7. Are games art?
I feel I should put Rahul Jain as a co-author for this piece as without him I would have not been intrigued about it at all.
I started with a basic thought of what is art? A piece that can evoke emotions in people; something that can withstand time immemorial unlike ideologies and design that may rot with passing time; a piece that has the capacity to move people with tempting narrative and has the ability to take to a whole different journey altogether.
The (video) game seems to fit in like a missing piece of jig-saw puzzle.
Time and again we come across games like Journey that completely change our perspective of what a game can do; how immersive could it be; how much can you tell with it. In fact to build a game, you do not have to nail one form of art but every — Sound, Art direction, Character design, World building, Copy writing, Narration — E V E R Y T H I N G.
And all of these are considered as art in themselves, then what in world does compel me to shut the doors of art for games? What’s there to all the forms of art that games do not have?
To be fair, reading the book too could be called an activ(e)ity, but it is nothing compared to what a game is. You can not sit through it while it is being played, like music or film. Even while reading, you read exactly what the writer intends you to read. (Although the way every reader visualises the story is different, the narrative remains the same.)
But when you are playing a game, you are not experiencing the game, you are the game — you are a part of it. The game does not exist without Player One.
Quoting RJ here: “One of the best uses of this interactivity I ever found was in god of war — the game wouldn’t end — after playing for so long aggressively — and beating the shit out of revenge (I am gonna spoil it )
You kept smashing someone till the screen was red — even after defeating the arch enemy for revenge -and you kept doing it — till i quit the game
And that was precisely what was required to complete the game
To quit revenge itself — is the only way to salvation
It was proper mindfuck”
You can't make the audience hate your game ; because you want them to play, and pay for doing it as well. And exactly there is where it loses the first criteria I kept for it to be ART — to provoke emotions in its audience . And anger, disgust and cringe are the emotions a game cannot afford to provoke.
Thus, many games have to be purposefully made longer/easier. I can watch a film that I do not like, speed-read a badly written book, but never will I play through a game that sucks balls.
P.S. Thanking Nerdwriter to put this thought into my mind, that lead to the discussion.