Video games the emerging art

Early history of video games Defining the video game The term video game has evolved over the decades from a purely technical definition to a general concept defining a new class of interactive entertainment.

Video games the emerging art

Share via Email Who is to say that a Super Mario jump is or isn't art? In Augustwhen the editors of the popular American magazine Appleton's Journal first encountered Impressionism, their response was one of bafflement and affront. They were not art, they were incomplete.

We can then fast forward, if we must, to Duchamp's great practical joke, Fountain, to Warhol, to the Young British Artists, all pilloried, all questioned, all placed against battered and subjective dogma.

Now we can add video games. Somehow, this issue is still being analysed and debated — mostly by those outside of the industry, who have little clue about games. In the film critic Roger Ebert made himself a few thousand internet enemies by declaring that games can never be art.

And last week, the Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones reacted with disdain to Moma's exhibition of 14 classic video games. In a piece entitled "Sorry Moma but games Video games the emerging art not art" he claimed that games could never qualify as artistic expression because their very interactivity meant that the creator was unable to claim an authorial vision.

It is a comment that returns us to that first Impressionist exhibition, where the critic Louis Leroy cruelly lampooned the works on display as uncultured blobs of paint on dirty canvases.

Those critics also asserted that a ready made was not a valid act of personal imagination, that it was 'just' an object that the artist didn't even own".

For Adams, the flaw in Jones' argument is that the insistence on a lone creative voice immediately strikes out all collective practice and every collaboration. Most games are, in any case, strongly driven by the vision of a single designer.

Games connoisseurs would know a Miyamoto from a Wright in a heartbeat". Jones' piece also overlooks the artists already using video games, both as a primary source of inspiration, and an artistic medium.

Jones is a little behind on all of this. The central question of whether interactivity cedes too much responsibility to the spectator has been tackled by artists and musicians for over years. Eco extrapolated from those works to develop a literary theory whereby texts are not static, in part because of their 'intertextuality', but most importantly, because of the interpretive role of the reader".

You could also point to the telematic art of Roy Ascott, who set up the radical and influential Groundcourse in art teaching in the sixties and who has explored the concepts of telepresence and cyberspace in art.

When I interviewed him for Frieze magazine three years ago, he was fascinated by the artistic possibilities of games. It is possible to argue, of course, that all art is interactive; it is there in the very act of interpretation.

The artist is never the soul arbiter of meaning, and artists, like game designers, build structures through which they communicate rather than dictate. Those rules are created by someone - a game designer - and circumscribe a space of possibility and meaning for the player to explore.

Sometimes the rules are strict and rigidly constraining, sometimes they're loose and require interpretation - no more or less than a score by Mozart, or a set of conceptual instructions from John Cage, Yoko Ono or Sol Le Witt".

Moma has clearly chosen its initial batch of subjects on principles of design rather than meaning; I hope it will expand its parameters.

These are important things. Can they move you? Can they express complex ideas? It may not be PacMan that does it for me. It isn't Katamari Damacy or Bioshock or any of the other regular candidates.

But, as one small example, Survivor is a short mod that puts you into the World Trade Center after the first plane has hit and it's an experience I will never forget.

It prompted death threats and was withdrawn. It is as valid a work of art as any piece of ceramics, any ready made, any abstract expressionist painting". It is a fool's errand, really, and when applied to video games, there can only be one true and valid response: The perfect arc of a Mario jump, the iridescent beauty of Rez, the pastoral longing of Flower, even the architectural brilliance of a Counter-Strike map; none of this is belittled if it fails to 'qualify' as art.

I don't think games need to aspire to being art, like art is an inherently more worthwhile form of cultural expression - people were playing games long before they were making art, so it's certainly not an older one.

A more interesting question is, why is it so important to some people that games are NOT art?

Video games the emerging art

Why do they feel so threatened by games being art? Certain critics will always attempt to barricade themselves against the flood of the new, to fence in what they understand and can safely ascribe meaning to — but new art always seeps through.

The next time someone tells you that something isn't art, that it can't possibly even qualify, know that what they're really telling you is that they are bewildered by change. That's okay, it's human, but it shouldn't be mistaken for criticism.And last week, the Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones reacted with disdain to Moma's exhibition of 14 classic video games.

In a piece entitled "Sorry Moma but games are not art" he claimed that. I believe that video games will prove to be one of the most important mediums of art that humanity has ever had at its disposal.

Technology has expanded the canvas upon which artists are able to. This article discusses several of the features that make video games a unique art form, features that will, the author believes, come to play a role in analyses of games in the emerging field of game studies.

Over the past decade, there has been a variety of museum exhibits of video games, ranging from technological development lessons to explorations of the influence of video games on digital art, as well as stand-alone exhibits of the emerging art form.

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer word video in video game traditionally referred to a raster display device, but as of the s, it implies any type of display device that can produce two- or three-dimensional images.

The history of video games goes as far back as the early s, when academic computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations as part of their research or just for fun. At M.I.T. in the s, professors and students played games such as 3D tic-tac-toe and Moon Landing.

Video games the emerging art

These games were played on computer such as the IBM , and moves were made by means of punch cards.

Video games as an art form - Wikipedia