Thursday, 10 January 2013

Push 'Art' To Play

I read an article today, disputing the credibility of video games as art. This comes as the Museum of Modern Art in New York is to create an exhibit showcasing video games alongside the renown works of Duchamp and Picasso et al. This, of course, has caused outrage amongst many arty chin-scratchers and pretentious weirdbeards.

Let me get this out in the open first; I think modern art is shit, pretentious and baffling. And I am also a gamer, so you can already see what my opinion on the matter will turn out to be. But back to the exhibit.

Fourteen games are due to appear in the new exhibit set to launch in 2013. But hang on a moment! 'What possible games could they choose to exhibit from a veritable smorgasbord of aesthetically beautiful titles available today?', I hear you ask!
Well, eager beaver, I'll tell you.
Set to be included in the projected line-up are Pong and Minecraft.

Pong and fucking Minecraft.

For those not in the know:



Is it any wonder that the arty-types are denouncing MoMA's bold move? I think it's more the primitive visual styles of the selected exhibits more than the issue of the medium of which they are based. Furthermore, if the game itself is the medium being hailed as art as opposed to solely the visuals, then surely a static screenshot in a gallery is not going to showcase it? A game has to be played to be appreciated, something I'm sure the stereotypical art lover would never dream of lowering themselves to.

Like most things, art is subjective. Everyone has favourite styles, and artistic quality is in the eye of the beholder.

I grew up in what I like to believe to be the 'golden age' of video games, starting out with a Super Nintendo and Gameboy as a kid, making the 3D transition via Nintendo 64 and Playstation, and beyond. I could fill a whole post with games I have played with artwork worthy enough to sit in a gallery; the Final Fantasy series, Legend of Zelda series, World of Warcraft etc etc.

I'll stop there.

I'll leave you with two images to stew over, if you're still undecided.

Artwork from Final Fantasy IX, one of my favourite games ever. (not acceptable modern art)

'Black on Maroon' by Mark Rothko (acceptable modern art)      

I don't get it.

Today's tune: Alex Winston - Velvet Elvis.
Famous for being the satchel song on the latest Google Chrome ad, unashamedly catchy pop, great stuff.

Fact: The average person eats about 2-3 spiders in their sleep a year.

Sleep tight.


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