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Ebert: Video Games Can Never Be Art
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neveragainlikesheep



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2536
Location: TKO from Tokyo
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Alright. So just write up a list of what is and isn't art for all of us non-artists and we'll just agree with you for your sake.

And your analogy makes zero sense. Sure an ignorant person might believe that an English translation of someone's work might be the original language it was written in, but someone who knows better won't. I'm not sure what that has to do with peoples' varying definitions of what constitutes art, but point taken I guess.

Yoko Ono drawing circles on small sheets of paper isn't particularly breathtaking art to me, but Yoko Ono building a staircase up to a low ceiling, putting a magnifying glass on a table at the top and writing the word "Yes." in extremely small print is.

Am I wrong? Or am I right? Which one is art? Which one isn't? In the end, Yoko Ono is going to believe that everything she creates is art, but I may not. Artistic free agency buddy.

Edited for "WTF English" (Teaching English in Japan will ruin your English)


Last edited by neveragainlikesheep on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:15 pm
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
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The mistake you're making is equating "art" with "something that's breathtaking to me." That's not what art means.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:30 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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You guys know this thread got solved about five pages back, right? Solved Art. Everybody packed up and went home. That's why the lights were off and nobody came to the door..
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:49 pm
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kese



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
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Anything can be Art that is deemed so.


I've been thinking recently that Art is the most efficient way of capturing and conveying Information proper.

Raoul is dead on with speaking about thermodynamics & entropy.
I'm definitely familiar with the experience of the "trainride".
Pretty soon instead of movies or video games you'll be able to download lucid dream experiences...
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:56 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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No, I mean...that's the thing. ANYTHING can be art. So it depends on whether you're using the broad sense of the word or the narrow sense of the word.

The way I can finish Super Mario Bros. in about 5 minutes and do it with STYLE is an art. Is Super Mario Bros. an art in itself? Not unless I'm playing it. That's what I say. haha
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:16 pm
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neveragainlikesheep



Joined: 22 May 2008
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kese: That's on some simstim shit. Can't wait for that day.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:37 pm
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: Queens, NYC
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Please forgive me if I'm rehashing the same lost arguments over again. I did my best to read this entire thread but I must confess I did not pore over every word. If I am being redundant, I apologize.

The point that Ebert made, which is apparently misunderstood or disregarded by some, is that video games are not art because you can win them. Art is, by his definition, something that cannot be won. You appreciate art and contemplate art, but it is separate from sports in that sports has rules which define points.

But I do agree that Ebert is off the mark here. He is judging video games by their vessels, video game distributors, he is confusing the messenger for the message in a sense. The palettes from which video games are created are as dependent on funding as burnt ochre and berries were dependent on fire and growth. And it could certainly be argued that the textures applied and emotions evoked from video games are far cheaper than oil based paints and celluloid film, if Ebert could just get over the fact that in one work you make the zombies' heads explode yourself rather than watching it being done for you.

It was this point Frank made, which I believe was meant to be kind of snarky, that really hits home regarding how I feel about it:

Sage Francis wrote:
jakethesnake wrote:
Sage Francis wrote:
icarus502 wrote:
If you're Roger Ebert, you are someone who knows a thing or two about ART. If he can't talk about video games then what does that say about video games?



Because he'd have to actually play an entire video game to be able to talk about it. Which he, admittedly, would never do.

Just like someone would have to watch an entire movie to comment about it. This would be like, if Ebert was a video game reviewer, saying that a movie could never be art, but admittedly never watched a movie in his entire life.


So, wait, what's the art part again? Playing the video game is the actual art? You have to finish the video game in order for it to be art?


This is exactly correct. The interactivity within the medium is the movement. Many video games today have linear (and many reasonably well-written) storylines that the player will either complete or they will give up the game entirely. There is no loss of continues. There are no 1UPs. You play and you keep playing until you complete the story. How the story gets completed is up to you, but it will be completed provided you keep picking the controller up and having at it. That's what Ebert may not realize in his view of video games, possibly inspired by a crushing forty-second defeat at Space Invaders at a Chicago deep dish pizza parlor in 1981. Video games are increasingly not about points or even getting the "good" ending, but about following a rich and intricate storyline in a variety of ways that becomes as or more enveloping, edifying, and artistically relevant as any book, song, etc.

I think that a time when video games themselves can be accepted as art without question hasn't come yet. But I disagree with Ebert that the time will not come in any current gamers' lifetimes. The very movement that video games herald, the interactive movement, has gone through so many permutations itself in its short existence that it is almost its own separate aesthetic subject. Now mom hops up on the Wii balance board and she's biking around some fake town with a Fisher Price pup nipping at her bike chain. Right now, the best example of video games as art would be Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Wii. It's not even that great of a video game, but as far as taking you through a fully interactive experience and rich story without "winning" anything, it's a good example.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:41 pm
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breakfast



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 2895
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kese wrote:
Anything can be Art that is deemed so.


I've been thinking recently that Art is the most efficient way of capturing and conveying Information proper.
.


Nah man. It's a way of transforming and reducing information or exposing underlying aspects that aren't representative of the whole. Like subjecting social issues to a principle component analysis and then rotating the axes and then picking what you want. But it ain't going to hold the information that information does.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:43 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Art is to information/perception/communication as brandy is to grape juice. That's how it is. I'm a GRE fortune cookie.

Last edited by Raoul DeGroot on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:50 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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ART:

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:55 pm
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kese



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
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breakfast wrote:
kese wrote:
Anything can be Art that is deemed so.


I've been thinking recently that Art is the most efficient way of capturing and conveying Information proper.
.


Nah man. It's a way of transforming and reducing information or exposing underlying aspects that aren't representative of the whole. Like subjecting social issues to a principle component analysis and then rotating the axes and then picking what you want. But it ain't going to hold the information that information does.


I believe you're talking mainly about the 'capturing' that the artist does when making the work. Who, through juxtaposition, selected content, and stylistic elements aims to convey certain Information from his viewpoint.

Of course the information they're conveying will not be as efficient as pure
physical Information, but the closer the work is to being a crystalline form of that information the better it should be.

I'm also not thinking of Information Proper proper... though that may be an aim. But tried to distinguish information on a certain level, such as 'visual', from Information on various levels such as an experience(s) containing multiple sensual, psychological, contextual, etc., elements.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:01 pm
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Charlie Foxtrot



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
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How about, instead, nothing is art?

Because art is a word that can never have a definition. Not even that everyone couldn't agree on one definition, but that even a person couldn't have their own definition. Is a movie like Speed, vapid but extremely entertaining, art? It's certainly no more purposeful than Grand Theft Auto III. What if you have a movie that's commercialized and entertaining but also has a few ideas and emotions in it, like The Dark Knight? No one could really write down a definition of art that would be complete, because there would always be a movie that doesn't fit the mold.

Arguing about whether or not something is art misses the point: whether or not you enjoy the experience. It doesn't matter so much whether or not Damien Hurst cutting up sharks is art, it only matters whether or not you enjoyed viewing the tanks.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:53 pm
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Bandini
WIZARD APPRENTICE


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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You don't win video games. You finish them.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:09 pm
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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You don't win or finish video games. You beat them.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:19 pm
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Disharmony



Joined: 01 Jun 2003
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I do all three.
Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:21 pm
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