Make me a banner! Win a prize! (or not)

(Don't forget to follow!)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

My defense of gaming.

So i was snooping around yesterday, as you do, when I came across an article about Robert Ebert, who posted this article a while ago. Suffice to say, I raged hard. If you can't be bothered to read the page then I'll summarize: Ebert argues that games and gaming are not, and will not until maybe in the very distant future, become art. His main arguments for this are that the interactivity and the ability of the gamer to affect the outcome of the experience negate games from becoming a form of art. His articel is in response to Kellee Santiago's TED talk in which she argues against his statement "games are not and will never be art" which he made public a number of years go.

Obviously the main point to be argued here is: what is art?

You will notice that pretty much no two definitions of art can be directly overlayed on eachother. And, maybe, if Ebert hadn't made it so abundantly clear that he is simply ignorand and prejudiced towards things he simply cannot understand or does not have the patience for, then he would realize and concede that art is 99.99999999% subjective.

Example 1:

Flower, is an example that Santiago uses in her TED talk. This game is art. What Ebert fails to see is that art can be a concept or achievment and not just something physical. The marriage or audio and visual stimuli as well as the ability to manipulate the image and sound in Flower, and every other game around, is an artistic achievment. A perfectly played game of chess is a work of art. John Cage's Mesostics on Merce Cunningham:

is a piece of art, no doubt Ebert would argue that it is a far greater achievment than Flower, simply out of his own arrogance and preference. Personally, I would see the two as similar in their greatness. While I appreciate Cage's genius, I cannot truthfully say that I enjoy listening to, looking at the "score" or studying his mesostics. While games like Flower give me great pleasure and enjoyment.

Both Cage's Mesostics and Flower are based on a concept. Much of Cage's work seeks to present his appreciation of sound as art, to break the conventional structure and accepted impressions we have of music. THIS IS ART. Flower seeks to draw our attention to the state of our planet and society by slowly moving from lush countryside to human cities and making us find a balance between these two. THIS IS ALSO ART, It is not simply a game in which one "point(s) and shoot(s) in many variations and plotlines" neither is it a treasure or scavenger hunt. It is a comment on humans and our place in the world which, due to the interactivity of games, could be considered MORE EFFECTIVE, certainly to some people, at creating awareness and understanding of the environment, but doing it in a beautiful and engaging way.

Ok this is getting too deep.. I haven't even had lunch yet. MORE TOMORROW. I'M NOT FINISHED YET! OK!? GOD QUIT BEING TO IMPATIENT!

also, comment please :)


  1. Great article, games represent the vision and feelings of the people that make them. Unless you're EA...... the devil.

  2. Couldn't agree more. A well done game is definitely art to me.

  3. I love games ... after long day at work there's no better thing then game a bit :D

  4. ebert is washed up, how many people actually care about that dude any more? people just cruise to rating sites for information

  5. dont see many games you can classify as art nowadays

  6. Eh Ebert is an ok guy. I feel so bad for him now. However, I totally agree with you. BTW...I made you blog of the day.

  7. It is a question of how one define arts, but some movies get classified as art, so why not games?

  8. I heard Ebert plays a lot of games.. :p

  9. I read also :D :D
    all the time !