Video Games As Art: The Great Debate

Submitted by: cobrakiller 5 years ago Games

The NEA has decided to give grants to independent game developers in the name of art. What do you guys think?
There are 65 comments:
Male 56
Fair and balanced my ass. F*ck you Fox news. Obviously trying to skew the issue by opening up with `should tax-payer dollars pay for call of duty?` while showing scenes of violence from the game.
0
Reply
Male 2,868
If video games are art, then A Link to the Past is a Masterpiece!
0
Reply
Female 247
$200,000 is NOTHING compared to what major commercial game developers spend on a single release. Besides that, any games that are getting funding are not going to be designed around a business strategy or trying to pull a profit, but rather independent developers that have a project that will more than likely be for educational or artistic value. The debate isn`t about whether games are art or not, they are.
0
Reply
Male 7,585
batmanners, you dont seem to get how this really works. the money would go to indie developers. developers are the artists. when it comes to the business aspect, that would be the publisher, the ones who put the money into the game being mass produced.

to use altaru`s reasoning, the developer would be michelangelo (the artist), while the publisher would be the person who commissions them to make the art.

it is only after the art is originally produced that the publisher takes the developers work and mass produces it. there are thousands of re-creations of masterful artworks (stary night, the screamer, david, mona lisa, etc.) all around the world. just because they become mass produced doesnt mean the original work isnt art.
0
Reply
Male 4,004
"So, what? Just because you make something people enjoy and enjoy some modicum of success and popularity for it, it can`t be art and you can`t be an artist? "

No, I`m saying that if you want to be artful, you don`t sell out to become successful. The Beatles made it rich and famous by believing in what they do and doing it well. Backstreet Boys were created in a marketing meeting.
0
Reply
Male 4,004
I don`t understand the hipster comment...

Artists can make art for a living as Michaelangelo did when he was comissionned to make a piece. What the video game companies are doing is not art, it`s business, completely different.

If Michaelangelo made 60,000 identical pieces of art to sell to the masses for pure profit, I`m sure your idea of what is and what isn`t art would suit my perspective. Yes he`s selling 60,000 pieces of art, but what is the point of giving someone money so he can make money?

Indy game devs should be the only ones who can receive the grant, as many of them make an effort to make a good artful game. The rest of them are in it for money, especially true for Activision who simply copy+paste their receipe for money into video games.

The CEO of Activision businessman, not a gamer, and it shows in the way they have handled every major title in their inventory in the past 5 years. No major improvements, no risk, no love, no soul.
0
Reply
Male 3,482
[quote]If you`re making an artsy movie, you go to indy film festivals. You don`t go to Hollywood. If you make artsy music, you play very select gigs, you don`t move to Los Angeles to work with a famous agent who will make you rich. If you want to make ANYTHING ARTFUL, don`t sell-out, ever.[/quote]
So, what? Just because you make something people enjoy and enjoy some modicum of success and popularity for it, it can`t be art and you can`t be an artist?

Your definition basically means that the woman who paints with her vomit is an artist, because she`s "expressing herself" all over the canvas, while Michelangelo isn`t, since he was successful and made some of his works on commission.

Stop talking out of your ass.
0
Reply
Male 260
I have mixed feelings about this, as I`m sure many of you do. Games mix Art with economics since they`re so costly to produce, and often the pendulum will swing toward one side or another based on the intent of the developer. I find it analogous to architecture, in a sense. They both can contain great beauty, but both are made for a specific purpose. Every building is not art, but buildings CAN be art, and the exact moment it crosses the line is hard to discern.

As long as these subsidies are given to the right people, (struggling indie developers) I have no problem with it. Offsetting the massive costs of making a game can allow developers to focus less on sales and more on their intended message. Just keep the money out of the hands of EA and the like.

Honestly, the most beneficial element to all of this news exposure is the slow movement of games toward the "Art" title, not just in the eyes of critics, but in the eyes of the common man as well. Only the
0
Reply
Male 142
@Batmanners

That just makes you a hipster
0
Reply
Male 15,832
All taxpayer-funded subsidies for art should be abolished. Good art doesn`t need it; bad art doesn`t deserve it.
0
Reply
Male 4,004
My point stands that art should not be exploited for profit.

I do agree that some games are truly made as artful pieces. Like Limbo and Lucidity. To allow any video game company to receive a grant would allow all games to receive a grant, because who is to say what is artul in a game and what is not. Modern Warfare games aren`t pieces of art to me, they are realistic, but not artful as far as the medium of video gaming goes.

If truly artsy games get grants then so do every yearly sports games and that is bullpoo and I would rather see a starving artist than to see the sports industry profit from my favorite medium even more.

I hate sports and I don`t care who knows.
0
Reply
Male 35
The education industry has a plethora of competitors producing a range of software, all the big players have invested already, and there is a vibrant cottage industry too. Governments already pay a fortune for schools` ICT and thats only going to continue, so why waste money on this?
0
Reply
Male 4,004
Yes they are artful, no they are not art. Art is not to be sold in large quantities. Art is self-expression. If you`re making an artsy movie, you go to indy film festivals. You don`t go to Hollywood. If you make artsy music, you play very select gigs, you don`t move to Los Angeles to work with a famous agent who will make you rich. If you want to make ANYTHING ARTFUL, don`t sell-out, ever.

Video games are:
1. An industry
2. Entertainement

Yes they may have the artful values within them, characters with blahblahblah and a desolate battlefield on a distant planet with music blahbnlahblah... It`s produced en masse for the sole purpose of making somebody rich, the only reason it looks, sounds and feels good is because it helps sales.

I don`t care if Bioware (Mass Effect, Dragon Age) makes a nice game because they care for the art, I don`t care if Valve (Half-Life, Team Fortress, Portal) is the nicest blahblahblah... My point stands that art shoul
0
Reply
Male 7,585
oh, and i just realized that this video doesnt really get the message across very well. the NEA is planning on funding independent developers making educational games. The money may also be used in programs to teach people the trade. Its not just going to companies to make games, but to make games for the specific cause of teaching.
0
Reply
Male 7,585
altaru, im sorry about your issue with the "drag to share" thing. I noticed when i checked, but it is always above the window and out of my way. Im not sure on how to fix that problem.

ledzeppeloyd, i think you may be reading a little too much into that. besides, modern warfare wont be seeing a dime of that money.
0
Reply
Male 2,384
the government wants to support it because its pretty much propaganda. the day i got modern warfare two, an army recruiter sent me an e-mail. coincidence? no drating way.
0
Reply
Male 3,482
[quote]so, in conclusion: although video games are an artform, i dont believe all video games are art. Just like drawing/painting is an artform, but every scribble is not necessarily a piece worthy of an exhibit.

does this get my point across better?[/quote]
Yeah, I see your point there.

Which is why (coming in a very roundabout way back to the original topic at hand) I don`t like the idea of government funding for art PERIOD.
0
Reply
Male 3,482
[quote]I do see what you are saying with GTA though, but good luck finding somebody outside of the gaming community to agree with GTA being art.[/quote]
Yeah, you have a point there. Everyone outside the gaming community sees it as "THAT HORRIBLE MURDER SIMULATOR!"

[quote]as for the toolbar, have you tried to hide it?[/quote]
Yeah, I hid the main bar at the bottom, but still over-top of the actual video, this little black bar that says "drag to share" comes right across the pause/play button and time bar. It makes it a pain in the ass to replay something I missed or pause so I can do something else.
0
Reply
Male 7,585
I just realized I should probably elaborate more on what I said about art being an "opinion". what is an artform is not an opinion; music, theatre, painting, sculpting, performance, film, video games, etc. These are all art forms. But within each artform are pieces that people will have their opinion on whether or not that piece in particular is truly art.
I for one am not a fan of most "modern art" and think that most of it is just a mess that people decide to call art, and honestly I believe most of the "artists" know it. but, each of these pieces that I dont necessarily consider art are within the realm of these listed artforms.

so, in conclusion: although video games are an artform, i dont believe all video games are art. Just like drawing/painting is an artform, but every scribble is not necessarily a piece worthy of an exhibit.

does this get my point across better?
0
Reply
Male 7,585
altaru, thats why i said it is all opinion. I personally found the halo story pretty weak and lacking, but many people love it. I never went outside the game for any of the story though, which is probably why it never really grew on me. I do see what you are saying with GTA though, but good luck finding somebody outside of the gaming community to agree with GTA being art.

as for the toolbar, have you tried to hide it? all the way on the right of the bar, you can hit the double arrow down to hide it. It never bothered me after i did this.
0
Reply
Male 3,482
GTA is (and this might be a little confusing) like a painting, in a way.

It`s a massive canvas city just set out for you to explore and observe. Sure, you can coat the walls and streets with blood, but part of paintings is how you interpret what`s going on and what your own imagination does with it. Like looking at the Mona Lisa and wondering why she`s smiling (you know, aside from "because you`re supposed to smile when you`re modeling, unless the artist says otherwise").

The only difference is, in GTA, you get to take what you`re imagining, and put it directly on the canvas.

It`s also a parody of movies and pop culture these days, so I guess I could mention that too.

As for Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter... Well, I guess you could say I see fighting games as more of a lazy man`s sport than art, kind of like racing games. So I guess you`re right on with those two.
0
Reply
Male 3,482
[quote]Ico: art [gripping story and a beautiful game]
CoD: not art
Okami: art [again, a beautiful game]
GTA: not art
Braid: art [Incredible game, story, and visuals]
Mortal Kombat: not art
Legend of Zelda series: art [beautiful stories]
Street Fighter: not art
Shadow of the Collosus: art [incredible game]
Halo: not art[/quote]

Unfortunately, Cobra, I`m going to have to disagree with your "not" judgements.

CoD and Halo are like movies you interact with. CoD shows war through the eyes of the soldiers, like Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan.

Halo has an epic narrative and story to unfold as you`re playing. Have you actually checked out the whole canon story-line? Not to mention, the music and visuals are gorgeous.

Of course, like with movies, there are people who watch/play for the "pretty graphics and shooting things," but that doesn`t mean it`s not art.

(cont.)
0
Reply
Male 35
14.3 trillion in debt and the government wants to give grants to people who make games like The Impossible Game? No thanks.
0
Reply
Male 3,482
Honestly, while I do believe that video games are art, I don`t think any art should be funded by the government.

Seriously, if you`re an "artist" and people aren`t purchasing your work, you suck as an artist, no matter how much you want to blame the audience (which is just a sign of being a terrible artist, by the way).

If you`re a good artist, then someone will appreciate your skills and you will receive your funding the good old fashioned way: someone will pay you to use them.

If not, well... I don`t see why we should all be forced to support you.

BTW: F*CK IAB AND THIS F*CKING TOOLBAR. Jeez, I can`t even hit the pause/play button without the f*cking "Drag to share" things popping up.
0
Reply
Male 226
"Hey, I was a music major in college..."
Yeah, that`s all i needed to hear for him to lose all credibility.
0
Reply
Male 694
Why is federal money being given to any form of art? Art doesn`t need money. You know what needs money? drating anything besides this. Buuuuuuuuut there`s no chance in hell this was ever a possibility, so screw it, let the bald guy rant if he has to.
0
Reply
Female 728
Video games can be art, but the NEA is a terrible idea and should be abolished. It encourages inferior art because anyone can get access to the funds, when only those who can make high quality art or art that is in-demand should be successful as artists. The same goes for video games, which is why the market should be the deciding factor in the success of a video game, not the government.
0
Reply
Male 7,378
Wow. Any guy who can compare a form of art with ping pong has no credibility. The expert has no idea wtf he`s talking about. Way to go Fox.
0
Reply
Male 1,418
besides, if film and television can be considered art, so can video games.
0
Reply
Male 1,418
Remember, Fox News twists EVERYTHING. This is not to provide funds to ALL game (Call of Duty won`t be getting any) but games that are truly artistic.
0
Reply
Male 1,399
No. Not their money to give.
0
Reply
Male 7,585
malakamike, GTA is art like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is an art. Art is really a matter of opinion, so we can argue this all day.

cajun, see the argument above. It`s really all a matter of opinion. I don`t believe the storytelling within the halo games puts it in "art" territory. this is my opinion, and this is from somebody who has put quite a few hours into each of those games.
0
Reply
Male 25,416
wtf? whys should they get money, thats just a silly arguement
0
Reply
Male 3,427
I would agree that certain video games are art. And I would agree to my taxes going to video games that are art. But there would have to be a criteria.
Live soundtrack, eg live recording of real musician with acoustic instruments
Independent developers, eg not Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Capcom unless...
The games are free, which is possible as downloads now.
Certain genres. FPSs are more about gameplay rather than gameplay, whereas RPGs are more about storytelling.
Have some educational value. The perfect example to this is the Assassin`s Creed series. Though most of it is fictional, it`s set in real place during real events.
0
Reply
Male 2,422
Brought to you by the same idiots that confused Mass Effect with pornography. Seriously, the old people on fox shouldn`t even be allowed to talk about video games especially if they`ve never even played a video game.
0
Reply
Male 1,081
Oh, Fox News. XD

>Comparing a sport with a video game to justify it isn`t art.

WTF. You need more artists than programmers to make most modern games.

Seriously, some of my favorite games are brilliant masterpieces of art.

Also, the kind of games that the dude is talking about to receive federal money is never explicitly described. If you`re disagreeing with him, then you don`t fully know what you`re disagreeing with.
0
Reply
Male 10,845
[quote]Halo: not art[/quote]

Why not? It`s epicness was on par with Star Wars for crying out loud.
0
Reply
Male 541
@Malakamike

Shhhh...

You`re making us Americans look very, very stupid.
0
Reply
Male 758
Oh, wait- FEDERAL money? Now that I`ve watched the video, NO! Video games should NEVER, EVER receive federal money! I love games, and think they`re a great distraction, and they are certainly an art, but never should they ever receive federal monies. When that happens, the government will take over the game industry and stifle creativity.
0
Reply
Male 52
Svampebob, as an indie developer myself I can tell you it takes a lot of work to make a game. And maybe if you could actually spell gaming (not gameing) you could understand what it means to do something in life. And just maybe you got off your fat ass and stop using and playing American products then you could get the hardcore dick out you mouth to achieve something in life, and cobrakiller gta is art. All games are art, it takes years and 100s of hours to make a single game, a pong game I made uses over 2500 lines of code in directX, and what`s that saying "it`s not art if it doesn`t offend anyone." and this goes for everyone who is in a different country besides America and hates on us, just remember your president could of been hitler, your welcome for saving you and just remember that America leads in technology,science, and military so everything you use like your computer and the Internet was made by us "sitting on our lazy asses" go play WoW Svampebob becaus
0
Reply
Male 139
1.video game are art
2.no money should be wasted on this
3.the small amount of money being wasted on this is so small it`s almost not even worth bringing up. we need to come up with hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts and extra revenue, not a few million.
0
Reply
Male 758
It`s not how it looks, it`s how the game and game play match the story being told.
And art is open to interpretation, so those smooth-brains that are trying to label this as art or that as art, don`t know art.
0
Reply
Male 7,585
Svampebob, you probably only play the kind of games that they say will not be supported by this if you think that games cannot be considered art. If money can go to teaching music, theater, and filmaking; than it should also go to other art forms such as video games. If they were not art, than the smithsonian should not have its "The Art of Video Games". just to be clear, here are a list of games that are or aren`t art.

Ico: art [gripping story and a beautiful game]
CoD: not art
Okami: art [again, a beautiful game]
GTA: not art
Braid: art [Incredible game, story, and visuals]
Mortal Kombat: not art
Legend of Zelda series: art [beautiful stories]
Street Fighter: not art
Shadow of the Collosus: art [incredible game]
Halo: not art

If you disagree with any of these, play them and then plead your case. If "black swan" can be art than so can "legend of zelda: ocarina of time", that is all i am say
0
Reply
Male 559
"The NEA however was talking strictly about educational video games such as the above mentioned. Bringing up CoD: Black Ops brings the whole discussion out of context."

You hit the nail on the head. That is what we call "manufactured outrage." Funding programs like Oregon Trail has nothing to do with CoD. But sure enough, it is CoD playing in the background of the entire video.

A conversation about whether or not the arts should be funded would be a debate worth having, but the way the debate was structured wasn`t even misleading--it was inflammatory to the point of being simply factually inaccurate.
0
Reply
Male 177
Braid, Okami, and the Myst series. Anyone who does not think video games can be considered art should play these games and then let me know what you think.
0
Reply
Male 535
bla bla bla bla bla bla bla......
0
Reply
Male 3,076
hardcore gamer here, I love video games, but no games shouldn`t receive any government money. Gameing industry is a private industry, the dude in the suit knows what he is talking about.

you are really pathetic America, stop listening to lazy, greedy and uneducated people! get your lazy ass out of MacDonalds and vote for a REAL president and not corrupt politicians, they are driving your country to bankrupcy.
0
Reply
Male 875
you can tell the bald guy rehearsed his speech
0
Reply
Female 144
CoD is not an independent or educational game...
but it`s okay, I prefer to make my decisions based on fear with the influence of flamboyant propaganda anyhow.
0
Reply
Male 1,582
The condescending guy was pretty much saying "look at what a flamboyant, animated dick I am" .. the debate wasn`t how much wasteful spending is going on.. just whether of not video games deserve funding.. and I agree that small indie game-makers should. I`ll tell you this right now, I`ve played video games my whole life, and have maybe read 2 books.. and I have a far superior vocabulary and intellect compared to my peers who just read. And I know I`m not the only person like this.
0
Reply
Male 10,440
Wow. How utterly stupid is this.

But then it`s Fox News so it`s expected. Then again, usually I feel the need to call them out it.

Not this time. Ridiculing this video is just too easy.. it should be self evident. Someone else do it.
0
Reply
Male 483
I believe taxes should be arranged differently. When you`re 18 you should be given a pretty long mandatory checklist as "insurance". Do you ever plan on buying a video game? Yes. Then taxes are taken and you get a game at 50% off. If you pick no, you pay the $60 every time. Do you ever plan on having children and sending them to a piblic school? Yes. Taxes are taken, your kids go for free. Pick no, you pay a tuition. Pay $1,000 at any time, you can rearrange your checklist with the cost of a credit hit. How would this not be perfect? Instead of having communistic rules on taxes, everything is your choice.
0
Reply
Male 734
Videogames are art and they can be educational. Enough said!
0
Reply
Male 273
of course they should not get tax payer dollars, they make their money by selling the games. if these games are going to be free for every tax payer that would maybe be a different story, but i doubt it would play out that way.
0
Reply
Male 541
....the debate then is whether video games should receive funding as an art.

I think if you disagree with funding video games because it is not an urgent priority in our current economic condition, in order to keep your argument consistent and logical, you should also be against funding film, music and many other forms of entertainment arts.
0
Reply
Male 761
Educational games? Really? Whatever happened to books?
0
Reply
Male 541
If movies are allowed art status I think video games should be as well.

Just like movies, there are plenty of big mindless, blow-em-up`s which carry no real value in terms of content other than pure entertainment, but then, just like movies, there are tons of overlooked jems which show real creativity and innovation.

Video games have the potentiality to carry strong political and social commitments, educational value, and can be used as a form of self-expression on the developers part (as evidenced by the "Colour my..." series of online flash games), just like movies and even literature. On top of that, video games can be used to develop more physical skills as users actively participate in the experience, which in a way transcends the experience of film. There is no doubt that video games should be considered `art`....
0
Reply
Male 10,845
Before we all go spending MORE money, research must be done first. Video games can definitely grab and hold attention, the question is which ones can really educate.

Answer that question first and then we can make investments.
0
Reply
Male 10,845
Wait a minute...

Aren`t we already doing this?
I used to play games like the Oregon Trail when I went to school.

The NEA however was talking strictly about educational video games such as the above mentioned. Bringing up CoD: Black Ops brings the whole discussion out of context.
0
Reply
Male 5
I don`t see why they shouldn`t. Games nowadays are very cinematic and have an indepth plot like films and a progressive story line, not only that, a lot of the time they also have a massive musical score. It`s just another form of art in my opinion. Just take a look at the new Elder Scrolls game, it`s been in developement for years just as a new album or film would be.
0
Reply
Male 174
So great how they just continue to play distracting, loud clips of COD while the guy is talking and trying to explain that games like COD and GTA will NOT be receiving funding.
0
Reply
Male 10,845
[quote]Should [Call Of Duty] be given federal money[/quote]

NO!

Seriously it was private investments that made that game great.
0
Reply
Male 1,311
I would gladly pay the 40 extra cents for video games, seeing my taxes are already wasted on stupid programs and other crap I don`t want to pay for or don`t agree with.
0
Reply
Male 15,510
W...T....F!
0
Reply
Male 7,585
Link: Video Games As Art: The Great Debate [Rate Link] - The NEA has decided to give grants to independent game developers in the name of art. What do you guys think?
0
Reply