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"Games can never be art."

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Before I write what I will, i'll post the link to Ebert's blog post on the subject: "Video games can never be art.".


Ebert's a smart guy, well-educated – but he, like all other people is confined by his own experiences (or lack-thereof in this particular case) and arbitrary individuality.


Though we all are, arent we?


But how can something like "Art" exist when we as individuals are at our cores, arbitrary? I guess it's in the fact that though we are individualistic in our beliefs, we're not self-contained as a species for survival in its myriad forms. We depend on society and in community and its in those key terms that I draw some points in my post.


We consider Art "Art", as in we define things collectively as Art through collective appreciation of the thing we label it as. I know some people who consider music as an art but don't consider rap music as art merely because they dislike the form of music. How does that work? Well it works and doesn't work because, like Art, its viewed either way by a collective of shared perspectives and like-minded individuals who either appreciate it as one thing or don't as another.


This is where Ebert is pretty transparent to me and why I label him as inexperienced, even though he's a well-educated person. While he's refined in the world of cinema, what games has he played through besides chess, which isn't even a video game? I guess the better question is, does he even play video-games? No, i'm sure. Not in the way we define gamers, anyway. But he does seem himself qualified enough to label games as not Art because, I suppose, he's educated and versed enough in the other forms of media that exist; the ones he does consider Art.


But again, its herein where he is, in my point-of-view, confined by his own experiences. Ebert grew up in a generation long ago where Personal Computers didn't exist, Video-Games didn't exist, Internet etc. He's from a bygone era. and his appreciation for the modern context of that which is considered "Media" and "Art" (excluding films, and yes I do consider that Art) is hampered by his own existence and inability to be anything other than himself. Which is no crime obviously, but like anybody who speaks out of place, he is no stranger.


Why does he speak on the subject when he has no experience in Video-Games? Because he knows Art in its other forms. And that is the point, great Art is timeless. And in saying so, his crippling handicap of being old is kind of an advantage to him. So he does dare to say that "video games can never be art." Its a paradox, to me anyway, that his words are both his advantage and disadvantage at play.


He makes a good point in his blog about how he considers a work of Art, the work of an individual. And yet a cathedral is the sum-total of many men at work, many artisans in fact. Sculptors, stone-masons, carpenters and the like who in their own right all are in a professional trade of artistic capacity. Video-Games are much the same, they are the products of the sum-total of many artists (and non) at work. 2D and 3D pixels represented through digitized code and electronics is the work of Art being developed on a "canvas" besides anything tangible. Like music or film, it cannot be contained by ourselves physically but appreciated none-the-less through our senses and isn't it our senses the basis in which all Art is derived as a definable aesthetic in all its forms?


Are Video-Games art?


I am an artist in the field of graphic design and a gamer, so I can say I know both experiences to an intimate degree.


And I consider Art as life itself. It drives everything we do. Like six-degrees of separation, you can find a purpose in anything and everything that will lead back to what is considered Art. Perhaps not in exactly six degrees or less, but back to the point of origin none-the-less which Art inhabits.


What do you guys think? Can Video-Games be Art?

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Yes, they can be.


Also, Gayberts point is moot all due to the fact that he has never played the games he claims as prime examples of them not being art. It's not their representation that create art (for those are just images, and images ARE art), but their experiences. When I'm old I pray I don't shut out my mind like that crazy old fart.

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Well, it's not that i'm insecure over Ebert's stance on Games not being Art, but more surprised that someone like him wouldn't consider it Art. So its disappointment for me.


I also find it interesting how nobody has cited the technological limitations involved in Games being perceived as "good Art." Where men hundreds of years ago could use simple tools to create life-like imagery or at least visually engaging imagery while we are hampered by the progress of the transistor.

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Of course its art I dont even need to read this stuff.

Programming AI is an art, when a builder builds a wall that is art.

If you create something that wasn't there in the first place its pretty much a form of art in my opinion, If I throw up after 8 stella and their is a mess on the floor that can be art.


It also depends on the person viewing or the persons feeling towards what he or she sees.

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It's funny how all the people who are always criticizing games or Internet or what have you, are the ones who've never even touched said mediums. When given the chance to do so or when confronted by well-thought counterarguments, they decline for the strangest reasons or get all defensive with even weaker arguments.

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It's funny how all the people who are always criticizing games or Internet or what have you, are the ones who've never even touched said mediums. When given the chance to do so or when confronted by well-though counterarguments, they decline for the strangest reasons or get all defensive with even weaker arguments.

GAme-Nazis.... sigh.

Dont even entertain them

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Well, I suppose in Ebert's mind, he can say that he isn't a painter or sculptor or artist in those forms in any professional capacity, and neither are most people, but we can all mostly agree that the works of the master's and other pieces in museums and galleries are works of "high art" as he calls it. And so he doesn't need to play games to criticize them. But the difference between traditional Art media and games is that they are displayed in public view for all to see, and games have to be "viewed" or experienced in a mostly private setting. But that's where he makes his case in that with games, you can lose, you have to win, you start over etc. and that is not functionally art, where the Authorial control dictates how the audience perceives and interprets their work. Clearly he hasn't played many of the newer games out.

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