Saturday, 19 April 2014

Games as an art form - Personal Enquiry Task 1

Games have been around for years and years and are one of the earliest forms of design, communication and expression. Games have always had to be designed with artistic judgement, whether a computer game or not.

Games are beginning to become even more artistic as time has gone on thanks to recent indie games which let a person explore content and ideas that mainstream doesn't in a beautiful way. They push the boundaries of what is seen as the norm for a game, and also what is expected visually from a game, and so we now have games whereby the art style is a core element of helping the narrative and idea behind the game. For example Minecraft, which is pixelated and blocky so that customisation is encouraged.

Art as a whole is just what someone has created with a visual element to it. I don't ever argue that some of this pretty crazy modern art isn't 'art' because the person that created it says it is so that's what it is. It's like when you have a baby, you name it bob and then your aunt tells you she doesn't really think it's a bob, but that doesn't mean she goes round calling him anything else. A person has the right to label what they have created as anything they want really because it's theirs, and I don't understand why people feel the need to argue with that. And also, if one more person says "that's rubbish, I could even do that" to one more bit of modern art I'm going to shout "WELL YOU DIDN'T" as many times as is needed for them to understand.

I don't know how similar a game is technically to a piece of artwork by a painter for example, however I'm sure links can be made. A game thinks about colours and composition, just like a painting would. They also pick images or environments to tell a story or give a mood, thinking about the lighting and atmosphere when doing so, which is what a traditional painter would do also. Games even take their audiences in mind and how the work is going to affect them, which a painter would think about also, creating the art with the people in mind who are going to view it.  So really, games and artwork are more similar than people seem to think they are, with traditional art simply being a building block in the overall construction of a game.

It frustrates me also that lots of people now openly consider film and other forms of media as being an art form, and not games. I don't understand what it is about a game that people can't see is artistic, apart from maybe the typical "KILL ALL THE THINGS" storylines that get churned out. But this is similar to films, which have their usual stories which everyone thinks are so cliche and boring, and yet as a whole they are considered an art form. Games nowadays are very similar to film in the sense that the stories are extremely cinematic and moving in comparison to what they used to be, almost being like an interactive film that you control the lead role for. Perhaps it's just because games are a newer form of art, having not been around for as long as films have, and this could mean potentially people are just warming up to the fact that games are in fact a form of art.

Bilbiography -

PBS (2011) Video Games/Off Book/PBS [Online Video]. Available from:

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