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Keiji Inafune: games are not an art


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Art is, at it's very core, totally subjective.

What. There is a problem in art with most people misunderstanding it. As someone earlier in the thread mentioned, art is about creative expression - there is no aspect of comparison in terms of what artform is better, although one might compare how well a work fares in conveying that message with another similar work. But subjective? How well something accomplishes it's aim isn't subjective - if you mean enjoyment of particular works of art is subjective, then yes, but subjective in achieving it's goal? I'd say no.

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I don't think the classification of "art" has anything at all to do with money. Simplest way I can explain my understanding of art is that it's when a creative work of some sort succeeds at being more than a simple, throwaway entertaining diversion. This could mean a lot of things, since art can be intended to stir emotions, make a philosophical statement, project how things are, were, will be, could be, could have been, etc (and I know I'm omitting quite a few things here).

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My view on videogames being art is short and simple:

Games can be art just like comics, movies, music, and other forms of entertainment can, but at times aren't art, just like movies, music, etc. aren't sometimes... and end up being just a product. ;)

If that makes any sense.

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Art is creativity and expression. Art is raw and primal. Art is not engineered through science.

You didn't answer my question. Edit: Also, that last part is completely ridiculous, because without science you wouldn't have any decent medium with which to express art. This also means that art would have to be devoid of all logic or intellectualism, which is total nonsense.

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You didn't answer my question. Edit: Also, that last part is completely ridiculous, because without science you wouldn't have any decent medium with which to express art. This also means that art would have to be devoid of all logic or intellectualism, which is total nonsense.

Art may use science, but video games are the result of it. They're mass produced, mass marketed, and created more in part due to past sales and surveys, than anything else. You don't take a hundred people to an artist and have him ask them questions for a month, before he sketches out something, has it passed through the group again to find what they feel should be changed, etc...

Video games are no more art than Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Doritos or Pizza Hut are art.

You know.. there's only one game I can think of, that really deserves to be called Art.

Super Columbine Massacre RPG.

A game that was hated on, by even the game industry. A game that wasn't designed with focus groups or approval in mind, a game that wasn't meant to wow people with pretty graphics or in-depth story telling or gameplay mechanics. It was a game designed to play on the gut reaction of people. To make them stop, shut up and think. The result? Everyone hated on it. It was even pulled from an indy games festival, due to "moral" reasons, and that is what marks it as real, pure and true art.

Art causes an instinctual reaction. It doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn't have to be smooth, it doesn't have to be smart. Art plays on the minds of those who experience it. And, to the ultimate degree, art is something hated by people who don't understand it. They see it as vile, vulgar and offensive, until they've been able to dissect it and grow to understand it.

You want video games as art? Stop trying to say they're art, and start using them to approach serious things. They can be fun, while still pushing into uncomfortable territory. How about an RPG where one of the main characters is a closet gay, who comes out midway through the game, and has to deal with being judged by his peers, by the party, and by everyone else, because of it? That's something that'd really piss people off, I'm sure. And I don't mean one of those ambiguous homosexuals, either. Not one of those males who look female. I mean someone who is really, fully gay. Give them a full-time lover in the last half of the game and make that an entire story in itself, with cutscenes and entire storylines and sidequests you have to explore, based on the social commentary that plagues the real world. If you want games as art, you have to first understand that in art, there is nothing that is taboo. And art isn't designed to be approved of, if it wants to be able to stand on its own merit.

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Art may use science, but video games are the result of it. They're mass produced, mass marketed, and created more in part due to past sales and surveys, than anything else.

I don't think that prevents games from being art. However, it can and often does prevent them from being GOOD art. I'm pretty sure that, by the definition I've given (which nobody's challenged yet, unfortunately), you can make something that aspires to be about more than a simple diversion, yet still panders to the lowest common denominator.

But then we would have to debate whether or not crappy should be considered art at all, then we'll have to debate about what makes something crappy and the objectivity or subjectivity of it, and I'm far too lazy to go on about those subjects.

Oy, what have I gotten myself into?

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Art is creativity and expression. Art is raw and primal. Art is not engineered through science.

That is way too subjective and you know it. I mean, even motorcycles and industrial items have been featured in world famous museums as art before. Scientific, industrial, pop artifacts can turn into something that can be viewed as something that influences our way of life, our culture, our outlook, etcetera. That is what art is. Traditional art goes for such aspects primarily. But it does not mean that other things that has a different primary focus can't be seen as art.

Also, art exhibits featuring video games has been done many times before, so it's not a matter of it not being accepted at all. Because it has to a lot of prestigious art institutes before. So there is precedence.

Also, just because a few game developers tries to justify the art snobs' views about it doesn't mean everybody feels the same way. What about the game developers who do see it as an artform? You don't suppose we just bulldoze through their opinion as if they don't exist?

Going back to Inafune's point that 'games are sold so they can't be art' argument... I mean let's talk about Egyptian coffins with murals on them. They are CASKETS with DEAD PEOPLE in them. And THEY are considered art/cultural-artifacts. Samurai Swords and other weapons of war has been shown in museums before for their cultural impact and wildly varying artistic aesthetics. And they were meant to KILL people.

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I always agreed with Hideo Kojima's views on video games as an artform. He doesnt seem them as art because while art will usually be timeless and worth viewing years after it was initially created, video games usually are not. I cant remember exactly what he said, but it was in a game informer magazine.

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Whether something "is art" is such a stale, uninteresting question predicated upon infantile assumptions of absolutes. Anyone gravely contemplating this either a) is still in college or B) needs a brief introduction to quantum relativity. Rigid definitions are for intellectual wanking and legal matters. Yawn.

We live in an age where someone can take a piss in a toilet, put it on a block in a gallery and call it art, and others will agree. Debating this inevitably results in reductio ad absurdum. Someone will think feces smeared on a wall is art; someone won't. Who really cares?

What I have to wonder is (assuming the interview was conducted in another language) whether something was lost in translation, and whether the question is actually about high art. Example: are (most) comic books art? I think the general consensus would be yes. Is (most of) that art in the same league as (most) classical painting? Consensus: probably no. (Obviously there are exceptions on both sides.) The more interesting and relevant question isn't whether a thing is art, but "high art."

In that context, are most video games high art? I would say no, most of them are not. Whether they are "vulgar" art is irrelevant; again, virtually anything could be propounded as some crude and/or visionary form of art. But I contend that some games transcend the mundane trappings of commodification and enter into a league with the best of classical art. Games contain most forms of art (narrative, music, visual arts) within a singular experiential entity, with the unique dimension of interactivity, which itself has artistic qualities. Stuff like Ico et al is high art, in my opinion. To argue otherwise exposes one's incomprehension of modernity.

However, the ratio of art to high art is certainly widening in favor of the former, as a direct result of commodification.

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Whether something "is art" is such a stale, uninteresting question predicated upon infantile assumptions of absolutes. Anyone gravely contemplating this either a) is still in college or B) needs a brief introduction to quantum relativity. Rigid definitions are for intellectual wanking and legal matters. Yawn.

What? This makes little sense, especially the quantum relativity part, and I have a B. S. in physics :neutral: .

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What. There is a problem in art with most people misunderstanding it. As someone earlier in the thread mentioned, art is about creative expression - there is no aspect of comparison in terms of what artform is better, although one might compare how well a work fares in conveying that message with another similar work. But subjective? How well something accomplishes it's aim isn't subjective - if you mean enjoyment of particular works of art is subjective, then yes, but subjective in achieving it's goal? I'd say no.

Not according to everyone. Look at anything postmodern. Whether a third party attaches meaning to a work is not absoulte... necessarily.

Most contemporary english courses in college demand that students conside only the CONTENT of the work rather than the INTENT. By extension, something may be (or may no be) art regardless of whatever the "artist" intended.

It's not something I agree with, but it's legitimate.

What? This makes little sense, especially the quantum relativity part, and I have a B. S. in physics :neutral: .

I think she's trying to be cute in regards to shroendinger's equation and insisting that the indefiniteness of quantum physics somehow suggests that nothing in the world is definitive. At least that's what I'm assuming, because I've seen this especially banal and dishonest argument used more than once.

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I agree with some of those points. The thing about pop art (the general type. Not the post modern movement of making mundane items into art) in general including movies, books, music and video games is that a lot of their critique in the artistic sense typically comes in the postmodern point of view. We see the aftereffects of what they mean to our culture and society and go from there.

Their intent can always be misconstrued or developed into the sense of artistic aesthetics. I don't think it has to be so crazy as to get into the quantum relativity of it all (which makes sense since just about everything in life is generally a popular, agreed-upon consensus, but that's another matter entirely).

That's what the likes of Inafune and Kojima keeps getting stuck on. The intent, intent, intent. As I have analogized, decorated coffins were never intended to be art. Weapons weren't intended to be art. Hell, even some Renaissance art in their day served just as much a religious purpose as it did as something pretty to look at.

And somebody mentioned how the forgettable qualities of games as art are. Then again, that is because the primary purpose of games is to be entertainment forms. People look back at something like Mickey Mouse and we do see it as a form of art looking back on it. Yet it has and always will be a symbol of extreme consumerism and commercialism. Art doesn't have to have only one purpose as being art in itself. It's not a matter of something being a 'high art' as it is that they're 'traditional' in a sense as art on canvas or sculpture is deigned as the most basic of artistic expressionism. Even though I consider games as definitely a form of art, I would not say it is a traditional type. Because it clearly isn't. But that doesn't mean it can't ever be 'considered' an art form. The key word is 'considered', because again, entertainment mediums tends to serve multiple purposes.

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What. There is a problem in art with most people misunderstanding it. As someone earlier in the thread mentioned, art is about creative expression - there is no aspect of comparison in terms of what artform is better, although one might compare how well a work fares in conveying that message with another similar work. But subjective? How well something accomplishes it's aim isn't subjective - if you mean enjoyment of particular works of art is subjective, then yes, but subjective in achieving it's goal? I'd say no.

What I was trying to say (and I believe that most of the above posts illustrate my point perfectly) is that what different people do and don't consider art (or high art, if you really want to be specific) is completely arbitrary compared to different peoples opinions. Cerrax mentioned that Metal Gear Solid could be considered art, and even though I think it's one of the greatest series of anything ever, I don't agree with him. Does it matter? Ultimately, no; if everyone has different definitions of art, then labeling something as art is only a indicator of what you yourself consider it to be worth.

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I think this is the 20th time this thread has been made here, and the discussion is always the same. Anyway, my thought is that when you start calling anything art, art loses all of it's meaning. Art is an expression for expression's sake. The problem begins when the sake of creating the piece becomes less and less a pure expression and more a desire for monetary gain. It loses it's soul. Which is why I don't consider some dude's dolphin's pictures he's hawking down on the beach art. Not just because they are ugly, but he's painting them to sell. They are a product. Now there are plenty of REAL artists who choose to or are forced to sell their paintings. This does not negate the quality or substance of their art. It was not the goal in mind when the piece was created.

The same can be said for games. Now there's no question Madden 2007 or the Toy Story 3 game are anything but a grab for cash. And there are certain games, like Okami, Ico, Katamari Damacy, etc, that were obviously created in a flourish of creativity and talented expression (and in the case of Okami, the money didn't even come). I would consider these games to be art on some level. The problem is when it comes to games like, say, WipeOut Fusion, Castlevania SoTN, or Final Fantasy XII. True, there are lots of talented people working on the games, and the level of artistic expression and/or technical perfection within the games are quite apparent. But what was the intention of the game designers? Was it really to create a work of art, or to make a game that sold well? Was I supposed to walk away from FFXII with a new outlook on life, or even a new perspective on something I had never thought about? Or was it just a pretty game with a fun battle system in an interesting world? Where do you draw the line? The problem is, that line is extremely hard to draw, and the same things applies to movies, music, literature, and a lot of other things. On one hand, money destroys art. But on the other, without the motivation for that money, some games/movies/music with plenty of artistic merit would never have been created. So it's a bit of a win-lose situation.

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Art is creativity and expression. Art is raw and primal. Art is not engineered through science.

Ontop of what everyone else has said, art can be created any way one see's fit. Some artists beleive art to be a way to express, and the viewer should feel something when they see/hear the product. Other artists beleive that art should have no feeling, story, or reason beyound being a perfect form. (Ex. Giant seamless black metal boxes). Others think art is supposed to make a statement (a piano peice called 3 minutes of silence...the piano is never played). To me an important part of the art is the process gone through to make it...it's interesting to observe a painting or a sculpture and think of how it was done, and the technique and problem solveing that went into it.

It doesn't matter *how* or why the art is made though, art is art, last week I saw an article about a growing art style that uses bio-chemistry to create art, whether its a bunny that glows neon colors, or petri dishes with bacteria that has been geneticly manipulated to look interesting. Even more "traditional" arts couldn't be done without some science and engineering at some level.

As far as video games are concerned, I don't really know where the game becomes art , I feel pretty certain that some games are NOT art, but others are. Both of them could be makeing a fair amount of money, but one is may just be a game with no real ideal or vision behind it at all beyound the fact that its a game.

Are games in themselves art forms? I guess it doesn't really matter since no one can agree on what art really is anyway.

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True story of how I learned that the term "fine art" is hollow and borderline idiotic:

My first year in college, I was pursuing an art major. However, halfway through my first semester, I learned that the art school had dropped its CG and 3D animation programs and turned them over to the drama dept. When I asked why, they replied: "Those are commercial arts. Here, we focus on the fine arts."

As I was considering those words, I wandered into the lobby of the art school's main building, where several students' works were on display. One piece in particular drew my attention. Someone had taken a bunch of raw meat and rolled it up into 8 round balls, each about the size of a softball. Then he or she had taken those balls of meat and stuffed them to the bottom of long stockings or panty-hose (I couldn't tell which). Then he or she had taken those 8 stockings and hung them in the art school lobby in a neat little row for all to see. He had also seen fit to lay some paper down beneath the display so the dripping blood from the meat wouldn't make a huge mess of the floor. This was "fine art".

I set to work changing my major the next day.

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Video games are video games dammit. They're not art. They're not food. They're frikkin video games. They have art in them, but that's about it.

what an intelligent thing to say. well spoken![/sarcasm]

I think a lot of people are using involuntary word association when using the word "ART". As far as I can tell, we're referring to "the ARTS", not just painting and drawing and such.

As far as my brutal opinion goes, I'm effin sick of people who require that "real" art be something that must meet any of the following criteria:

-> it cannot be perceived as "popular" by the bulk of society

-> it must have some "deep" or underlying meaning

-> it must be something unusual, or innovative

-> (typically) it's usually created by someone with mental or social problems (somehow, they always get justified as being "brilliant" and/or "misunderstood", no matter how effed up their work is.

-> it has to be created with blood and sweat (unassisted, that is), and technology is generally frowned upon

-> the whole commercially created thing we're talking about

That's really all I can think of right now. So, basically, if I were to paint a picture of a rock with 3 sets of eyes and a leg sticking out one side rolling down a hill towards a naked woman who is standing on a mound of insects with a sad look on her face, and a beating heart in her hand, someone who follows the previously stated standards would probably analyze my f***ed up work, find some deep and brilliant meaning (which I never had) and hail it as "true" and probably "inspiring" art.

Now, I'm not saying that all strange art doesnt have underlying and even intelligent meaning, nor am I implying that things I find strange are not art. Only that sometimes people find meaning that is not intended, or otherwise doesn't exist.

As far as video games, there is no plausible argument why video games cannot be art. Either because of ignorance and misconception (such as the example our friend megadave gave) or because of spite and resent for anything popular, or created with the intent of turning a profit.

A small rant on that note, what the hell, people? You think we're just walking around in the garden of eden? It's not like we can just get by not doing a damn thing and eat the fruit off of any damn tree whenever we get hungry. People have to work to live. Work and craft are what makes this world go round. There is nothing wrong with taking a talent and using it to make money. I'm sick of people screaming "SELL OUT!" all the livelong damn day. Get a dang job.

Anyway, here's the dictionary.com definition of "art"

art1 /ɑrt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ahrt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun

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

2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.

3. a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.

4. the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.

5. any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.

6. (in printed matter) illustrative or decorative material: Is there any art with the copy for this story?

7. the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning: the art of baking; the art of selling.

8. the craft or trade using these principles or methods.

9. skill in conducting any human activity: a master at the art of conversation.

10. a branch of learning or university study, esp. one of the fine arts or the humanities, as music, philosophy, or literature.

11. arts,

a. (used with a singular verb) the humanities: a college of arts and sciences.

b. (used with a plural verb) liberal arts.

12. skilled workmanship, execution, or agency, as distinguished from nature.

13. trickery; cunning: glib and devious art.

14. studied action; artificiality in behavior.

15. an artifice or artful device: the innumerable arts and wiles of politics.

16. Archaic. science, learning, or scholarship.

That pretty much smashes down anyone who has a misconstrued perspective of what actually qualifies as art.

/me eagerly awaits the counterargument.

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