Are games really art?
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Posted 24 November 2008 - 06:48 PM
This is getting all philosophical.
Dude, the question was: "Are games art?" It started out philosophical, and is only getting worse!!
is anything that evokes an emotion art? ... If you require the subjective evokation of emotion to be the defining feature of art then art is something completely out of our control to define as every person will have an individual perception of whether or not something is art.
No. I guess I wasn't specific enough in explaining my understanding of Art. In my defense, IANAP (I am not a philosopher). Just a guy trying poke a stick at the topic…
To be more specific: Any tangible, representational thing created by Man in order to purposely, specifically and directly evoke emotion(s) in others is Art. The actual quality or quantity of "evocation" at the recipient end is irrelevant.
If natural phenomenon evokes an emotion, it is not Art, although it may be said to be "artful" or "artsy". God may or may not be behind it, and even if we were assured of His/Her existence, it is certainly beyond me to presume any actual intent. God may be the ultimate artist, but until He/She tangibly signs His/Her work, I will exclude it from my consideration and keep my definition more earthly in scope.
As for cutting someone off in traffic, there is no representational object, no "thing", created... except the occasional car accident, but then we get to intention. There is usually no primary intent to evoke emotion(s). The intent is usually something like "to get home early for the next Family Guy episode, because my life is otherwise empty" or "because my wife will kill me". Now, we can obviously contrive to create a fringe scenario, an edge case, that destroys this generalization, but we can do so with many murkier words in our language.
Murder likewise has no tangible quality. Murder is usually all action.
The natural tendency is to think, well, dance is one or more actions, yet is still considered Art, right? So, WTF, alphadog? But, the Art in a dance piece is not an instance of physical exertion, but the composition of the work. Dance also has various notational systems that can give tangibility to the artwork created by the choreographer, as strict as ballet or as loose as modern dance. The instance, the execution (pun intended), the performance of the dance is not Art, it is Performance. Performance is more akin to Sport than Art. For example, just “performing” in a dance club is not Art.
A better choice to confound me would be executions, whether by serial killers or states. Usually “designed”. Intended to create fear. Take the snuff film as another example. Film is Art, right? Well, I would actually call this Art. The problem here is the limited appeal.
I am sure I am not explaining myself 100% clearly…
IOW, to borrow terminology from our industry, Art is the "design deliverable" that then evokes emotion. How well it is delivered or received, or its subject matter, is irrelevant to saying "is it Art or not", but does obviously contribute to "is it *good* Art ot not".
The problem with defining Art as "deliberate use of communicative expression" is that it is too broad to be of any use whatsoever. This makes a math book, a restroom sign, or even a vapid conversation equivalent to an Art object. I would rather have a more constrained definition that has a handful of grayish exceptions, rather than one too broad as to be useful.
But, I do shy away from the other extreme, where "Art is in the eye of the beholder", since it that is simple not true. Art is not in the eye of the beholder; *appreciation* of any given Art object is. That removes the "authority problem" in defining Art.
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