I don't believe I've ever claimed that this blog would be ALL game reviews, but I will post my opinions involving the game industry here for discussion if the readers feel so inclined!~
There has been some open debate about the validity of video games as an art form and I was hearing about something Robert Ebert said in regards to the art. Here is a link to the article quoting Ebert's criticisms. Through further discussion with peers of mine, we realized how ridiculous it is to think about a critic of a seperate art genre judges a topic that they have no expertise in.
Ebert came in and said,
"There is a structural reason for that: Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control. "
But how can you really define "Art?" You can't. There are millions upon millions of different types of art, from a little girl making crayon drawings to beautiful photographs of trees to gorgeous songs.
Ebert also states,
"I am prepared to believe that video games can be elegant, subtle, sophisticated, challenging and visually wonderful. But I believe the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art. To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic. "
Regardless of these comments being two years old, they are still relevant to touch upon as it is blatantly obvious that the luddites of the old age of "classic art" cannot accept video games as a valid art form. What do you honestly accomplish by looking at a piece of art? You get more cultured? Are video games not a part of today's culture? Would playing them not allow you to be more cultured!? His logic fails me.
Video games have to be a form of art. It may be easier for me to define interactive media as art because I have had more exposure to it than most. Society has had media delivered to them in passive manners through books, music, movies, television, radio, etc. etc. etc. Video games take those art forms, and combine many of them, while allowing the user to have an interactive take on the art form that has presented to them.
Video games have visual art forms in them, being presented in backgrounds, landscapes, character creation, and all characters in general. The visual aspect has required tons of art to be used.
At the same time as the visuals, you have the sound. The music adds a mood/feel to the game as well as the certain sounds that present themselves if the player does certain things within the game.
As a third part of the art aspect for video games, the gameplay plays a large part. The way you use whatever character or object that has been presented to you is an art form in itself. Take the Halo games for instance. They're accessible to all ages and the control scheme is done well, but some people have more skill than most at it. Compare that to some Asian form of sword fighting where certain people have more skill than others and it considered a martial art. It is an art form. So why wouldn't the way you play a video game be an art form?
To everyone out there that claims that video games are not a valid art form, I dare you to open your closed mind and mature your way of thinking one iota.
Interested in watching a little clip about art in video games? Check out The Art of the Game.