post-game art

Earlier much futile thought had been devoted to the question of whether photography is an art. The primary question – whether the very invention of photography had not transformed the entire nature of art – was not raised. Soon the film theoreticians asked the same ill-considered question with regard to the film. But the difficulties which photography caused traditional aesthetics were mere child’s play as compared to those raised by the film.

– Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (emphasis added)

And have we asked that question about games yet, or are we too busy debating with film critics?


3 thoughts on “post-game art

  1. I remember when the movie eXistenZ came out, eight years ago, Cronenberg said that one of his aims was to explore the question of whether a game could be art. My immediate reaction: “Where you been?” Even in 1999, it seemed like wondering if people would ever walk on the moon, or whether women would ever be granted the right to vote.

  2. This seems a little overly-jaded. Where’s the surprise in this revelation? Of course, the plunge into a discussion over definitions of art seems a little over-the-top. I think there should be less worry over whether or not art is recognized by the others, than by those that can actually appreciate it.

  3. Sorry, I was kind of skipping into “terse snark” mode. I was genuinely surprised at the revelation that the introduction of one medium could affect the meaning of art in another.

    Since this post I’ve been doing a lot more reading of basic media studies stuff, via a New Media course I’m taking at the local university. I still have a lot more reading to do, but I’m already soaking in a lot of good perspective on these sorts of issues. The revelation is ongoing but I don’t think it’s fully percolated enough for me to write coherently about it just yet. (In the meantime, getting forced to learn about and work with new media outside of game design is a refreshing change.)

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