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Will the games boom birth a new art form? - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
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Sat, Dec. 27th, 2008 02:49 am
Will the games boom birth a new art form?

50CommentReply

krskrft
krskrft
Sun, Dec. 28th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)

I don't think you understand. Not only am I imagining a world where criticism and scholarship about video games emerges from universities, but where potential developers go to universities to learn the supposed "craft" of video game creation. The latter portion is what troubles me most. Universities don't mesh well with creative pursuits. They normalize such pursuits, and because it all has to appear to be "academic" in nature, craft-based systems inevitably emerge, and actually end up stunting innovation. If video games become art-in-quotes, this is the fate of the medium ... a bunch of normalized muck. I'd much rather see video games normalized by the conditions of its own industry because those conditions can change and develop rather robustly with new developments in technology. If video games become "art," then the task of training the artists to make them will certainly be farmed out to universities, as has been the case with every other major form of "art" in recent decades ("Creative Writing" being the most prominent example).

I think the distinction I would make is between games, as they are, being taken seriously, and games being created expressly to be taken seriously. Again, I don't think there's any question that video games constitute art for many individuals. The question, then, is: will video games become art for those who traditionally decide what the term means? I don't see any problem with high-brow critics finding some ironic, post-modern value to video games, but when games are created expressly for those people, that's going to be a sad day indeed.


ReplyThread Parent
jermynsavile
jermynsavile
jermynsavile
Sun, Dec. 28th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't see any alternative and think it likely that you are doomed to disappointment. What you are describing is what happened to cinema and what has happened with "creative writing" courses in university, which goes right back to my original point, which I think you missed, about money and institutional patrons. Here in Brighton we even have a college to teach pop music - but 'serious' pop music, safe and bundled-up-into-a-package pop music, not the frothy or messy stuff, you understand. I don't really see any reason why your games will be any different.

If you are lucky, there will likely be a period where finance, creativity and freedom coincide to produce your golden age - after that it'll be time to move on to something else and leave it to the people who prefer their culture safely ratified and referenced. Whether I see it or not doesn't really matter - I probably won't - but you and the people who care about it will.

Of course there is always seeking out interesting stuff on the margins, that is usually worth some effort for a while...

I think we've quite possibly come full circle and agreed with each other to some extent, even if my predictions aren't to your liking.


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Sun, Dec. 28th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)

Your prediction assumes that all conditions are the same for the video games industry. Care to make some actual connections, rather than just relying on received wisdom from other artistic modes?


ReplyThread Parent