Sign in to follow this  
lazygecko

Keiji Inafune: games are not an art

Recommended Posts

http://kotaku.com/gaming/keiji-inafune/gdc07-capcoms-inafune-slams-clover-producer-242796.php

So his reasoning is if something is made for the purpose of being sold as a product, it can't be considered a form of art. Now I know a lot of you are going to reach out and name titles like Ico and whatnot, but I think a lot of people here share this mentality. The thing that gets me is how so many think "lowly" forms of entertainment like popcorn flicks or generic action games are dismissed, and the definition is reserved for anything with intellectual depth or whatever, even in the gaming community.

Even if something was made just to generate lots of profit, there was still a creative process, aesthetic choices, etc involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at me! I'm going to declare all of modern Western culture null and void!

I don't understand why once money gets involved, something is no longer art. The piece of art having to be sold to the public en masse may mean that the artist has to distort his vision (especially in the case of games and movies), but it doesn't remove all artistic value from it. Does anyone else find other fields of art particularly susceptible to distortion like games and movies? The main connection between those is they both require a lot of different people, and a lot of money, whereas a book is basically one person and his editor. So maybe it's not the money at all...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, if I made a videogame and sold it, it's not art. But if I gave that game away it would suddenly become art? Does that mean all those free flash games you find on the web are art but not games meant for sale?

That's some pretty flawed thinking there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With today there isnt a definte line in where art can be drawn. I think i mentioned about this in the Wii thread with that Spores guy.

For me art dies when you start to mass produce it then its not longer art but a product. I dont considered video games art nor music or movies. However if a company had made one game and didnt sell the game then i think theres a statement to it and that could be considered art.

*edit* I talked with a friend and art needs a statement or public reaction to it. The mona lisa can be used for example. Beatuiful painting techniques but its a horrible painting on other terms. Its a portrait, a bad portrait on those terms as well. The background doesnt have depth and really cheesy. What makes that piece what it is, is the publicity. Every time Lisa gets stolen or theres cultural reference the price goes up. In fact most of those classical paintings arent Art. True art probably started with Manet with his The Luncheon on the Grass Or even Rodin and the Bronze age. The reaction, the scandel of art thats what made it art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed. By his reasoning, music albums and movies aren't art, either.

Not just that, a lot of paintings and classical music that we consider "art" these days were produced for commercial reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Knytt and Within a Dark Forest are art, but Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are not. OC ReMix, doujins, and scene music is art, but every artist who has ever sold anything is not. Retarded YouTube videos and shitty flash animations are art, but an Academy Award winning motion picture is not... Yeah... Right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On deviantart.com, the discussion of what is art and what isn't frequently returns. I'm getting a bit sick of it.

Personally, I'm starting to hate the word art. I just call it "creative expression".

Game design starts with concept thinking and rough sketches and then more refined ideas that could fall in the category of art, as they are often made using a traditional medium.

The finished product becomes a medium of its own I think.

But art is used to create this final product, so in that sense, a game is just a means to carry art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks what he said is being taken out of context.

I don't think he was totally dismissing the art and creativity in video games. He was just saying that if, when you market your games, you think of them as an art form, you're probably headed for failure. Why? The public doesn't want creativity (at least, they don't think they do), they want a game. So If you try to sell them a game as an art form, not many people will buy. But if you think of it as a product, and and sell it in ways that will appeal to your target audience, your game is more likely to be a success. You can’t rule out either one.

That's what I got out of the article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the interview, I think a better way to read the guy's comment is this:

"Video games are a product first and an art second."

He says Clover was a problem for Capcom because they mishandled the business side of things. And when your business is selling games, that is a serious problem. In that light, his comments make a lot more sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, pure art is, first and foremost Shit in a Tin, sold for its weight in gold.

Beyond that, any work can contain artistic expression and artistic direction. But, games that have focused on making the game as pure art, has resulted in a game that's made fuck all for profits. Games that work to make it fun and explosive, have made more money than you can spend in your lifetime, sanely.

And there is -no- such thing, as mass market art. Art is created for the select few, the elite, those who wish to look at it and think, about themselves and the world around them. Art will never appeal to the masses, as the artist originally intended it to be. It has to be taken out of context, exploited and trivialized, before it's ready for Joe Simpleton to understand, and at that point it's no more "art" than a doodle on teh back of a cocktail napkin from the French Maid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After reading the interview, I think a better way to read the guy's comment is this:

"Video games are a product first and an art second."

He says Clover was a problem for Capcom because they mishandled the business side of things. And when your business is selling games, that is a serious problem. In that light, his comments make a lot more sense.

I doubt he was speaking in English. Maybe something got mistranslated?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ZX is awful what?

I think something got mistranslated here though - it seems like he's talking about how games should be marketed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZX is awful what?

I think something got mistranslated here though - it seems like he's talking about how games should be marketed.

IMDB of Keiji Inafune.

Dunno about you guys, but I enjoyed the Megaman Zero series (same with MMZX)...and I dunno anyone who hasn't enjoyed Resident Evil 4 whose played it. Those were all relatively recent, so I'm not sure where the idea that his recently-produced games suck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And there is -no- such thing, as mass market art. Art is created for the select few, the elite, those who wish to look at it and think, about themselves and the world around them. Art will never appeal to the masses, as the artist originally intended it to be. It has to be taken out of context, exploited and trivialized, before it's ready for Joe Simpleton to understand, and at that point it's no more "art" than a doodle on teh back of a cocktail napkin from the French Maid.

I believe there is already a thread about elitism in the forum......

I do not believe art is too complicated for the average person. Art is any endeavour that evokes thoughts and emotions from a person's mind.

Games are art because we feel the same emotions and go through the same thought processes as the character(s) of the game.

Movies and books are art because we feel certain emotions about the characters and think about what is happening within the movie.

Music is art because we feel certain emotions of the song and think about the lyrics and/or title.

All visual forms (sculpture, painting, etc.) are art because we can see the emotions of the work, and think about what is in the work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he's just saying that game companies are businesses, and at the end of the day everybody wants to make money. Clover's games were pretty much "bomb"s, they barely sold that well, I think Viewtiful Joe was their highest selling game. Clover wanted to focus more on art before just making a game, or something like that. That's most likely why he "blasted" Clover. They used a lot of money, but barely made any in return. Games are businesses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Art is, at it's very core, totally subjective. What makes art art is the way it emotionally effects the viewer/listener/reader, and the effect on each person is totally unique (for the most part). Even so, just because someone has an emotional reaction to something doesn't make it art. Example: I saw "Pursuit of Happyness" in theaters, and I had a very tangible emotional reaction; yet I don't consider it art. However, I believe the movie "Collateral" is much more artsy, even though most people would disagree with me. The point I'm trying to make is: it doesn't matter what Inafune thinks about video games as art, the only person who can make that decision for me is me.

Also, just because something is sold doesn't make it not art. It just means the creators want a profit, which is completely separate from the whole art issue.

That being said, I don't believe there are many video games that can be considered art right now. In fact, I would say Shadow of the Colossus is the only game I've ever played that I would consider art (though keep in mind I have never played Ico or Okami or most other games that people consider arty). I do believe, however, that video games have an amazing potential to become art, and as a new medium, its potential has not been fully realized

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That being said, I don't believe there are many video games that can be considered art right now. In fact, I would say Shadow of the Colossus is the only game I've ever played that I would consider art (though keep in mind I have never played Ico or Okami or most other games that people consider arty). I do believe, however, that video games have an amazing potential to become art, and as a new medium, its potential has not been fully realized

Why stop at Shadow of the Colossus? What about EarthBound? Final Fantasy? Metal Gear Solid? It seems like your definition of art is something that calls upon more than just sheer creativity. All of the above games go beyond just being a game to being a statement of expression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this