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Discussion » Questions » Arts » Do you think video games can achieve artistic quality the likes of more traditional media, such as visual arts, literature or film?

Do you think video games can achieve artistic quality the likes of more traditional media, such as visual arts, literature or film?

The question is intended for those who regularly play video games and those who never do alike, but please do specify where you see yourself on that spectrum.

Posted - April 30, 2017

Responses


  • As a part time developer of WW2 strategy games, I don't think they will ever compete with the things you listed but the entertainment value is very high. If you've ever played chess? You would enjoy trying to out think your opponent or changing history. We try real hard to make them as real as possible. Some day we just might achieve this! 
    This post was edited by Benedict Arnold at May 4, 2017 8:28 AM MDT
      April 30, 2017 8:38 AM MDT
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  • This one is in development right now. Modern warfare.
      April 30, 2017 9:10 AM MDT
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  • 1421
    Thank you for your intriguing take as well, Rooster! When you say they can't quite compete, do you refer to games in general? And how much would you say entertainment value and art are linked; or, in other words, might the former stimulate interest in the latter, or does it tend to draw too much attention instead?
      May 3, 2017 10:48 AM MDT
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  • 6477
    I never play games... I am rubbish at them.. but my daughter is a serious gamer and my family are... and yes, I think many of them are so well done... so imaginative... very beautiful.  And lets face it... the fact that many can become addicted to them.. does kinda suggest there is something magical and enthralling about them 
      April 30, 2017 8:41 AM MDT
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  • 1421
    Thanks for the answer, and nice to meet you! I've never heard such a point on addictive potential before--it's very interesting. By contrast, I don't suppose literary works or films are usually considered as risking addiction, so would you say that video games can be artistic in a markedly different manner, then? One more related to immersion than to intrinsic quality?
      May 3, 2017 10:45 AM MDT
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  • 6477
    Sorry I missed this.. hopefully you will accept a late reply... I don't think that the reason they are artistic is that they are addictive.. just that there is a certain beauty and mystique that draws people in. They are often very imaginative and very detailed.  One can easily be addicted to films and especially to literature.. So to answer, or try to, no, I don't think markedly different... just different...more perhaps akin to cartoons and anime which as you know is considered artistic :)
      May 4, 2017 8:37 AM MDT
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  • 46117
    Wow.  Hi Danilo.   Long time no see.

    I think they have already made it to the ranks of high art the likes of literature and more accepted art. 

    There is no way to go but up in the video arena.  Everyone is fascinated.   Except me.  I could care less.  But I cannot go anywhere where droves of people are not invested in that world.  There is no going back.  EVER. This post was edited by WM BARR . =ABSOLUTE TRASH at May 1, 2017 2:26 PM MDT
      April 30, 2017 9:06 AM MDT
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  • 1421
    Hi Sharonna, it has been a long time; I'm not quite as active around here anymore, but I still check in just about every day. Thanks a lot for your answer!
      May 2, 2017 11:03 AM MDT
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  • 7919
    Some of the art in horror games is really beautiful and is already there, in my opinion. I don't play, but my kids watch YouTube walk-throughs. Off the top of my head, I can think of one that the artwork is pretty awesome.

      April 30, 2017 9:22 AM MDT
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  • 1421
    That's a great example; thanks, JA! I've recently read about people who very much enjoy watching others play horror games but can't manage their nerves much when picking up the controller themselves. Do you think such an influence of player agency--and therefore immediacy--has artistic potential as well? (That question is open to all, by the way.)
      May 3, 2017 10:41 AM MDT
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  • 10053
    I don't play, but I'm sure some are quite artistic.
      April 30, 2017 10:33 AM MDT
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  • 1421
    That's refreshing to hear, Savvy, considering many appear to disapprove of games in general without giving them a proper chance. Glad to see you more objective, as I could've figured you would be!

    Do you think you ever could be intrigued and artistically stimulated by a game, and, if so, what might it (re)present to pique your interest?
      May 3, 2017 10:52 AM MDT
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  • 10053
    Thank you. While I've never really played video or computer games much, I'm not going to judge people who do. Different strokes for different folks and all of that. :)

    I would probably enjoy something to do with exploring nature/animals, so long as it wasn't hunting. I dream of going to other countries and observing animals in their natural habitats.
      May 3, 2017 6:01 PM MDT
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  • 23068
    I don't play those games but I'd think they could be very artistic.

    And the rest of my answer could be, word-for-word, the same as President Silly vs. Sharonna's answer.

    Great to see you!
    :)
      April 30, 2017 1:39 PM MDT
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  • 1421
    Hey there Welby, great to see you too, and thanks for your answer! You're big on cinema, aren't you--what would you think of a game like Heavy Rain?
      May 2, 2017 11:01 AM MDT
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  • 23068
    You're welcome for my answer, Danilo G!
    I guess I'm not so big on cinema, ha! I hadn't heard of "Heavy Rain." ("Purple Rain," yes.)
    :)

    But I looked up the title and this three-plus hours movie was on youtube, made for youtube, maybe? I'm unsure. I only looked quickly at some details and part of the opening credits. Maybe it's the movie you're talking about.
    I'll try posting the movie -- the opening credits, just the opening 40-some seconds I watched, are beautiful to me! As is the accompanying music.
    :)



    This post was edited by WelbyQuentin at May 4, 2017 8:29 AM MDT
      May 2, 2017 11:30 AM MDT
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  • 1421
    I linked to a YouTube video via my previous mention of Heavy Rain, but looking back at it, it's not very clear to see. It is in fact a game--something often referred to as "interactive drama" since players are asked to make important decisions and execute widely varying actions. One specific thing about this title is that there are four different characters to play as, and should one of them die the story simply carries on with the remaining ones.

    The fact still stands that you are the resident cinema-savant, then!
      May 3, 2017 10:30 AM MDT
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  • 23068
    :)
    Thanks for your added help and the declaration of an official honor to me, Danilo G!
    :) This post was edited by WelbyQuentin at May 4, 2017 10:40 AM MDT
      May 3, 2017 12:52 PM MDT
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  • Nearly everyday I'm on my PC playing a video game. The best games are RPGs (Role Playing Games) or MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). I sincerely believe that they are as artistic as anything else can be. Specifically, The Elder Scrolls Online (which is my favorite) contains all parts of art. It has landscapes that range from burning ashlands to beautiful plains to swampy marshlands to dense jungles to barren deserts to snow covered mountains and the game switches seamlessly and gradually between them all as you would expect in reality. Not only that, the game comes with two main plot lines that seamlessly work into each other for one final battle between good and evil not to mention the many characters each with their own personality. The only difference between this and literature and films is that you control the story. Below is a screenshot from one of my characters in-game.
    This post was edited by Benedict Arnold at May 4, 2017 8:30 AM MDT
      April 30, 2017 7:27 PM MDT
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  • 1421
    I adore The Elder Scrolls myself ever since I played Morrowind as a kid! My basic criterion for the artistry of a video game is how much food for thought (and feeling) it offers even when it's not being played; Skyrim, for one, was huge in that regard as it really made me reconnect with the power of natural landscapes while living in the city. Now I wonder, do you entertain any such criteria, and what might they be?
      May 2, 2017 11:06 AM MDT
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  • I have a similar feeling. In fact, Skyrim and ESO has inspired to try to write my own Medieval Fantasy story. Skyrim was amazing with both visual effects as well as story. The story is the biggest thing for me in a video game. I want to be blown away and drawn in by the story line. Skyrim and ESO did that for me in spades. There was a scene in ESO where you charge the line against a multitude of Daedric forces. The music that played with the scene and the ominous landscape of that portion of Oblivion drew me in and held my attention and excitement for the longest time. I still play ESO regularly even after an entire year. So, yes, I agree with you on that. This post was edited by Benedict Arnold at May 3, 2017 10:31 AM MDT
      May 2, 2017 4:00 PM MDT
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  • 745
    Last year I played a game called Inside (available on pretty much everything: steam, ps4, xbox one, etc) and I've never believed that video games can be pure art until then.

    I loved and still love the artistic potential of so many games before it, but Inside made it possible for video games to be completely fused with art. so yeah, it can happen, but not as much as it could.. or as much as it should happen.
     

    This post was edited by nobodylair.37 at May 1, 2017 2:28 PM MDT
      April 30, 2017 11:08 PM MDT
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  • 1421
    I've heard great things about Inside; would like to give it a try someday (I do have an enormous backlog) but, judging by demos of, for instance, spiritual predecessor Limbo, it's become pretty difficult for me to get into side-scrolling games anymore. Perhaps it's because I feel limited in expressing myself through the mechanics of such titles, though it seems that would actually fit in well with the worlds of these games. Thanks for the answer!
      May 3, 2017 10:36 AM MDT
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  • 745
    Oh, yes, talk about the pain of having an enormous backlog, I understand that too well, lol.

    While I have played a little of Limbo prior to Inside, I can't speak much on it since I only played it for like 2 hours. I kind of agree that Playdead games have the deceptive appearance of simplicity, at least when it comes to mechanics, but have complexity lying elsewhere, and are worth playing for different reasons; one is aesthetics, artisitic design, and another and most importantly, for the narrative and atmosphere. Inside didn't have a single spoken word, but it conveyed its story, in my opinion, so captivatingly. Maybe I'm just speaking as someone who enjoys platformers, so it doesn't bother me, but I'd still recommend it to anyone. The feelings you get playing through it are like nothing I've ever experienced, I'm still in awe till this moment, and it's a short game so you really have nothing to lose.
      May 4, 2017 5:42 AM MDT
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