Can a game be considered art?

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Post: #31
Abstract paintings are not just random combinations of elements of design. They are not paintings of real things, and design is used extensively to stylize the paintings. Yet, that you have to admit, there is more to it.
Quote:No you are wrong, it is the science of aesthetics, if art can not be analyzed and interpreted then it is simple mindless background that nobody pays attention to at all. Simply viewing something and liking it does not make something art, porn for example, made with intent, and much of it has no artisitic value nor was there "art" behind its production.
Porn is not created with the intent to be art. It is created with the intent to be pornography, to be sexually stimulating. When I refer to intent, it is the intent to create something artistic. Erotic photography or painting can be art, if it is done with the intent to show things in creative ways, for example by using exceptional lighting or perspective to include emotions in the picture which are not physically present.
Quote:So if I intentionaly fart, you define that as art? If I beat my wife, with the intent to of making her scream cry and bleed, its art? If beat on your door at Four AM with my fists and feet its art?
If you intend to fart for farting's sake, it is not art. If you fart with the intention of recording into a symphony of sounds, it becomes art. If you beat your wife, you are not intending for a third person to be affected by it. If you beat on my door at four in the morning, it's again not art. You are not creating anything. However, if you do the same with the purpose of capturing my reaction when I open the door, and do so with a hundred other people, it can become art.

Quote:It is a great mistake to assume that art must create emotion in the viewer.
Michangelo's statue of David provokes emotion? maybe if you are post-teen female or homosexual, but what about all the rest of us. We see a finely scultpted naked man, without knowing any art theory, that is all we see, but we are obviously aware that the statue is a unique work of art.

I am not saying it must create emotion. It can be just beautiful, aesthetic, as you would say. The statue was made with great skill and attention to detail. Also, it represents something more than a perfectly rendered human, the hero David, and him defeating Goliath. If the statue showed a fat, ugly ogre in a similar position, instead of the well-built youth, it would hardly be aesthetic, yet it's still art.

It is right that art can be studied and analysed scientifically. But, those analyses shed light only on the quality of the piece of art you are analysing, they don't help you determine if something was art in the "fine art" sense.

If you use the definition of art that says "a skill at doing a specified thing", then you can indeed determine the artistic value of something by analysing how well it is done, and you can claim something is not art if it is bad. Superficially, this seems to be an objective measure, but it really isn't. If a painting shows a sinister future metropolis, but violates every principle of design known to man, it may be bad, but it is still art.
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Post: #32
I'm having a hard time following this thread, so please forgive me if it seems like I didn't read something carefully enough. igame3d, let me see if this is what you're trying to say. Video games simply cannot be called art, at least not in a classical sense, just because someone says so. In fact, the classically trained student of art would find it irritating that laymen would attempt to pollute their notion of what art really is. Right? If so, I can understand that pretty easily. OTOH, I would have to say that on some level there must be made room to call video games art. Not classical art, but modern art at least. To me video games include at least some significant artistic qualities, even in the classical sense, if only because of the art used for their content. I can hear the argument that programming is definitely not a classical art, but there is also a bit of artistic flair in there for some people. Calling it the "art of programming" seems fine to me, but I don't see it as producing an actual classical work of art. If that's the argument you're making, I can follow that. I would argue that video games would be considered art at least on the same level that great architecture is considered art - like the Empire State building is considered artistic in the Art Deco flavor of architecture. It involves two levels of creation, design and construction. While the construction can clearly be termed "not art", the flowing lines of the building's architecture can oppositely be termed "art". So with video games we have two parts, programming and content. The content is artistic in nature and the programming can be said not to be. One could make the analogy that the programmer is making the canvas on which the artist paints a game. The end product, not being purely authorial in nature according to Spielberg might be a valid argument against the video game not being a form of art. Still, there is obviously quite a high degree of contention to this issue...
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Post: #33
Byron Clarke Wrote:If I'm am understanding you correctly igame3d then aesthetics is the science and analysis by which art can be understood (I don't mean in the subjective sense). And where clear distinctions can be made to separate and measure actual art from something senseless or otherwise unimportant?

I don't think that art is anything created with the intent to be art, otherwise there would be no art.And I do believe that the efforts and accomplishments that have been created since the birth of civilization (and before) have not been random or purposeless. There is a goal in art, and as such it can be measured. If art was meaningless then it would not exist. Or it would be forgotten like a fad (in thousands of years will we remember mc hammer and his purple pants). The facts that it is a recurring theme means that it is and has importance. And anything that has importance should be studied.


Dog just spent many paragraphs contradicting himself, first "if you make something to be art, then its art", then many " not art".
That is not how art is determined, that is entirely too subjective, there is too much back tracking to correct the earlier assumptions.

Our core discussion is "are games art", the mistake i'm trying to correct here is the unthought out assumption "that if someone intends to make art, its art" and the insane notion that aesthetics is the murderer of art, or somehow "wrong".

That is NOT how art is determined, and no amount of opinions are going to change the core study of art.

Marjock completely misunderstood everything.

Dictionary definition of Beauty
Quote:beau·ty (byū'tē)
n., pl. -ties.
The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.
One that is beautiful, especially a beautiful woman.
A quality or feature that is most effective, gratifying, or telling: The beauty of the venture is that we stand to lose nothing.
An outstanding or conspicuous example: “Hammett's gun went off. The shot was a beauty, just slightly behind the eyes” (Lillian Hellman)

Especially note "An outstanding or conspicuous example" because it applies more to art than just the "pleasure to the mind or senses", obviously macbre works of art are not intended to be pleasant, but the adverse, yet they are if not complete copies of someone elses work, "oustanding or conspicious".
By that defintion you should understand that "the study of beauty" is not about flowers and cleavage, but that which stands out for better or worse.

So the act of programming, is not outstanding or conspicuous.
A ballet is planned, replanned, and practiced over and over to become something outstanding among all other ballet or dance that came before it.
It becomes art because it is outstanding, even if its the worste ballet ever, it will be uniquely know as exactly that.

Programming is repeatedly tapping keyboard keys in order to produce a final product, the act itself is in no sense art, there is such an extreme limit of motion that it often causes repetitive stress injury, watching someone program without seeing the words on the screen, we can not tell what the hell they are doing, they very well may be writing a suicide letter or spam. One person typing is very much identical to another person typing. Line up 1,000 programmers and they will very much look exactly the same, not distinct at all, and that sameness is not planned, its the side effect of the function of the task at hand.

Think of the kiddie clone training sequence from Star Wars episode II if you will.
But note that since that is film, there you can analyze aesthetically what is happening in that sequence, our point of interest is drawn to the one clone who seems to be acting a bit different than the others, "An outstanding or conspicuous example".

Thats the only similiar image to "1,000 programmers" image I can recall.

If I choreograph 1,000 programmers, to be sitting in their chairs typing, and I focus your attention on the one guy writing a suicide letter, that would be art, an outstanding or conspicious example of someone typing something.

DoG Wrote:If a painting shows a sinister future metropolis, but violates every principle of design known to man, it may be bad, but it is still art.
Aesthetics is not religion, it can not be violated like some commandment handed down from a burning bush.

The correct term is not "violates every principle of design", but "Failure to thoughfully use any principle or element of Aesthetics" and then what you are calling "art" is not outstanding and unique from what any two year old can create by mixing every color in the pallette into a green brown mush. If the image is not a green-brown mush, if it uses colors, hues, shapes, lines, etc, then by the use of aesthetics it can be viewed as a work of "art" and not just some two year olds clumsy mush. You can violate someone "sense of Aesthetics", poking the eye of the beholder if you will, but not the basic philosphy, the personal violation is subjective, but the science itself is not.

Aesthetics prevents DoG's mistakes of contradicting the definitions of art and running around like a dog after his own tail trying to explain away every hypothetical scenario with generalizations.

If we use DoG's logic in any number of sciences we'd have "It is water if its wet and slippery and fluid, but its not water if its ice, or vapor", no, instead we have science: Water is H2O no matter what its physical state is, so when I a scientist needs water the assistant doesn't hand him ammonia, which is also wet and slippery and fluid. In biology we'd have the false statement "its a dog because its furry, has a tail, sharp teeth and four legs", which is obviously an erroneous generalization defining almost every land walking mammal outside of bipeds.
In astronmy we'd have "its a star because its shiny", which is obviously not the case because even a galaxy is shiny and contains millions of stars, and the moon is shiny but is obviously in no near class to star.

Likewise in the world of art, you will not get a job or commission or recognition showing off green brown mush or a two hour video of you sitting mostly motionless typing on your keyboard and telling people "this is art", to qualify as an artist you must be able to show that you can produce something that is "unique or outstanding", and Aesthetics is the language we use to define that.

Back to the core discussion, games are art, each individual unique and outstanding game is a work of art. Pac-Man as I've outlined as an early example is a work of art, all copies and clones are exactly that, copies and clones, like post card reproductions of the Mona Lisa. Like all "unique and outstanding" works of art, copies and clones are made by those the work has affected.

Can anyone here site an example the act of typing on a keyboard that is unique or outstanding in comparison to the other 250 million people typing on their keyboard? Programming is a "computer science", with its own vocabulary and rules of routine, it does not fall into the art category.

I dare anyone with the "programming is art" notion to send out their resume with a video of them programming but not the final product itself to software companies, art galleries, media organizations and museums, please share the amusing rejection letters.

Only Aesthetics gives us a means to define and truly understand art (note that does not mean undestanding the message of a particular work of art, ie "thats a picture of a lady"), everything else is subject to opinion based on arbitrary criteria that will change from person to person, completely unscientific and ineffective. You can argue against this premise until the day you die, it will change nothing, the philosphy of Aesthetics goes way back to Plato's Academy at around 380 BC, thats over 2,000 years of philosphers and artists to blow any other over simplified, generalized and entirely subjective attempts of defining "art" full of holes.
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Post: #34
Err, my logic is wet and slippery...? I don't think I have contradicted myself previously.

All I try getting at is that aesthetics is a measure of quality or beauty of art. You can compare two pieces of art and say which is better. You can comparatively say this is art, and that is not. Dictionary definition says "study of beauty, especially in art".

If you look at a painting of unknown origin, can you dismiss it as not being art immediately, for any reason? Can you tell if a picture was taken from a security camera by chance, or shows a carefully planned scene? Would the random picture still be art if it's aesthetic?

Is something that is aesthetic automatically art?

About programming being art: Is the process of creating a sculpture art? The dictionary says creation of art is art.
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Post: #35
Just a reply for AnotherJake, you are following the thread just fine, you have a grasp of what I'm saying pretty near perfectly.

Let us not get wrapped up in "Classical" or "modern" labels, since those are only two very specific "branches/styles" of art, with their very own criteria to be labeled such.

Let us simply say that video games are an amalgam of possibily any branch and/or style of art, and in the end video games are an entirely new branch and style of art determined solely by Aesthetic criteria, the only criteria acceptable for making such claims.

Spielberg can be ignored entirely, since his statement about "lack of Authorial control" can be shot down, you can not deviate from the game play of Pacman, the viewer can't magically turn the core game it into something else, say space invaders or a sculpture.

The work of art, no matter the user actions, for all purposes played and viewed exactly the way the designer intended, with any number of variations based on the viewer/players actions.

Likewise, the same would be said for sculpture, dance, and even cinema no matter what angle you are viewing it from, the work itself doesn't change from the authors original controlled intentions. You can view a sculpture from an near infinite number of vantage points, but it does not change the actual functionality and message as a whole of the work at all.

The assumption that "interactivity" negates art, is entirely bogus.
Since all art requires the viewer to interact with the work with at least one of the five senses. We could say Culinary arts are entirely interactive, you can't tell its food unless you interact with the food with your nose and mouth can you?
Fine cuisine is still fine cuisine even if I shove my face in it and gorge like a pig a trough, the interaction changed, but the core object art remains the same.

If Spielberg doesn't believe games are art, then why has he signed up to do a multi-game deal with some huge company? Why was he involved with The Dig, StarCraft and the Medal of Honor series?
Maybe he still has hang ups that ET is known as the worste video game ever made, and tens of thousands of copies of it ended up in a concrete covered land fill.

I have two guess work answers to my question above, Spielberg is captilist whose sole purpose of creativity is in it for the money and/or he's a propgandist in the same order of Joseph Goebbels. I usually lean toward the second answer whenever I hear something about that guy.
Post: #36
But iGame3D you continue to blatantly contradict yourself while accusing everyone who moves of the same thing.

In response to my claims that you shouldn't be citing things that are beautiful as the only examples of art because you yourself earlier said it didn't matter if art was appreciated or not, you paste the dictionary definition of beauty?!

You then go on to say that now, the definition of art is that it's beautiful, using a key phrase from the definition and applying it to Balet and Programming. Yet, what you are (time and time again) failing to take into account is that you cannot decide what is conspicuous or outstanding for anyone but yourself.
Your arguments thus far are clearly proving, if you can look beyond the contradictions, that you are either completely arrogant enough to believe that you can decide for other people what they find outstanding or beautiful, or, equally as arrogantly, that your opinion is the only one that should matter.

But then, I undoubtedly "completely misunderstood" this, too Rasp

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Post: #37
igame3d Wrote:Let us simply say that video games are an amalgam of possibily any branch and/or style of art, and in the end video games are an entirely new branch and style of art determined solely by Aesthetic criteria, the only criteria acceptable for making such claims.
Interesting... Although I still don't understand the principles of Aesthetic criteria. But hey, there's always something new to learn! Smile

I agree that Spielberg's remark certainly makes him out to be somewhat of an elitist and possibly propagandist (wouldn't go so far as Goebbels though). I don't agree with him either. Authorial control is definitely a part of video games. The interactivity of video games, however, does present a new element to be dealt with. But I like your angle on it.
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Post: #38
Marjock your reading comprehension skills leave much to be desired, please don't drop out of high school, you have such a long way to go.

"Beauty" in the generic sense, is the first definition, beauty as it applies to art is the from the final definition, which I elobrated on to some length. The reason I did so is so that people do not make the mistake of thinking of beauty in terms of the first definition when discussing art. Actually its the final two defintions of beauty that really have meaning in terms of art, I seemed to have glossed over the second to last one.

You also seemed to miss a little note about "macbre" art still being art, even though an image of ghouls feasting on flesh is not by the first generic definition "beauty". Yet it may be unique and conspicuous, therefore fulfilling the final definition. 1,000 images of ghouls feasting on flesh can be judged for their uniqueness through aesthetic analysis.

Your assumption that I can not decide what is conspicuous or oustanding for anyone but myself is wholly wrong, since anyone of several tens of thousands of people anywhere with who have a bit of knowledge can take a so called piece of art and very much determine through study of other art that it has been plagarised in part or in whole from the work of another.

Or that its style is the near exact same style of many untrained teenage artists, whose work over decades, maybe centuries bares out the same exact flaws even though the artists are separated by generations and mileage. Such lack of talent devalues the work, else any and every teenage layman would be a millionaire artist.

If I paint a perfect replica of Mona Lisa and sell it as such, it is not art, it is a masterful forgery and subject to no small amount of imprisonment, the determination is not up to mine or your or your mom's opinion.
The same as if I make a pacman clone, PacMan is art, the clone is a replication bareing the likeness of an original work of art.

I am not basing my statements solely on "my opinion" but the philosophical study of art. By opinion alone there is much art in every one of its forms that I don't "get", or don't appreciate, or don't like. But by application of Aesthetic analysis anyone, and everyone can more fully appreciate the standing value of such pieces.

Its in the same vain as the generalization I told my daughter when she was 2: "germs and fungus are bad", but by the study and application of biology that opinion can be completely changed based on what particular germ or fungus one is viewing, edible mushrooms for instance. On the outside "Jackson Pollock" or "Picasso" are bad, or at least a number of works are, until aesthetic analysis is applied, then suddenly a new understanding is connected in the brain matter, and some "good" can be understood in the work.

The argument "Games are not art", did not apply any scientific method to come to the conclusion, the same as "programming is art" does not apply a single lick of thought to spout. Those are mindless opinions which can be argued into the ground and buried alive using Aesthetic analysis.

Call it arrogance if you will, but arrogance assumes pride, and I didn't invent aesthetics nor am I am claiming to be the sole final authority on art, but at least I know what I'm talking about, I can demonstrate it, I can prove it, I can site over 2,000 years of art history to make my case.

All you can do is argue against my arguments with your simple opinions, making entirely wrong assumptions and being told you are wrong over and over again, because you have no actual grasp of anything I'm saying.

You are not unique or conspicous in this lack of comprehension, my art classes were full of kids and old ladies who didn't get it, and they lived in a world of hurt as each and everyone of their projects were critiqued into the trash because they could not grasp the very basic premises of what Aesthetics were all about. This problem didn't just smack them in the face in "Design 101", but followed them from class to class. I will admit I didn't get it at first either and was like "WTF is this Aesthetics crap!", but after a few weeks and projects critiqued by others using Aesthetic analysis, a entirely new world was open to me.

Later in my career it was the same with clients or bosses who thought they were art directors, their ads and marketing material were not "art", they were garbage, and sure enough somewhere there is a landfill full of that stuff to prove my point.

I have 20 year history in the arts, longer then you've been alive kid.
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Post: #39
By the way has anyone visited Games are ?
Post: #40

Firstly, I'd just like to express my amusement at the personal attacks made in the previous post. I'm not sure if you just ran out of real arguments (seems most likely) or if you took the arrogance thing to heart.

I make an arguement, with a quote from you. In your reply to this, you quote yourself saying something opposite to this. That is /exactly/ my point. Your blatant contradictions seem to have been with us from the start of the thread, and so forgive me if my attrocious reading comprehension skills don't allow me to navigate through your thought processes which you articulate so well. Maybe you could become my mentor in the hopes of saving me from the terrible person I'm going to become? That said, your last post makes it quite clear that you're also superior to the whole rest of the world, so perhaps I'll be in better company if I just carry on as I am.

Your argument that you can decide for others what is outstanding is self-defeating. You claim that any one of tens of thousands of people can do this, and tell what's a fake or what's plagiarism. Yet, in saying this, you're admitting that there are vast quanitites of people that can't tell if something's been plagiarised, and so thus they will still appreciate the 'fake' as being art.

I pity the fact that you spent 20 years in arts, purely because it seems to have given you such a warped perspective. I don't know if you've came up with these views on your own, or had them impressed upon you over the years, but either way, they are just opinions. Don't start that crap abut aesthetics again, because your views on that are also opinion. My opinion, DoG's opinion, and even, given your arguemnts thus far, my cat's opinion are equal to yours.

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Post: #41
When the thread has degenerated to name-calling, it's time to stop. I've closed the thread.
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