Even if it is not a primary goal, one can argue that elegance and simplicity play a role in the choice of moves. Perhaps the aesthetics of a move serve as heuristics that optimize selection.
If this is the case, then aesthetic concerns can become part of mastery of the game itself, adding support to the idea that playing chess is an art form. In addition to judgments of the most beautiful game, end-game solutions are often evaluated for their formal simplicity and elegance. This is a more controversial basis for calling chess an art, since if end games should be considered art, then logical and mathematical proofs would become candidates.
As stated previously, unlike chess and gymnastics, the playing of video games has not been proposed as a candidate for art status. One reason that video game play is not considered an artistic performance is that video games are numerous and the technology has changed rapidly over the last few decades. As such, there is no one video game around which players have focused on for extended periods of time.
Though video games appear to be performative, what might count as the performance--the playing--is not considered art. Perhaps this is because the games themselves draw more attention than the players. Unlike video games, non-electronic games such as poker and football are just rules of play: they describe penalties and goals. Electronic games are different in that they are much more than rules:  They include narratives, graphic design, characterization, dialogue and more. Having looked at the relevance of the aesthetics of chess and sport, we are in a better position to understand where the art of video games might lie.
Unlike chess and sport, the art is not only in the playing; as in film, the type of art that should concern us in video games involves not the playingbut the making. Noel Carroll has offered a compelling account of how such disputes can be, should be and are resolved. He advocates a narrative approach to resolving such disputes, whereby a candidate artwork is assessed by whether a story can be told linking the problems and goals of recognized artists at a previous period to those of the artists whose work is in question.
Although we seldom have an opportunity, the narrative historical account can be also applied to art forms or representational systems as a whole.
I will attempt to provide a brief sketch, that could be fleshed out into a more comprehensive story, of the relationship between video games and other mass art forms.
Advances in computer technology over the last 40 years provided the means whereby artists could attempt to solve a recurrent problem at the heart of modernism: How to involve the audience in the art work? Those working in theater and performance arts experimented with happenings and participatory theatre, trying to bring the audience into the performance.
However, the problem was more difficult for artists working in film and literature, where we find novelistic experiments such as Cortazar's Hopscotch struggling with the limitations of the medium.
Video games allowed artists to tackle a more difficult sub-problem facing non-performed arts, the problem of how to involve the audience in mechanically reproduced art.
In the last chapter of Principles of Art, Collingwood complains that mechanically reproduced art is essentially flawed because the medium of transmission prohibits art works from being "concreative. The same thing happens in the cinema where collaboration as between author and producer is intense, but as between this unit and the audience nonexistent.
Performances on the wireless have the same defect. The consequence is that the gramophone, the cinema, and the wireless are perfectly serviceable as vehicles of amusement or of propaganda, for here the audience's function is merely receptive and not concreative; but as vehicles of art they are subject to all the defects of the printingpress in an aggravated form.
On this reading, Collingwood is complaining that the audience is made a mere receptacle by mass art and that mass art is defective by virtue of its pacifying effect. Although this may be part of Collingwood's criticism, I think his emphasis lies elsewhere. Rather than criticizing mass art for its pacifying effect on the audience, Collingwood is diagnosing what he sees as a source of limitation on the expressive potential of mechanically reproduced art.
It is not the art work's supposed deleterious effects on the audience that is at issue but the inability of the audience to provide feedback to help the artist create the most effective work possible. On my reading, Collingwood is pointing out a feature of mass art that Walter Benjamin noticed in "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," written in , three years earlier than the publication of The Principles of Art.
Benjamin argues that in mechanically reproduced art the potential opens up for the art work to fall out of step with the audience, losing its immersive grip and thereby providing conditions likely to spark a critical attitude. He says, "the film actor lacks the opportunity of the stage actor to adjust to the audience during his performance, since he does not present his performance to the audience in person. This permits the audience to take the position of a critic. It is ontologically impossible for the audience of a film to break the wall.
Video game technology has allowed artists to experiment with solutions to the problem of how to make an interactive movie: Video games are the first concreative mass art.
Video Games and Every Major Theory of Art In this section, I argue that according to most major theories of art, many video games should be considered art. I do not offer detailed definitions of each theory of art, since every theory has various contentious formulations, the major variations are familiar to most readers, and to outline in detail the specifics of every theory would require much more space.
Instead I operate with informal glosses of the theories that are adequate for my purpose. As the classical film theorists focused on the relationship between cinema and photography and theatre, one may think that the best way to approach video game art is to find its differentiating features with a similar art form.
In the case of video games, the sister art is cinema. However, in defending the art status of games, the opposite may be more useful: Examining just how close video games are to animation and digital cinema may be more productive. Almost anything said about video games is controversial.
Some game developers even scoff at the idea that video games are an art, as do certain filmmakers, even distinguished ones. Theorists who call themselves ludologists argue that video games should not be considered just another narrative art form, but a form of play.
Other theorists, narratologists such as Janet Murray, argue that video games can and should become more narrative-driven in order to realize their artistic potential. This seems to be the path game developers have chosen. Current video games have highly integrated narratives that are often far more complex than the most sophisticated noir plots. Even if you can remember the details of "The Big Sleep" Howard Hawks, , you will never be able to recount the details of most modern games.
As mentioned previously, many narrative games can take upwards of 20 hours to complete. For the past decade, there has been a moderate amount of influence between film and video games. Although most of them are awful, several films have been made based on video games.
More commonly, video games are made based on film subjects. Many readers of this article will think of PacMan or Pong when they hear of video games. If so, then the possibility of creating a narrative film on a video game story should sound surprising.
As my examples indicate, recent games are far more complex than PacMan; they often involve complex stories and characterization. For those who have not played heavily narrative-integrated games, the possibility of basing a narrative of whatever sophistication on a game should indicate the level of narrative complexity already to be found in the medium. Game designers often try to make their games look more like film by including cut scenes and imitating other cinematic features.
Most narrative-driven games are heavily interspersed with full-motion video sequences called cut-scenes. The game called Splinter Cell is typical. In this game, cut scenes are encountered frequently on various missions. After major events and before new episodes, a cut-scene will be introduced to indicate the goals of the level and the objects for which one should be on the lookout. In addition to including these small digital movies, games often attempt to emulate the look of film.
In the popular game Halo, for example, if you look up towards the sun, the glare produces nested circles, as if the player is controlling a movie camera. This is inconsistent with the perspective of the player who is not looking through a camera, but the reference to cinema is intended to enhance the realism, as if the game were a documentary. Such techniques are clear examples of game designers trying to situate their work in the tradition of cinema.
For such reasons, any historical theory of art that admits film as an art form would most plausibly admit video games. Through repeated allusions and attempts at emulating the moving image, game designers intend that we appreciate their games as we do digital animation and video art. Modern video game designers are deeply concerned with traditional aesthetic considerations familiar to animators, novelists, set designers for theater productions and art directors for films.
The development of game environments is an intensive process involving the creation of level maps, lighting sources, setting detail and visual texture complexity. As the author of a realist novel or the set designer of a film might place props in a room, level designers aim for the consistent incorporation of details to flesh out the world of the game. Character movement is another area of design in which video game designers share goals with animators.
For example, the designers of Splinter Cell carefully created hand-animated movement studies for the player-character to add richness and a life-like feel to the textures. From set design to lighting techniques, games largely draw upon the aesthetic toolkit available to filmmakers.
Any aesthetic theory of art that acknowledges the art status of animation would also recognize many contemporary video games, since the intentions of the creators and the variety of aesthetic experience the two art forms admit overlap considerably. A strong case can also be made for video games on institutional grounds, since there is a developing art world for video games. Over the past decade, there has been a variety of museum exhibits of video games, ranging from technological development lessons to explorations of the influence of video games on digital art, as well as stand-alone exhibits of the emerging art form.
Although not exactly an art museum, from June 6, to May 20, , the American Museum of the Moving Image featured a show called "Hot Circuits: A Video Arcade" that brought a collection of arcade games for visitors to play first hand.
The show traveled to 10 other locations throughout the country from June to September Since this show, the museum has had several other major video game exhibits and has almost always had a video game exhibition on display. In July , the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art hosted a symposium entitled "ArtCade: Exploring the Relationship Between Video Games and Art," where recent video game-inspired artworks were presented alongside a selection of video games from the s to the present.
Constantly adapting to the changing market, in order to make a profit off of a popular form of entertainment, the video game industry is continually expanding. But, two very important questions, about the industry, exist: Why has the industry become so popular, and where will that popularity lead?
In recent times, another paradigm shift has begun for gaming: the road to becoming an art form. Today artist use different styles and modern technology to improve coloring, modeling and drawing in their work. Over decades of technological advancements video games have taken a life of their own considering them to be a new form of art.
While not a traditional art form, video games do have an artistic basis. Video games are increasingly becoming more story and visually based. They need skill and talent to see everything that is at offer.
Chapter One — What is an Art Form? Music lovers and critics would argue this point and they would be right to. There are then the critics that believe that art is about the artist showing us a world through their vision.
Whereas one will strongly oppose the acceptance of modernism, another will embrace it with open arms. These clashes in opinion have been there for lifetimes and will be there for many more.
Research shows that not even the public seems to be able to agree. The length of the pieces did not help it shake this status quickly as most of them lasted a minute or less and were nothing more than a passing amusement, a crudely shot skit. As time progressed the films became longer, a sense of narrative began to be told which, although basic, was progressing. Within twenty years of its invention it was possible to portray a more thoughtful narrative than the skits that appeared in early cinema.
However there were still several problems with the medium. None of the problems were as important, however, as the lack of sound. This problem also occurred in video games.
There was no true sound for several years, just simple beeps. Whereas some will say it is an independent film others will say it is any film that holds artistic merit, which will yet again be whatever the critic considers art. This highlights the important point about art: nobody can agree. What people generally agree on is that in the past century of artists it is Andy Warhol that is one of the most memorable.
His views and opinions have been often quoted yet it is what he thought about art that is truly interesting. It can be argued that the best critic for a piece of art is the artist themselves. The art world has gotten to the stage that a childish doodle from a three year old could be called art. Some strongly believe that art is something created to provoke an emotion or thought. Much like every other opinion on art this opinion is obviously opposed.
Clive Barker, the writer, whose work has spanned numerous mediums including video games, film and literature, shares the view that art is something to provoke a feeling. He stated: "We can debate what art is, we can debate it forever. He later responded to what Barker said.
I mentioned that a Campbell's soup could be art. I was imprecise. Actually, it is Andy Warhol's painting of the label that is art. Would Warhol have considered Clive Barker's video game "Undying" as art? He would have kept it in its shrink-wrapped box, placed it inside a Plexiglas display case, mounted it on a pedestal, and labelled it "Video Game. He seems to consider art as something physical that we do not interact with, something that is there that we witness and nothing else.
Chapter Two - Video Games as Art "It is hard to say what ranks lower on the artistic food chain than video games. Comic books? TV sit-coms? X-rated films? These rat like vermin at the bottom scurry to avoid the thunderous footfalls of the towering behemoths of the art world.
Everyone knows that: - Violinists, conductors and composers are real artists. But video-game designers? Is that even art? The comment above helps highlight the fact he is not the only one to think like this, and that unfortunately the medium is viewed by many as a form of entertainment and nothing else. The video game, then, was perhaps the most commercially successful combination of art and technology to emerge in the early s. Many comparisons may be drawn upon the likes of Pong and other games from the era with the works of various minimalist artists, such as Jo Baer.
The vast nothing that can be seen on the screen in the game with only a handful of markings matches what is seen with numerous works of minimalist art. Although it could be argued that Pong only had its appearance due to technological limitations it cannot be ignored that they matched the trend, whether through choice or not.
Technology has advanced and games have become more than just a handful of lines scattered across a screen. Real life can now be replicated, if so desired, by the creators. The amount of artistic possibilities that are open to game designers rivals any other artist. It can be aural, visual, and even physical.
In fact video games have progressed in a way that can match almost all trends in art now, from realism to abstract, minimalist to pop. They are trying to muscle their way into the acceptance of the art world as much as they can and have been trying for years.
Many developers are asked about their games as an art form. Suda 51 is a game creator many enthusiasts believe creates work that pushes the medium. It's up to people to decide if it's art or not. Video games are no exception, as Ebert argues. But I believe the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art. The perception he holds on video games is comparable to a carpenter making a chest of drawers. The drawers may look aesthetically pleasing but is there any true artistic merit?
Most carpenters will accept their work holds no artistic merit, some however will not. This is exactly the same in the world of video games. Hideo Kojima is a well respected game designer and his work is what many will hold up in retaliation to claims of games not being a form of art.
If people walk by and a single person is captivated by whatever that piece radiates, it's art. But videogames aren't trying to capture one person.
A videogame should make sure that all people that play that game should enjoy the service provided by that videogame. It's something of a service. It's not art. But I guess the way of providing service with that videogame is an artistic style, a form of art.
Analysing the work through the lifetime of some artists will show that a small percentage will begin issuing pieces that are almost a fan service. You could argue that some of the work from the pop art trend was little more than this, a nod to those that liked a certain form of work. The creation of a first person shooter would be created without really caring if a fan of a role playing game found the game stimulating or not. It is rare that a game is created with the intent of making every single person that plays it like it, simply because most genres are limited to a certain fanbase, much like in film and literature.
Certain genres, such as sport games, will be made with the intention of appealing to fans of the sport, they will not try to branch out to people who like other genres because the fanbase of their sport should be enough to warrant sales. Sport games are a key genre that focuses on entertainment. Their artistic merit could be placed down to their visuals but they are very limited and it would be a stretch to class them as art, much like it would be to try and class the sport as art.
Still, the games do hold one vital aspect every video game contains, and that is escapism. Some video games are such intense forms of escapism now that you want to escape from them. Some even offer an escape within them. For example Grand Theft Auto IV allows the player to go play a game of pool if their life of crime is beginning to become too stressful. Despite many video games only caring about commercial success, entertainment, escapism and nothing else, much like in the film industry, there are certain ones that do hold many artistic conventions.
Some hold a portrayal of war comparable to that seen in films such as Platoon and Apocalypse Now. There are even pieces that are comparable to the deep and moving narratives seen in the best pieces of literature. Whether it is an epic story like Lord of the Rings or a deep personal story such as Catcher in the Rye, video games can create anything another medium can. Yet it is more than this that helps back up the argument about the acceptance of the medium as a form of art.
But perhaps we should consider another starting point, viewing games as a spatial art with its roots in architecture, landscape, painting, sculpture, gardening or amusement park design. A player may be struck with awe by the vastness of a location but, from an average consumers perspective, it is rare they will notice how beautifully constructed their surroundings are.
What is shown on screen may be a reconstruction of what is seen in real life, much like in The Getaway, which creates an almost perfect replica of London. However more often than not what we see is unique.Although playing video games usually involves a smaller audience-to-competitor ratio, there is no reason why the audience watching someone play a game must be smaller than the audience of non-competitors at a poetry slam. The problem arose when we went to shop forgames for the system. However it is the little things that really add to it that other mediums would struggle to represent. For a consideration of the composed chess problem as art, see C. Competition is considered inimical to artistic creation because it locates the purpose behind the production in non-aesthetic goals.
Most games are, in any case, strongly driven by the vision of a single designer. Thus as families grow so too does the respect towards the medium, or at least the amount of people consuming it. Some hold a portrayal of war comparable to that seen in films such as Platoon and Apocalypse Now. There are ramps from the left and right heading up towards it. The types, however, have varied as I have grown older. Twilight Princess did not create the emotions that Ico exceeded in doing however, which is the same with the other games that have mimicked the visual style of it.
But perhaps we should consider another starting point, viewing games as a spatial art with its roots in architecture, landscape, painting, sculpture, gardening or amusement park design. He is the subject of several popular articles and is often a hero in books devoted to the history of video games. The red hue of your surroundings, with litter and debris floating past you, accompanied by the sound of breaking radio transmissions and the characters grunts of pain creates a piece of art that makes you emote. My argument proceeds in three major steps: I begin with a brief description of three recent games that have received extensive praise from gamers and game reviewers.
First, we must determine which specific areas we want to investigate. Would Warhol have considered Clive Barker's video game "Undying" as art? What is more interesting is the use of multiple narrative points of view through the game. The fact that philosophers have not raised the question of whether video games can be art lends credence to the assumption that they are not.
It is one of the most significant moments in video game history, despite a linear narrative the pacing and progression is on par with the finest pieces of literature and film. This then means that the structure itself could be considered a work of art, without even considering the argument of whether the game it is in is one. Your eyes begin to see a bright light. One objection to calling sports such as diving art forms is that they are competitive. We could not deny the fact that video game already has strong attraction for many people. The show traveled to 10 other locations throughout the country from June to September
Scholars in other disciplines, such as film, have taken the lead in the conceptual debate.
As the old saying goes, "Rules are made to be broken. There has always been a certain level of snobbery within the art community when new forms of art appear. As the author of a realist novel or the set designer of a film might place props in a room, level designers aim for the consistent incorporation of details to flesh out the world of the game.
But I believe the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art. Now we can add video games. Even if you can remember the details of "The Big Sleep" Howard Hawks, , you will never be able to recount the details of most modern games. One might say that Dewey thinks "esthetic" experience is best had from interaction or interactivity, and that anesthetic experience results when people become dominated or under whelmed by their environments.
Today artist use different styles and modern technology to improve coloring, modeling and drawing in their work. Finally, I offer a host of reasons why some video games should be considered art according to several major theories of art. Although this may be part of Collingwood's criticism, I think his emphasis lies elsewhere. Why did the chicken cross the genders? Like the great figures we expect to find occupying key places in an artistic canon, there are game designers who have reached auteur status. The way you have to go through a training camp to prove your worth accompanied with the progression of your character throughout, from rookie to hero, is realistic and paced well.
Constantly adapting to the changing market, in order to make a profit off of a popular form of entertainment, the video game industry is continually expanding. Video Games and Aggression Essay Words 6 Pages As technology continues to forge ahead concerns about its effects on the populace are raised. New York: Routledge. We see structures that are a marvel for numerous reasons, not just because of how they look but because they are something that would not be possible to create in the real world. It is possible to argue, of course, that all art is interactive; it is there in the very act of interpretation. The potential of the medium seems clear: good if not great video game art is in the near future.