• AjarPsychonaut
    2
    Some additional topics for discussion:

    If so, are the designers or the players artists?

    Consider an online world such as Minecraft, where people work together to create things. Can true art be a group activity?

    Does art involve risk? Consider the case of a completely anonymous person who takes no "real world" risks. Is there something missing?
    1. Whether or not they are currently, could video games ever be true art? (6 votes)
        No
        33%
        I'm not sure
        67%
  • AjarPsychonaut
    2
    For some reason it kept my poll, even though I unmarked the check box; however, the fact that yes is not even an option suits my epistemology, and I think it's hilarious!
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    739
    Hello.

    The long answer would require to define the term "art".
    The short answer is: If story-telling, music, and drawing/painting are all considered art, then video games are absolutely art because they encompass all three.

    However, players are not necessarily artists, inasmuch as you don't need to be an artist to enjoy books, movies, music or paintings.
  • Artemis
    1.1k
    Rephrase the question from are they art to can they be art and we might get somewhere.

    I would argue that games can contain artistic elements, or even contain art. But games are just games absent any intention at artistry. Video games don't differ from card games and board games in that sense. Poker is just a game and not an art, for instance, but the cards can have art on them (some card decks are quite aesthetically pleasing, actually).

    Art needs to have a message of some sort that the artist is intending to convey through it to an audience of at least one person. Most video games lack that intention.
  • Christina
    9
    I think that art should have its inner purposefulness and not receive its meaning from anything exterior- such as winning as the purpose n video games.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    739

    But would you agree that the function of art is to please? That is, if the particular art is not pleasing to the individual, then he would not obtain it. And the function of a video game is also to please, in a more specific way. If the function of both art and video games coincide, then it means that video games is a form of art.
  • Maw
    1.5k
    What kind of crap poll is this where 'Yes' isn't even an option?
  • Arne
    416
    ITS RIGGED!!

    :cool:
  • Liar Lyre
    3

    I feel like your argument looks over the fact that video games aren't absent of story, characters and their development, plot and strong themes that are covered in other media considered "art". Of course in a sandbox game such as Minecraft one cannot say there is lore or a story but the core aesthetic of the game is enough. Art may need a meaning but the meaning does not need to be as profound or jarring as some Dadaist sculpture piece. An example are the cards you describe as being aesthetically pleasing; you describe them as meaningless and as merely a tool to play games. I correct you since the original designs of the playing cards are used to show their worth. With a standard 52 card deck the only cards of matter in this argument are the picture cards: Jack, Queen, King. Each suit of Jack, Queen and King have their unique design. The King of Hearts is my favourite due to the placement of the sword towards his head. I interpret the King of Hearts as Pascal's king with everything such that he has become nothing. It is a beautiful image to me and so constitutes "art". Each King, Queen and Jack has their own uniqueness to them and so I do not feel you can justify calling them anything but "art". As for video games, the story is a book and the gameplay is the description. A book with poor description is barely a book. A game with poor gameplay is a bad game. In sandboxes the gameplay is the selling point and uniqueness that the playing cards held. Why play a game like Terraria when Minecraft exists? Because they take advantage of their artistic differences and appeal to different people. There is no objective "better game" out of the two since both have an equal quality in gameplay even though they are so different.
  • BlueBanana
    903
    Books aren't art, literature is. The form in which it is delivered doesn't matter. Calling story-based games literature isn't unreasonable to me.
  • Artemis
    1.1k


    Being "pleasant" is not a sufficient condition for something to be called art, because a multitude of things "please" like a sunny day, a rainbow, a kitten, etc without being art.
    Art should be aesthetically pleasing, but it also needs to be an artifact (i.e. human made) and intentionally made to be art.


    The purpose of art needs to be primarily that it is aesthetically pleasing. The main purpose of a video game is generally not that it appeal to our aesthetics, but that it be "fun," which is not quite the same thing. I think that a game could be designed with the primary purpose of being art by being aesthetically interesting, but in order for that to count, the aesthetics would have to be connected to the game play somehow, and not just be backdrop for the game.

    Also, I think by "description" you mean to say "plot," and I don't think that game play itself is the plot, it's just the vehicle by which you navigate through the plot, or plot options.
  • Liar Lyre
    3

    I did mean description. I said description since the plot in a game is a plot. It may be a bad plot or a good plot but it is still the plot. I should've said imagery, since it summarises my point better. A book without wild images to construct the author's intentions into the readers head is a boring narration. The same with a game with bad gameplay; it's just boring.

    I must disagree with the statement that art needs to be primarily about aesthetic. Art is not solely aesthetic and cannot ever be called that. The art of Dada has no pleasant aesthetic imagery and if it did then it would be to lull the observer into a false sense of appreciation only to hit them with the real message, which is what art is about: A message. All art is to tell the observer something through a subtle guise. Whether it be abstract painting or a still life structure the purpose is always to tell the observer something about the piece or the world. The pleasing aesthetic is merely a side-effect of the message usually being to flatter a monarch in their portrait. Art cannot be generalised to "aesthetically pleasing" but must be accepted as a massive concept able to engulf almost any form of media.

    I think this is the point where the argument depends on one's definition of art. In which case I would have to direct you to a game that I would consider art. Undertale is a 2015 game which uses graphics from early nintendo games and explores dark themes beneath innocent gameplay. I would call this game art and highly recommend it to anyone who would say video games cannot be art (not to generalise that as your opinion).
  • Artemis
    1.1k
    I should've said imagery, since it summarises my point betterLiar Lyre

    Equating imagery and game play makes no sense.

    is what art is about: A message.Liar Lyre

    I did not say art was solely aesthetics. I said primarily. Big dif. That can mean anywhere from 51 to 100% of it is aesthetics.

    If all art does is convey a message, then my doctor's bill is a regular Picasso. Nope, that's just not a sufficient condition.

    I will rephrase tho, that art needn't be aesthetically pleasing as much as it needs to be aesthetically appealing. Clearly ugly art appeals to the aesthetic sensibilities of some wayward persons on this planet, but it's still an aesthetic quality which conveys any message if there is one to be had. Instrumental music, for instance, has no definite message, it is just aesthetics, and is purely art.

    I think this is the point where the argument depends on one's definition of artLiar Lyre

    If that's what you think, then why even bother trying to contribute to the discussion. "To each his or her own" is a non-answer.

    highly recommend it to anyone who would say video games cannot be art (not to generalise that as your opinion).Liar Lyre

    Which you can't, since I don't say they can't be art. Just that they generally aren't.

    Also, sorry, but I'm not gonna check up on your personal fav game.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    739

    Yep, I stand corrected. I actually prefer your definition of art over mine.
    You're just wrong about kittens. Kittens can all die.
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