When a game could be art..

20 Dec

This is from the grumpy gamer.

Wanting to be like all the cool kids, Roger Ebert has jumped into the discussion about games being art.

A tad unfair, Ebert wants not to be cool ie he does not think games can be art as a medium. A discussion done to death that does not die, hence I want some answers to some questions!


*people don’t define what art is, only what it isn’t.

*art is not art because someone famous wrote it or because an institution says so (sorry Dickie & Danto). It has to be more than that.

*the discussion would go further if Ebert explained what factors are needed to make art first. Then, because he perhaps does not know the game world fully, people could have a go at giving counter examples.

* So games lack authorial control? Authorial control is not actually what causes great art, it might afford factors that cause great art.

*I am not sure if authorial art can have only one author or cannot happen in realtime. You could argue that great plays happen in realtime and have a cast, they are not works of art through script alone. One could also point out the authorial or auteur control does not directly relate to film success, at least commercially. Hollywood interferes you know and sometimes Directors are not always right (or focused)!

*perhaps he believes great art have to be experienced and reflected on, and we typically don’t have time for that in games–we are too busy playing. Then again, there are films that we are too busy experiencing to reflect on their aesthetic worth or great inspiring ideas until after we saw the film.

*perhaps he believes that you cannot enjoy great art as the creator–because creating art is a realtime interactive process such a belief would be logical. Ie art cannot be truly and deeply appreciated while being created. This is of course controversial.


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