Is it Art? part 1

‪- what is art1:

  “So what defines art again?  In his book Art and its Object , British philosopher Richard Wollheim distinguishes three approaches to defining art: the Realist, where aesthetic quality has an absolute value independent of any human view; the Objectivist, where it is assigned an absolute value that depends on general human experience; and the Relativist position, where there is no absolute value, but a fluid one that varies with different human experiences.”

Looking at this break down of what actually is we can see that the relativist position is where games would fit into the category of art as video games can have multiple meanings and convey multiple messages just as some pieces of art and other medias do.

An example, in the Pinocchio movie the character Lampwick, a delinquent introduces Pinocchio to the darker side of life such as drinking and gambling, making total Jackasses of them and by doing this turn into Donkeys force to work in mines.

This shows that bad children who don’t work hard will not have a bright future ahead.

Comparing this to the game EarthBound the player play as little kids trying to save the world however in the last part of the game it becomes extremely dark and fight the boss which looks extremely like a cervix. The creator of this game was trying to tell the story of how he had grew up and how he had lost his childhood innocent by accidentally watching an adult erotic film.

‪- Why art is seen as art1:

  “Roger Ebert set off an intense debate among members of both the film and video games industry . . . by stating that video games are fundamentally inferior to film and literature as an artistic medium and that video games could never move “beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art.”  Inherent to Ebert’s position in his basic definition of art, which is contained in his declaration that “Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control”.”    

While Roger Ebert makes some interesting points in his argument however by bringing in choice into the matter we could easily this applies to other medium I a broader aspect, we choose to see a piece of art we choose to do something with that piece of art, we choose to watch a movie and we choose to do something with that movie and we choose to play a game and choose to see or do something with that game.

This something we do is find meaning and purpose; by having interactivity (or player choice) we are simply giving the audience to choose whether or no to look as you would with other mediums.

Forum on the Arts, Stefan Hall, Video Games as Collaborative Art


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