Request of the week via twitter: @Astrates sent: @dawnsrose Games as art?
What is art? (From Wikipedia): Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, whereas disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations.
So, by that definition I think games can truly be art, and even more so in this day and age where players seem to be craving more and more of an escape from the real world. A game will include almost every part of the modes of expression.
Music: I have not played a game, since the text based ones, that did not have music in it. Some of this music is very simple; Pac Man, for example. And, some contain orchestral pieces, such as those found in Rift, WoW, LotRO, and SW. Music helps what players call immersion. It brings a world alive, makes it feel richer, and can influence a player to disappear into the wild wonders of the game.
Literature: Reading is starting to be a less important as we move to more cut scenes and cinematics. Even if the player is not reading as much, they are still participating in a story, and story is the main part of literature. By this I am referring to works that are not text books, dictionaries and encyclopedias. As humans, we take in what we read and write in a different way then just gazing at a photo or painting. We tend to remember things we read longer, although not always in the context of how we read it. The human brain is complex and very much keyed on reading and writing to ingrain a thought or memory. With that in mind, games from table top to video have relied heavily on reading. As we move into RPGs this concept of story becomes even more important, and integral to the game.
Film: Film can instigate a game, or a game can instigate a film. I have seen it go both ways. Film or cinematic can be used in a game to create more tension, enjoyment, enrichment of story, and so on. Much of the cut scenes and cinematics you see in a game now are there to help move the story forward, to give the story depth, and in a few games, it allows players to determine the direction of the story for them.
Photography: “A picture is worth a thousand words” This quote is attributed to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who said “Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu’un long discourse” or “A good sketch is better then a long speech”.  Pictures bring emotions to the surface. When we look at a picture, it stirs thoughts and feelings that may be captured in the picture, or of things we associate with that scene.
Sculpture: This also stirs the emotions and thoughts when viewed. We could be viewing the actual sculpture or a picture of it. For example, the Statue of Liberty can bring the viewer’s emotions to the surface as well as connect the viewer to the past, or history of, the USA.
Painting: I feel that paintings are part photo and part sculpture. A painting created by one of the classical painters may capture the feeling and sense of war even better then a picture of it. This can be due to the composition of color and shapes.
Games encompass all forms of art. They tease our senses, draw out our emotions, and challenge our intellect. This is what art is. I feel that anything that can bring senses, emotions and intellect together, and create an enjoyment, factor can be considered art.
Even the Smithsonian American Art Museum thinks it is art!
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