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Games as Art

by AndyLonn   //   9:54 AM on 12.02.2012

This blogpost will revolve around the fantastic experience that is Journey, A video game created by ThatGameCompany. If you are tired of reading about this extraordinary piece of art, Back button is usually placed somewhere around the upper left corner of the screen, See you later :)



Still with me? Good. On to the buisness at hand. Roger Ebert is a name who should be known to both movie lovers and gamers alike. If you are a movie lover you should know him from being one of the biggest, if not the biggest film reviewer of our time, and this dude knows his stuff, His accomplishments are too many to write down here, but I'll add a Wikipedia link HERE, so that you can go read all about this dude.

Why should gamers know him you ask? Well to quote Wikipedia:

"In 2005, Ebert opined that video games are not art, and are inferior to media created through authorial control, such as film and literature, stating, "video games can be elegant, subtle, sophisticated, challenging and visually wonderful", but "the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art""

Now I was one of the many who wanted to scream at the dude for being ignorant at the time, but as time went on, I could kind of see his point, while not agreeing with it. And it's kind of hard to argue that games can be art, when the non-gaming enthusiasts mostly are exposed to the games Fox News show them. But the flip side is that it's also hard to argue that games like Journey isn't art.

Because what is art really? The Encyclopędia Britannica Online defines art as "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others"

Journey is definetly a product of the skill and imagination of the team behind it, It's aesthetic environment is something you can only experience in Journey, or atleast I've never seen anything like it before. (Might be using the word aesthetic wrong, as it's a word I've often heard, but seldom used) And Journey is something everyone (who owns a PS3 and has a credit card) can experience for themselves.



What makes Journey so special to me is its use of color and atmosphere to tell its story, and it's stunning aesthetic is something that, to me, is unprecedented. It's so hauntingly beautiful that I get chills whenever I think of it. The story isn't told in words, but you get the story none the less, and in the video below you'll gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics at work within Journey

I won't get to much into how Journey works, or why it works, Extra Credits have already given Journey it's due in that apartment, so I'll just embed their video below.



Now there are several more games that can be considered as art, Journey isn't alone in this. A good friend of mine suggested Minecraft, and I can't really argue with that, having sunk countless of hours into Minecraft and still be amazed of the things people keep creating in that game.

Not all games are art, similarly not all paintings are art, I've got a drawer full from my childhood that can attest to that. But that doesn't take away from the fact that some paintings are art, Look at the works of Da Vinci, Rembrandt or Gogh, they've all established that paintings can be art.

And Journey is the one that hits it home for me.

Games can be Art

Do you have any games you consider as art? Please sound off in the comments as I am itching to try some new games that impresses me as much as Journey did









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