Are video games art? (2011)

Curated by Ben Kim
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In the past, video games have always been considered immature. However nowadays people are start trying to believe that video games are more widely being explored as an art-form and these fascinating interactive entertainment create great opportunities for storytelling, visual art, and moreover music. There are several roles that digital media artist plays in its relation with game culture and in this exhibition, I would like to examine what/how video game industry represents in digital media form. Art work such as “The White Room” is a good example of this new art form call “game art”. “The White Room” (John Paul Bichard) is a set of photographic prints resulting from an in-game photo shoot that documents a series of constructed disasters. These interiors were set up by the artist using the videogame “Max Payne 2”. From his work he argues very oblique and arguably obscure critique of the stereotypical, which have influenced the video game industry. One of the other works from John which is Evidencia #000 is also a pretty sensationalist piece of art. It attempts to imagine what the scene would really look like after a game is over and calculated to shock with its realistic gore and association of the world of gaming. As game culture become in more sophisticated way video game art involves the use of patched or modified video games or the repurposing of existing games or game structures. Some artists such as Chris Burke and John Dylan Keith began to develop the idea of a “Halo” based machinima series and wanted to create a sort of social environment for non-violent interaction and created stream show like “This Spartan Life”. Each of the works from one of the artist all share that video games are a topic of study within the philosophy of the arts and indeed it is from that the philosophy of the arts that we should most expect guidance in solving our problems. Although all video games should not be consider art however it is undeniable that recent developments in the digital media have been widely recognized as clear indications that video games should be regarded as art works. Several recent games have reached levels of excellence that exceed that majority of popular film and it seems the potential of the medium is clear and promised. The obvious question thus facing us is how we should categorize or define art.

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