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amok: Games do not try to be art - games are art!
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Darling_Jimmy: By definition, yes. Anyone who disagrees needs a dictionary.
Indeed. Not all art is great art, but it's still art.
People who think that classifying something as "art" is somehow nobilitating simply need to rearrange their vocabulary.

Sure - figuring out how far the category of "art" extends can be tricky... but with games it's hardly problematic. What else could they be ?
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szablev: Therefore these games were chosen because of their design merits, because they were deemed high quality products of the era they were made in, and not because xyz game carries a certain "deep" or "artistic" message or any of that bullcrap that most people usually come up with when they want to elevate games to the level of "art". As the name suggest, these games will become a part of an exhibition that is mostly for people with an eye for design, and I think that is as far as games could - and should - go when art is concerned.
I'm quite sure you're 100% wrong about the bolded bit in your statement.

Art; noun; the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

Clearly design is a legitimate aspect by which a game could be considered artistic, but also by the very definition of art, games absolutely should be capable of being considered as art beyond their design. I think the design aspect is incredibly boring. For me personally, art carries more weight depending on how it provokes emotional states. I'm not a programmer, so I really couldn't give a crap less about how well it was designed. It doesn't interest me in the least.
Post edited February 19, 2013 by Qwertyman
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szablev: Therefore these games were chosen because of their design merits, because they were deemed high quality products of the era they were made in, and not because xyz game carries a certain "deep" or "artistic" message or any of that bullcrap that most people usually come up with when they want to elevate games to the level of "art". As the name suggest, these games will become a part of an exhibition that is mostly for people with an eye for design, and I think that is as far as games could - and should - go when art is concerned.
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Qwertyman: I'm quite sure you're 100% wrong about the bolded bit in your statement.

Art; noun; the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

For me personally, art carries more weight depending on how it provokes emotional states. I'm not a programmer, so I really couldn't give a crap less about how well it was designed. It doesn't interest me in the least.
Design does not mean the programming and coding part of the games, that's the technical, mechanical part; it refers to how the interface, art direction etc. function and look as a whole in the finished product, and I believe that when considering games as art this is the most sensible way of looking at them, and indeed that's what MOMA has done.

I think the part that you quoted from the dictionary and your statement which I have put in bold letters contradict each other. The definition clearly states that the most important factor when considering which works of art are more significant that others is how they measure up to certain aesthetic principles, how pleasing to the eye they are, how they come close to achieving a perfect, seamless balance while also possessing something unique, novel or unusual. There are no emotional states involved in this process in the classical sense of the word. If a piece of art is also capable of evoking a sense of awe, peacefulness, anger etc. in you, that is a good thing. However, that alone is not enough for something to be canonised as an exemplary piece of art, as emotions are rather subjective and can be influenced by a lot of different factors in a given person, and therefore a great many different works of varying quality are capable of evoking emotions depending on who is viewing them and it would be rather difficult to come to some sort of logical conclusion. You cannot be objective about personal, subjective emotions, experiences and feelings, unless you are a proponent of social engineering. And if a work of art evokes emotions in you that is your subjective experience, and as I said it is a good thing to be able to find something and connect with it, but that alone does not qualify for the work to be "exceptional" on a bigger scale.

If people want to canonise something they have to come up with a set of principles that can be measured in a more or less objective way, and aesthetic principles qualify for this. In this case I doubt that Pac-Man, The Sims, Katamari Damacy etc. were chosen to be showcased because of their power to evoke emotions. They were chosen because certain professionals in the field deemed them to be exceptional pieces of applied art, because they had exceptional design compared to other works in the same category in their era.

Do I agree with the choices? I might with some, might not with the others, but since I have obviously no say in the matter I actually don't really care. I only play the games; I am not involved with the industry in any way and therefore it does not really matter to me whether games are officially accepted as works of art or not, and that's why I don't understand why so many gamers would like video games to be accepted as art if they are not developers themselves. This is the point that I really wanted to make, but unfortunately I ended up opening another pointless "What is art?" discussion and I apologise for that.
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szablev: They were chosen because certain professionals in the field deemed them to be exceptional pieces of applied art, because they had exceptional design compared to other works in the same category in their era.
That's not very reassuring these days when "certain professionals in the field" accept the work of Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons.
that's why I don't understand why so many gamers would like video games to be accepted as art if they are not developers themselves.
I don't get it either, but it's pretty embarrassing that the MOMA will provide playable demos of these games. An arcade in the MOMA - Robert Hughes is rolling in his grave.
unfortunately I ended up opening another pointless "What is art?" discussion and I apologise for that.
What's sad is that the discussion has become pointless; it shouldn't be. We need it now more than ever in our postmodern world. I'm weary of the "Art can be anything" definition, even though we've been stuck with it ever since Duchamp submitted a urinal for an exhibition. What is good or bad art? That's where the discussion gets interesting.

That's not very reassuring these days when "certain professionals in the field" accept the work of Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons.
I did not want to reassure anyone about anything, it's more like a case of "deal with it". I myself do not agree with most of the choices, but at the end of the day I don't really care which games are or will be considered officially art. The "certain professionals", like it or not, were somehow managed to get into a position where they are able to make decision on such matters. Since I do not know the details of how this was achieved, I refrain from passing any sort of judgement or opinion on it. You can always argue that people who get to decide on important matters - although I certainly would not say that the current case is in any way a pressing matter - can either be corrupt or simply not competent enough in their respective fields. If people believe that decisions of such people have an impact on their lives in any way - like in politics - they are free to disagree and revolt against it, although whether that will have any effect in the long run (or at all) is debatable.

I don't get it either, but it's pretty embarrassing that the MOMA will provide playable demos of these games. An arcade in the MOMA - Robert Hughes is rolling in his grave.
Since games can possess design qualities that could fit them into the applied arts category, how else would you showcase them? Then again if you're opposed to the whole "games can be/are art" then this statement is understandable.

What's sad is that the discussion has become pointless; it shouldn't be. We need it now more than ever in our postmodern world. I'm weary of the "Art can be anything" definition, even though we've been stuck with it ever since Duchamp submitted a urinal for an exhibition. What is good or bad art? That's where the discussion gets interesting.
I don't see why the definition of "art" should bear any meaning of some sort of elevated status. I am perfectly fine with the definition of "creative work". However, you are right that where the discussion gets interesting is the good art/bad art part, but that is another discussion that I would rather avoid on a random forum on the internet because it would end up in people trying to shove their own subjective opinions down each other's throats, hurling personal remarks etc., and there would be nothing to gain for anyone from such a "discussion".

Once again, my main point was: There are tons of articles around the net written by gamers who would wish games to be considered art, although most of them seem quite confused as to what would that really mean, since they were hoping that with that video games will be elevated into a higher position in the eyes of society. (Which I personally believe is BS.) It seems that games are now officially considered (applied) art, due to them having design qualities that are recognised by MOMA. That's fine by me, but if you're not a game developer I don't see the point of getting too excited about this fact.
Post edited February 20, 2013 by szablev