Are Games Art? - Destructoid

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Hey, I'm Ware. I play pretty much anything i can get my hands on and i love to discuss philosophy and the like.
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11:22 PM on 04.01.2013

Hey all. This is my first blog so i thought i would talk about something i have wanted to talk about for a long time. Are games art? Well most gamers would say it is, however many people have a hard time explaining exactly what art is and how it applies to games. My approach to this is something different. In this blog i will be looking at games that the majority of people see as art and try to see if they retain elements that many people who scoff at gaming would call art. The two games i think most people will say have some sort of artistic value is Spec Ops and Shadow of the Colossus. One thing i noticed is that a lot of people felt sincerely bad after these games. Whether it be remorse or pity, these games evoked some sort of emotional negative response from the player. Spec Ops the line was designed in a way to make the player almost hate themselves for the actions that occur in the game. This is one of the few games is not meant to be enjoyed and in a way is a struggle to finish. This idea leads back to the premise of the Greek tragedy. A Greek tragedy usually focused on a character of somewhat high standing falling and enduring extreme suffering. They rarely end happily and leave the viewer with a sense of dread.An example of this is the story of Oedipus. Spec Ops fits this description as does Shadow of the Colossus. So the two examples i tried to show both fit inside the tragedy type genre, but does this mean all games have to be sad in order to be considered art? No. Do all games have to be art? No. In this case, this is where i would compare games to movies. Citizen Kane is considered art. Bayformers? not so much. In the same way i think we can consider games like Spec Ops art, without considering Call of duty art. That does mean its bad, it just means its like a popcorn movie.

So i want to end this by just leaving out a question. What makes a painting considered art? If this can be answered, do you think you can apply that one artistic principle to a game?

Hope whoever read this enjoyed it, whether you did or you did not, i would greatly appreciate it if someone would leave feedback.

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