Are video games art?
The question of whether video games are art has been a contentious one, with different perspectives offered by various thinkers in the field of technology and art.
One of the most prominent voices against the idea that video games are art is that of film critic Roger Ebert, who famously wrote in a 2010 blog post that “video games can never be art.” Ebert argued that video games are inherently limited by their interactive nature and that they cannot be considered true art because they are not created with the intention of evoking an emotional response in the viewer. He also argued that video games are not a medium for self-expression, as they are created by teams of designers and programmers rather than individual artists.
On the other hand, Ian Bogost, a media theorist and game designer, has argued that video games are indeed art. In his book “How to Do Things with Games,” Bogost argues that video games are a form of procedural rhetoric, which uses systems and rules to communicate ideas and messages. He contends that video games are a unique form of expression that can communicate complex ideas in ways that other mediums cannot. Bogost also argues that video games are not limited by their interactive nature, but rather that interactivity is a defining feature of the medium that allows for unique forms of expression.
Another thinker, Espen Aarseth, who is a literary scholar and game researcher, argues that video games are a form of cybertext, which is a new medium that creates a new narrative and expressive possibilities. He contends that video games offer a unique form of expression that is different from traditional literature, film, and other art forms.
Overall, while some thinkers like Roger Ebert reject the idea that video games can be considered art, others like Ian Bogost and Espen Aarseth argue that video games are a unique and valid form of expression that deserve to be considered as art.
The contemporary state of video games and the role of interactive fiction.
In recent years, the video game industry has grown to become one of the most lucrative forms of entertainment, with global revenues surpassing those of film and music. This has led to an increased recognition of the artistic potential of video games, with many critics and scholars now seeing them as a legitimate form of art.
One area of video games that has seen a resurgence in popularity is interactive fiction, which uses text-based interfaces to create immersive and interactive stories. Interactive fiction games such as “Her Story” and “80 Days” have been praised for their innovative storytelling and have been recognized as valid forms of art.
Another area that has gained attention in recent years is the use of virtual reality technology in video games. Virtual reality games such as “EVE: Valkyrie” and “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” offer players fully immersive experiences that blur the line between reality and fiction. Media theorist Mark Saler, who wrote “The Prehistory of Virtual Reality,” argues that virtual reality games are a new form of art that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in terms of storytelling and player engagement.
In conclusion, video games have evolved from a simple form of entertainment to a medium with a wide range of expressive possibilities. Interactive fiction and virtual reality games are leading the way in terms of pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with video games as an art form. Scholars and critics like Saler continue to explore the potential of video games as a medium for expression, and as the technology continues to advance, it is likely that the artistic potential of video games will continue to be explored and recognized.
How might video games and interactive stories change with the developemeng of genai?
The development of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has the potential to revolutionize the way video games and interactive stories are created and experienced.
One potential application of generative AI in video games is the ability to generate unique and unpredictable game environments and scenarios. This would allow for a more dynamic and immersive gaming experience, as players would be able to encounter new challenges and obstacles on each playthrough. This technology could also be used to create procedurally generated stories, where players would have the ability to make choices that impact the outcome of the story, and the AI would adjust the story accordingly.
Another potential application of generative AI in video games is the ability to create more realistic and complex non-player characters (NPCs). Generative AI could be used to create NPCs with realistic personalities, emotions, and decision-making abilities, which would allow players to interact with NPCs in a more realistic and immersive way.
The development of generative AI also has the potential to change the way the metaverse is experienced. The metaverse is a collective virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual reality. With the use of generative AI, the metaverse could become more realistic and immersive, with the ability to generate unique and unpredictable environments and scenarios. Additionally, AI-generated NPCs would allow for more social interactions in the metaverse, and it could become a more interactive and believable space.
Overall, the integration of generative AI in video games and interactive stories has the potential to greatly enhance the gaming experience and change the way we interact with and experience the metaverse. However, it is also important to consider the ethical implications of using AI in video games, such as the possibility of creating biased or unfair game environments, and the need for transparency and accountability in the development and use of AI in video games.
What is art anyway?
In conclusion, the question of whether video games are art is a complex and nuanced one that has been debated by scholars, critics, and gamers alike. While some argue that video games cannot be considered art due to their interactive nature and lack of emotional resonance, others argue that video games are a unique and valid form of expression that deserve to be recognized as art.
The integration of generative AI in video games has the potential to greatly enhance the gaming experience and change the way we interact with and experience the metaverse. However, it is also important to consider the ethical implications of using AI in video games.
Ultimately, the question of whether video games are art is not as important as the question of what art is and what it should be. The definition of art is constantly evolving and expanding to include new forms of expression and mediums. As technology advances, it is important to continue to consider and evaluate the artistic potential of new forms of expression, such as video games.
- Bogost, Ian. “How to Do Things with Games.” University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
- Ebert, Roger. “Video games can never be art.” Chicago Sun-Times, April 2010.
- Aarseth, Espen. “Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature.” John Hopkins University Press, 1997.
- Saler, Mark. “The Prehistory of Virtual Reality.” New York University Press, 2013.
- “The Metaverse: A New Frontier for the Gaming Industry.” PwC, 2020
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