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i think one of the problems is that we chose not to make those games. We have seen games like Okami, which is beautiful and wonderful and a critical success, flop and take a studio down with it.


you're absolutely right. and we're seeing fewer and fewer ambitious art films, as well, because budgets are straining... we are, however, seeing more smaller indie films, perhaps, and maybe that's where games can shine, too.

we're also seeing less "serious literature". it used to be that those projects got funded out of a sense of public good, or because there was a prestige associated with them and the investors or funders didn't care that much about making money back. now financiers sometimes care solely about how much money they can make back.

i'm way oversimplifying, and of course speaking from just what i observe; i don't really know.

so i guess we need the wealthy philanthropist patron of videogames!


For sure. I think it's the day and age too. You look at what music is popular, what movies, what games and lit., and none of it is serious. In the 90's there wasnt as much money, and people were frustrated and pissed off, so we got music (grunge) that was frustrated and pissed off. We saw people pushing the envelope, cuz they felt like pushing. Now we face supposed issues that are bigger than ever (global warming, war), and we get feel-good nonsense. Where did the anger go?


Look at the book "I Am 8-Bit"... People are always going to do something new and exciting... Burger King could put a piece of cheese "just so" on a burger and call it art... There is no true definition of the word anymore... Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGQ20yDDVzQ ... I'd call that a form of art... It all depends on personal opinion...


Art-with-a-capital-A is a question of authority. When Ebert says that games aren't art, he sets himself up as an authority on what art is. When people waste tons of energy trying to convince him to expand his definition, they just legitimize his authority.

I actually like living in a world where Jeff fucking Koons is considered art, because it really does mean that anything goes, we can stop worrying about whether games fit into some predefined artistic definition, and get on with the much more interesting business of envelope-pushing.


"Now we face supposed issues that are bigger than ever (global warming, war), and we get feel-good nonsense."

We've had war on and off for pretty much the bulk of the last 60 years, Jane, some of them protested as vehemently as the current ones...

I have to disagree with you over the question of the relevence of the question "are games art?" Whilst I have a fervent hatred of much of what passes for art these days (and in my opinion it does not warrant the classification), there are advantages to having games classed as such. Notably, there are many potential sources of funding for "art projects" that could help many a budding developer get off the ground, if only their art were recognised as such. Is that not reason enough to push the point a little?


my point about global warming and war wasnt that they hadnt existed before, but that they are closer to the forefront in people's minds, what with gore traipsing around the world, and documentary films being a dime a dozen. of course these issues, or similar have always existed.


>Does it matter what the answer is?

Unfortunately, yes. Because the answer to that question will serve as ammunition for one side or the other of the legal debate regarding game sales, etc. The powers-that-be at one point in time decided that Comics were definitely NOT art. We see where that lead.

Now, that being said, I totally get and agree with your point.

It's just that "are games art?" is a proxy for the question many are REALLY debating, which is something akin to "do games have value?", or "do games have merit?"

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