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    Graham Touray
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  1. I'm not familiar with the remix itself but, in case it helps you search, I also definitely heard the first level theme from MM8 in there. And you were right on Frost Man's theme too.
  2. I wouldn't judge the series too harshly based on that particular one. The first few Gameboy games were pretty janky, that one especially. If you ever find yourself with a heart full of forgiveness and a day full of free time, I recommend you give the series another chance with one of the Legacy Collections. Anyway, I pretty strongly believe that there's no such thing as objective quality in art, and by extension, that people who try to say that a game is provably good or bad are full of it, so my opinion on those kinds of arguments is already that they're pointless from the outset. But even looking at it from the perspective of someone who thinks otherwise, I do think "You only like that because of nostalgia" is a pretty garbage argument. On top of being impossible to prove, it's unbelievably arrogant to tell someone that you understand their opinion better than they do. Ditto for the "not a real gamer" thing. It's just a slightly altered flavor of No True Scotsman for people who like to pretend that opinions somehow morph into facts if you're good enough at video games.
  3. I only recently noticed that in the second Sigma stage of Megaman X, each subsequent window shows the sky as a slightly different color, going from really early morning to dawn. Then when you go outside to fight Storm Eagle near the end of the stage, it's daytime. I thought that was really cool. Also the X-ray visor in Metroid Prime showing that Samus switches beams by changing the orientation of her fingers. It's extra cool because it makes those hand shaped symbols that represented them up until that point suddenly make sense.
  4. I think it's your priorities that really determine whether you'll fall out of gaming or not (for this reason anyway). The ones who just play them as a fun way to kill time or unwind are pretty unaffected by that I'd think. Nothing was ever meant to come of it in the first place. I can see how the ones who do things for the accomplishment of it would lose a lot of motivation as more practical ventures start showing up though. Anyway, I'm the type who just plays for fun rather than achievement, but I've felt my interest dwindling too as I got older. Not because I think it's a bad use of my time, I just don't feel like it as much. Every so often I'll still find a game or series that I really get into and sink all my free time into it, but it doesn't happen as much as it used to. It's a little worrying since nothing's really replaced it, I kind of just don't feel like doing anything a lot of the time. Might be symptomatic of something unrelated to gaming itself though.
  5. I've been playing Birthright and Conquest simultaneously and I gotta say I'm having a blast. I feel like this is the best the gameplay has ever been. Conquest is pulling no punches but I like how the difficulty really makes you develop strategies for each individual map instead of just making a few units overpowered enough to sweep everything. I'm only at chapter 18 right now and I've been barely scraping by just about every chapter so far. Birthright is a lot more relaxing, but I still feel challenged enough to be engaged. I'd say it's still pretty good if you just ignore the grinding tower. The game is still balanced around no grind runs so it's totally an option. Also maybe ignore Seth too, he's pretty OP for a Jeigan. Storywise, of course, there's nothing you'd need to play first since they're mostly unrelated. All the games between Sacred Stones and Awakening are still in the classic style without grinding or a world map though, and I'd say FE9 and 10 at least are worth trying if you can get your hands on them. But yeah, you seem like you'd prefer Conquest.
  6. True enough, I don't at all agree that having rules makes any difference. The only reason I've been arguing for their existence is that I think they're an element that, among all art forms I know at least, are unique to video games. You can't really discuss video games as art (or how "art games" fit into that) without discussing the rules as a creative aspect. I'm not saying Bardic's overall point was wrong, the worst I could say is that he used a less than perfect analogy. The rules in musical piece aren't an element of the piece itself, but the rules of video games are. A little pedantic maybe, but clarity is helpful in these discussions. That said I agree with everything else about arbitrarily breaking things down. There's not much to be gained from that when it ignores the interactions between the different facets, which are just as important to the package as the facets themselves.
  7. You know I had actually written them like that initially. But either way the distinction doesn't seem very important. Getting a point for a goal in any sport would be considered part of the rules I'd say, but it could be similarly worded as "make goals to win". The reason I changed it is because I felt like those are more pure forms of the rules. The actual Megaman cartridge isn't necessarily telling you not to touch the spikes, it just gives you some consequences and then leaves you to figure out that touching the spikes isn't productive. Well that's more of what BardicKnowledge was arguing (see his peanut butter example). You may want to take that up with him. Still, self evident or not, they're constraints on how you can or cannot interact with the game. Whether they were created or are just a logical consequence of the matter in question doesn't much change that you have to follow them. The distinction I was arguing was more about how they either contribute to the creation of the work or whether they're collectively a creative aspect of it. Anyway on the original topic I actually very much agree with Bardic. I think games have been art outside of the "art games", but even the walking simulators have unique things to offer. I've artistically appreciated some more simple, gameplay focused games (Fire Emblem, Mario RPG's, even Megaman), some more artistic games (Undertale), and even a walking simulator or two (Stanley Parable). Having more directions for the medium to explore is fine as far as I'm concerned. Not liking anything of a genre now doesn't mean someone won't one day create one I will, especially in those that are only just beginning to develop.
  8. I still think that's a little different. The rules you're talking about breaking here in the case of the Waltz aren't an element of the piece itself; they guided the production (the notes will all follow those rules) but they still only apply to the piece and the writer, not the audience. The audience only hears their output, even if following different rules ended up yielding a different piece. On the other hand with games, you're literally paying for rules that will apply to you. And those rules you can't break. You can make a mod, but once you do that you're not an audience anymore; you're a creator too. And if you play someone else's mod, you're just playing something else with different but similarly unbreakable rules. Granted, breaking either kind of rule will give you a different result, but changing just about anything about a piece of art will do that. I'm not saying there aren't rules to everything else (although they're all certainly up for interpretation), I'm just saying that the rules of a video game aren't the same. This example could potentially equivocate video games and the sheet music for Chopin's Waltz since they're essentially a set of rules to be followed, but that's not quite the same as comparing the music itself. Probably shouldn't speak for Outlaw, but I imagine his view would be that the sheet music isn't art either, just a set of directions for how to create it.
  9. Not that I at all share his position that they somehow nullify a game's status as art, but I think there's a difference between those rules and the ones Outlaw was talking about. The rules in a game (touching the spikes kills you, cherries give you 600 points, jumping on the flagpole takes you to the next level) aren't the same as the understood rules of playing a game (hold the controller, look at the screen, don't fall asleep). The latter generally applies to all games in the same way keeping your peanut butter away from the piano applies to most all performances, but the former is a creative element of the game (arguably the central one). The pianist didn't create the rules, s/he just followed them. So I wouldn't say they're an aspect of the performance itself. But Nintendo did decide that pits cause instant death and that's part of their final product. EDIT: Well damn. I was literally hovering over the submit button when the notification ding went off.
  10. I'm glad that that's actually the case here, I guess I've dealt with a few too many people who think otherwise that I've become a little pessimistic about these things. But alright then, good to know.
  11. Oh. The bolded "primitive" and "good" are a bit confusing to that end, but I get it. My point was that Pacman does have artistic value, not that you should personally should start appreciating it. But I'm as blind to it as you are, so in that case I guess I have nothing to argue.
  12. I personally don't find it very insightful either, but I don't know that "primitive" in the sense you're using it is even a bad thing. Maybe I'm wasting both our time by arguing this since I'm pretty far into the school of thought that art is entirely subjective and words like good or bad don't apply beyond one's personal experience, but even to someone who disagrees with that could still agree that there's more to art than complexity. Not that I'm thrilled about comparing them, but I believe you mentioned Undertale before, and I think it's at its core pretty simple. I found it incredibly poignant, but I wouldn't say there were any deep insights or themes. Granted, one of them was explicitly trying to evoke feeling and one couldn't have cared less, but that doesn't much matter to the individual appreciating it. The point is you don't need complexity to be moving, and at the end of the day complexity and insightfulness are relative terms anyway. I'm sure the hypothetical person who gets deeply moved by Pacman is pretty rare and more than likely doesn't exist, but whatever Pacman evokes in him/her is no less real no matter how primitive the game may be or how unintentional it was. And in that sense I would argue that it, and anything similarly primitive for that matter, are still art. Maybe not to the vast majority of us, but no art appeals to everyone. I have little to say to that first sentence on account of my aforementioned beliefs on the subjectivity of art, but I will admit that I agree with the rest. If I were trying to convince someone that games are art I wouldn't use Pacman either. But my reasoning is that, to the vast majority people, Pacman probably evokes nothing at all. I can't in good conscience say that makes it objectively worse as art (even if subjectively I couldn't care less about it), I would definitely say it lacks any sort of universal appeal on that level.
  13. ...Well Neblix kind of beat me to it here but this really doesn't prove anything. For one thing, making the claim that games are art does not mean that I am an artist. And the fact that I can't doesn't mean that it isn't an art. I mean I'm pretty sure I couldn't move you with a song I wrote or a picture I drew either, but that doesn't mean those aren't art. Worse, I'm sure you realize just how subjective that is? Personally, I know it may earn me the label of plebeian, but to be perfectly honest I've never felt anything artistic about architecture. I may have felt a building looked interesting, but I've never felt a thing from it. That doesn't mean I say it's not an art. But this particular discussion seems well enough wrapped up anyway. Just pointing out though, "If, without those things, it remains something that resembles a work that emotionally moves people in the same way that paintings, music and movies do, then you're right - rules really are art." sounds an awful lot like that "gives me the feels" remark earlier. But anyway, To be honest I actually think I would argue that even Pacman has artistic value. Partially because I believe that eliciting enjoyment isn't very different from eliciting any other emotion, but also just because of how subjective it all is. I can't claim that I've ever felt anything from it, but I think it's jumping the gun a bit to conclude that no one could, simple as it is. I mean I could see someone interpreting the constantly looping stage culminating in a nearly impossible to reach, literally impossible to beat final level as an allegory for the futility of life or something. But with or without that, I think art should be considered art based on its capacity to evoke those things, not necessarily in how in many people it actually does.
  14. Okay then, I'll phrase it as a statement instead of trying to get anything better out of you with questions: your definition is garbage. I've been trying to get you to expand on it since, right now, it's only saying that anything that has any quality current art doesn't have can't be art. And that assumes that everything that is or can be called art has been fully explored. It has no explanatory power either. Clearly there must be room for variety in art. Otherwise, what was to stop someone thousands of years ago from saying "music's not art, everything we have that's called art is visual. If it has sound it can't be art". You need to articulate WHY rules are a dealbreaker, and the only way you've justified that is by pointing to what we already have. If current art forms already included everything found in video games, this wouldn't be a discussion in the first place. The point of this discussion is whether we should expand upon what falls under the category because it has the essential characteristics of art. Saying they aren't art because they aren't already art isn't very convincing to that end.
  15. You listed two things they don't have. That's also not what the question asked. So is not having this one specific trait is the quintessential element of art? It's not as abstract but the point of a definition is to make it less so. Yours is clear cut and objective, I'll give it that, but a definition that can't explain why what it already considers to be arts are such is entirely useless for a discussion like this. If art is defined as art by virtue of not having the things that art doesn't have, of course nothing new can be added to the label. What I'm asking for is a definition based on WHAT ART HAS. Not what it doesn't. Anyone can tell you what currently accepted arts don't have, and yes, you have repeated that a good many times. The problem is that no one has been asking you to. We also don't need you to explain that you can win or lose in a game again, we got that too thanks. What would be nice is if you could actually address the features games are missing. As of right now, you've said (repeatedly) that games have rules and rules aren't in the art we acknowledge now. We get that and you can stop saying it. But you also keep making such claims as "Games lack important features shared universally among the other art forms". What I'm saying is that the former doesn't support the latter. You're saying what art doesn't have that games do. You haven't said a thing about what art does have and games don't. I'm aware I'm repeating myself here but that's because you keep ignoring everything I'm actually asking in favor of a bunch of things I'm not.
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