More Reviews
REVIEWS Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfa Review
[PlayStation release update] Electronic Arts and the development team at EA Canada hope to catch as many PlayStation gamers as they did when Garden Warfare first launched exclusively on Xbox One.

CounterSpy Review
Your operative is tasked with infiltrating both sides of nuclear war. Can CounterSpy finish the mission in time for your PSN credit?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: Out Now

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: Out Now

Madden NFL 15
Release date: 08/26/14

Destiny
Release date: 09/09/14


LATEST FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Nom Nom Galaxy

The Best Upcoming Racing Games of 2014
You've probably only heard of Sony's exclusive Driveclub and Microsoft's exclusive Forza Horizon 2, but don't forget about a few others.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Robin Williams (1951-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 08/14/14
Robin Williams (1951-2014) Robin Williams was an absolutely exceptional comedian, talented actor, and holder of a special place in video game history: He was the first really famous gamer I know of. I’m sure there were others, but they kept a comparatively low profile, unlike one...

MEMBER BLOG

flakking flakking's Blog
PROFILE
Average Blog Rating:
[ Back to All Posts ]
Video Games as Art: It's all too commercial
Posted on Friday, July 9 2010 @ 00:51:20 Eastern

Hey my first blog post (well, first blog post about video games anyways...)

There's been this consistent debate about video games as art, and do they qualify yet. People such as Roger Ebert still adamantly claim no, while many in the gaming community are steadfast against this view. But it comes down to one problem: it's still too commercial.

Before I get into the why, let's consider what qualifies as art: just about anything. But all works of art have a few consistent, undeniable traits: The work has to say something; the viewer should be, on some level, interacting with the work in a meaningful way; and it has to be personal. Even work meant to reach a large audience still are generally based off of something personal. Video games just don't really attempt that.

This isn't about all the tech talk, or how so many people focus on how great and next gen the graphics are or any of that. It's that I just finished playing Castlevania: SOTN for the first time (I know, a decade or so late), and it was a fantastic game. But there was no personal message in the game, I didn't walk away from it contemplating an important issue in my life or the world. I just walked away from it.

I understand everyone's reaction will be different, but there has to be something personal in a game to begin with to elicit that a real reaction. It's just generally not there in video games.

There's a number of reasons for this, and the fantasy settings of most games don't help much (I guess a developer could have had a really bad childhood experience with a zombie, which would explain "Dead Rising"). But most of it boils down to what sells, and that's escapist settings. Some games do try to transcend the usual contrived stories. "Final Fantasy VII" addressed many complex themes, but this is rare. And despite the success of that installment in the series, the next titles still really never went there again.

And of course, there's the development of "moral choices" in games. But it's too simplistic, and often plays very little into the ultimate goals and actions of the characters. And it just seems that, when your moral choice is "wipeout that whole town for the hell of it" or "go fishing," I think we can agree that isn't exactly a realistic choice...

So are video games going to become art? Of course, it's already happening. Slowly, but there is progress. Remember, cinema and photography (two newer mediums) weren't widely considered art for decades after their invention, and probably 90% of movies made are still just mindless entertainment.

But the less artistic games and movies will always be the majority stake, it is entertainment. But the point is to see progress, and we have slowly seen that in video games. Games that start with a unified concept of what it is trying to say to people, rather than starting with gameplay mechanics or graphics.

For a blog, I guess this is long? It's like half a page printed singel spaced, so a short newspaper article/pathetically short magazine blurb. Meh, if I'm lucky maybe I'll get some TLDNR's. That'd be cool. I'm tired of editing for now...
comments powered by Disqus

 
More On GameRevolution