Computer Games-- any comments?

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Postby Jan » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:42 pm

Writing-what-you know-is one important aspect of literature but obviously not the only one. Fiction has to be authentic and/or well invented, some combination of the two. But we were talking about Moby Dick, if you will kindly recall. Authenticity is part of what makes MD art, that's what I tried to get across. That doesn't remotely imply that writing about ancient gods can't be art.

Something created for entertainment can be art if the artist is on top of the form, like Melville or Shakespeare.

What an artist of the 19th century considers entertainment and what comuter game developers consider entertainment are not necessarily the same thing. That's part of what I meant in the beginning when I said that we don't live in a time of art. There are many creators today which have taken the place of artists. We don't help things if we begin calling creations art.

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Postby kevinkirby » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:17 pm

Flow -- (see ) -- seems to be genuine attempt to twist the parameters of a console game (ps3) in an artistic way. Plus, it's downloadable rather than shop floor display.

But I'm not even entirely certain about when motion pictures or television can be called art, or how to find art in literature. Not even very many artistic attempts in a traditional art medium, like painting, wind up classified as artworks. :roll:

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Postby Moderator » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:26 pm


I'm going to beg out of this with a paraphrased comment:

"ART is in the eye of the beholder."
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Postby reddragon70 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:20 pm

This is just a personal opinion here, but it seems to me that the whole "computer games are not art" arguement is a load of tripe. Its the same arguement as say 100 years ago when there was the "motion pictures are not art" or later the "comic books are not art" arguements. Its simple snobbery.

A good computer game can be artistic and have artistic value. Bioshock for example has some of the most stunning visuals seen outside of the movie industry (which is in iteslf not art allegedly ;o)) The whole setting has a wonderful art deco design and feels both decadent and decaying. There is a strong story in the game which would be worthy of a comic (also not art allegedly).

Even amongst the "Art" experts some things are hotly debated as to whether they are or are not art. Andy Warhol for example. Frankly I think his "art" was nothing but the biggest con pulled off by a shiester in the history of the 20th century. I mean come on.... Photocopying a photo and splodging a little colour on to it is art?

As has been stated "Art" is a very subjective thing. I love HR Giger's work but my father regards it as little more than pornography. I think Picasso's work is bloody awful and yet it sells for millions of dollars. I saw an French arists work at the Worldcon in 2005, by the name of Didier Cottier, whose work was the most inspired thing I have seen in a long time. And yet that man is almost unknown.

I think in the years to come, the games industry will be recognised and a new and evolving artform. One that is in its infancy but growing.

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Postby Alan Coil » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:14 pm

Art is subjective. What you like, I may not, but that doesn't mean you are wrong or I am right.

Saying a video game has a story good enough to be in comic books means little. I find at least half of today's comics to be so poorly written and/or drawn as to be beneath my notice.

And the common spelling of sheister is shyster. Note that in some uses of the word, it is considered a libelous term, likely to get one sued, but I don't think Andy Warhol will be suing you any time soon. It is a slur, akin to gypped, which is a shortened version of Gypsy.

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Postby David Loftus » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:30 am

Isn't shyster limited to lawyers?

(I don't know for certain, and haven't looked it up; I'm just sayin' . . . .)
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby addlepate » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:40 pm

There are objective standards for what makes something "art," and games, by and large (with the exceptions of some Interactive Fiction and Harlan's game) fail to meet those standards, just as I will fail to explain them despite the demand now stillborn in your consciousness that I do so.

Shiny graphics do not artistic meaning make. Bioshock, I'm looking (but not playing) at you.

That's like saying that a series of palette-swapped but-otherwise-identical portraits of Marilyn Monroe constitutes art. If you think it does, then I have a golden statue of Kate Moss I'd love to sell you (for $2,000,000.)

I know 'Drag didn't say THAT. But slippery slopes happen and he didn't say anything else about Bioshock, so there are tendencies at work there that have gone a lot further amongst a great number of people who aren't quite as careful about what they let themselves say and then, eventually, believe.

Games won't be art until a significant number of people will buy a game for a reason other than mind-numbing escapism. The "culture" of games has really devolved since the infancy of the industry, similar to the history of movies but run in super fastforward. Games are made for stupid people who are awestruck by flashing lights, like neanderthals witnessing a lightning storm.

There need to be more games that you don't win unless you learn something. And I don't mean like WordMunchers.

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Halo for Dummies, the Idiots' Guide

Postby kevinkirby » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:16 pm

After finally getting my recycled Vaio RX-590G into a state less ruled by its Trojan Horse, more user-friendly, the first major program put to work on it turned out to be Halo.

Except, it doesn't seem to work. The screen freezes up every minute or so, as the speakers crank out a repeating phrase or sound effect, followed by the buh'buh'buh digital hiccup once made famous by cokeologist Max Headroom.

Even so, the bits that it played through are great, all the way up to some sort of underground bridge scene, on a super go-cart vehicle, where the game just got completely stuck up.

Since that first night of playtesting, the game has been unistalled and reinstalled several times, under changed settings to the video output -- and to the computer's geforce fx5500 agp graphics card -- all to no avail.

Anyway, despite experiencing some sort of "pipeline" problem with the thing, I must agree with others who describe Halo as a true landmark in video game advancements.

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Postby reddragon70 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:49 pm

I would advise trying latest drivers for both graphics and sounds cards. And a direct x reinstal too. If that dont help then your probably stuffed :(

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Postby kevinkirby » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:01 pm

Your advice is sound. The drivers I'm currently using are all cobbled-together Heinz 57 versions from similar, but not exact, models. A PNY Verto driver is backing up nvidia's Detonator from Dec. 2001, for a model FX5500 that probably needs help with windows XP. On the other hand, its Creative Sound Blaster card is detected properly by the os; driver automatically installed, by the look of it.

Yet, even so, an old XP resident driver might not be quite up to the modest standards of Halo.

Oh well, at least I've been able to ventilate that baking, two-hard-drive tank with about a dozen hand-drilled air openings and a usb-powered side vent fan. It may not be water-cooled (yet) and it might not be a freon-pumping refrigeration tower -- with red glowing computer components attached, as an afterthought -- but I predict that the old 2000mhz p4 will eventually run through Halo with flying decals.

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