F)ART OR NOT?ThorsHammer 4/19/10 8:50 a.m.
     What about this?Avateur 4/21/10 4:34 a.m.



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