It seems I'm getting some good ol' dissenting opinions on my Monthly Musing, which is always good. At least we have some people that aren't just sheep; that's why I love the DTOID community. You guys actually express your opinions, not just "YAY ITS GOOD!" or "FIRST! :D:D:D" or "THIS BLOWS YOUR GHEY." I like the thought that many of you think I'm depressed; I'm not, I just like being scathing, which brings me to this:
I see lots of people tell me about basically every game I've already written about, you know Shadow of the Colossus
, No More Heroes
, Silent Hill 2
, etc. However, I also get a few others mentioned, like Okami
, most people saying that games like these and others are truly "art". Now, I can't speak for Flower
, I don't tend to play many downloadable games apart from your Braid
's and Blueberry Garden
's, but as far as Okami
is concerned...Well, let's just jump into it.
Art is not about beauty. Period. Just because something is pretty doesn't make it art, or meaningful, or really even beautiful. Why do people constantly call Okami
art? It looks nice. It looks really nice. It's also a pretty good game, so I guess people like it so much that they have to hyperbolize it's meaning to them. At the end of the day, Okami
is a good game, that looks nice, with a pretty good story. That's about it. Never once do you go "Wow, this is really meaningful." or "Oh my God..." like you would at the ending of Braid
or Shadow of the Colossus
. There isn't a slow realization of meaning like for No More Heroes
or Killer 7
. It just kind of is. No more, no less.
Now, I don't want to sound like I'm down on Okami
, but it really is kind of a perfect example of a good looking game that gets called "virtual art". Every review for the game compares it to a painting, or a beautiful drawing, which leads me to believe that they don't actually know what art is. Now, the definition of what art has to be is basically subjective, based upon opinion, but I think something everyone can agree on is that art must have meaning. It has to have substance. They have a word for art for art sake; it's called being pretentious.
Many people also refer to Killer 7
as art because of it's visuals, but also talk about how flawed the gameplay is and how stupid and nonsensical the story is. This leads me to believe one of two things: A) These reviewers are idiots or B) They do actually get it, but their higher-up's won't let them get all arty like I do on my blog. I realize reviews are based almost purely upon the economic value of a game, which is why most games with only single player always score lower than mindless multiplayer shooters.
It's incredibly frustrating to get art comparisons thrown to games that don't really deserve it, or have only certain aspects of a game highlighted as "art". Pieces are not art, games are. Not graphics, not cel-shading, not art-deco design. Games like Braid
are the obvious choice for an "art" game because it looks pretty, it sounds pretty, and it has a genuine, mature, subtle message in it, which basically turns everything that was "pretty" into "beautiful".
That doesn't mean that only pretty games can be art, just look at a game like Silent Hill 2
, which is arguably one the most disturbing games ever made. It's ugly, it's uncomfortable, and it's absolutely terrifying. But it's also a subtle deconstruction of a murderer, a story that is full of dramatic devices and visual symbolism. It's a story that truly qualifies of art, even if it doesn't look pretty.
Really, it all comes down to being a game with meaning, whether it be the subtle character study of Silent Hill 2
or the grandiose moral lessons of Braid
is a fun, pretty, and overall great game, but does that mean it is art? No, it just means it's a good game. I'll have to get back on everyone about Flower
, a game which may just surprise me. Now, just to prove I'm not a depressed sack of sorrow.
See, I'm a happy guy that just enjoys pointing out the tits of a good ol' Silent Hill
nurse outfit! This is a picture from Megacon in Orlando, Florida from a couple years ago.
LOOK WHO CAME: