The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
Hatta
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Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by Hatta Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:00 pm

See here.

If Roger Ebert knew what was good for him, he'd realize that at the dawn of a new medium the new art would not look exactly like old art. If he could open his mind a little, he'd realize that just because he doesn't get it doesn't mean that no one does. Here's the core of his argument:

One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome. Santiago might cite a immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film. Those are things you cannot win; you can only experience them.


Since no art has ever been interactive before, then no art can ever be interactive. How someone as clearly intelligent as Roger Ebert can not see the fallacy in that is beyond me. If he were a literary critic at the dawn of film or radio he'd say the same thing, and be just as wrong.
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Dylan
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by Dylan Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:16 pm

One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome. Santiago might cite a immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film. Those are things you cannot win; you can only experience them.

Art is definitely not an objective thing, and trying to define or restrict it is entirely useless. This statement also disregards the fact that it just called a few video games a form of art and then disregarded them as video games, which they clearly are.
Hatta wrote:Since no art has ever been interactive before, then no art can ever be interactive.

That's a very good point. Art is not the sort of thing that you can just make up vague rules for. It's like trying to plant a flag on the ocean.
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Mr.White555
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by Mr.White555 Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:20 pm

It's funny how people are getting their panties in a bunch over this. This is goddamn film critic. Not a video game critic. Why the hell should it matter?

Besides art is so full of bull shit I wouldn't want video games to be classified as an art medium. Pretentiousness art advocates/critics + fan boys = Something incomprehensible. It makes my skin crawl thinking about the possibility of main streamed(irony!) video game snobs. There is so much that could be written about video games being art debate it makes my head hurt.

Edit: I'm going to cop out and just say that video games may have the potential to be art but as of yet the medium has not matured enough.
Last edited by Mr.White555 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by Octopod Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:30 pm

I didn't bother to read the link but if it is what I think it is about then I agree with him. Video games are not art. *shrug*

I guess they contain art. I do not know how video game graphics are made but I supose that that is art.


Edit: I hate that whole article after skimming it. Those early cave painting are some of the greatest art ever made imo. I absolutely love them. It seems though that he thinks novelist are artist and I would disagree. Writing is a craft, not an art. *shrug*
Last edited by Octopod on Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Veno
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by Veno Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:40 pm

I actually consider some video games to be art. I'm not saying video games in general are art, but some games are just so beautiful they've got to be some kind of art form.

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus I consider art.
Bioshocks 1 and 2 I consider art.
I also consider Portal art.

These are just some examples, and some people may not agree with me, but there's just something special to me about these games that I consider them art.
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dsheinem
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by dsheinem Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:43 pm

Like pretty much everything Ebert writes, this article was a great read and he is particularly apt in picking apart the arguments that were presented to him as contained in a presentation on "why games are art" by game designer Kellee Santiago at USC.

And he's right on pretty much all his points, having only her arguments to go on and no first hand experience with the games he mentions. While the quote Hatta picked was a good one, I thought that his concluding paragraphs best explained why he's developed the view he has about this argument: the people who he's heard make the "games are art" case are not very good at doing it, and their motives are often suspect.

Why are gamers so intensely concerned, anyway, that games be defined as art? Bobby Fischer, Michael Jordan and Dick Butkus never said they thought their games were an art form. Nor did Shi Hua Chen, winner of the $500,000 World Series of Mah Jong in 2009. Why aren't gamers content to play their games and simply enjoy themselves? They have my blessing, not that they care.

Do they require validation? In defending their gaming against parents, spouses, children, partners, co-workers or other critics, do they want to be able to look up from the screen and explain, "I'm studying a great form of art?" Then let them say it, if it makes them happy.

I allow Sangtiago the last word. Toward the end of her presentation, she shows a visual with six circles, which represent, I gather, the components now forming for her brave new world of video games as art. The circles are labeled: Development, Finance, Publishing, Marketing, Education, and Executive Management. I rest my case.


In any case, I know Hatta said he thinks Ebert is intelligent, and so I found the title of this thread a bit harsh. He's one of the more interesting and articulate popular writers about the intersection of media and culture, and I'd hope you all don't see this thread or article and write him off as an old dumb ass... If you were in his shoes and confronted with the same lame "games are art" arguments he's encountered, you'd probably come to these conclusions too.
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jeffro11
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by jeffro11 Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:47 pm

Anything that has art in it is art, plain and simple. Textures are art, 3d models are art. How is painting a texture so different from painting a picture? It's not. Same steps, same knowledge is required. Now combining both and seeing your creation move in ways that cannot be done in the physical world? Well that's what I call art...

Art can be anything anybody wishes, Picasso slapped paint at a canvas and somehow that is art. How is this any different? Poetry is art? Really? There may be thing I disagree with in the world of "art" but I digress... Also here are some good words..."One cannot open a mind which is already closed". Roger, your mind is closed. Time to move on.
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by Hatta Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:59 pm

I would ask Ebert why he is so intensely concerned that video games are not art? Does HE require validation? Is he so threatened by the thought of video games standing along side his favorite works? Does he not notice that "Development, Finance, Publishing, Marketing, Education, and Executive Management" are all that goes into a movie?

I titled the post the way I did because it's the only way I can explain his statements. He's too smart for this. The only thing I can chalk it up to is age, simply being out of touch. If he has encountered poor arguments for the artfulness (arthood?) of video games, it's because it's very hard to argue for something that should be self-evident. How do you convince someone that the sky is blue if they refuse to look up? Or if they look up and call it orange?
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MrPopo
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by MrPopo Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:01 pm

I do have to agree with Ebert's point as to "Why does it matter if it's art?"
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FiftyDollarCurse
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Re: Roger Ebert is an irrelvant fogey.

by FiftyDollarCurse Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:08 pm

I gather, the components now forming for her brave new world of video games as art. The circles are labeled: Development, Finance, Publishing, Marketing, Education, and Executive Management. I rest my case.


This is different from motion pictures in what way now?

Roger Ebert is a brilliant man. Video Games are not art. Video Games are better than art.
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