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The Future: Whores Will Spill Out Into The Streets


I wanted to explain my last blog post. While it was harsh, I meant it. Whether or not SCMRPG is art, I wanted to point out the hypocritical, circular, and reformative logic sandorasbox employs in their argument. Despite the fact that they say they study art, there appears to be no possible way for games to be art. Here is where sandorasbox has gone wrong with the medium of video games:

I work at an institution that houses works of art. There's a pile of broken ceramic dominoes on the ground and on the wall there is a series of pictures chronicling its construction, arrangement, destruction, and dispersing outside of the corner they were housed in. All done by the hands of a group of artists. How could this happen? They have their own exhibition at a university-funded art museum. I don't argue that it's strange. I don't argue that it's correct. I only argue that art is not a topic to be denied.

One does not explain what's not art. It seems so impossibly and blindingly facile and pointless. If someone does not have the means to paint, they draw on the side of a cave. If one does not have the means to “make art,” then what do they make? IS this merely a craft? I don't understand this argument. Making a craft, doesn't that involve making some kind of utility? In what way are the majority of video games practical?

They involve hours of hard work by designers. They sketch the possibilities and elaborate from there on. Games take concept art created by an author (I leave this idea up to you) and grant that piece dimension. I say this examining games from a static approach. Looking at only its accoutrements and the elements (scenery, character design, etc.) that change only when replaced by the progression of story, such as almost every single aspect of Majora's Mask.

After you examine the static, then there's the addition of movement, sound, and control. Those are the basic elements of a game. “Control” is relative concept. The piece is a whole on its own, whether the player is there or not. Like any book, a game exists as whole unto itself. The game, whether truthful or not, still represents something. It constructs nothing more than itself. If that's too simple, then maybe I could liken it to the work of a dancer.

A dancer is able to contort their body into a variety of positions. In the same sense as how limber or flexible the dancer is, a game can only possess a specific range of motions. The code can only act within the boundaries it is supplied.

I guess this is the point where you can add those accoutrements. The stage and the sound are undeniable elements of any dancer's performance. Whether the dancer is one at a nightclub or a ballet depends upon what the dancer wants to accomplish and where the viewer places their self physically. This is also literally analogous to control. Arguably, you could say, according to the idea that games that you make a one-time purchase of are purchased (almost like a ticket price, but of course there are always downloadable indie games...) based on one's faith in the creator, then they are purchased for the sake of experiencing something of value. Optimistically speaking, this is a value that enriches the human experience. Is that not something akin to art?

Have our lives not been enriched by this experience in some form or another? We must think so, at least, since we're all here talking about how much we love the medium and banding together as a community. Unless sandorasbox is right, and we're all paying these (cash)whores for the next experience, be it a single purchase or more. Meaning that paying for DLC and subscription-based gaming are merely feeding a habit that is cheap to supply and high in demand. We're all broken creatures waiting to find accomplishment in the most high-tech place we can find it.

Now I can say this, if they are not already complete pieces of whoredom, then with time and the improvement of control of content (therefore, better for commodification) will they be 100% whores later on?
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About mikeyedone of us since 11:19 PM on 07.11.2007

I am a professional writer and web designer living in East Lansing, MI. I hail from Dearborn, MI. I listen to Modest Mouse, Joanna Newsom, The Cure, Dead Kennedys, TMBG, and Tom Waits. I primarily consume grilled cheese and green tea. My first video game memory is playing Pong, but I'm not that old, just fortunate. I've grown up with video games and they've sort of grown up with me, not really.

(not in any particular order... maybe)

Rogue Squadron 2
Castlevania SotN and AoS
Super Mario RPG, World, and 64
Perfect Dark
Metroid (Any of the 2D games)
Final Fantasy 7, 9, and Tactics
Advance Wars series
Diablo 2
World in Conflict
Time Splitters 2
Megaman X
PSN ID:mikeyed101
Steam ID:mikeyed101


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