Video Games as Art?

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This subject kind of came up in another thread, but I wanted to give it a bit more space and expand on it here.

Personally I do believe that video games can be art, and most certainly can be described as having an artistic vision, even those that also quite clearly have to achieve a financial objective as well (and most likely as a prime aim). The question does then come up of where or if a dividing line exists, it's easier to argue that titles like Flower or Journey are art, than it is for the latest FIFA. It's easier to argue that a title has a purely artistic vision if the creators are answerable to only themselves, rather than shareholders, but again that doesn't preclude it, and some fo the finest art in history are paid commissions, and some of the most self-indulgent comes from 'passion projects'.

One area of the discussion that does annoy me, and I'm going to cite Gran Turismo here, is when art or allusions of art, are used as an attempt to shut down criticism of the title, art is not strictly good, and even good art can be flawed. Critical analysis of art is likely as old as art itself, and if we wish to accept games as a valid art form, then it has to accept that critique comes along with that. I mentioned GT purely as I've lost count over the years of attempts to counter valid critics using the 'you don't get the vision' style arguments. Sorry, but that's simply not a valid argument alone to shut down critical views and opinions.

So please weight in, do you think games are art? What defines that, can it be defined, and what are your views on the subject as a whole.

For me at least gt has always been piece of art, don’t get that feeling when i play forza
Why?

What tangibly differentiates one from the other?

I could accept an argument that, as art, you prefer GT over Forza, but to class one as art and the other not, that would need quite robust evidence.
 
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Art is when some creation stirrs a reaction that resembles the creativity of life itself. And therefore cannot be grasped and is subjective to the person and the object of art.

Gran Turismo 7 is, for me, art, because there is a sense of attention and devotion in the game. It is just there. The subject is cars. It is the way the attention and devotion helped shape this unique game.

Another example is Elden Ring. Attention and devotion for a world full of wonder and horror. All to be explored and experience by the player.

Final example:
If you have a ps5 download the KidAmnesiac experience from Radiohead. This is litteral art into a videogame experience. There is no real gameplay, but the interactivity goes beyond other digital art project that I have seen. It mesmerized me.
 
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This subject kind of came up in another thread, but I wanted to give it a bit more space and expand on it here.

Personally I do believe that video games can be art, and most certainly can be described as having an artistic vision, even those that also quite clearly have to achieve a financial objective as well (and most likely as a prime aim). The question does then come up of where or if a dividing line exists, it's easier to argue that titles like Flower or Journey are art, than it is for the latest FIFA. It's easier to argue that a title has a purely artistic vision if the creators are answerable to only themselves, rather than shareholders, but again that doesn't preclude it, and some fo the finest art in history are paid commissions, and some of the most self-indulgent comes from 'passion projects'.

One area of the discussion that does annoy me, and I'm going to cite Gran Turismo here, is when art or allusions of art, are used as an attempt to shut down criticism of the title, art is not strictly good, and even good art can be flawed. Critical analysis of art is likely as old as art itself, and if we wish to accept games as a valid art form, then it has to accept that critique comes along with that. I mentioned GT purely as I've lost count over the years of attempts to counter valid critics using the 'you don't get the vision' style arguments. Sorry, but that's simply not a valid argument alone to shut down critical views and opinions.

So please weight in, do you think games are art? What defines that, can it be defined, and what are your views on the subject as a whole.


Why?

What tangibly differentiates one from the other?

I could accept an argument that, as art, you prefer GT over Forza, but to class one as art and the other not, that would need quite robust evidence.
The way gran turismo cars are showed and they clearly have more detail to them, and more history showed for each car, the don’t dislike forza for that matter, i prefer gran turismo, but i play both and they both have their strong points
 
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Scaff

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The way gran turismo cars are showed and they clearly have more detail to them,
Which hasn't been consistent across the series, take for example the standard cars of GT5 and GT6.

I could also add in the lack of under engine detail that GT has in comparison to Forza.

That however isn't the main point that can be argued against this, a high level of visual detail isn't the sole determining factor in art, it simply defines a subsection of art. Abstract art is still art, regardless of the existence of hyper-realism in art.

To take that point further, would you say that Art of Rally and Absolute Drift can't be art because GT is more detailed? Is Journey not art, but FIFA is because the rendering of characters is better in one than the other?


and more history showed for each car,
This is the visual detail argument simply spun in anther direction, that GT gets some of the detail it presents wrong doesn't help that either.

Mostly I think this is however a 'passion' argument, and I would have to counter that with the fact that the team at Turn 10 seem just as passionate about cars, automotive history and culture as those at PD. In fact they were pushing the visual side in terms of liveries, and other cultural areas such as drifting, before PD were.

As such I don't see either of these as convincing arguments to define GT as art and exclude Forza.
 

MaxAttack

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I think all videogames are art with varying degrees of commercial exploitation - and that this is something that in no way "lessens" a medium as art.

It's something we've seen in all media across time - patrons painted into historical or religious scenes, written into books, product placement in our movies, I could draw on a lot of examples - the takeaway would be a rough equation; with X level of profitability, you get Y level of ugly commercial foibles with a glaring lack of artistic purpose, and I think if you roughly rank the modern media of art by profitability it kind of lines up - there isn't a lot of outright product placement in long heady novels, for example, compared to a Hollywood blockbuster where it's so prevalent you wouldn't even find it jarring.

All that said personally I don't on the face of it see, say, Transformers Dark of the Moon as inherently less of art than, say, O Brother Where Art Thou - the latter being thoroughly more stimulating than the former doesn't simply disqualify Michael Bay from being an artist - he's an artist who finds it very easy to operate in that environment of corporate, commercial demand, and that's why he's so incredibly rich. That doesn't inherently make him less of an artist than the Coen Brothers, in my view.

I think part of the beauty of the whole concept of art is even when you're forced to pass your creation thru a million greased palms to make it exist and bring it to a wide audience, it's pretty hard to end up with something no one could find an artistic value in.
 

Scaff

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I think all videogames are art with varying degrees of commercial exploitation - and that this is something that in no way "lessens" a medium as art.

It's something we've seen in all media across time - patrons painted into historical or religious scenes, written into books, product placement in our movies, I could draw on a lot of examples - the takeaway would be a rough equation; with X level of profitability, you get Y level of ugly commercial foibles with a glaring lack of artistic purpose, and I think if you roughly rank the modern media of art by profitability it kind of lines up - there isn't a lot of outright product placement in long heady novels, for example, compared to a Hollywood blockbuster where it's so prevalent you wouldn't even find it jarring.

All that said personally I don't on the face of it see, say, Transformers Dark of the Moon as inherently less of art than, say, O Brother Where Art Thou - the latter being thoroughly more stimulating than the former doesn't simply disqualify Michael Bay from being an artist - he's an artist who finds it very easy to operate in that environment of corporate, commercial demand, and that's why he's so incredibly rich. That doesn't inherently make him less of an artist than the Coen Brothers, in my view.

I think part of the beauty of the whole concept of art is even when you're forced to pass your creation thru a million greased palms to make it exist and bring it to a wide audience, it's pretty hard to end up with something no one could find an artistic value in.
Agreed, I think a lot of people forget that a lot of art historically is the result of commence, paid commissions are nothing new, and arguably Michelangelo painting of the Sistine chapel is an example of both paid work (half a million dollar roughly by totals money) and product placement.
 
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GTvsForza

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I took a few art courses in college and people can express their own creativity using whatever canvas they want, either physical or digital.
 

Joey D

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I see no reason why video games can't be art since art is subjective in the first place. Plus, look at what's considered traditional art. Take painter Mark Rothko for example, his work is literally just some boxes painted in different colours on a canvas, yet someone considers it art and it sold at Sotheby's for over $82 million. If that can be art, then so can a video game, they're just produced using different media.

Regarding GT though, I don't really think it's art. Does it look good? Absolutely, but to me, it's more of a 3D modeling marvel over art. I'd say something like No Man's Sky is more artistic since it approaches the game world with its own style instead of attempting to be as accurate as possible. Still, I don't see why you couldn't consider GT art if that's what you believe art to be.
 
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All games are art, because there is artistry that goes into them. Every texture, model, piece of music-- it's all art.

No different than songs, every game is art-- good art, bad art, art with a message/merit or just a doodle-- still art.
 
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Short answer: Yes, and no. For me, it's hard to call video games as a whole art, simply because for every game that is clearly driven by artistic passion or similar, there's another title where the game is created primarily as a product to sell to people, and the art that's present in those games is used moreso to further that objective. Gran Turismo imo has very much fallen into that category over the last 10 or so years.

Long answer: If we're talking purely from a point of aesthetics (so I apologize if I didn't understand the question correctly), I personally don't think that this a totally "yes" or "no" kind of question. I feel like some games could qualify as art, some games don't, and some of the games that I personally don't consider "art" have elements that are "works of art."

For me, what makes anything a work of art is if the aesthetics of an object or medium get a significant reaction out of me. To that end, I don't personally consider Gran Turismo or Forza "art" by default. While they both are very pretty games and the cars (most of the cars in Forza's case) are created with very high quality, the games by themselves I don't consider art, more like virtual pedestals for already-existing cars. The models in GT are stunning, but I kind of expect that from PD, so they don't get as much of a reaction from me. Forza in particular is a bit worse in this regard, since T10/PG usually tend to sacrifice some graphical fidelity for gameplay (which is not a bad decision at all imo) when compared to GT.

However, what I give both games props for is their ability to give players the tools to create art. The Scapes, customization and livery editor in GT7 allow people to create some stunning photos and paint jobs. Every now and again I peek through the GT7 Photo Mode subforum, and I'm blown away by some of the stuff that people post, a lot of which is genuinely photo-realistic. With Forza, while it's not quite as realistic, people can still create some stunning photos and paintjobs in the game, helped greatly by a bunch of people creating "photo studios" in the Eventlab so that other people can get in on it. Both games are very good at being a canvas, and letting players create their own art using the tools available, which I don't think gets talked about nearly as much as it should in the general discourse.

Games that I would describe as "art" as a whole are games where the whole aesthetic package is something unique and stunning enough to get a reaction out of me. I've been replaying Wolfenstien: The New Colossus recently, and I'd call that game a work of art based mostly on the visual design of its levels. Walking though the city-turned-Nuclear-Wasteland that is Manhattan, and especially seeing downtown New Orleans engulfed in flames after being turned into a Nazi Ghetto is something that will forever be etched into my brain. The subject matter is deeply uncomfortable, but a lot of famous art was created to convey uncomfortable messages, and the reaction that people have to them is what makes them noteworthy.

Finally, I mentioned that there are some games that I would not consider art in any capacity, but they have elements that I'd say are "works of art." Modern Warfare 2019 is an example, as while I don't exactly consider the game art, the weapon animations in particular are something to behold imo. You can tell that the animation team really put a lot of effort and hours into the game doing the animations by hand, and the end result is imo some of the best animations ever put into a video game, and it raises the bar for animations in similar titles. The feeling that I got from watching the animations as I played really engrossed me into the game, which really turned up the enjoyment I got out of the game.

---------------------------

I also asked my co-workers this question, as I work in a small local game store. Their general answers were "yes," though for different reasons. A couple of them cited the actual aesthetics of a lot of games, and how some studios use games as an outlet of creative freedom when it comes to worlds and character design. Another co-worker cited the emotional response that games provide, and how games being interactive creates a totally different response than watching a movie or show, or looking at a painting.
 

Scaff

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I also asked my co-workers this question, as I work in a small local game store. Their general answers were "yes," though for different reasons. A couple of them cited the actual aesthetics of a lot of games, and how some studios use games as an outlet of creative freedom when it comes to worlds and character design. Another co-worker cited the emotional response that games provide, and how games being interactive creates a totally different response than watching a movie or show, or looking at a painting.
This last point for me is a key one, as for many people, art is directly linked to the visual aesthetic, which while perfectly valid, is limiting. To use an example, literature is art, despite having no visual aesthetic, as such, I believe it's possible to put to one side the visual elements and look at the narrative, characterization, audio design, game mechanics, etc. and use them as a gauge of artistic merit.

To expand this to the genre of racing games, for me the ability to implement the combination of a robust physics model with a communicative FFB model is a form of artistry, albeit a very non-traditional one.

Overall my view is that video games are an art form, certainly, if we use the three measures of art, I believe it qualifies. Note that to be considered art, only one of the following needs to be met.

Art as Representation or Mimesis.
The earliest measure, art based on how realistically it represents the subject matter. while traditionally it focused on the visual aspect, I would argue that this can, and should extend beyond the visual. In this regard, any visually accurate video game would qualify as art, but I would also argue that the simulation value of the title would also fall into this category.

Art as Expression of Emotional Content
Art defined by its ability to instill an emotional response (positive or negative) in those experiencing it, again plenty of video games fall into this category. Some such as Journey or Flower, are arguably more obvious (but not lessened by that), while others such as the above-mentioned Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, or for me Spec Ops: The Line are less immediately obvious examples.

Art as Form
Art defined by its use of artistic principles, such as balance, rhythm, harmony, unity. often stripped back to the simplest forms, the most obvious examples in terms of 'traditional' art being abstract. This for me is where the actual core design of a game can become art, game mechanics, and the principles they are built upon need balance, rhythm, harmony, and unity themselves. They need to either follow a known and tested structure or create a new one that works in these ways. This is where titles such as Flower or Journey once again succeed, finding that balance, rhythm, harmony, and unity within gameplay mechanics that is, in itself, art.

I would strongly argue as a result that video games are art, all of them, they all have elements that fall into at least one of the above categories, what remains then is if they are good or bad art, and that's an even more subjective matter.
 

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Knowing nod

This man knows. Agree with all you said here, and I really like that three part breakdown as a means of explaining it.
Thanks, and while Spec Ops: The Line is Conrad's Heart of Darkness in video game form, it's so well done, and so underappreciated (that's a remaster I would pay for in a heartbeat).
 
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MaxAttack

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Thanks, and while Spec Ops: The Line is Conrad's Heart of Darkness in video game form, it's so well done, and so underappreciated (that's a remaster I would pay for in a heartbeat).
Yeah I thought it was pretty perfect - it's now resigned to the mists of nostalgia, but it leant on established gaming tropes to trigger its subversive surprises - I'd gobble up a pretty'd up PS5 version in a heartbeat just so I can force it on people who never had the chance to play it when it was shiny and new.

It's a great example of a deliberately artsy game in what's generally thought of as a "less" arty corner of gaming, the military/shooter genre. I'll never be done recommending it.
 

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Yeah I thought it was pretty perfect - it's now resigned to the mists of nostalgia, but it leant on established gaming tropes to trigger its subversive surprises - I'd gobble up a pretty'd up PS5 version in a heartbeat just so I can force it on people who never had the chance to play it when it was shiny and new.

It's a great example of a deliberately artsy game in what's generally thought of as a "less" arty corner of gaming, the military/shooter genre. I'll never be done recommending it.
Agree 100%, it's what CoD tried and ham-fistedly messed up with 'No Russian' done so, so well.
 

Scaff

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Sorry are you serious?

My statement was that GT7 is a private work of art.

You: It's really not, it's a commercial product design to bring in revenue and promote the Playstation system.: It's really not, it's a commercial product design to bring in revenueandpromote thel.
If it is everything you claim in your comment, then it would disqualify it as art.
And actually I don’t see any difference in „art“ and „private art“, and that is the point I’m talking about but you seem to get wrong. The process of creating some artistic piece is always private, it comes from the inner self and not as a result of some analysis of the market or because there’s a platform to promote or fulfill a contract, it can just be used for that. If you create Art, you always do it for yourself in the first place, everything else comes after that.
And yes Sony is a private company in the sense of that it’s not an official one owned by the government, so it doesn’t have to produce a specific product or serve a specific purpose except generating revenue. It is not the right term because there is already a definition for „private company“ and I‘m sorry for the confusion, but what I meant with that could’ve been also get out of the context.
But ok, we could debate all day about the definition of art and it seems we have a different understanding, so then I try to make it easier. There is something someone wants to express (in this case the love for car culture) and he there is a relatively young medium where he can do it in a different, new way and share it also with a lot of people, but he can’t do it on his own and needs backup for it (or hopes he gets it in the future). So the company likes it because it is a good interesting game and can possibly push there platform and generate a lot of money, so they do marketing, Publishing etc.. All important and part of the game, but the beginning and fundamental thing is the idea and the passion that comes from the creator, because without this there isn’t to publish, create a marketing campaign around it, to push a platform and make money with.
And this thing can’t be changed, it can just be helped by other artists to add something to it and help bring this vision to life, but you can’t just say I don’t like his vision and I want him to change it.
And that is where my problem lies: This isn’t just a product like a dishwasher which has to fulfill specific needs because of its definition but people act like it is, they demand this and that and rage when it isn’t what they wish for. Sure this is a game, so you should be able to play something, and it is a car racing game so you should be able to race cars, but most of the rest around it is up to the developer and his vision.
I never claimed that this isn’t something with commerce involved like you claimed with my Bertoni example, it is about the foundation of all of it, and that isn‘t about revenue or any other profane things. Bertoni didn’t created the design of the DS because of commercial aspects, if you think that than you don’t really have an idea how designers in that time worked. Without the beautiful eccentric design we wouldn’t talk about this car still today, even with all the engineering innovations. And you can’t demand the cars design to change because you don’t like it, it doesn’t have to fulfill your needs in this regard, it just have to drive you around in a safe, reliant and comfortable way.

But when you say it is just „a commercial product“ you support these peoples approach to it in my view, and btw it is also very cynical and I don’t like this one sided view.
Cynicism isn’t wisdom, but gets often confused with that.
And I didn’t say there shouldn’t be criticism about art, you are right there must be room for criticism, but there must be also room for change, and there’s no guarantee that the change is in your interest or that it works out like the ones who create it wanted it to be, there’s always the possibility of mistakes. it’s about how people act that it should just be like they demand it to be and think that this is legitimate.

And i know I’m repeating myself again: no this isn’t to apologize the MTs which are too expensive or the false advertisement (because these are really needs to be fulfilled because they were promised), it’s about the decision with Hagertys and the idea to create a „car life simulator“ like Kaz said. I saw some of my favorite franchises go down a wrong route with monetizing and now they miss a lot what made them great and special when they originaly came out, but I don’t see that right now happening with GT, but it’s understandable to be skeptical after these last weeks.
Now I did ask you not to drag the other thread off topic and even provided a link for a dedicated thread on the topic of games as art, something that you must have missed.

I said, quite clearly and repeatedly, that GT7 wasn't a private work of art, I then clarified that my main point of contention was around the term 'private', not 'art'. Nuance that you seem to have either ignored or missed, I strongly suggest that you read this thread from the start before you respond, and that you seek clarification of the views people hold, rather than assuming them.

To be 100% clear as well, Sony is not a private company, it is a publicly traded company, private companies do exist and they are not answerable to anyone but themselves (in terms of company direction - they are still subject to legal regulation). Sony does not fall into that category, and as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony, nor does PD. Sony is ultimately answerable, in both law and duty, to its (public) shareholders, and by extension so is PD. Attempting to assert that any company that is not government controlled is overly simplistic and simply not true.

Sony is, legally, a Publicly Traded Company, it is not a private entity. If it were private it would have to have either no share offerings or the share offering would be entirely or mainly held within the company).

 
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Now I did ask you not to drag the other thread off topic and even provided a link for a dedicated thread on the topic of games as art, something that you must have missed.

I said, quite clearly and repeatedly, that GT7 wasn't a private work of art, I then clarified that my main point of contention was around the term 'private', not 'art'. Nuance that you seem to have either ignored or missed, I strongly suggest that you read this thread from the start before you respond, and that you seek clarification of the views people hold, rather than assuming them.

To be 100% clear as well, Sony is not a private company, it is a publicly traded company, private companies do exist and they are not answerable to anyone but themselves (in terms of company direction - they are still subject to legal regulation). Sony does not fall into that category, and as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony, nor does PD. Sony is ultimately answerable, in both law and duty, to its (public) shareholders, and by extension so is PD. Attempting to assert that any company that is not government controlled is overly simplistic and simply not true.

Sony is, legally, a Publicly Traded Company, it is not a private entity. If it were private it would have to have either no share offerings or the share offering would be entirely or mainly held within the company).

Sorry but this is pretty lame, I already addressed all of what you are debating here again, it’s exhausting.
If you just want to talk about semantics then this isn’t a conversation I’m interested in. And again, I already clarified it, so there‘s no need to write several sentences about it.
And I also addressed the „private“ and „art“ part of this and explained to you, but it seems you didn’t read all of my comment or just don’t understand.

And yes I missed that part with the different thread, but so what? We having a conversation here and if you comment something that I wrote, then I give you an answer to that comment, that’s it, so calm down.

Sorry man but I’m not interested in this kind of conversation, but all the best and peace out!
 

Scaff

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Sorry but this is pretty lame, I already addressed all of what you are debating here again, it’s exhausting.
If you just want to talk about semantics then this isn’t a conversation I’m interested in. And again, I already clarified it, so there‘s no need to write several sentences about it.
And I also addressed the „private“ and „art“ part of this and explained to you, but it seems you didn’t read all of my comment or just don’t understand.

And yes I missed that part with the different thread, but so what? We having a conversation here and if you comment something that I wrote, then I give you an answer to that comment, that’s it, so calm down.

Sorry man but I’m not interested in this kind of conversation, but all the best and peace out!
I'm perfectly calm, don't worry about that, however the personal digs are not acceptable, the AUP is clear in this regard.

I did read your revised definition of private, however I was clearly referring to private as in a product of a company, to shift the emphasis to 'private' being the internal product of a persons ID, is simply moving the goalposts.

To be honest you seem to be fixated on two beliefs/assumptions:
The first of which is an inaccurate assumption, that I don't believe that video games are art - I do and have never said otherwise.
The second is a factual inaccuracy on your part, that Sony is a private business, it's not.

I've been quite clear on these points, repeatedly now. As such moving the goalposts to change what you mean by 'private' is disingenuous. I'm quite happy to discuss the idea of art being a product of the individual (but I would use the term personal rather than private, unless the art in question is never shared), however is a logical fallacy to try and claim that was the context of private after we had been discussing it in the framework of businesses.

Is GT as a series the result of artistic desire? Yes. Is the latest piece of commercially commissioned* art in this artists cannon of work good art? As a whole work, In my view, no, not particularly.

If you don't wish to discuss it any further that's absolutely fine, but if you do continue, then do so as an honest actor.


* and it's all been commercially commissioned - which is not a bad thing, as I have already discussed in this thread
 
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TSTO

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I've actually always discussed with my friends about how GT has an air of elegance to it that I have never felt from any other gaming franchise. It has this 'exclusive' feel to it. It's hard to put into deeper context right now because I'm tired but I guess I can say to me, it definitely fits the bill of art.
 

Scaff

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I've actually always discussed with my friends about how GT has an air of elegance to it that I have never felt from any other gaming franchise. It has this 'exclusive' feel to it. It's hard to put into deeper context right now because I'm tired but I guess I can say to me, it definitely fits the bill of art.
Does elegance and an exclusive feel alone define art? And does that alone make it good art?

Personally all video games can be calls art, they certainly fit the criteria that defines art, so then it's down to which ones are good and bad art. Do all the GT titles carry the same degree of artistic merit?
 
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I'm perfectly calm, don't worry about that, however the personal digs are not acceptable, the AUP is clear in this regard.

I did read you revised definition of private, however I was clearly referring to private as in a product of a company, to shift the emphasis to 'private' being the internal product of a persons ID, is simply moving the goalposts.

To be honest you seem to be fixated on two beliefs/assumptions:
The first of which is an inaccurate assumption, that I don't believe that video games are art - I do and have never said otherwise.
The second is a factual inaccuracy on your part, that Sony is a private business, it's not.

I've been quite clear on these points, repeatedly now. As such moving the goalposts to change what you mean by 'private' is disingenuous. I'm quite happy to discuss the idea of art being a product of the individual (but I would use the term personal rather than private, unless the art in question is never shared), however is a logical fallacy to try and claim that was the context of private after we had been discussing it in the framework of businesses.

If you don't wish to discuss it any further that's absolutely fine, but if you do continue, then do so as an honest actor.
Ok man you got me I must admit. Do t talk about personal digs when you put my honesty in question and make assumptions for yourself.
I never moved any goalposts or did any other stuff that you assume, I never discussed this topic in the overall framework of business, I discussed it all in the framework of art, but you assumed it differently and I cleared it up, but you still talking about it again and again. I never changed what I meant, I meant it from the beginning on just used a term that is already occupied by a different meaning which I didn’t put that much attention to in this moment because I’m a) not into business-things and b) this isn’t my native language, also i just proceeded with the term „private“ because I already used it with the art aspect. And I even apologized and said that it’s understandable that you be confused by this. So can we stop with this bs now?

And yes I assumed that you don’t think that video games art (but it was more about GT than about all games), and you say that isn’t the case, what I believe you in some way, but there’s still a lot of differences how we both interpret it and what weight, what importance some aspects have in the work as a whole.

Does elegance and an exclusive feel alone define art? And does that alone make it good art?

Personally all video games can be calls art, they certainly fit the criteria that defines art, so then it's down to which ones are good and bad art. Do all the GT titles carry the same degree of artistic merit?
There’s more to it than just definitions, language is also limited and can express things just to some degree. I get what he means, and this feeling is pretty unique and differs it from all other racing games.
Let’s just say that some things ain’t more than the sum of their parts and some things are.
 
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Scaff

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Ok man you got me I must admit. Do t talk about personal digs when you put my honesty in question and make assumptions for yourself.
I never moved any goalposts or did any other stuff that you assume, I never discussed this topic in the overall framework of business, I discussed it all in the framework of art, but you assumed it differently and I cleared it up, but you still talking about it again and again. I never changed what I meant, I meant it from the beginning on just used a term that is already occupied by a different meaning which I didn’t put that much attention to in this moment because I’m a) not into business-things and b) this isn’t my native language, also i just proceeded with the term „private“ because I already used it with the art aspect. And I even apologized and said that it’s understandable that you be confused by this. So can we stop with this bs now?
Fair enough.
And yes I assumed that you don’t think that video games art (but it was more about GT than about all games), and you say that isn’t the case, what I believe you in some way, but there’s still a lot of differences how we both interpret it and what weight, what importance some aspects have in the work as a whole.
I understand that it was more about GT that games as a whole, however it would have dragged the original thread off-topic and I believe it's a wider topic worth discussing. That doesn't stop the discussion also including GT and by extension other racing games.
There’s more to it than just definitions, language is also limited and can express things just to some degree. I get what he means, and this feeling is pretty unique and differs it from all other racing games.
Let’s just say that some parts ain’t more than the sum of their parts and some things are.
We need definitions, otherwise it becomes far to easy to be vague, and start including or excluding examples based on nothing but subjective bias.

I would argue that all games are art, just as all cinema is art, it then becomes a case of good or bad art via critical analysis of it. By that extension, I would argue that all racing games are art, they then become subject to critical analysis under the same standard.

As such I would ask (and purely to further the discussion) as to what it is about GT that makes it unique and different to them for you?
 
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A game can be a work of art, in the sense that it expresses a vision or a view of a certain topic or idea, but it can also be in the raw quality that can be found in many of its aspects, even in gameplay.

Gran Turismo 7 in that regard, can be considered a work of art, since it stands as a view of the ideal car culture according to Kaz and the level of detail found in cars and tracks alike. Although, what makes a good work of art doesn't neccessarily make for a good game and a good game is first and foremost, fun. You may work 50 hours detailing a level having a great idea or vision, but if it's boring or frustrating as heck, it is mediocre at best and complete **** at worst.
 

Strittan

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No racing game I can think of could be described as art, not in my book anyway. There are tons of other games that qualifies, though. My favourite example would be Journey.
 
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Fair enough.

I understand that it was more about GT that games as a whole, however it would have dragged the original thread off-topic and I believe it's a wider topic worth discussing. That doesn't stop the discussion also including GT and by extension other racing games.

We need definitions, otherwise it becomes far to easy to be vague, and start including or excluding examples based on nothing but subjective bias.

I would argue that all games are art, just as all cinema is art, it then becomes a case of good or bad art via critical analysis of it. By that extension, I would argue that all racing games are art, they then become subject to critical analysis under the same standard.

As such I would ask (and purely to further the discussion) as to what it is about GT that makes it unique and different to them for you?
Yes sure we need definitions when we have a discussion over it, but what I wanted to say is that there’s sometimes more to it than what we can Analyse, what we can articulate, it’s just a feeling and words can just give an idea to describe the outside world what’s going on on the inside.
In lack of a better term I would call it metaphysical. I think there is a Threshold in these things, like any kind of media, art, which gets passed by some and by some not. And those which pass have something to it, they feel alive, some other games/ movies/ songs etc. feel, I wouldn’t say lifeless, but they have no real character to them.
I know this isn’t a clear definition and can be very subjective, but I haven’t found a definition yet that doesn’t fail in some cases. To be clear this about differing „good“ art and „bad“ art, not If something is art.

And what for me makes GT unique: the music, the way cars are presented (for example the sequence when you buy a new one), the overall love for detail, the Auto museums and descriptions for the individual cars, the intro sequences, the scapes mode, the map on the Home Screen and the avatars talking to you. It all creates something special together.
 
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If you just want to talk about semantics then this isn’t a conversation I’m interested in.
The entire conversation about "is X art?" is semantics from the very beginning. You're debating whether a thing fits the specific meaning that you're assigning to the word "art".

You started a conversation about semantics, don't get mad when people engage.
I've actually always discussed with my friends about how GT has an air of elegance to it that I have never felt from any other gaming franchise. It has this 'exclusive' feel to it. It's hard to put into deeper context right now because I'm tired but I guess I can say to me, it definitely fits the bill of art.
This is what artistic style is. Gran Turismo has a distinct artistic style, distinct enough that you can probably pick Gran Turismo footage out of a bunch of other unlabelled racing game footage. It's not uncommon for games, especially franchises that originated in times when graphical fidelity was low and stylised graphics were a necessity.
 

TheCracker

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For something to be considered as art, i feel it needs to be fuelled by a singular vision. As frustrating as i've found the Gran Tursimo series to increasingly be, it still feels like the same game it always was. This has been achieved by Kaz still holding court on what a Gran Turismo title should be. It obviously takes more than one person to develop a blue ribbon title such as GT, it has to follow whatever direction will keep it comercially successful, but as long as it retains that singular vision it can still be considered as a form of artwork.

Although the core aspect of many CoD titles has become online PvP battles, if you actually play through the offline story modes, there is a narative, however slim and heavy handed, that is art through the form of story telling and the same is true in many games.

You'd be foolish to not regard the cinematic masterpieces that titles such as Red Dead Redemption have become in the field of story telling. Anyone who has played through and not experienced the rollercoaster ride of emotions it brings up has a cold jaded heart.
 

Scaff

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Yes sure we need definitions when we have a discussion over it, but what I wanted to say is that there’s sometimes more to it than what we can Analyse, what we can articulate, it’s just a feeling and words can just give an idea to describe the outside world what’s going on on the inside.
In lack of a better term I would call it metaphysical. I think there is a Threshold in these things, like any kind of media, art, which gets passed by some and by some not. And those which pass have something to it, they feel alive, some other games/ movies/ songs etc. feel, I wouldn’t say lifeless, but they have no real character to them.
I know this isn’t a clear definition and can be very subjective, but I haven’t found a definition yet that doesn’t fail in some cases. To be clear this about differing „good“ art and „bad“ art, not If something is art.

And what for me makes GT unique: the music, the way cars are presented (for example the sequence when you buy a new one), the overall love for detail, the Auto museums and descriptions for the individual cars, the intro sequences, the scapes mode, the map on the Home Screen and the avatars talking to you. It all creates something special together.
That would very much fall into the category of Art as an Expression of Emotional Content, and GT7's take on that is unique in the manner in which it does it, but I would argue that it's not unique in doing it.

This then breaks it down into two areas of potential discussion, the first being what emotional response does this provide for the individual, which is a question I can only answer for myself. This would be nostalgia, but it's also a nostalgic feeling which is tarnished, by other areas, to give an example I've always found GT 'world' to be clinical, a feeling that has actually increased with each new release. GT7 has some of the most alive tracks in terms of detail, rendering, etc. but I always get the feeling that it exists in a world that is clean and sterile, and that for me triggers an uncanny valley feel.

The second area for discussion is what other titles manage in terms of Art as an Expression of Emotional Content, and for me, one of the first that comes to mind is Project Cars 2. The voice-over in the background, talking about racing reminds me of watching Le Mans in the early hours of the morning, and the first two titles in the series evoke a feeling of the 'grimy' side of motorsport and cars that, for me, GT doesn't come close to evoking. As a comparison, tracks in GT7 are far better rendered than any in PC1 or 2, but the Project Cars ones have, for me, a more lived-in feel to them that makes them oddly more convincing.

However, in most titles, I get an emotional connection, not from the presentation, but from the driving, It ties together two elements of focus for me, Emotion and Representation. Titles that get the physics and FFB accurate hit me in the feels in ways that a car unlock, regardless of how well it's done or how good it looks, never will.
 
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One area of the discussion that does annoy me, and I'm going to cite Gran Turismo here, is when art or allusions of art, are used as an attempt to shut down criticism of the title, art is not strictly good, and even good art can be flawed. Critical analysis of art is likely as old as art itself, and if we wish to accept games as a valid art form, then it has to accept that critique comes along with that. I mentioned GT purely as I've lost count over the years of attempts to counter valid critics using the 'you don't get the vision' style arguments. Sorry, but that's simply not a valid argument alone to shut down critical views and opinions.
I sense this is the crux of the question. As someone that has leaned into the 'you don't get the vision' style arguments, I will offer my perspective.

Accepting that games are art, and are subject to criticism on multiple levels, there's two critical factors which tie together to make criticism on an artistic level more, or less relevant; what's the motivation behind a 'thing' of art, and does the phrasing of the criticism respect or reflect that.

The first of those two things is going to be debatable when it comes to an enduring an popular franchise like GT, and the latter can very often - for me personally - come down to nuance.

- If the reason something has been made, is to get my money, and I am the target demographic - but I don't like something about it; it would be reasonable for me to say, that sucks it should have been/done xyz.

- If the reason something has been made, is because a creator wants to deliver their vision, and it's a vision I've any preexisting reason to want to see - but I don't like something about it; then it's reasonable to say, it sucks, I didn't get 'that' from it, it didn't appeal, etc... but it's not reasonable to say what I thought it should have been, because it was never my vision in the first place.

I appreciate that Art as a product is also designed to get my money, but it's what that primary motivation is that matters. To use a phrase from Alex Zanardi that I think sums up the sentiment I'm getting at "I didn't jump on my bicycle because I wanted to go to London and win, I won because I wanted to ride my bicycle".

On the surface of it, the two things above could largely be the same. Though, I'd suggest one thing that would generally set apart the two cases, is the willingness of the creator to to take risks on unpopular creative decisions - to me, that is a sign that something has been made to reflect a vision, and not just to make money. I find that really apparent in films and TV sometimes, Star Wars VII and IX versus VIII for example, or one I alluded to with @NLxAROSA, Twin Peaks season 3, it's easy to see when the creators did something they wanted to do versus doing what they though might play best with audiences... Luke Sywalker died as a hermit, and Dale Cooper didn't get a 'damn fine coffee' in.

One of the things those two examples, and Gran Turismo have in common, is that they're at least 25 years old as franchises. The fan bases have had time to become thoroughly emotionally invested to a deep degree... this level of emotional investment is why I think so many people are so quick to criticise as though it was their vision. People who were fans of something seem to become amongst the most toxic when it goes wrong.

For me, things like Music Rally, Moon Buggy races, the Schwimwagen, etc., even back to GT HiFi, are things that are indicative of GT being something that is the work of one persons vision, rather than a committee trying to optimise their products chances of success.

So, yeah, video games are art, some more than others (the closer to simulation gets, the less I believe it is art, but that's another discussion). And of course people can dislike it if they please, the real sticking point for me, is how whether they phrase that criticism is respectful of what the thing was supposed to be according to the creator, and not what thy thought it was supposed to be.
 

Scaff

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So, yeah, video games are art, some more than others (the closer to simulation gets, the less I believe it is art, but that's another discussion). And of course people can dislike it if they please, the real sticking point for me, is how whether they phrase that criticism is respectful of what the thing was supposed to be according to the creator, and not what thy thought it was supposed to be.
Great post and I wanted to expand on a couple of your points here.

The first is around the closer to a simulation something gets the less you believe it's art, I would have to disagree. Is hyperrealism in the visual arts, not art? I would argue that it is, and if it can be, then why wouldn't simulations also remain art as they get more realistic?

The second is a point more specific to Gran Turismo as a series and the point about being respectful of what a thing was supposed to be according to the creator, something that would be a lot easier if Kaz was more open to explaining what that was. Music Rally is a good example of this, it's clearly the result of an artistic vision, I personally don't get or see the point in it. Now art doesn't require a point, but Kaz's explanation for it was vague to the point of raising more questions than it answered.