Games as art

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Morgan Jolley, Sep 1, 2001.

  1. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I was reading a little article in the most recent issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly about a conference that was held about how games are used as art. They talked about the history of it and where its going and such and how it was an art form. So I got thinking, what are some artistic games? Off the top of my head, I can think of SquareSoft as one of the pioneers of artistic games (mainly started by Amano, the artist for the Final Fantasy series up to 6 and also 9). Chrono Cross was an amazing game in every aspect and featured different areas with unique styles and music. Final Fantasy 8 created a strange world where technology and style mixed together and created some strange atmospheres. One thing about 8 that was very unique was that you didn't travel to every city on the planet throughout the game unless you did a sidequest or two. This made the game feel more like its happening on a planet than in a game. The cultures were also diverse and different in the style of the cities and the characters who inhabited them. Fear Effect was another artistic game in its style and the amount of animation in the backgrounds. The game looked better than PSX graphics because of its style.
    Also, the CG animation in the Final Fantasy games was a big force in putting CG into games. The scenes from FF8 are still some of the best CG ever in a game (though 9 is better looking, but there is less CG in 9) and the ending to FF8 was the most artistic and complex ending (in some aspects) of any game I have ever played.
    So what are some artistic games that you know of?
     
  2. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    All games are works of art. Any product of creativity is a work of art. The only question is what is good art and what is bad art, the answer of course, being entirely subjective and dependant upon who is asked.
    [Edited last by Sean Oneil on September 01, 2001 at 04:00 PM]
     
  3. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  4. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I consider any software creation to be a thing of art. Like music you start with nothing and develop a craft and then end up with something good or bad. That of course is subjective to the user/listener. I develop enterprise software and consider every application whether it web based or desktop driven to be a work of art. Of course I'm slightly biased. [​IMG]
    -Andre F
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    -= Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape! =-
    [Edited last by Andre F on September 02, 2001 at 08:07 PM]
     
  5. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I agree with you all. I meant to ask what games you consider to be more artistic and original, so much so that they stand out in your mind. For instance, Chrono Cross was a sequel with many elements connecting it to its predecessor, but the style of the game is very original. The character designs, the background designs, and even the way in which the characters talk are all unique and stand out. Some games are cookie cutter RPG or Action games and don't stand out much, but other games have their own style that stounds out and separates itself from other games in the genre. I'll rephrase my question: What games stick out in your mind because of their style or artistry?
     
  6. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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    Vagrant Story.
     
  7. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I agree with the comment about Tetris. I've always liked more abstracted games like that. Things like Tempest, for example, or the Jaguar's Tempest 2000, which was so well made that I used to become literally entranced while playing it [​IMG]
    In terms of style, to this day I'm still very impressed with Doom. I thought the use of lighting and sound effects to create a tense atmosphere was superior even to many films, and I haven't seen a game since that managed to better it in that department despite obvious technical advances. Similar deal with the original Alone in the Dark, which I still prefer to later games such as the Resident Evil series and the various "survival horror" games that have appeared since.
     
  8. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    This may be kind of a weird answer, but I was really taken by the first Oddworld game on the PSX. It may have just been a souped-up side-scrolling adventure game, but the look and feel of the Oddworld environment, combined with the elaborate cut-scenes really stood out at the time.
    Also, I would offer for consideration Super Mario 64 as well. To me, that game brought the third dimension to video games.
     
  9. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    My theater professor's definition of art = "It's art if somebody says it is."
    I think Super Mario Brothers 1 & 2 are near the top of the artistic games list. They are so surreal and creative, especially for their time. It's very hard to really compare them to anything else out there.
     
  10. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    The game that I actually could see being turned into a movie the most is also one of the most stylish ones I know: Lunar Silver Star Story Complete. The game itself has a "rescue the girl from the bad guy" story, but the over 50 minutes of anime cutscenes combined with the common theme for the designs all throughout the game just brought it to life as a full civilization. The sequel was good, but the first is better.
    Zone of the Enders might not have been everyone's cup of tea, but the game itself was very unique and strange. Every time I see the opening sequence (the boot up sequence) I get shivers in my spine because it combines the whole game together without spoiling anything from the story and the music for it is just...weird. The story of the game was also weird, but it all focuses around the main character having to do things that he doesn't want to do, like continue to fight an enemy when he has no reason to fight or to watch his friends die (just watch the first sequence you see when you start a new game). I also liked how all of the robots had their own style but had similar things on them that linked their styles.
    One thing that I commend Square on is the use of CG in videogames. FF8 had a sequence where you are running around characters who are in CG while your character is in real-time. The fact that you can run in front of and behind these characters was a big "wow" to me. Even though the games are always sequel after sequel, but some of them have styles that just stand out. FF7 had the whole medieval technology thing with giant robots and little villages whose water supply is a well. The combination of both elements is very well executed, plus the game was good.
     
  11. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Does this mean I can't play games on my 16x9 TV in full mode?
    ------------------
     
  12. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    huh?
     
  13. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I second the huh?
    -Andre F
    ------------------
    -= Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape! =-
     
  14. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    Graeme Clark: Yes! No altering of the original composition!!
    That would be a crime against art [​IMG]
     
  15. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    I "huh?" the "huh?"
    Sean: Screw that! I want my TV filled!!
    ------------------
     
  16. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Well, you'll just have to stick to playing wip3out then won't you? Like thats a bad thing anyway.
    Mind you, are we now supposed to criticise programmers that include 16x9 options because they are compromising the art by framing for two ratios at once? [​IMG]
     
  17. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Just because you partake in the process of creation, doesn't make what you're doing an art form. Yes, many videogames feature unique ideas, gameplay mechanics, visual designs and stories. Some games even have the power to manipulate our emotions. Videogames certainly contain a lot of creativity on many levels.
    However, videogames lack one essential element of all art forms: a statement. What videogame can you think of that says something about ourselves or the in which world we live? I believe that real art tries to make a statement. As far as I'm concerned videogames do not achieve this. At least not the games I've played.
    Please, don't take this to mean that I don't appreciate the hard work that goes into making a great game. This is simply not true. However, I think of games more as a craft than a legitimate art form.
    ------------------
    -J.Fo
    "And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were... 'I'm on drugs!'"
     
  18. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    (insert joke about Pacman, relentless gobbling of pills, repetitive music and dark rooms here)
    If you have to be making a 'statement' then do you want to tell most of Hollywood they aren't artists or shall I?
     
  19. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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  20. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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