When will games grow up!!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Musenik, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Absolutely!

    Movies are crafts. Painting is art. Not sure what books are, I guess it depends on their content. Poetry probably classes as art whereas a crime thriller is just a story.

    You see this is where my eyes start to glaze over. I care not a jot what this guys background is. If his pictures are good he's an artist. If his pictures are shite, he's not.
     
  2. Mattias Gustavsson

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    I think it's all quite simple really:

    If it's got rules, and you can win, it's a game.

    If it hasn't got any rules, and you can't win it, it's not a game.

    Can a game also be art? Sure, if you want it to be - but that's a personal thing.

    Can something be interactive without being a game? Yes - if it has no rules and you can't win it. Can it be art? again, that's up to the individual.

    Something is not better because it is a game instead of some other form of interactive experience. But why do some of you react almost as if you were offended when someone points out that some interactive experience you like is not, in fact, a game? :confused:
     
  3. Leon

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    Okay, I think I have a clearer view of your definition of art then(As far as paintings are concerned). However, having said that, a question for you! :)

    Can't Jackson Pollack be a bad artist? Or is realism the only form of painting that should ever be considered art?

    Interesting. I think of "crafts", personally, as being a more manual skill, and while movie making has plenty of that in aspects(Costume/set design), there is also the writing, directing, vision, and acting aspects.

    Is directing an art form? Most directors have to have a vivid picture, in their head, of what they want. Plus, isn't the visual aspect of films just moving pictures?(Based off of story boards)

    What about music? What do you feel that falls under? I imagine art, since it's basically poetry set to music.

    I think this IS important(Well, not in the grand scheme of things, but in this discussion). It's about understanding something, and it's meaning. You, myself, and everyone else here, could reproduce James Castles' work.

    Notice the keyword: reproduce. But I doubt any of us would ever CREATE the paintings/visual art that he did because we DO NOT see the world the same as he does. We are not deaf uneducated isolated people who found a medium to deal with things and express himself. We see the world from a different angle, and if we were to paint, we'd create art based off of that view of the world.

    If you saw the art, you might assume it was made by a child - it isn't interesting then, you have no context. But if you know his history and back round - the story - it becomes vastly more interesting to see the world through the "eyes" of someone different in some ways. He can't talk to you, he can't explain his thoughts and opinions to you. But he can draw/paint you a picture of his thoughts and opinions to you.

    I think that's where we disagree on "art". I used to be in the same boat as you. I only really liked paintings, as far as art goes, that were well done(That I couldn't reproduce) and were aesthetically pleasing. I disliked Jackson Pollack.

    However, the definition of "art" that I go by currently is any medium that allows the creator to express their creativity/themselves/ideas through it. Not saying it's the best definition that everyone should follow, just that it's mine.

    So I consider writing, movie making, games, painting, etc to be potential art.

    And you can have BAD art, and you can have GOOD art. But in the end - it is still art.
     
  4. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    No. There shouldn't be such a thing as a bad artist, otherwise that makes every one of us a bad artist.

    "I am an artist. Here is my work: :)" (the smiley is my art). Ok, I'm crap, but I am now an artist.

    A bad artist would be someone trying to be da vinci and not quite making it. Still recogniseable paintings, just not awe inspiring.

    You're missing my point. If something is going to be judged, it should stand alone. "It's good for a blind man" is a fair statement, but art isn't about effort, it's about results. At least imo anyway.

    If you're impressed with looking at this guy's stuff, then great, I'm not gonna diss it. But if it's as bad as you say it is, then I don't want to look at it and certainly would never class is as art by my definition.

    And therein lies the rub. Everyone has their own take on what art is and really my favourite description of art has already been posted: "That which appears in an art gallery". :)
     
  5. vjvj

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    Well that's the thing, I don't think calling titles like The Graveyard or Passage "interactive art" takes anything away from them at all. It's not like it's an insult; it's just The More Accurate Term IMO :) And it's not so much about everyone needing to get it right all the time, but when you have people who are supposedly paving new frontiers in game innovation confusing this relatively fundamental concept, it can cause problems. It may sound obvious when put this way, but I think it's pretty hard to innovate games when you aren't even making them (and worse, don't realize it).

    And again, art-cinema doesn't really have this problem because art-cinema still contains all the necessary elements to make it a movie. I'm no movie expert, but if you were to take an artistic film and start removing bare-minimum elements like protagonists, antagonists, conflicts, etc., at some point you are no longer going to have art-cinema... You'll have some other form of art that isn't a movie. But of course, you'll never encounter this kind of confusion today because the film industry is a lot more well-understood.

    Encouraging players to set their own goals is an awesome phenomenon and is responsible for a lot of cool stuff, like speedruns and 0% runs. Still, I would not call Garry's Mod a game but rather a tool that can be used to make games. Which makes sense since it is the player, not the application, that is establishing the context. Much like RPG Maker, Pinball Construction Kit, etc. At that point, it's just a matter of identifying where the context comes from.

    I mean, just because I can pick up my cell phone and throw it into a basketball hoop doesn't mean Nokia is suddenly part of the basketball industry... :)
     
  6. Qitsune

    Qitsune New Member

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    That means table top rpg's aren't games, because despite having plenty of rules (bookloads!) and being able to lose (if all your party dies) you can't win... hopefully, you will play until you lose or people lose interest, it can take years.

    It also means playing house isn't a game, so the question is, what is it?
    Then who decides who is an artist? I can love James Jean, and you can hate him and think he's shit, so, is he an artist? I can hate his art and later come around and decide I love it, does it then become art?
     
  7. Mattias Gustavsson

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    I wouldn't say that an RPG campaign is a single game no. It's a series of game sessions linked together. But a single RPG adventure, you can often "win" (solving the puzzle), and if you can: it's a game

    or, as wikipedia puts it:
    Some RPG's are more experimental, focusing on the story with few or no rules - those are not games, but more like improvised plays.

    Just because you play something doesn't mean it's a game.

    A ball is a toy, and you can play many things with it, but it's not a game. Soccer, bowling, basketball - those are games, based on that toy.

    We can make great interactive toys, but without the basic elements of a game (Rules, Strategies, Payoff, Outcome) we really can't call them games. But they can still be just as fun - maybe even more fun.
     
  8. Leon

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    No, you'd be an ASCII artist. ;)

    Ah, but herein lies the problem with that. James Castle IS an artist to you then. :)

    But really, my main goal was just to get an idea of your definition of "art" and to maybe help define MY definition of "art", so that when you read threads like this maybe you'd understand more of what myself(and some others) are talking about when we hope games become more artistic in certain ways.
     
  9. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    What is and isn't art is pretty much left to one's own personal interpretation.

    As a prime example, the Academia in France, way back in the day(a couple hundred years ago) had extremely strict guidelines for art. Paris Salon was still the big deal of the day, and turned away many talented artists. When more art of high quality was available than display space, independent galleries opened up which were simply not as prestigious. Due to the lack of space and the abundance of high quality art, connections and political weight became an important factor - something that many artists deplored.

    In response, artists started to intentionally move away from realism and into impressionism, where there was far less detail and a lot more roughness. Many important impressionist pieces of art actually bear stamps of "Rejected" on the back of the originals. Despite poor critical reviews and complete disapproval by the traditional art community, the style caught on.

    My single biggest issue with the art argument is this: Does the artist actually possess enough skill to do something abstract or important, or are they just bullshitters?

    What so many "artists" forget is that every early movement was a rebellion from a more refined and rigid structure. Each of the impressionist artists was certainly talented enough to create realistically styled art, and many of the earlier pieces show this clearly. The thing is, they took the lessons learned from that and applied them to something rougher, more abstract, and so that art is thought to hold meaning universally because the underlying principals were understood.

    Slapping paint on a canvas isn't art. It is self expression, and if those two things were the same, we'd not have two different descriptions for them.

    Mind you, some abstract art that comes with a stream of completely and utterly pretentious unbelievable bullshit is actually an amalgam of art, the artist's cynicism, and performance art. How many rich people are dumb enough to buy it? Apparently, quite a few. Hats off to them.

    Same with this graveyard crap. It's not a game, but there are enough so called "critics" buying into it that I have to give it kudos based on that alone. Congratulations for being the game world's first pieces of public ridicule performance art, you naive criticizing suckers! Bravo!
     
  10. vjvj

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    That's why I think it's better to say 'context' rather than 'win/lose', because it's really easy to interpret the latter too literally. Win/lose is only one example of context.

    Table top RPGs have plenty of context, and the players have plenty of choices that affect context. So they are games.

    With your play house question, it sounds like you are asking at what point role-playing becomes a game. There are infinite possibilities, but no, dressing up like daddy/a wizard/a cyberpunk hacker and speaking appropriate dialogue is not a game by itself. But as soon as the role-playing affects something/anything, it does. See my earlier bowling analogy for one example.
     
  11. PlasticOstrich

    PlasticOstrich New Member

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    Isn't it splitting hairs? If the typical user feels it's a game, does it really matter how the creator/publisher/critic defines it?
     
  12. Mattias Gustavsson

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    Normally, it doesn't matter no.

    But if we are discussing games, art and interactive entertainment in a context such as this thread, we need to stick by some common meanings of the word. I think it is already clearly defined what a game is, so why do some people feel such a need to expand the definition to include more things?:confused:
     
  13. vjvj

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    Users don't have a responsibility to grok the craft of game design any more than they need to know how their car's differential works or how their home's electricity is wired up.

    We as developers, though, do have a responsibility to understand wtf we are talking about IMHO; especially those of us who are trying to innovate in gameplay. If you think this is all just a bunch of tedium that's your prerogative, but frankly I'd feel pretty bad mentoring a junior designer or giving a GDC talk on the topic of game design without having a clue (or even caring) what game design is to begin with.

    Also, I personally find this discussion interesting because it helps me focus on what I'm trying to do.
     
  14. Artinum

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    Happy to oblige! The pretention gets to me too after a while. Sex is really very, very silly when you think about it. Fun, but silly.

    That can be explained in one word - religion. Much of western society is based around Christian ideals, particularly the Puritan ones that America was founded on. So there's nothing wrong with stoning someone to death, aggressive proselytisation or mass infanticide, because God supports it fully, but sex is inherently sinful and nasty and shouldn't be performed by anyone, with anyone, ever.
     
  15. vjvj

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    Coming from a deeply Christian family, I have to say "bingo" to this. It's not so much a moral issue, as their intentions are obviously good. It's just the inevitable result of applying quick and untestable answers to everything; logic and perspective tend to fly out the window.

    I'd actually be fine with all of it if we weren't spending billions of dollars each year opposing our own constitution, but ah well... It's a bigger problem than any of us can solve. Maybe one day Jason Rohrer will do an art game about the subject :D
     

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