Gaming as an Art

So I’m sure if you’re reading this you’ve played a lot of games. Perhaps Halo, Assassin’s Creed, God of War…. games I haven’t played, but have tried. Dragon Age Origins, Oblivion, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, just games. Just things with the objective try to win. Have you ever looked at them differently have you ever came to apart in the game where you were instead of just trying to win, but actually continue on with the experience? Have games ever been more to you than just well play, have they ever made you think, feel, or truly think of anything? It’s a question this industry will have to ask as we continue to move forward in both our technology, and our means of thought. I feel Games can be more than just simply child’s play, they can move further than just simply toys for children. Are they toys for children, or are they experiences in which they invoke deep philosophical questions, and well for the most part no. When you go off, and start you game… you see New Game, on almost anything. No matter how great the material games will forever be seen as well games, until someone decides to do something more. Games can be educational as well. Still can games become more than just toys to play with when your bored, can they be more than just simply trying to beat your friends high score, can we dare to evolve a game unto something more than just a game, an experience. What is an experience? An experience is a : direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge. The key word participation, many other art forms have offered experiences, but they have all been in observation, they have never offered participation. This is where Gaming differs this is where we can truly step from the “clutter” of other art forms, just as Television, and Film is moving photography. Photography, Pictures, and still images are forever unchanged. Though games what is truly unique about them is that they have the input of the user. Based on the players decision the game can be radically changed. In my example below I outline

Narrative Mechanics *Topic listed below*, Gaming without any dialogue, narration, or anything else. Just simply Gaming as it should be. Now some may argue that this is going a bit too in depth. Though Gaming is about offering interactive experiences, not exactly about play. You have to make the game involving, not by simply just enjoyment, but perhaps intrigue. You still have rules, and you still have things… I can definitely see how multiplayer games will not be art. But games that focus on delivering an experience of human life. Even though this seems a bit controversial… what about a game that offers you the choice of either having a baby, having an abortion, or having to give up the baby. it is a thing that offers choice, and in that it can be used as an art form. It is no longer a game, and there is no longer a win or lose scenario… it is an interactive art form.

So we’d set it up… you play as either the father, or the mother. The first objective is to decide on this crucial decision… and it’s not an easy one that’s not the point. The point is to offer the situation, and to make the player think to have an emotional response to the decision. It’s not longer an up for debate answer. So you make your decision the objective have the baby, your new objective decide rather to keep the child or adopt it knowing you have limited funds, you must try and seek out a job. You decide to give the child up for adoption, The End. The game doesn’t have to involve play… or better yet the game simply must offer an experience. We will still use the term game, because in a previous discussion we can’t really come up with a better term other than video game, interactive experience just is too long, and it’s too hard to shake off that it’s still really a video game with rules, just abstract rules.

So let’s continue on with the example instead you decide to abort the child, and now you must watch what happens, in as much realism as today’s graphics, and sound can try and manipulate. Though the game is graphic, controversial, the goal is to question the purpose of life?

Let’s say you choose to have the child, but we roll the dice the mother ends up dying, do you still keep the child…

Or you play as the mother and you end up dying…

Or you keep the child, and the objective is now to care and keep the child alive, with your limited funding, so the player must now pursue a job, and try and care for the child.

So how is this art, and what is art? Well Art Merriam dictionary is truly anything that takes skill, or is something that decorates something… I believe art though in the terms of what we read literature, watch films, and critic art… is it pulls an emotional response out of the viewer, but can also be broken down into further analysis of it’s emotional implication. In Game Creation, you have people who design stories, who design rules, who design sound… all of these things come together to create something that overwhelms both the film, and literature industry… though it can be argued that by Merriam definition.

Definition of ART

1: skill acquired by experience, study, or observation

2: art (as painting, sculpture, or music) concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects -usually used in plural

So if we look at 1 it has that down completely, but can making the choice of saving a child, and raising the child is that not beautiful, is that something that evokes emotion, and raises the question of life? Can games not be art, if presented with these thoughts in mind. We combine music, (games have sound effects, and musics), Sculpture (games are made from 3D virtual clay), and Painting (3D textures, and landscapes). Gaming is all of this, but with interaction. That is what separates gaming is that we now have the chance to have the user have a choice in how they are affected at least emotionally. From the aesthetic gaming is already art, but from the emotional pretense that it must draw an emotion it is not. That is what I would love to see change in the industry, from simple fun to drawing out emotion. Oh, and yes people will find that game choosing abortion or to raise a child to be boring, but than does that categorize life as boring, is living boring? The game would not have to be long, but it would raise a question, and it would invoke emotion, and it would already have been sculpted, to have been created musically, and furthermore it simply the fact that the medium is in it’s infancy is the reason we have not seen such creations. The people who make such creations are not simpletons, they are people who have a great passion, and wisdom of life. We have yet to see the Leonardo of gaming, we have yet to see the Shakespeare of gaming, the Spielberg of gaming, and I simply ask that you take a look at what I have presented and maybe make your own argument, or even tell me what you think.


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