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997595 Posts in 39108 Topics- by 30508 Members - Latest Member: tbastian

April 15, 2014, 09:24:19 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignHow something that has design in it's name can be considered an art?
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Author Topic: How something that has design in it's name can be considered an art?  (Read 2429 times)
siegfried2
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« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2013, 12:34:57 PM »

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That said, creating game mechanics which are simultaneously intentionally meaningful and entertaining is not necessarily an easy task.

if something is entertaining then it's meaningful. point to take: whether something is meaningful or not is a matter of taste, a value judgment, someone's For or Against. so all games are meaningful if you find some use in them and meaningless if you find little to no use in them (strictly speaking, nothing is truly useless so things are generally more or less useful, more or less likable, more or less meaningful and so on, so something is if it's more than less which is not i.e. zeroes are fictional.)

in other words, you haven't said much here. this is why i dont like discussions like this since people tend to pretend to be holding a conversation by bouncing off buzzwords (they aren't really "pretending" but more like being insensitive to the uselessness of bouncing off words like that.) you need to go beyond buzzwords, beyond "stock words" (such as "meaning", "message", "abstract", "transcendental entertainment" and the like.) for the start you have to accept my definition of meaning and then try and make a clear distinction between the two TYPES of meaning you're speaking of so that i can properly respond. right now, all i can tell is that you're looking down upon "entertainment" which really only means that by "entertainment" you mean "lower entertainment" (since in my language entertainment is a word used to refer to the value judgment of activities and as such there is nothing beyond it just like there is nothing beyond value judgment in general.) further, entertaining/meaningful dichotomy signifies a man who's deeply ashamed of video games which is why i find it repulsive (since it kind of implies that what you enjoy is bad and that what is good, that what is meaningful, is that which you do not enjoy.)
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Accent
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« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2013, 12:45:32 PM »

I think you might have skipped some posts siegfried2 Smiley we pretty much agreed on that already.
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siegfried2
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« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2013, 12:52:44 PM »

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You can argue that a story is a game without interaction. You can also argue that a novel is a movie without visuals and audio, or that paintings are poetry without words. I don't think those are really useful descriptions, though — it's just a way of trivializing the issues at hand.

by showing that stories and games have a lot in common (that they are in fact one) i was aiming to show that making a story-like game is a straightforward business: pick any story you want and simply replace the spectator role with actor role. there is nothing trivial about this.
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siegfried2
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« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2013, 12:54:37 PM »

I think you might have skipped some posts siegfried2 Smiley we pretty much agreed on that already.

yup, im a little late. haven't read all the posts that followed. ill do so now.
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baby_fun
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« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2013, 12:55:29 PM »

If multimedia is the same as two dimensional artwork, you're fine tuning all the different elements, audio, visual, mechanics, story (and all the various elements that make them great) so that they work with one another to create a powerful experience.  I don't think that requires a understanding of HOW to make them work together, but a sensitivity to their relationships which builds understanding and skill.

edit: Accent beat me to it.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2013, 01:31:41 PM »

That's precisely what I find most fascinating in game design right now. And this line of thinking is so rare, there is so much to do... I mean, most games are content with evoking a very small spectrum of meanings, so obviously it's a long way until we get a relatively good understanding of how to guide interpretations towards a wide variety of concepts. But we are making progress! When you look at Pippin Barr's games, they talk about very small events of everyday life, and it can sometimes seem anecdotal, but really each of them is about experimenting with a tiny part of 'game design grammar'. We'll get there!

Smiley Hand Thumbs Up Right
This is exactly what I was trying to get at at. I'll have to check out his games; they sound interesting.

siegfried2, I think you're still misunderstanding me a bit. I'm far from ashamed of video games — I see a bright future for them, and I look forward to being part of it! I'm just looking at some of the artistic potential in games that I feel is under-explored at the moment, and I'm only asking these questions because I want to see video games develop as a medium.

To clarify what I said a bit: the game I'm working on right now is what I would describe as "entertaining." I've designed it to be enjoyable, and I've spent a lot of time carefully polishing every aspect of it to come together into something fun to play. I would be selling myself short to say that it's not art, because it is — it's designed to evoke a feeling in my audience, and even if that feeling is "entertained," that doesn't make it any less important. And yes, I agree, it is meaningful in that sense.

That said, my game isn't designed to evoke thought about anything other than, perhaps, the game itself. You need to think about what you're doing, obviously, but that's as far as I've gone in the design process. You could draw meaning from it — perhaps it'll strike a chord with somebody and make them think about life differently. But what it'll make them think about life, I don't know, because as the designer, I haven't put any thought into that part of the experience. I've only guided the player's interpretation of the game aesthetically and mechanically. For this project, I'm fine with that. But I think there are other interpretations that can be guided as well, and I'm curious to see how that can be done. As it stands, there still isn't a developed "language" through which games can do so — most of it is heavily based on other art forms (especially movies). There's nothing wrong with that, because video games as an art form are still in their infancy. Still, I think it's important to discuss this kind of thing so that we as game developers can build on what we already have!
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2013, 02:33:24 PM »

I think it was McLuhan who had some things to say about how the artist always starts with the desired effect of his work.

When you think of what games offer as opposed to other media you have the sense of pride in one's skill, of mastery. 

I think that players gain that sense of mastery when they are able to act creatively within the logic of the game space.  I see playing a well designed game as something like playing a musical instrument.  The object might be to improvise well, or play a challenging piece.  The art of the game, is, in my opinion, the art of guiding a player towards mastery of the game.

Of course games can have "meanings" in the sense of a moral or a message, but the ultimate message derived from a game is how it plays, what sensations the player has when operating within it.  That is, I believe, the "art" we should be striving for.

Side note:  I'm not interested in playing games that aren't fun.  By the same token, I don't understand why people gush over Waiting for Godot.  Pessimistic art might be mildly amusing, but I'm with John Gardener in thinking art should be moral, in the sense that it explores the ultimate questions and answers in the negative to the question:  should I kill myself? 

Of course, it needn't consciously explore such questions. IMHO, Super Mario Brothers is as life-affirming as any piece of great art.
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baby_fun
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« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2013, 02:44:51 PM »

To clarify what I said a bit: the game I'm working on right now is what I would describe as "entertaining." I've designed it to be enjoyable, and I've spent a lot of time carefully polishing every aspect of it to come together into something fun to play. I would be selling myself short to say that it's not art, because it is — it's designed to evoke a feeling in my audience, and even if that feeling is "entertained," that doesn't make it any less important. And yes, I agree, it is meaningful in that sense.

the debate between art and entertainment perhaps stems from anti industry and consumerist sentiments prevalent in the art world in the 20th and 21st century.  which is naive elitist and perhaps destructive, as art is an illusory thing and can take any form and meaning.    Though there is a shift in perception between traditional artwork and new media, and how these art objects are received by our senses, where one allows more room for contemplation and a sense of an 'aura' or presence and the other is like sitting back seat as the car is driving, but that is not to say that new media cannot impart something on to the viewers or that contemplation doesn't happen, the presence and processing is certainly different.  Film also had to fight back the notions of whether it can be considered art or not and still does.  I was certainly hung up on that dichotomy between high and low art, craft vs art, art vs entertainment.  If we can consider music and film art, then we can certainly consider games as art, if we can leave an impression on the player, the bigger the better.
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Gimym JIMBERT
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« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2013, 03:16:29 PM »

art vs entertainment is more likely to be a response to the threat of creation freedom, how many games are told they are not game aka you should not do this it is wrong?

The anger stem from that, art is the refuge to be able to do things we like but are different.

And there is also the struggle to fight inertia and fatigue. To push boundaries to remain relevant and adapt to changing taste and world.

Art became the excuse to do just that!
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2013, 04:23:23 PM »

I'm not trying to debate between art and entertainment; I was just clarifying what I had said earlier. The distinction I'm making is intent. In my current project, I intend to evoke a sense of enjoyment and excitement (this is the "entertainment" I mentioned). In another project, I may intend to convey a message of hope (this is the "meaning" I mentioned).

I don't think there's a dichotomy between the two. They're just two (of many) different goals you can have in mind while making your game, and those were the words I happened to use to describe them — again, I admit it may have been poor word choice, but that's all I was trying to say.

The player is free to interpret any of my projects in any way, and as the designer, I can't control this interpretation — I can only subtly guide it. I feel like there is room to explore how that guiding can be done, because many games aim solely to convey the "entertainment" that I described in the previous paragraph. That does not make them worse games. That does not stop them from being art. That just means that I think there's room for games that try to evoke something else, and I think it would be interesting to look at how that can be done.

We're still stuck in the rut of trying to debate something completely conceptual, though. Cheesy I don't think we're going to reach a consensus on this, or even have any meaningful discussion, because we're debating the meanings of words that are notoriously difficult to define. Perhaps it would be best to examine a specific game mechanic and examine the effect to which it could be used. A pretty popular one that stirs up a lot of issues would be shooting, for instance.
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JulioRodrigues
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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2013, 05:20:42 PM »

HHAhahha, TheLastBanana, I'm starting to agree with you. Not that I think that these questions aren't important (I think I learned quite a bit with this topic), but at this moment, something more concrete may help us to have a healthier discussion.

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antoniodamala
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« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2013, 05:57:51 PM »

Do art really need to evoke emotion, then they only can be called "art"? Because it's certainly bug me that people keep saying that art has to have a meaning to be called art.
Nope. Sometimes art is just about aesthethics, form, colour, texture. And that's ok.
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2013, 05:13:25 AM »

Do art really need to evoke emotion, then they only can be called "art"? Because it's certainly bug me that people keep saying that art has to have a meaning to be called art.
Nope. Sometimes art is just about aesthethics, form, colour, texture. And that's ok.

I don't buy it.  Whoever created the piece of art decided that whatever his/her subject is, even if it's just a texture, is interesting.  That's a value judgement right there.  Not only that, but in presenting it to others, he/she declares "this is art,"  which means they are making a statement about what they consider art.  Likewise anyone who puts out an executable and declares "this is a game" is giving an opinion on what games are or should be.

Tentative definition:

A game is a system of costs and rewards that is to some degree predictable.

Edit:

A game is the perception that the costs and rewards of a system are to some degree predictable.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 05:18:29 AM by thunderhead.hierophant » Logged
thersus
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« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2013, 05:20:45 AM »


A game is a system of costs and rewards that is to some degree predictable.

Edit:

A game is the perception that the costs and rewards of a system are to some degree predictable.

Nope.
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Accent
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« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2013, 06:21:11 AM »

Tentative defin-

Nope.
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