Art Games is becoming a genre. Kristine Ploug gives an introduction.
Originally published at: http://www.artificial.dk/articles/artgamesintro.htm
A list of recommended Art Games here: http://www.artificial.dk/articles/artgamesnetworks.htm
All articles in this series:
The first computer game, Spacewar, was born at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961. Then an era of Pong and subsequently more advanced arcade games occurred. Then came the consoles - both for use at home and the handheld ones, the latest arrival being the PlayStation Portable, the PSP. We now live in a time of increasingly advanced 3D games for different platforms.
The computer game industry is thriving. It is making more money than the movie industry, and games are showing up in more and more contexts. A lot of box office hits are accompanied by games (Harry Potter, Lord of the Ring …) and with the new movie King Kong the game is even launched before the movie.
Games are virtually everywhere. Politicians have games on their websites as part of their election campaigns. Kids are increasingly learning through games. Games are everywhere and it is believed that they will move into even more places in the future.
Introducing: Art Games
But enough about games as such. As a small subcategory of computer games you find Art Games. They are made by artists as pieces of art. Some have ulterior motives, mainly political, others are merely a playful piece of interaction with the user.
What makes them art and not just games? For some, the fact that they were made as art, for others the fact that they are exhibited as art - it can all be boiled down to the intention behind them, originating from either the curator or the artist. An example of an art game is Samorost, which was made as a quirky design project, rather than art, but has been seen by several curators as art.