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Sessler's Soapbox: Adam vs. Ebert - Games as Art

Posted: April 20, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Adam vs. Ebert - Games as Art
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/45457/sesslers-soapbox-adam-vs-ebert-games-as-art/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/233268_LGST/soapbox-4-20-10.jpg
Video_45457
Adam discusses Roger Ebert's article about how video games can never be art, and why he thinks the argument is somewhat pointless.

Comments are Closed

  • cwhas2godhands

    this is off subject, but if you have netflix, and a 360, ps3, or a working pc, i recemend that you stream "friday night lights"... even if you don't give two shats about football americana.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 10:51 PM
    cwhas2godhands
  • dantastic4

    Wow it just amazes me how many gamer are upset at a babyboomers opion of games not being cosidered an art form.This is like getting upset at a 90 year old man for not understanding how to operate a Macbook or an Ipad.Ebert's generation will for the love of money never really view games as an artform so why is there such a big F'in stink over this guys opion.When he was in his late 20s games were just blips on the screen and considered a novelty, but since then have greatly have evoled into something much more of enteritaning experience.We can't really hold anybodies subjective opinion in such high reguards if they never really understood them in the first place.Art by definition is subjective in the eye of the beholder.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 9:53 PM
    dantastic4
  • zack2545

    I think I have to agree with Ebert on his last two paragraphs. Why do gamers have to validate their preferred entertainment as art? Why can't we just enjoy what we choose to enjoy and let it be? I don't really agree with Mr. Ebert's argument, but it's not really that big a deal.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 8:24 PM
    zack2545
  • Tcreavis

    The ironic thing about this is that most games up until now have been static and forward. But today with games like Heavy Rain and Fallout 3 which give you a chance to experience anything at any point with your own strategy.


    The one thing you left out is screen shot art which is very popular. It's basically art where you are supplied the material. I don't know.

    Gamers should chill out.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 8:08 PM
    Tcreavis
  • Joeythearm

    Heavy rain isnt art? but Shrek is?


    XPLN PLZ

    Posted: April 22, 2010 7:39 PM
  • Joeythearm

    Heavy rain isnt art? but Shrek is?


    XPLN PLZ

    Posted: April 22, 2010 7:36 PM
  • lilbrinkie

    I think this argument is largely based on a much bigger issue. Art has become more and more something we observe as opposed to something we do. Art was once, and in my opinion should still be viewed as an act of outstanding human achievement. While paintings, films, and music are examples of such achievements, it's often overlooked that craftsmen, architects, athletes, dancers, etc. are also artists. So, by virtue of art being something that humans participate in to achieve a beautiful outcome, doesn't that make both the process of creating a game and the playing of that game forms of art? Isn't it the journey and the thought process itself that constitutes the art as opposed to the final destination/product?

    Posted: April 22, 2010 7:35 PM
  • griffis705

    I'am artist and i feel that art is a marjor part of the game to call a game art is prefect in opian because games are art because is a great story or poem not art which is also part of the the game and great the story behind the piece is just as important as the psychical piece of art work.

    Movies are now class as art and at one time people said they the down fall of are culture, and now there condenser art i thing there just a new media to work with.

    And the idea the someone would give the ability to control there story and let me change and make it my own is great. But don't author let you do that letting use read there stories cause we make visuel in are heads to go alone with the book.

    I agree with idea about the Iver tower there is no Iver tower cause whats art to me may not be art to you or someone else art is defined by the viewer, not the person looking over there shoulder

    Posted: April 22, 2010 6:42 PM
    griffis705
  • Paradigm Quake

    I'm a little disappointed, Adam.

    I didn't even know this was up for debate. I'm rather shocked that anyone would even try to make the argument that video games aren't art. It's... just so blatantly preposterous, I'm not even sure how to argue against it. Like, what do you say to someone who claims the sun is bright blue?

    The definition of art is surely a nebulous one, but I've been moved, challenged, and compelled by games every bit as much as by older forms of art. If we all agree that painting, film, and sculpture can be art, then I'm not sure what games are missing to qualify. Sorry Adam, but 'Staticness' just isn't convincing or well-defined enough of a quality, for me, anyway.

    In the words of good old Mike (who happens to *be* a traditional drawing kind of artist): "Of course video games are art. They are nothing but art. They are art piled on top of more art. Ebert has thrown his hat in with the rest of the short sighted critics who would rather debate what is or isn't art, rather than simply enjoy the work of artists."

    Posted: April 22, 2010 5:15 PM
    Paradigm+Quake
  • Avenger16473

    I belive that you can't realy label games as art simply because they are interactive.Also people have different experinces and interactions when playing a game than art which is mainly static. Well i guess you could interact with art if your high or drunk.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 4:48 PM
    Avenger16473
  • phantomzxro

    I agree with most that games can be art but i feel that games don't need to be labaled as such. The term "art" is forever changing and things that are named art have changed as well. It's like trying to win a popularity contest, in a week something else will be popular. Remember when super abstract painting and statues became art. 50 years ago it would have been called trash, so is it really important for games to even be labal art now? I don't think so maybe down the road games will be art when art is no longer static in nature.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 3:14 PM
    phantomzxro
  • The Rascal King

    Ebert wrote softcore porn, that man does deserve merit for being awesome. Despite whatever he says, it's just one man's opinion. It doesn't really matter what the fudge he says on the subject of video games being considered art. Can't we just enjoy games the way they are?

    Posted: April 22, 2010 2:55 PM
    The+Rascal+King
  • Badfug

    Wow I hope you read this haha...lots of thought for it just to fall on deaf ears...

    Do you stand by Ebert in the idea that a Cathedral is art even though it is not made by just one person? Because I sure do. Every aspect that goes into creating a game is a form of art (as would go into making a Cathedral) so just on that principle why aren't games in the category of art?

    Now by no means am I upset in the sense that the word art means that something is important and that games aren't important because people do not believe that they are art. I'm upset because I don't see why people could say that any creation of a (or many) conscious creatures for the sake of the experience for others, as apposed to function, could not be considered art. Music gives the experience of sound, Paintings and sculptures and so on give the experience of sight, food: taste and texture, books and poems: mental creation and understanding, and games (notice that I say games not just video games): the ultimate experience people have appeared to have over looked...power. Games (which more profoundly would include war) is about the experience of power. A game is merely a way for the human race to experience power through others means. Just because I could change your narrative doesn't mean I diminish what the ultimate art birthing would be in a game, power.

    Again I hope you or at least someone reads this...

    ps if you won't hug yourself I will because angry people are irrational.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 9:56 AM
    Badfug
  • Badfug

    Wow I hope you read this haha...lots of thought for it just to fall on deaf ears...

    Do you stand by Ebert in the idea that a Cathedral is art even though it is not made by just one person? Because I sure do. Every aspect that goes into creating a game is a form of art (as would go into making a Cathedral) so just on that principle why aren't games in the category of art?

    Now by no means am I upset in the sense that the word art means that something is important and that games aren't important because people do not believe that they are art. I'm upset because I don't see why people could say that any creation of a (or many) conscious creatures for the sake of the experience for others, as apposed to function, could not be considered art. Music gives the experience of sound, Paintings and sculptures and so on give the experience of sight, food: taste and texture, books and poems: mental creation and understanding, and games (notice that I say games not just video games): the ultimate experience people have appeared to have over looked...power. Games (which more profoundly would include war) is about the experience of power. A game is merely a way for the human race to experience power through others means. Just because I could change your narrative doesn't mean I diminish what the ultimate art birthing would be in a game, power.

    Again I hope you or at least someone reads this...

    ps if you won't hug yourself I will because angry people are irrational.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 9:55 AM
    Badfug
  • acosper

    I think that we need to clearly distinguish between the normative sense of art (in which we pick winners) and the nominal sense of art (in which we simply note that something art-like is being presented; say in third grade art class). We have fairly good, if vague, definitions of art in the nominal sense: it is an act of expression or an evocation of emotion. Whether it is good enough to be Art (in the normative sense) is a question of how we value it. We may not approach games as Art now: once we did not approach movies as Art. Read something along the line of Horkheimer and Adorno's The Culture Industry to get a feel for the way Ebert's preferred type of Art used to be treated by the high-minded intellectuals of the early days of the motion picture industry. They simply could not see how we could come to value movies as Art. Luckily, for Ebert, we have groped around in the dark long enough to come up with some way to evaluate movies as Art; to separate the movies that are artistic from the films that are Art. Despite the title of Ebert's post, he really makes no argument as to why we cannot evolve to a point where videogames will be valued as Art. And, unless you want to take a Kantian position and argue that taste is objective, when we start to value games as Art, they will be Art.

    Clap if you believe is about as good a definition of Art as any....

    Posted: April 22, 2010 9:40 AM
  • Skithee

    I don't think the people necessarily want games defined as art. What I think they want is for their games to not be simply dismissed as a lower form of entertainment or expression. I think the goal is to beat the feeling that society looks at our chosen form of enjoyment the same way a hardcore nerd looks at football. Art seems to just be the closest thing to compare them to. Personally, I think art, or rather, Art �, is ultimately about intent. I could make all the doodles in the world, and I wouldn't call it art, nor would I expect some one else to. But when my girlfriend puts a line on a blank page, it's obviously art. There is definitely artistry involved in games, and I'd say there's plenty of artsy games. Is there a game that is Art �? I don't know. Ask the creators.

    Posted: April 22, 2010 7:15 AM
  • 1234____

    All I have to say is that Bioshock deconstructs an entire philosophy via a media designed to entertain and if that in-and-of itself is not art, then I don't know what is.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 11:03 PM
    1234____
  • ShiftyEyedDrifter

    I think that what can be deemed as art differs from person to person, as well as what falls into the category. In terms of film it s easier to call The Godfather a work of art more than it is Bio-Dome. A painting by a child may be considered art by the parents, but not so much by strangers who enjoy the works of Van Gogh. The term masterpiece , which is used as somewhat of a term for gradation in the art community, is also used in the video game world. While playing games such as Braid or Bioshock it is very easy for gamers to play them and call them masterpieces and works of art more than is for the people who play games like Nintendogs or Guitar Hero. Whereas some people look at a Jackson Pollock painting and see art, I see a bunch of splashes on a paper. In contrast someone like Roger Ebert could play Okami and see nothing more than mindless entertainment, I see a work of art. In the end it s all a matter of personal perspective

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:23 PM
    ShiftyEyedDrifter
  • DKBomber13

    Well said, buddy. Not everyone will love games and/or gamers. So those angry people need to calm down and accept that people that hate them. Cause I think the gamers also hate them. hmmmm.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:35 PM
    DKBomber13
  • VenomSiphon

    If Marcel Duchamp took a urinal in 1917, signed his name on it, titled it " Fountain", and called it art, then I refuse to believe that a videogame is beneath a toilet and will never in the future be considered by the public "art". I also believe it was Duchamp that said something like anything can be art if a person designates it as such.

    Your points Adam are very valid and insightful, as always.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 6:52 PM
    VenomSiphon
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