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January 29th, 2008, 18:36
Im sure som game developers who spend many years day/night crafting their game consider it as art. They bleed their best on their work too.

Game development is more like an artform than any exact engineering process (i.e bridge bulding). Big companies of course want to make it exact so they could massproduce games. Everyone can see the results (Electronic Arts).

Whether the created game is then art or not is for everyone to decide. I dont think anyone has ever thought my pencil-drawings as real art even though my intensions were purely artistic.
Last edited by zakhal; January 29th, 2008 at 18:51.
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January 29th, 2008, 18:52
@GhanBuriGhan

Only one short comment to your ifrst sentence (I'm kind in a hurry):
If a medium, in your example games, can transport/create art it does, at least in my opinion, not mean that everything made with/in this medium is art. Just look at art made by using paper and pen. For example cartoons by Wilhelm Busch. Using your definition, the post-it note I added today to an engineering book of mine is art. It's a piece of paper with one symbol and two words on it. But really, who would consider this art? I certainly not.
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January 29th, 2008, 19:34
Games "as art". Shudder. Usually when people say that sort of thing what they are talking about pretentious cr*p that no one really likes but everyone feels the need to praise because it is, after all, art. Slap on some meaningless meaning ("It displays the meaningless of modern day meaning") and it becomes "important art". If you don't like it you are obviously a plebian boor and should just shut up. Remember "Piss Christ"? Yeah, "art"!

Games first and foremost should be FUN. That's what games are about. Not art. Now sometimes you can get a fun game that well, transcends mere "gamehood" and is art. Something with stunning visuals perhaps, or a clever story, or an interesting character.
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January 29th, 2008, 19:53
You don't think Piss Christ was art? If so, why not?

Have you actually seen a print, by the way? It is a lovely photo, beautifully executed, and *does* explore some rather deep themes, as does much of Serrano's work. It also leaves the interpretation entirely up to the spectator, which IMO is a hallmark of good art. There's far more to it than simple shock value.

What are your thoughts on Sally Mann's Borrowed Matter series, if you don't mind my asking?
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January 29th, 2008, 20:11
Oh, brother.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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January 29th, 2008, 20:22
You too, Squeek? (Not very surprised, though.)

Here's another question, related to Bill's phrase "if you don't like it you are obviously a plebeian boor and should just shut up."

Do you feel that there cannot exist art that you don't like? That is, that "art" by definition falls under "things I like?"
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January 29th, 2008, 21:00
Your endless game of devil's advocate gets boring, PJ. Let's just say I met a lot of artists when I was with the Performing and Fine Arts department at USC. There are conversations worth having about art, but none would provide you with the same kind of entertainment.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
Last edited by Squeek; January 29th, 2008 at 21:07. Reason: added "performing" for clarity
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January 29th, 2008, 21:29
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
You don't think Piss Christ was art? If so, why not?

Have you actually seen a print, by the way? It is a lovely photo, beautifully executed, and *does* explore some rather deep themes, as does much of Serrano's work. It also leaves the interpretation entirely up to the spectator, which IMO is a hallmark of good art. There's far more to it than simple shock value.

What are your thoughts on Sally Mann's Borrowed Matter series, if you don't mind my asking?
No, it was not art. Because I do not think that it is. You're saying it is art is no better argument.

Yes, I did see a print. I am sorry, but if I stick a picture of president Bush in a pile of dog feces that doesn't make it art no matter what the interpretations of those who view it.

Never heard of Sally which probably makes me a plebian boor.
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January 29th, 2008, 21:30
Your constant passive-aggressive squeaking isn't exactly a barrel of laughs either.

This time I'm not playing devil's advocate, though. I was lucky enough to see an Andres Serrano exhibit a few years ago (with the Nomads series and a bunch of his bodily fluids photos), and was mightily impressed.
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January 29th, 2008, 21:36
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
No, it was not art. Because I do not think that it is. You're saying it is art is no better argument.
No, it's a lousy argument. Which is why I'm not the one making it.

Yes, I did see a print. I am sorry, but if I stick a picture of president Bush in a pile of dog feces that doesn't make it art no matter what the interpretations of those who view it.
Yes, that would be rather… degenerate, wouldn't you say?

Never heard of Sally which probably makes me a plebian boor.
Probably. She is one of the best-known American fine-art photographers alive. Also, it's spelled "plebeian," you peon.
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January 29th, 2008, 21:43
Originally Posted by Roi Danton View Post
@GhanBuriGhan

Only one short comment to your ifrst sentence (I'm kind in a hurry):
If a medium, in your example games, can transport/create art it does, at least in my opinion, not mean that everything made with/in this medium is art. Just look at art made by using paper and pen. For example cartoons by Wilhelm Busch. Using your definition, the post-it note I added today to an engineering book of mine is art. It's a piece of paper with one symbol and two words on it. But really, who would consider this art? I certainly not.
No, it does not mean that everything created in the medium has to be art, of course not. But it means that it can be art, and that the possibility that it could be art has to be considered. And that raises the question how it can transport better art, which is really all the article is arguing I think. Which is why I can't make sense of squeeks comments here at all, they seem to be missing the point of the whole discussion, entirely, but maybe its just me and my non-native english.
And there is no a prior dichotomy between art and fun. Art does not have to be fun, but it certainly can be - only it probably want to be a little more. Good satire is art and fun. Cabaret is art and fun. Blockbuster movies can be art and fun. The important thing this article touches on, to me, is that people who like to produce art (e.g. make good, deep interactive stories, create emotional response, create unusual visuals) should be a part of game design. Game design needs more people with an artistic vision, in short, and the will to see make it a reallity.
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January 29th, 2008, 22:06
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Which is why I can't make sense of squeeks comments here at all, they seem to be missing the point of the whole discussion, entirely, but maybe its just me and my non-native english.
It's you (how could anyone possibly think it's me?)

I'll try to be more clear then. While I can agree that video games have the potential to be art, I can't agree that all video games are certainly art. That notion doesn't even make sense to me. I can't imagine how that could even be possible.

I don't have time to explain more. Later, maybe.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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January 29th, 2008, 22:34
With that statement I can more or less agree. I just think that that is not the main point of the article. I understood that games are art statement in the sense that the medium (and therfore all videogames) are certainly inherently capable of transporting art, and that making a game incorporates creative processes that allow anyone to interpret any game as art, if he so wishes. But the main point is that there is NOT enough art in games, therefore your point is also right.
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January 30th, 2008, 01:10
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Ultimately art is what somebody considers as art.
I'd like to amend that a little: Something is art if its creator says it is, and if the audience agrees.

By that standard most games aren't art, since many (most?) creators don't consider themselves to be making art and most players certainly don't perceive the games they play as art, but as "mere" entertainment.
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January 30th, 2008, 12:19
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
No, it does not mean that everything created in the medium has to be art, of course not. But it means that it can be art, and that the possibility that it could be art has to be considered. And that raises the question how it can transport better art, which is really all the article is arguing I think. Which is why I can't make sense of squeeks comments here at all, they seem to be missing the point of the whole discussion, entirely, but maybe its just me and my non-native english.
And there is no a prior dichotomy between art and fun. Art does not have to be fun, but it certainly can be - only it probably want to be a little more. Good satire is art and fun. Cabaret is art and fun. Blockbuster movies can be art and fun. The important thing this article touches on, to me, is that people who like to produce art (e.g. make good, deep interactive stories, create emotional response, create unusual visuals) should be a part of game design. Game design needs more people with an artistic vision, in short, and the will to see make it a reallity.
I can agree that games can be art. The underlined word here is can. Not have to.
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February 1st, 2008, 01:01
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
I don't think this guy knows what he's talking about. Look at his examples. He says Beethoven inherited centuries of evolution in music and that the Greek dramatists are admired for doing what simply hadn't been done before. His points miss the point about Beethoven and Greek tragedies.

This guy just doesn't get it.
I see it just the other way round: In principle, he is right. The Odyssey is nothing but compiled "oral tradition", and thus no art whatsoever.

But we, we define it as art, because it appeals to us so.

Basically it's always a matter of definition.

An artist might even hold the belief that he or she is NOT making art.

M.C.Escher is such an example. What he did is "art" to me, but to him it was not, not at all.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 1st, 2008, 01:31
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I see it just the other way round: In principle, he is right.
Beethoven was obviously capable of understanding and creating other kinds of music. He is about the last person anyone should name as an example of someone who benefited from "centuries of music evolution." He's welcome to his opinion, but that one is way out in left field, IMO.

I won't defend the Greek tragedies as art (though I do consider them art). A lot can and has been said about them, and once again I was put off by his comment.

So his remarks made me wonder if he even knew what he was talking about. What can I say?

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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February 1st, 2008, 10:35
Hum, Squeek — Beethoven *did* clearly benefit from centuries of music evolution. To pick a trivial example, consider the pianoforte and the symphonic orchestra. He didn't invent them; they had evolved over centuries, but he could not have created music like he did without them.

He benefited from having an extremely rich palette to draw from and make his own. Compare Beethoven to Monteverdi, for example: Monteverdi is arguably as great a genius as Beethoven, but he simply didn't have as rich a palette to to work with, and consequently his music is… well, not as rich.

Or consider Bach: he didn't invent counterpoint, the toccata, or the fugue — he learned them from other musicians and existing music. But he took them, mastered them, and created something of transcendent and IMO unrivaled beauty.
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February 1st, 2008, 16:09
Maybe I should explain the same things to you, PJ. But neither of us needs it explained, do we? I'm considering the author's point and his examples — one of which is Beethoven — and wondering if he really understands art.

I love music and am all for understanding everything about it. But of all the people to use as an example for simplifying art…

Back in college I had a teacher who was a Jazz musician, and he once said, "Relax, baby. Compared to Mozart, Beethoven and those cats, the rest of us don't know diddly."

I think that sums it up pretty well.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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February 1st, 2008, 17:26
I'm not quite sure I follow you. Here's his mention of Beethoven:

Art has a long history of what we would now describe as disruptive thinkers who used newly discovered techniques (or created those techniques) to move their own art forms forward. Caravaggio and Beethoven inherited centuries of evolution in painting and music but they both used technique-surges to convey the sort of powerful emotions that caused amazement (and, sometimes riots) among contemporaries and have the power to touch people centuries later.
AFAICT he's explicitly recognizing Beethoven's genius. Classical music wasn't the same after him: he found an already mature art form, and through his genius transformed it into something even greater. That's of course not the whole truth about him, but it is *a* truth, and it is relevant to the larger point he's discussing.

Does he "really understand" art? Dunno. But then I don't know what "really understanding" art really is. That's probably because I don't "really understand" it either. I know what I like and what I don't like, sometimes I even know *why* I like or dislike it, and I like to know where it came from. But that's as far as my "understanding" of art goes.
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