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Video: Brian Moriarty's 'Apology for Roger Ebert'

[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website]
February 27, 2013 | By GDC Vault

February 27, 2013 | By GDC Vault
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    43 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Art, Design, Video



Beyond Zork and Loom creator and Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor Brian Moriarty delivers a defense of Roger Ebert's industry-stirring sentiment that "video games can never be art," given in this newly free video lecture from GDC 2011 courtesy of the GDC Vault.

"This is an apology in the sense of a Greek apologia, the systematic defense of a position or opinion," explains Moriarty as he begins to share the context of Ebert's industry-stirring statements from 2005. The debates that followed had mostly subsided until a later TEDx lecture by Kellee Santiago, then co-founder and president of thatgamecompany, "Stop the Debate: Video Games are Art, So What's Next?"

Santiago had offered examples Waco Resurrection, Braid and Flower, all of which Ebert later dismissed in a critique with the infamous headline "Video games can never be art." Although Moriarty never says video games are art, he explains in this lecture ways in which they could be, who could make it so, and the concepts critical to understanding the debate.

Brian Moriarty's 'An Apology for Roger Ebert' can be viewed above and can be read here.

Session Name: An Apology for Roger Ebert

Speaker(s): Brian Moriarty

Company Name(s): Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Track / Format: Game Design

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.


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Comments


jin choung
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if architecture (and its dependence on viewer experience and interaction) can be art, so can games.

also, it seems that the simplest and best definition of art is this:

"an interpretation of reality by means of a medium".

that's it. that's all it is... "interpretation" implies a p.o.v. and an "interpreter", "reality" is basically the raw material of our surroundings and an acknowledgment that nothing comes from nothing, and the medium can be almost anything at all including spoken word, performance, etc.

and especially in regards to how video games really do FRAME and INTERPRET the world in very specific ways, it's mind boggling that someone can argue that games are NOT art.

i mean come on, shooters represent a world in which all things are surmountable with a gun, uncharted is a world in which anyone who is relevant has extreme acrobatic and rock climbing skills and every problem can be solved by jumping around.

these are very explicitly the work of an artist moderating, shaping, interpreting reality in very specific ways.

Greg Findlay
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That definition is a touch on the broad side. From that definition licking an ice cream cone and liking the flavor is art.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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Better to go broad than narrow-As soon as someone mentions "High" and "Low" art their opinion ceases to matter to me.

JJ Wang
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Actually I disagree.

Why must we inherently assign a value to things we categorize? Can things just not be "different" and leave it at that?

Not everything is a sport, not everything is recreation, not everything is work, not everything is an essay, not everything is fine cuisine, not everything is even A GAME. So... why must everything be art?

Is it possible to have things NOT be art but still BE subjectively meaningful? There are a TON of things I know are art but aren't personally meaningful to me. And vise versa. Can games be deeply personal to me without it actually being art? Can sports and essays and movies and tv and taco bell be meaningful to me without me needing to shove those things into the category or idea of "art"? (These are hypothetical questions)

I am perfectly fine with the idea of a category (such as art) be narrow. And something CAN have a narrow definition without it condemning everything that isn't a part of that category

Sean Monica
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Exactly what I was thinking. This guy has just a level of arrogance that we cannot argue with. The best thing to do imo is to not write articles about him and ignore his existence. Let him suffer within himself and his artless world.

John Trauger
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It struck me that asking games to rise to the heights of the best art has to offer is a bit of a false requirement. The "Velvet Elvis" and the "Dogs Playing Pool" pictures *are* art. Not *great* art, assuredly, but instead of asking for games to match the best of art, ask games to match the entry requirements.

We have plenty of "Velvet Elvis" and "Dogs Playing Pool" grade video games.

...and, I think, better than that.

Edit upon finishing: Bioshock.

Will Oberleitner
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I think Bioshock has Artsy elements. Really big old philosophical arguments. It was self aware in part about the users choice. Just had gaming tropes that were only meant to sell and distracted from its message. I really did love bioshock 1,2 and cannot wait for infinite. I do get the overwhelming feeling that these games are about nostalgia and old philosophies that are safe to critique.

John Trauger
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I'm not sure where you're going with that. Explain?

Forgetting the visual art of Bioshock for a sec (there are plenty of pretty games), I was thinking of the way Bioshock (only played 1) mirrors the morality of the player's choices back to him. The way it's done, the player is given every opportunity and encouragement to step out of "gamer" mode and consider what's going on. I know that happened to me.

That sounds like game-art to me.

John Trauger
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Kitch is Crysis 3. Kitch is Tetris. Kitch is WoW.

Bioshock takes a few steps further into sublime territory. I am not saying the game is the Mona Lisa of games and it does have a lot of kitch, but it's not *just* kitch. Bioshok is also sublime.

Nothing "superflous or out of place" except the dog in the lower corner because the client wanted a damn dog. Money talks no matter the medium. Compromise in order to get paid doesn't seem to automatically invalidate a painting, why would it automatically invalidate a game?

Luis Guimaraes
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"everything is stated explicitly and is easy to understand"

So, Art is about ambiguity. Or is it about exploration, and exploration interpreted too often as ambiguity?

Mike Griffin
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It's always been a strange one.

Video games contain visual artwork in a vast spectrum of tone, color, style and sophistication.
In addition to music and sound in a vast spectrum of detail.
Said art is usually imagined and produced by artists.
Equally, finely-honed gameplay and progression systems can be an art form.

Thus, video games are inherently art (whether good, bad or ugly to the audience). They simply can't be defined like "passive" art experiences such as film or paintings, and this causes some people to trip up when postulating games' existence as art.

Video games are decidedly Interactive Art.
*They can elicit strong emotions and spark the imagination.
They can transport you (you, the introspective mind) elsewhere.

Sometimes a contrast is needed to show another facet of art.
Sort of like showing someone Black Ops II, followed by The Path.

Andrew Traviss
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I have to thank Brian Moriarty for going through the extensive effort required to put this talk together. I've been trying to figure out what experience was associated with Art that I wasn't identifying with and he laid out what that was extremely well here. I'd have to agree that games (as he defined them) will never be Art (in the Romantic sense). He also completely convinced me that I really don't care if they are.

Will Oberleitner
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I absolutely loved this talk. I started listening ready for a fight. I expected the relationship to art to be void of Duchamp. I was very impressed by the scale of study he brought to this. I really do not usually like Roger Ebert for his lack of critiquing challenging film. I really thought he thought narrative to be absolute in importance and thus does not consider anything decidedly "post modern" to be "sublime Art". The issue of games not being art is how decidedly they are "games". If the intentions were decidedly about introspection even at the risk of making the game hard to play then yes it falls into Art. Most games and game companies are tech companies.

Art from different periods really functioned by having those who supported it for its noble intentions. As the NEA shrinks and public funding for arts becomes focused on kid friendly entertainment, the need for mass support pushes more work into the necessity of becoming kitche. Not to mention the cut of art education in public schools. IMO there needs to be funding sources that support interactive media being non-commercial. Too bad it is not easier to make and program these things. Perhaps as it becomes easier and education for academic and theoretical game design increases it will be more possible to make personal, contemplative, poignant experiences that may only be appreciated by a few.

Joseph Elliott
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I really enjoyed this presentation. I want to disagree with it, but it's challenging. How refreshing!

If architecture, something that requires physical exploration, is considered art, then so must Proteus.

If Art requires more than surface meaning, more than to be immediately identifiable and quantified, then Shadow of the Colossus meets the criteria. The game has a rich subtext explored through its interactivity. It's not "easy" in an emotional sense. It is not kitsch.

I don't think this presentation was meant to be a condemnation of games as art, but more of a challenge to make us consider the outsider opinion, and strive to become something more. It certainly had that effect on me, anyway.

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agno almario
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I would love to disagree with this talk but the logic is sound and the insights are clear. I hope someone can muster the effort and intelligence to create an apology for the other side of this equation.

This was very enjoyable presentation. It was an excellent answer to an extremely difficult question.

Paul Laroquod
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After writing Trinity, Moriarty can say or do anything and I'd be interested in watching it.

Nicholas Heathfield
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1) Roger Ebert says "video games can never be art"
2) Brian Moriarty gives a flowery speech and convinces everyone it must be true
3) But Journey is clearly art in the sense that paintings and films and books can be.

So either:
a) Roger Ebert and Brian Moriarty are wrong, or
b) art means something that excludes books and paintings and films.

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Karl E
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The more relevant question is, as always, whether art is in fact a type of game.

David Navarro
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Knowing several professional artists, I know that trying to get an exhibition or winning a prize is certainly an exercise in gaming the system.

Greg Findlay
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The interesting thing about games, and Moriarty talks about this, is that because players can create their own experiences, how they play the game changes how they see the game. Since Proteus has been mentioned, you could play it and have that transcendent experience but the game wasn't what brought that experience, what you brought to the game did. And that's great! But by doing that it doesn't make games like Proteus sublime art. Meditation can do that as well.

That being said I also disagree with games not being able to ever be art. It's my view that games will be art when the relationships between choices (not the choices themselves) all align to give a sublime experience. Bioshock sort of touches this with it's twist by making you believe you made choices to get to where you were but you never really did.

Shadow of the Colossus is a better example because it is a game about struggle. Everything you do in the game makes you feel like it's difficult even to the point that the player struggles to control the hero and particularly the horse but it still feels like it fits. To me that is what gives the game it's impact and it made me think about struggle in games differently.

Joseph Elliott
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"...the game wasn't what brought that experience, what you brought to the game did."

The same could be said about literally every piece of good, effective art.

There is no such thing as passive art. Art means nothing without an audience meeting it half way. An interacting must occur.

Games make the interaction more literal, but so do other forms of more accepted art.

(This comment was as directed at me as it was you, since I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of this)

Greg Findlay
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Sort of. Every piece of good art will do that except the good art will essentially 'control the message', which is a bad way of saying it but that's all I got for now ;).

The goal of Proteus is to not do that. It's specifically about not directing your attention as much as possible. It has more in common to walking across the hills of Scotland then the Mona Lisa. I can be an amazing experience but it's not sublime art.

I think we're just framing what sublime art is differently. What I'm getting at is the actual interpretation of art is outside what makes sublime art sublime. Sublime art captures something at a very core level and holds it out for you to look at. When you experience that art you feel a sense of awe from the art itself. Your experiences are just leverage to get at the core of the experience.

I'm also just trying to work this out by the way. I just have an advantage because I've seen this video on GDC Vault a while ago but I'm still processing it and it's been several months.

Guillaume Couture
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Essentialism and structuralism are no longer relevant because rationality is constructed on vocabulary and language and those have shifted. We can dismiss those great thinkers because their words have become meaningless, or irrelevant.

Garrett Thompson
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The more I hear people talk about art, the less I believe anyone has any idea what art is. Rather, anyone who claims to be an expert on art seems to want to define it as something altogether unreachable by any mortal soul, presenting it as more of an ideal for humble artists and craftsmen to strive for. While I have no objections to this as a rhetorical device for the purpose of discussion, it seems a bit unfair to relegate video games to the realm of non-art whenever art itself becomes, in a nutshell, a total impossibility.

Firstly, I'd like to address the comparison drawn between traditional games played in the real world, such as chess, tag, Poker, or Turkish wrestling, and video games. I take issue with this type of allusion because, at least to my knowledge, no game in the traditional sense has tried to make a statement, tell a story, stir conflicting emotions, or ascend to the unreachable realm of divinity afforded to the above proposed definition of art. Games in the traditional sense-- especially chess, since those who disagree that games are art seem to use chess as a linchpin in their arguments-- have never tried to be anything more than recreation.

This simply isn't the case with video games. Whether or not they started out that way, the fact is that now a number of developers firmly believe that what they create can and should be considered art. This artistic in intention immediately distinguishes video games from traditional games with regards to their ability to be considered art. After all, you can't win a competition you have no intention to enter, but if the intention to enter (and win) is there, then winning is always a possibility, however slight. Grouping traditional games with video games is no longer accurate. The two have become distinguished entities and, in my opinion, are now incomparable, in many cases.

Second, I seriously doubt anyone who understands what art is would ever consider Call of Duty as anything close to having a single ounce of artistic merit. Once again, Call of Duty is not attempting to be art. It's incredibly unfair to the rest of the industry to group games with inheritly endowed artistic properties (such as Shadow of the Colossus, The Binding of Isaac, Silent Hill 2, etc...) with the likes of an electronic paintball simulator like Call of Duty. Call of Duty, here, is an example of a game that I would group with more traditional games, since it serves as recreation and very little more.

And, the elephant in the room that everyone wants to clamor to address, player choice in video games, is their biggest stumbling block video games have to face before they can recieve art recognition. Not, however, because player choice keeps them from being art (something I'll address in a moment), but because no game developer wants to admit that, when all is said and done, player choice in games is a flat-out lie. That's not to say that role playing games don't allow you to build your character how you see fit, or that adventure games (The Walking Dead comes to mind, immediately) don't change in outcome based on your choices, because they do, quite obviously, but games (with the exception of Mario Paint, of course) are not blank canvases for players to squirt their imaginations on. In fact, games are immensely limited in regards to what they can be by their creators because every time a player does make a choice, the developers have to decide what that choice will result in. This takes so much effort that many game developers completely cut out player choice from the equation (I mean, name the last time you were able to dictate the direction of the story last time you played a game from The Legend of Zelda series). And even if the illusion of player choice is substantiated to t he point where it seems like literally anything can happen, at the end of EVERY game, there are only a very very small possible number of outcomes (most often, just one).

Take Pong, just as an example. This game is entirely player controlled, and every match plays out depending on player choices-- no storyline to follow, no sights to show the player, just a paddle and a ball that the player wants to keep away from them. However, and this is where video games and traditional games differ again, no matter what the player wishes, the ball in question will absolutely never morph into a hippopotamus. This is because Pong is not a game about a bouncing hippopotamus, it's a game about a ball. Pong, of course, is a digitalized representation of a game of tennis, but this is where it and tennis differ. If players so wish, in a game of Tennis they CAN attempt to replace the ball with a hippopotamus (to likely poor results if they want to practice their backhand), because in the real world, anything within the human imagination is possible with enough effort. However, in Pong, a game in a controlled environment, the player has no control over the ball they use. It's always the same ball, because the designers always intend for it to be the same ball. This is the case for ALL games, even player-choice driven games like The Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect, because no matter what, players can only do what the developers intend for them to do (not accounting for glitches, which should be ignored for this argument-- using a glitch is like tearing out pages from a book to get to the end quicker. It's not related to the artistic value.)

Now that we've exposed the myth of player choice, it's quite easy to see that video games are NOT an exercise of will. No one who plays video games consider them to be active exercises of ambitious decision-making-- in fact, speaking for myself, I play video games to see sights that designers have laid out for me. I have no control over the sights I see, and if I want to complete the game, I will see them all. This is not an exercise of will, any more than choosing to look and admire a painting or sit through a movie is. Indeed, playing a game is just another way for artists to deliver their art to viewers. It's a very special way, because games are endowed with an incredibly direct link to players by design, which can absolutely influence players' perception of the world, and, as it was proposed that art was supposed to do, make them into better people.

Video games require active attention to experience. That's the only thing we can infer from their design and nature. This does not make them non-art, or really any different from passive media like movies or painting-- it's just a choice on the part of the artist to influence the viewer's interpretation of the art. They could, of course, be mostly Kitch, but that's the case with most art, and, as with all generalizations, simply cannot hold true for all video games.

Games would probably be more quickly embraced as art if we just didn't call them games, which is a misleading title. I propose we call them something different. Like... Press-X-to-Appreciate Doohickies.

Spartacus Greenhouse
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Roger Ebert. The man who put down as a "top movie mistake" the "fact" that revolvers cannot be silenced because "gas" escapes the open chamber. No, they reduce the bullet to a subsonic velocity, turning an area-shattering "crack" into a localised "pop". And he rated Godfather 3 above Godfather 2. So yeah. Rober Ebert.

Daneel Filimonov
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I think Moriarty makes quite a statement. And he's got me thinking; Games aren't art just like works of art aren't games. It's the context of the medium (games IN art/art IN games) that make it what it is. A game can be based purely on code and text (ie. a text adventure) and still be fun, exciting, imaginative. It's still a game, but by most peoples' views I bet it won't be considered art. At least, not by common definition.

o the same can be said for art; it can have the basics of art, it can have a chess game painted on it, it can be painted with Tetris-inspired blocks of color. But does it then become a game? Can we somehow move the pieces or make some sort of rule or arbitrary mechanic from the painting to constitute it as a game (like a puzzle)?

Well, that I think is a flawed argument. And in my opinion I think that the whole debate has evolved past the goal of being recognized as a form of art, and instead just trying to be put on a pedestal that was not meant for us. At least, not when we are not worthy of it (yet). Why do games have to be art? Can't games just be their own thing? We don't have to ride on the centuries of success of "art" and its definition simply because we want to "fit in"? I think it would be much more humble for us to take games on its own route and possibly arrive at the fact - maybe next year, or in the decades to come - or perhaps just one day in the future that games ARE art, rather than pushing it forcefully to gain short-term credibility. I think the veterans of the industry are anxious to be acknowledged for their contributions (more so than they already are), rather than guiding the generations ahead to become better and shaping the industry into a greater medium.

That's just my 2 cents.

Nathan Destler
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So, I am troubled, and slightly disappointed, by Moriarty's argument. As I understand it, the core of the argument is the idea of self-contemplation as freedom from will, and art as a facilitator of self-contemplation. Moriarty claims that games cannot lead to freedom from will because they are inherently choice-driven experiences, but this argument can be applied just as easily to the very concept of self-contemplation. If the merit of self-contemplation lies in freedom from will, and we value self-contemplation because of that, then our participation in self-contemplation itself has a goal and therefore cannot free us from will. On the other hand, if we value self-contemplation for any other reason, and the freedom is a side effect, then we definitionally don't care whether the mechanism by which we achieve self-contemplation prevents us from achieving freedom from will. In other words, games might as well be sublime art, because the part that they cannot facilitate is not something we strive for in any case. Freedom from will is an unwanted side effect, nothing more. But if freedom from will is something we value and strive for, and it is impossible to reach through any goal-based effort, then the very fact that we value such freedom makes it impossible to achieve accept by happy accident. It's the Nirvana paradox all over again. If, on the other hand, a goal-directed act can eventually bring us to freedom of will, paradox be damned (as Moriarty is implicitly claiming by valuing sublime art), then suddenly there's no inherent reason why games should not be able to start us down the path to freedom from will. In other words, there is no difference between (some small subset of) games and sublime art.

As Moriarty points out, there are also practical issues of the video game industry working against the creation of art, but this point can be just as easily applied to, say, painting. The world runs on money, whether we like it or not, and art surfaces regardless. Remember, the Mona Lisa and the roof of the Sistine Chapel were commissioned works.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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There's no real need to convince people/defend against Ebert's arguments-they were badly justified ramblings that he made worse with a non-apology afterwards. One could easily take some of his arguments (things such as win conditions and points) and apply the same logic to why the majority of all films aren't "art" (which he'd strongly dispute).

There are tons of highbrow and lowbrow games. Some eschew the expected structures of mechanics, others embrace them. If movies are art, so are games.

Chris Hekman
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Brian Moriarty quotes Ebert about this and highlights that Ebert thinks that nearly all movies are not art. Ebert would not dispute most movies not being art.

Luis Guimaraes
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Art is overrated.

Joseph Elliott
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Nah.

Luis Guimaraes
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Not "art", "Art".

Mark Troyer
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I am content with not having to classify games as being art or not. I recognize at the purest form this whole debate boils down to the validation of games in today's society and not about whether master artisans of old are the greater influencers or contributors to society than more modern forms of entertainment.

As a developer and avid game player there is something far greater I experience in our medium than in any other medium and is why I personally pursue it. Comparing games with non-games in relation to their worth to people is a waste of an argument and only serves to make us look bigoted.

We should be defining our own metrics within games as to what makes a “sublime game” and what is not. We have our own game connoisseur's and master artisans. Why should we attack or defend the opinions of a connoisseur outside our medium?

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John Owens
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Ico seemed to me the first game that I remember that I consider art.

Although it had more the effect that a painting would rather than a book or film due to it's simplicity of design i.e. you're trapped in a castle high up (reinforced by the camera position) and you have to protect the girl and escape.

Emotionally it was very powerful.

btw - The reason why chess isn't art is the same as why sport isn't art. They're designed around competition rather than emotion. Art in my view is defined very simply as something which conveys human emotion and/or an idea.

The game mechanics of Ico where designed to convey emotion rather than merely entertain.

Art changes the viewer rather than merely entertains them.

Eric Salmon
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So is this headline'd again because Roger Ebert died?

N C
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Great speach, but I disagree with his idea that "Video Games are the only interactive media", or in other words that "only in video games you need to make choices". Every form of art has it's own set of rules, they are so intuitive and spontaneous that we sometimes forget they are even there. It's easier to see this through "counter-examples". The general implicit set of rules in movies is that you watch it passively, without making any noise, but they could be broken. Look at "Rocky's horror show", in which the audience is expected to be noisy and abnoxious.
Deciding to respect the rules (or not) already constitutes a decision on itself. Moreover, there are many "free areas" in which the spectator is given free choice of what to do and how to do it. To provide examples:
In visuals arts, you are expected to watch the painting the way it was settled. Ways to break these rules would be by flipping the artwork (possibly by looking at it through a mirror), finding new and different ways to illuminate the art work, or finding some esoterical way to disort it (looking at it through a kaleidoscope). But even without breaking these rules, you are free to take some decisions. Where do you want to focus your eyes? Do you want to avoid looking certain porpotion of the paiting? Do you follow the artists visual cues, or read it your own way?

In music, you are suppoused to "just listen to the music" without any kind of distraction. There are plenty of ways to brake those rules. First is adding context: It's not the same hearing Mozart during a Funeral than during a Weeding, after loosing your job or during fornication. Another way of braking the rule is by changing the way you hear the music: you can do it highly stone or even under the water. But again, let's imagine we "play by the rules"... do you pay attention to the guitarrist? Or do you prefear pay attention to the chelist? Perhaps the pianist is the one who you would rather hear, since you want to learn piano as well?


This was actually described in the video, that "art requires dedication" .... So where do you make the cut? When can you say "this is too much decision", and when can you accept of "decision free-enough to be art"?

Robert Carlson
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One of LucasFilm Games' geniuses talking in response to Roger Ebert. Very appropriate considering the events of the last week.

I absolutely used to be of the games-are-Art bent, but this talk was one of the main things that made me change my mind to something more ambivalent. Now, I'd say that trying to lump games in with books, movies, and paintings only does a disservice to all four. I think Moriarty hits the nail on the head concerning the categorical differences between them, especially on the difference between experiencing a game firsthand and experiencing traditional art firsthand.

And frankly, I don't see any problem if video games never get recognized as "Great Art." Let the High-Artists have their thing and let us have ours. As long as people recognize that video games aren't categorically beneath respect, are some form of creative expression, and can be important in some fashion, who cares if we segregate along obvious lines?

Moreover, I can think of no greater potential hindrance to the development of the craft than becoming fixated over what people who don't play video games think of video games. It's no different than compromising one's integrity as a designer for the sake of placating shareholders; worse even because the shareholders might actually play games now and then. The highest achievement in video game creation will arise when they come into their own, and that won't happen by mix-and-matching from other media.

Angelina Kontini
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Brian Moriarty, the creator of great video game art, the creator of the epic and historical "Loom" is debating whether video games can be art or not? Loom is the utter definition of computer game art-form.

Loom does what the LOTR and what the Odyssey did. It gives your mind wings to fly into a magical world and your heart images and melodies to loose itself into ecstasy. Isn't art supposed to uplift and liberate humans? Loom produces the effects of catharsis like an ancient Greek drama. And if you ask me, this is definition of art enough!

JJ Wang
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"Isn't art supposed to uplift and liberate humans?"

No? There's plenty of art that does the exact opposite. Art isn't something that inherently brings happiness or ecstasy.


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