Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Are Games Art? Ars Longa, Ludus Brevis

Matt Paprocki points to Roger Ebert's commentary on whether games are art.

Games are software, and until the Singularity, all software is only as good as experiencing a simulacra of realism. You can only follow arcs of intent within the game that pre-exist. Thus, it is hard to call them art.

The landscape of the game, like a film or a painting, on the other hand, is open to interpretation and layering of meaning. This is artistic, but the art is in the player's mind.

Thus, games in and of themselves are not art, but a player's artistic sensibilities may be induced by playing a game.

Of course, the same reasoning could be applied to other forms of creativity. Is a bad film art, or is my artistic reaction to the film art?

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