Thursday, May 12, 2011

art games

As a follow-up to an earlier post, here's a link to an article concerning a recent development addressing, in part, that nagging question, "what is art?".  According to the author (who describes it as "pretty damn cool"), it seems that videogames are now art: "The US National Endowment for the Arts now considers videogames eligible for artistic funding, legally recognizing them as an art form."  Is this a good thing GC::VA friends?  What do you think? 


hannah said...


Raine said...

I believe that videos games are just as valid as forms of art as any work of art. In fact the production value for creating a video game from, the design of the levels/worlds, characters, etc can involve a lot of time skill and artistic mastery as any painting or drawing. In fact, in some instances, the key artistic designer works much of this out on paper or digitally in the same manner as any artist prepping a canvas or designing a digital layout.

I could easily point out, for instance, Yoshitaka Amano. He is a well-known and well respected fine artist who has produced paintings prints and drawings for various settings including the gallery, illustration for literature, film and video games. Another designer Shigeru Miyamoto created the iconic figure of Mario who has appeared not only in popular media/video games, but is emulated by various artists. In the industry his ideas and stories have become the iconic standards of what video games should become. Many are unique and jaw-dropping in there time, enough so to make many want to emulate him. (he graduated from art school, was a cartoonist as well as a game designer/producer) Key designs include Mario, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pikmin, mentor to the creator of pokemon, etc.

I could list many more artists that come from the video game industry. There works still influence how I design and create daily.

Look up the game Okami for instance. It is basically an combination of art history, history, and myth. Based in feudal Japan, the character plays as the Sun goddess Amaterasu coming to earth to restore her land of Kyoto. Visually the game is designed based on iconic Japanese masters like Hiroshige and Hokusai, and you even have the option to draw on the screen with the magic celestial brush. This is just one example of how a game becomes more of an art form than an actual game.

I can go on for days about the similarities of video games and art. How they have similar production styles even if they are in different forms. I can also comment on how video games also have the same ability to inspire emotions as a work of Pollock or an Impressionist painting. The goal of video games is escapism. How is that different from walking through a gallery? The artist creates a typically 2-d world for the viewer to admire while the game designer creates one that the viewer interacts with. How is that much different than performance art?