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Default General News - Video Games as Art

November 30th, 2012, 14:37
Here is something that you might find interesting. The Museum of Modern Art has 'acquired' a selection of 14 games from a list of about 40 that they will show as art.
Not sure what 'acquired' means as some of the games can still be bought right now, but quite a few might be very hard to come by.
Here are the games they have now and that will be shown in the Museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries in March 2013:
Pac-Man (1980)
Tetris (1984)
Another World (1991)
Myst (1993)
SimCity 2000 (1994)
vib-ribbon (1999)
The Sims (2000)
Katamari Damacy (2004)
EVE Online (2003)
Dwarf Fortress (2006)
Portal (2007)
flOw (2006)
Passage (2008)
Canabalt (2009)
These they still like to have:
Spacewar! (1962), an assortment of games for the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), Pong (1972), Snake (originally designed in the 1970s; Nokia phone version dates from 1997), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Zork (1979), Tempest (1981), Donkey Kong (1981), Yars’ Revenge (1982), M.U.L.E. (1983), Core War (1984), Marble Madness (1984), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), NetHack (1987), Street Fighter II (1991), Chrono Trigger (1995), Super Mario 64 (1996), Grim Fandango (1998), Animal Crossing (2001), and Minecraft (2011).
And this explains why they are doing this:
Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe. The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design—a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity. Our criteria, therefore, emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects—from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior—that pertain to interaction design. In order to develop an even stronger curatorial stance, over the past year and a half we have sought the advice of scholars, digital conservation and legal experts, historians, and critics, all of whom helped us refine not only the criteria and the wish list, but also the issues of acquisition, display, and conservation of digital artifacts that are made even more complex by the games’ interactive nature. This acquisition allows the Museum to study, preserve, and exhibit video games as part of its Architecture and Design collection.
More information.

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November 30th, 2012, 14:37
If video games are Art,
then please tell me why video game publishers treat them as Wares ?

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November 30th, 2012, 22:05
Last I heard, they treated them as services.

Anyways, why no aRtPGs in aRt? Scandalous!
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December 1st, 2012, 01:22
!? They would still like to have Nethack?? But that's public domain? Just download it.

They should get a special version of Zork where the leaflet in the mailbox says "No Museum of Modern Art should be without one!"
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December 1st, 2012, 02:17
I nominate Lost Odyssey. That game was simply beautiful. Chrono Trigger too.
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December 6th, 2012, 01:59
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
If video games are Art,
then please tell me why video game publishers treat them as Wares ?
you've never heard of commercial art? Warhol was one for years - its where he got the idea of the Soup Cans and Brillo Boxes. Of course, most people didn't realize he was being ironic. Another example are record companies who list their artists as part of their "catalogues".

Anyway, I've always taken issued with video games as art; to me they are games.

But MOMA makes an interesting point and brings in the question of design.

I do like the fact that they really went to the vault for their pieces. It is intersting they did not choose Table Tennis for Two. In today's vernacular you would probably call it a "tech demo".

I would add Pac Man for taking the video game out of space, Donkey Kong for the run and jump side scroll design - but especially for introducing story to the video game, Zaxxon for its Isometric design, and Qix for obvious reasons. The inclusion of Tempest was smart.

But Legend of Zelda? I think they should go back to DnD for the introduction of the tile based game.

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December 6th, 2012, 10:21
Commercial art? That's quite a conflict.

My definition of art is the expression of the subjective - as in, what YOU want to create so that it can exist. It can be a shared vision - but it's almost always a single person as the origin of that vision.

Commercialism is based on the objective - as in, what you think other people want to pay for - which is almost the opposite of art. What YOU want to express is all but irrelevant - but it CAN be a part of it.

Which is why mainstream games can rarely be "true" art - because the strictly personal vision is not what most people will want to buy. Such a thing would be somewhat unknown and foreign - and the mainstream audience tends to be uncomfortable with things it doesn't understand.

That's why 90% of Hollywood movies are based on ultra familiar and unoriginal material - because there's an established audience for it - regardless of the actual implementation or quality. People will generally go for what they know and understand, before they experiment with the strange or unfamiliar.
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December 6th, 2012, 11:32
DOOM is one of the most influental games in gaming history.
It's success is one of the driving factors behind the move to 3d and changed how videogames are played. It also played a vital role in making PC the leading platform. It's also well known for it's occult themes and dark artwork.
… and it's not on the list.

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December 6th, 2012, 12:50
This whole games-as-art argument is the dumbest thing I've heard in a long, long time. Seems like a creation of developers with inferiority complexes.
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December 6th, 2012, 12:54
Originally Posted by Steinawarjar View Post
This whole games-as-art argument is the dumbest thing I've heard in a long, long time. Seems like a creation of developers with inferiority complexes.
Interesting.

Could you elaborate?
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December 6th, 2012, 14:41
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
DOOM is one of the most influental games in gaming history.
It's success is one of the driving factors behind the move to 3d and changed how videogames are played.
Yes - but it did not contribute in any way to story writing for games.

Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
you've never heard of commercial art? Warhol was one for years - its where he got the idea of the Soup Cans and Brillo Boxes. Of course, most people didn't realize he was being ironic. Another example are record companies who list their artists as part of their "catalogues".
Stop. Take a step back.

I was using the word "publishers". Not "artists".

Warhol was the artist who sold his own art. He never relied on publishers - and especially never had contracts like game developers have to endure nowadays (the funding process, for example).

Apart from that I don't like Warhol, personally. I make him resposible for the death of Edie Sedgewick. And Nico in long-term, perhaps, too (Nico is still regarded as a "fallen star" here in Germany - especially in the Cologne area).

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Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; December 6th, 2012 at 14:54.
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December 6th, 2012, 22:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Interesting.

Could you elaborate?
Sure!

I will have to get back to you later though. I don't have the time right now.
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December 6th, 2012, 22:49
A few scenes I would qualify as art;

Metal Gear 4: Menu Intro
Myst 4 (Curtains)
Final Fantasy VIII: Eyes on Me
Okami

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The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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