Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Videogames ... Art

I don't have anything particularly coherent to say on the "are video games art?" thing that Roger Ebert launched on an unsuspecting internet recently.

Games are made by artists. Certain levels of games are certainly artful, just as individual chess pieces can be works of art. Images of (sometimes imaginary) games decontextualised from the game are art.

It seems to me that a lot of games that are mentioned as art are art only when the user stops interacting with them (Knight of the Old Republic has a fabulous twist that comes in a cut-scene, for an example).

One reviewer, sorry I can't find this, of Lego Star Wars mentioned that he'd played it co-op with a friend and right at the very end the friends had to turn on each other to finish the game. He reckoned this act had more more emotional resonance than the whole prequel trilogy. He may well be right. No doubt Ebert would say "Ah but is it art?" as if he was the devil in the Conundrum of the Workshops. Is Kipling art? Do I like Kipling? If Orson Welles is the one being Kipled then: yes and yes!

Anyway, Bookslut claims to have found a confluence, or perhaps a slight bumping together in Machinima Poetry. To be honest, the example given here does't work, it's three mildy related things shown together in the hope that someone will find the creator "deep" or "soulful" or something. But the page promises more and the examples might get better...

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