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|OT| Gaming Journalism |OT| May contain trace amounts of games. Or journalism.

small_law

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I mean, if anything is the epitome of fake news, video game journalists not being offered free early access to a game has to be it. Schreier wasn't the only one complaining. A certain website's podcast last week contained around 10 minutes of bitching about being denied a BL3 review code.


It's just so seriously unprofessional. Who the hell are you to demand free video games? Have some fucking grace. Frankly, your site can't be too influencial if publishers ignore your requests for early access.
 

nush

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It's just so seriously unprofessional. Who the hell are you to demand free video games? Have some fucking grace. Frankly, your site can't be too influencial if publishers ignore your requests for early access.
This is a way way too reductive assessment of the situation.
 

Helios

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I mean, if anything is the epitome of fake news, video game journalists not being offered free early access to a game has to be it. Schreier wasn't the only one complaining. A certain website's podcast last week contained around 10 minutes of bitching about being denied a BL3 review code.


It's just so seriously unprofessional. Who the hell are you to demand free video games? Have some fucking grace. Frankly, your site can't be too influencial if publishers ignore your requests for early access.
It's not about free games as much as it is about favoritism. I dislike Kotaku about as much as the next guy but not providing codes except for outlets that Gearbox knows are going to give the game good reviews is extremely scummy and anti-consumer. It's a marketing scheme to alter the MetaCritic score at launch.
Obviously, Kotaku's beef here isn't that the consumer is screwed over but that they won't get that sweet revenue from day-1 reviews but the point still stands. Whether it's some shmuck from PCGamer that lowers a game's score because he/she is an absolute tool or a guy that fairly criticizes a company's unethical business practices I think they should be able to do so without fear of these repercussion. The repercussions should come from the people reading/watching.
Obviously that's all up to the publisher/developer, but you should still look down on the companies that practice this.
 
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GreyHorace

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I originally started posting this in the ZQ thread but it actually fit better here:



This is how simple it is and it's alarming people don't get onto it. And it's where a lot of all this 'let's make the protag of gears a woman' comes from. If more women play, then it means were finally accepted and those names we were called twenty years ago mean nothing!!! And more women will play these type of games if we just stick a woman in them....



Then you have these bloggers who can't write for any publication with reach or influence and haven't got the artistry to create a novel, so inject what they want to write about into videogames. Meanwhile, these jounalists and older gamers who have always been side eyed for playing games, latch onto this ridiculous bullshit as it creates a false sense of credibility and intellectual reason to play games - which validates the fact they sit on their ass playing a very low barrier, digital form of entertainment. Can videogames be 'deep' and meaningful? They can tell stories and can be built around political events - what people do is draw false parallels because you can mirror some aspect of a games story as a real world concern. Is 'Don't Starve' a simple suvival game, or is it a commentary on how the demons of scientific advancement in the name of progress and addressing world weary problems ultimately will be the downfall of civilisation. Whereupon we then compete for natural resources against nature eventually reconstructing the status quo via engineering? You can inject whatever bullshit you want and then write 600 words about how it's right and people lap it up because it sounds semi-intelligent.

There was an exhibition about art and suppressed political messages about homosexuals in the Tate. These messages had to be subtle at the time, obviously because being homosexual was a crime at one point. So the real artistry and politicalisation required actual creativity:



That is actual movement in art. Subversive and subtle messages that require real creative minds. VIdeo games as a medium is brash, common and immature. This is what we get in videogames:



This is why games and by extension developers, cannot be taken serious as having any sort of influence or positive impact. The portrayal is often through melodramatic and physical acts (which are just as bad as the straight scenes in video games, don't get me wrong), or through supporting textual material which clearly states 'character A is a fun loving guy, who likes to hang with his boyfriend.' It has the subtelty of a five year old. It's not pre-1967 any more and if any of these people want to be taken seriously, they need to stop imagining they're part of some clandestine movement that is fighting against persecution and institutionalised struggle. No one really cares because everyone knows it's not the struggle it's being portrayed as. If it was, then the above just wouldn't simply exist, due to censorship.

If you're really artists and creatives, prove it. If you're really journalists and not bloggers then prove it. It's not the publication of an article that makes you credible these days - the internet saw to that - it's the honesty and quality of your writing.
That is such a great summation of this current state of affairs we have with games and the people covering them.

But... I'd argue you're being reductive with argument that videogames don't have the same artistic worth compared to other mediums. There are a number of developers out there who went above and beyond to make something compelling. Like what CDProjektRed did with The Witcher 3 and it's expansion, Hearts of Stone. It's stands out to me as one of the greatest stories I've ever experienced in any media. And we have a real auteur in the medium like Hideo Kojima. Now I think the guy is batshit insane and his ideas are completely mental at times, but there's no denying what an original and distinctive voice he is for videogames. I'm actually looking forward to Death Stranding and seeing what original ideas Kojima-san has not being straddled with the Metal Gear brand.

I do agree though there are a lot of developers out there loudly proclaiming how artistic they are, like David Cage. I still can't understand how a guy who makes Choose Your Own Adventure games could be such a big hit.

You won't hear me disagreeing me though with regards to game journalists. I think a lot of them are idiots and have an overinflated sense of entitlement and worth. Unlike before, during the height of gaming mags and most journalists just covered the games and left the political bullshit out of it.
 

small_law

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Nov 30, 2017
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It's not about free games as much as it is about favoritism. I dislike Kotaku about as much as the next guy but not providing codes except for outlets that Gearbox knows are going to give the game good reviews is extremely scummy and anti-consumer. It's a marketing scheme to alter the MetaCritic score at launch.
Obviously, Kotaku's beef here isn't that the consumer is screwed over but that they won't get that sweet revenue from day-1 reviews but the point still stands. Whether it's some shmuck from PCGamer that lowers a game's score because he/she is an absolute tool or a guy that fairly criticizes a company's unethical business practices I think they should be able to do so without fear of these repercussion. The repercussions should come from the people reading/watching.
Obviously that's all up to the publisher/developer, but you should still look down on the companies that practice this.
I agree that Gearbox is manipulating day one review scores. It's dirty pool for sure. They're not exactly angels. It's an awful trend that goes beyond video games.

But more than the clicks and visits these sites can get from posting release-day reviews, it's ultimately a question of relevancy. Not sending review codes is more than a tacit acknowledgement that a site doesn't have much influence. Why bother with Waypoint or Kotaku when a single streamer can reach more people? There are credibility issues with streamers, but pretending that journalistic ethics alleviate bias is unrealistic.

Ultimately, it's a symptom of the disease I'm part of a much larger argument. I don't think the apocalypse is coming for sites like Waypoint and Polygon. I think it's already happened. You have streaming and YouTube on one side of the chasm and clickbait sites that use video games to suck people in on the other. Everything in the middle is dead or dying.
 
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cormack12

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That is such a great summation of this current state of affairs we have with games and the people covering them.

But... I'd argue you're being reductive with argument that videogames don't have the same artistic worth compared to other mediums. There are a number of developers out there who went above and beyond to make something compelling.
That's probably where you and I differ. I reject that videogames are 'art', generally speaking. That's not to say games cannot have artistic merit. It's difficult to produce a thorough breakdown of why I think this without a lot of toing and froing so this might get a bit jittery in terms of construct but I hope I can manage to lay out a compelling enough case. My conviction in this has grown stronger as I've aged. I used to maybe a bit more balanced, but ultimately my conclusion is as mentioned.

I guess we start with what is art to me? The definition, because art is contentious and interpretative by its very nature. 'Art' to me is the evocation of a passion that is presented in a way to instil a feeling of identifcation or emotion in a neutral observer. I also think 'art' in a traditional form has three distinct criteria for me:

- it's the production of an individual - a visionary
- It exists with no barriers to entry but many levels of depth
- it is timeless

The first point is what most people take umbrage with when I lay out my own personal view. So let me give you a few contrary common mediums. The first is obviously architecture. The easiest to pick is probably Cathedrals and churches because they were often made just to be beautiful in homage to whichever deity they were raised to. I can appreciate the art and craftsmanship in a stained glass window. Similarly I can appreciate the ornate stonework on pillars, gargoyles etc. Architecture is a form of delivery - an amalgamation of aesthetic and artistic values but just as an orchestrator is not a composer, an architect is not an artist.

Art has never really had a barrier to entry. Most people pull me up here and ask 'What about reading?' as it seems the most pertinent. Literature in its first inception was primarily focused on being an authority, books of religion, science, matsh and philosophy. Fiction and tales came long after the art form of music, ballads and poems. They were easier to transport, easier to carry across the land so the artists name would carry with it. They were easier to inspire with emotional interludes, to compliment with dancing and music. Paintings could be appreciated by the eyes of everyone, from peasants to lords. Sculpting is a similar story, as is music. Someone of lowstanding could listen to Sonata #14 and still be moved with only the use of their ears. By the time common people became literate that is when literature began to take on more prominence with scripts for performances etc.

Probably the most controversial one is the timeless aspect. Literature, paintings, sonnets and symphonies are all just as appreciable now as they ever were. And usually only become more appreciated through the ages. They 'endure' and cross generational divides.

So, I guess after all that why don't I feel videogames fit this medium definition? Firstly, games - especially nowadays - are production line assemblies. There is too much division and arrest with competing ideals to give an honest end product. There is also much limitation in terms of compromise and technical capabilities. The artist is limited not by ability but by tool and medium.

Games have a large barrier to entry, whether that's owning a platform, being competent enough to experience the journey if it takes skill/dexterity to progress (e.g. Souls etc.) or just simple aging out of hardware, and relying on a diminishing way to consume them. The preservation of art is usually decided on its merit to society and cultural importance. Videogame premasters are chosen on whether they are profitable.

I don't consider games timeless at all, they age pretty badly and are carried along in the minds of nostalgic adults for the most part. Revisiting the initial intepretation can't provide the same pleasure or receive as glowing a critical appraisal of when it first burst on the scene because it's judged always in its time. That's not to say they can't be appreciated for what they are/were just that the artistic beauty diminishes relative to the tools available. Sometimes this can be offset by using a simpler artstyle but eventually all fall victim.

For me videogames are art is a fallacy, and falls into the same territory of marketing is an art form. I know certain games are trying to be more artistic and improvements in engines and toolchains allow fewer people to be more productive and true to a vision, but I don't think I'll ever see them as art. I think we try to label videogames as art to lend more credibility to a past time.
 
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Helios

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I agree that Gearbox is manipulating day one review scores. It's dirty pool for sure. They're not exactly angels. It's an awful trend that goes beyond video games.

But more than the clicks and visits these sites can get from posting release-day reviews, it's ultimately a question of relevancy. Not sending review codes is more than a tacit acknowledgement that a site doesn't have much influence. Why bother with Waypoint or Kotaku when a single streamer can reach more people? There are credibility issues with streamers, but pretending that journalistic ethics alleviate bias is unrealistic.

Ultimately, it's a symptom of the disease I'm part of a much larger argument. I don't think the apocalypse is coming for sites like Waypoint and Polygon. I think it's already happened. You have streaming and YouTube on one side of the chasm and clickbait sites that use video games to suck people in on the other. Everything in the middle is dead or dying.
If the point is relevancy than I agree.
Games have a large barrier to entry, whether that's owning a platform, being competent enough to experience the journey if it takes skill/dexterity to progress (e.g. Souls etc.) or just simple aging out of hardware, and relying on a diminishing way to consume them. T
I don't really have a dog in this fight because frankly I don't care if video games are considered art or not. But I don't understand this point.
You can say the same about many other art-forms. Literature requires owning the physical book, they also require knowing how to read. I get that this is exactly what you were trying to refute earlier but I don't see it being refuted. There's still a barrier there. Just because I can listen to a tale doesn't mean that it removes the barrier. The same way I could say that you can just watch someone play through a game on youtube and that removes the barrier,
Same thing for movies if you believe they are art.
 
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Shai-Tan

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That's probably where you and I differ. I reject that videogames are 'art', generally speaking. That's not to say games cannot have artistic merit. It's difficult to produce a thorough breakdown of why I think this without a lot of toing and froing so this might get a bit jittery in terms of construct but I hope I can manage to lay out a compelling enough case. My conviction in this has grown stronger as I've aged. I used to maybe a bit more balanced, but ultimately my conclusion is as mentioned.

I guess we start with what is art to me? The definition, because art is contentious and interpretative by its very nature. 'Art' to me is the evocation of a passion that is presented in a way to instil a feeling of identifcation or emotion in a neutral observer. I also think 'art' in a traditional form has three distinct criteria for me:

- it's the production of an individual - a visionary
- It exists with no barriers to entry but many levels of depth
- it is timeless

The first point is what most people take umbrage with when I lay out my own personal view. So let me give you a few contrary common mediums. The first is obviously architecture. The easiest to pick is probably Cathedrals and churches because they were often made just to be beautiful in homage to whichever deity they were raised to. I can appreciate the art and craftsmanship in a stained glass window. Similarly I can appreciate the ornate stonework on pillars, gargoyles etc. Architecture is a form of delivery - an amalgamation of aesthetic and artistic values but just as an orchestrator is not a composer, an architect is not an artist.

Art has never really had a barrier to entry. Most people pull me up here and ask 'What about reading?' as it seems the most pertinent. Literature in its first inception was primarily focused on being an authority, books of religion, science, matsh and philosophy. Fiction and tales came long after the art form of music, ballads and poems. They were easier to transport, easier to carry across the land so the artists name would carry with it. They were easier to inspire with emotional interludes, to compliment with dancing and music. Paintings could be appreciated by the eyes of everyone, from peasants to lords. Sculpting is a similar story, as is music. Someone of lowstanding could listen to Sonata #14 and still be moved with only the use of their ears. By the time common people became literate that is when literature began to take on more prominence with scripts for performances etc.

Probably the most controversial one is the timeless aspect. Literature, paintings, sonnets and symphonies are all just as appreciable now as they ever were. And usually only become more appreciated through the ages. They 'endure' and cross generational divides.

So, I guess after all that why don't I feel videogames fit this medium definition? Firstly, games - especially nowadays - are production line assemblies. There is too much division and arrest with competing ideals to give an honest end product. There is also much limitation in terms of compromise and technical capabilities. The artist is limited not by ability but by tool and medium.

Games have a large barrier to entry, whether that's owning a platform, being competent enough to experience the journey if it takes skill/dexterity to progress (e.g. Souls etc.) or just simple aging out of hardware, and relying on a diminishing way to consume them. The preservation of art is usually decided on its merit to society and cultural importance. Videogame premasters are chosen on whether they are profitable.

I don't consider games timeless at all, they age pretty badly and are carried along in the minds of nostalgic adults for the most part. Revisiting the initial intepretation can't provide the same pleasure or receive as glowing a critical appraisal of when it first burst on the scene because it's judged always in its time. That's not to say they can't be appreciated for what they are/were just that the artistic beauty diminishes relative to the tools available. Sometimes this can be offset by using a simpler artstyle but eventually all fall victim.

For me videogames are art is a fallacy, and falls into the same territory of marketing is an art form. I know certain games are trying to be more artistic and improvements in engines and toolchains allow fewer people to be more productive and true to a vision, but I don't think I'll ever see them as art. I think we try to label videogames as art to lend more credibility to a past time.

That reads a lot like the distinction between high and low art and culture? That they have different ends, that the low appeals to base, homogenized desires laden with tropes and cheap appeals to emotion and sentimentality

edit: to put it more on topic - there is a hopeful attitude in games criticism that new “verbs” will arise out of a firmament of social awareness when it’s more like games are built around jumping or shooting because the systemic parts of games are an empty facade running up against technical limitations e.g. npc behavior
 
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Helios

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I love polygon framing unhappy customers airing their grievances as "getting their revenge". God forbid people have a place to talk about these issues.
Also as a matter of irony, the /r/pcgaming/ reddit thread talking about this article also got locked.
Disgruntled Borderlands 3 players on PC are unhappy about the numerous connectivity and performance problems they’ve encountered barely a day into the game’s launch, and they’re letting people know about it in the forums. For Borderlands 2. On Steam.

You’ll recall that Borderlands 3 is an Epic Games Store exclusive. Epic Games Store does not have forums. Nor does it have user reviews, thwarting the primary means of revenge for disappointed PC gamers. For while players are lighting up the franchise subreddit, the PC gaming subreddit, and the official forums at Gearbox Software, nothing says spite like unloading on a seven-year-old game in a marketplace that can’t even sell its sequel.

One Steam user pleaded with Borderlands 2 fans not to engage threads on Borderlands 3, and included a link to the Gearbox forums. People are still popping in questions and requests for help with Borderlands 3’s performance. Framerate drops and stutters appear to be the biggest bugaboo facing PC users.

“Need help,” wrote one player, “regardless of the graphics settings, frequent reductions in FPS, CPU and GPU are only loaded at 60%, RAM at 70, but the hard drive jumps from 0 to 100% and hangs at 100% when FPS reduced. I already turned off all Windows services that might be the reason, I also checked the disks, fragmented them, can there be a reason that the game is installed on the same disk as windows?”

“Try an actual Borderlands 3 forum,” someone replied. “You’ll probably get more responses.”

“ty,” OP replied.

The most recent guidance from Gearbox Software’s official Twitter account is that the studio is investigating all of these various issues, and users are being steered to 2K Games’ official support site to log a ticket.
Back in April, when Gearbox announced Borderlands 3 — and announced it would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store — angry PC gamers flooded the user reviews for Borderlands 2 with enough negative remarks that it triggered Steam’s first ever “off-topic review activity” flag, set up to combat “review bombs.”

Borderlands 3 launched for Windows PC, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One yesterday. Our review noted that the version we played was “obviously not … a finished version” that featured frequent crashes for users on three different gaming PCs.
 
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Saruhashi

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It's not about free games as much as it is about favoritism. I dislike Kotaku about as much as the next guy but not providing codes except for outlets that Gearbox knows are going to give the game good reviews is extremely scummy and anti-consumer. It's a marketing scheme to alter the MetaCritic score at launch.
Obviously, Kotaku's beef here isn't that the consumer is screwed over but that they won't get that sweet revenue from day-1 reviews but the point still stands. Whether it's some shmuck from PCGamer that lowers a game's score because he/she is an absolute tool or a guy that fairly criticizes a company's unethical business practices I think they should be able to do so without fear of these repercussion. The repercussions should come from the people reading/watching.
Obviously that's all up to the publisher/developer, but you should still look down on the companies that practice this.
If they actually had some talent they could work around this though.

Is there some kind of rule about how long a game must be played before it gets a MetaCritic score?
If not then there's nothing stopping outlets like Kotaku from doing a "launch day" review which reviews the game based on the first 8 hours.
Then down the line they could have a "week one" review and maybe a "one month later" review.

First it gives them more content. Second it makes their reviews more reliable and would actually end up with them getting a following of people who think "I will wait for the Kotaku reviews before I buy this".

It also fits better with games as a medium. With a movie you could watch the thing in the morning, write a rough review, watch it again and then have a final review good to go before most audiences have even arrived at a cinema.

With games I always wonder how much I can trust a reviewer who has crammed 40+ hours of gameplay into a few days since that is NOT how I will be playing the game myself.

TONS of people seem to pre-order games anyway. So those folks are gone as far as MC scores are concerned. A lot of the huge releases will be bought regardless of review scores and it would take a seriously negative review for people to go "nah".

If outlets like Kotaku had spend years cultivating a trust and respect among the community then developers and publishers would be thinking "shit, we NEED to give them a review copy".

As it stands they can't be trusted to not do something like this when you send them your new game: https://www.kotaku.co.uk/2019/04/18/super-smash-bros-ultimates-persona-5-dlc-includes-a-disability-slur

It's definitely shady when companies don't give out review copies, or have late embargoes, but on the other hand outlets like Kotaku need to demonstrate that they are trustworthy themselves.

If Kotaku has spent years cultivating a sense of trust and competence in their video game coverage then it wouldn't actually matter if they didn't get a review copy since you'd be thinking "OK, the game released at midnight so let's wait until noon tomorrow to see what Kotaku has to say before I commit".

If anything "they didn't send Kotaku and early copy" would be a MASSIVE red flag. Now it's like they don't get a review copy because they can't be trusted to provide a fair review and there's always a danger they will get triggered by something in game and go off the deep end.
 

cormack12

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I don't really have a dog in this fight because frankly I don't care if video games are considered art or not. But I don't understand this point.
I don't myself, I enjoy just the meandering chat. I don't say what I think or how I think is definitive, I just tend to share because I enjoy the conversations it fosters between people even if they are opposed.

I guess you could term it a dependency barrier. A game is a medium but you need a specific item to play it. For instance, would Chess be considered art? An arrangement of carefully arranged pieces ready to checkmate the King? I don't think so - you can find beauty in the stalking patterns of wolves but it doesn't 'quantify' as art. I can listen to music on a CD, but I need a CD player. But I can just listen to music from an instrument or a voice. Literature is the outlier in the form of a written word - but for example I don't need a kindle to read specific books, and were it penned or copied out it's just there with no barrier. You can't provide the manual of code and have it be meaningful, or use/play the game in any other way than it's intended/facilitated. I tend to seperate the form from the art. I don't consider films art, it does encompass that reason but it's not the only reason. Which is probably best answered below.


That reads a lot like the distinction between high and low art and culture? That they have different ends, that the low appeals to base, homogenized desires laden with tropes and cheap appeals to emotion and sentimentality
High art and low art I'm not sure on. I haven't used those terms before. I would probably reduce it to entertainment versus art. I think there is a conscious effort to push films and games as 'art' to lend them credibility, which I disagree with. Films - to me - are a collection of artistic elements positioned in a way for the director to show you a story, how they have visualised it and framed it. Ultimately your interpretation is constrained with how the director has chosen to frame the scenes (think melancholy scores at sad moment, dashing crescendo's in moments of action, panning shots by the director to draw and fade focus). Effectively you're being given something and then led what to look at to follow the story or what to listen to to evoke an emotion, under the limitation of being greenlit or not. A good analogy would be the difference between an opera/ballet and a musical. One is meant to be enjoyed and consumed as entertainment and one is meant to be contemplated on and the emotions regurgitated and wallowed in. Is Les Miserable on the big stage art? Or is the novel the art itself? Is Paradise Lost art? Does the art transcend the novelisation of the poetry? These are all searching questions and ones I don't think I have authoritative answers (or offer as). But I'm quite happy with that - I'm comfortable enough to work through in my own head why I have my boundaires, but not arrogant enough to try and push them on others. Art is where you personally find it I guess?

So does that mean I think every book, every piece of music or every poem is 'art'. No, not at all. I think there is a clear set of criteria that elevate certain forms to where they can be considered 'art' but I don't think games, marketing or films ever can be, because of their constraints. They can sometimes approximate it when the circle of vision is small, concentrated and narrow but ultimately still fall short for me. They are a way to deliver certain elements of 'art' but in the transition and direction lose what would truly have them be considered as art. This is just my opinion, it's as broad as the debate between what is a masterpiece and what is not :)

I find these conversations difficult to pen out on forums and in type because you can't cover everything in a logical flow. Talking tends to draw the conversation out a bit more organically. The contrary viewpoint could be that ultimately art is about controversy and there is nothing that is more controversial than suggesting games are art. Perhaps the real art is in the ongoing discussion itself and not the medium.

Nevertheless I find it more stimulating than other threads so aye, thanks for the expositions and open mind :)
 

#Phonepunk#

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I don't consider games timeless at all, they age pretty badly and are carried along in the minds of nostalgic adults for the most part. Revisiting the initial intepretation can't provide the same pleasure or receive as glowing a critical appraisal of when it first burst on the scene because it's judged always in its time.
i don't agree with this definition of timeless. timeless does not mean emulating the reaction of the age where the art came out. timeless means that a work simply withstands time, that it's appeal holds true today just as yesterday.

also it seems like you are subtracting historical context from the conversation. usually when appreciating an old work, you need context, you need to know about the artist, where they are from, you need to know the era in which the art was released, what was going on at the time, what the politics of the era were, how trends and popular aesthetics have influenced the work. the evolution of the medium (painting, sculpture, animation, etc.) itself. maybe you don't "need" it, but if that information is available and you decline it, you are having an uninformed opinion. all of this provides context, it provides deeper meaning, insight into the creation process, insight into the creator, as well as the audience of the time. just saying "This doesn't give me the same feels" is a silly way to look at timeless IMO.

That's not to say they can't be appreciated for what they are/were just that the artistic beauty diminishes relative to the tools available. Sometimes this can be offset by using a simpler artstyle but eventually all fall victim.
again, this is pretty silly, equating aesthetic and form with timelessness. as if the simplistic wall paintings on the tombs in Ancient Egypt aren't still revered around the world, even though we now have 3D IMAX movies, which are clearly the "superior" medium. as if we should just smash all the sculptures, because we have 3D printing now, and it is more accurate. this stance seems more like marketing than art appreciation tbh. "This painting has more colors than yours" is a silly way to look at art. the medium is not the art. it is what you do with it.
I don't consider films art
uh.... ok. yeah, i don't think you have an art education. i went to art school and took a couple courses in art history, photography, film. this take is so absurd tbh I have a hard time taking any of what you say seriously. films have been considered art for 50-100 years by academia. tbh the barriers between what is and isn't art haven't really existed in the art world for decades now. it seems really silly to start drawing lines now, 100 years after Dada. what's the next line? appropriation isn't art? performance art isn't art? abstract expressionism? face it, the barriers were destroyed in the 20th century. you are living in the past.
This is just my opinion, it's as broad as the debate between what is a masterpiece and what is not
feel like you are conflating the two. everything created by man can be art, but not every piece of art is a masterpiece. i feel like shorthand these days has made people think "If it's art, it's a masterpiece of untouchable quality" and it's like, no, you can have art that is crap. calling something art doesn't remove it from critical evaluation, in fact I would argue the opposite.
 
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Whitesnake

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The word “art” is useless and doesn’t mean anything.
Whether or not games are labeled “art”, be it by society, some arbitrary authority, or simple personal preference, doesn’t matter.
 

ROMhack

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feel like you are conflating the two. everything created by man can be art, but not every piece of art is a masterpiece. i feel like shorthand these days has made people think "If it's art, it's a masterpiece of untouchable quality" and it's like, no, you can have art that is crap. calling something art doesn't remove it from critical evaluation, in fact I would argue the opposite.
Good point. You can be a bad artist. Not every piece of work an artist creates is on par with what they will create next time, or created before.

Seems what's really missing in the modern age is a movement to gravitate around. But maybe that's old school thinking too.
 

Thabass

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Art has never really had a barrier to entry.
I'm not sure I agree with you here. I think, in art, you need some sort of skill or a keen eye to make art what it is. Whether it be a good understanding language (writing), understanding how to draw and understanding perception, or being good at other skills like math and what not. I think there's always barrier to entry when learning a skill, especially in art. You can't just pick up a brush and start drawing and boom it's good art.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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Seems what's really missing in the modern age is a movement to gravitate around. But maybe that's old school thinking too.
yeah it may be. i think back in the day when time moved slower and things were more local, it was easier to find a community, to be part of something local. the internet gives us the tools to find like-minded people, but this is not the same. a community is not just like minded people. people may disagree, there can be feuds, everyone is impacted by local issues, etc.

plus we are living in a golden age for critics. there are more critics than ever before. hundreds of years ago if you wanted to publish your thoughts on art, you would have to write them down, and be good enough (or rich enough) to get a publishing deal. these barriers to entry no longer exist when millions of people can simply say any old shit, without editing, and publish it instantly, free of charge, to everyone on the planet. many of these critics are not art students, they did not take live drawing, their education has been other people's youtube videos. as a result a lot of people are getting a lot of misinformation.
I'm not sure I agree with you here. I think, in art, you need some sort of skill or a keen eye to make art what it is. Whether it be a good understanding language (writing), understanding how to draw and understand perception, or being good at other skills like math and what not. I think there's always barrier to entry when learning a skill, especially in art. You can't just pick up a brush and start drawing and boom it's good art.
yeah when you look at the Old Masters, they spend years copying the Older Masters. technique, practice, fundamentals, all are pretty essential, unless you want to be an "outsider artist" of course. even then you need free time, to have a life of relative ease. if you are working all day to put food on the table, you don't have time to sit around and paint and come up with ideas. if you are working all day to put food on the table, you don't have the energy. paints are expensive, a luxury item, especially oil paints. canvas is bulky and also not cheap. just as well, you will need to know someone in order to sell your work or get it in a gallery. networking is important and favors the connected. for a long time artists existed on some privileged plain, usually through the patronage of the wealthy. the barrier to entry was very real for thousands of years at least.
 
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cormack12

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i don't agree with this definition of timeless. timeless does not mean emulating the reaction of the age where the art came out. timeless means that a work simply withstands time, that it's appeal holds true today just as yesterday....
I think you've misinterpreted what I meant by timeless, those things you mention specifically are timeless.

Let me clarify my point, because it makes most of what you wrote superlfuous. Items of historical importance or cultural significance do endure. Video games do not (and they are mass produced to exceptional levels). Some collector's may keep the odd copies but each year the number gets smaller. They are preserved by hobbyists preference rather than cultural significance or historical importance. Therefore video games are not timeless, therefore not art (in my opinion). Video games are not seminal nor do they offer anything in their form that is beyond functional. That is my point. While video games linger in the memories of those who experienced them, the drive to share them and make them endure comes from two primary sources:

Remasters for commercial benefit (or)
Fans/collective memory driven by nostalgia urging friends or children to try them

A video game will be judged in it's time as a category of pop culture entertainment, the main thing that endures from a game are mechanics, which are iterated on. So, would engineering/programming become the art then? By default?

I would hesitate to call cave scratchings art as they are clearly for communication in their most primal form. For example, the story of Little Red Riding Hood is in my memory, but that doesn't mean it is 'art' just because it is fiction. But that is up to you. Not all imagery is art.

uh.... ok. yeah, i don't think you have an art education. i went to art school and took a couple courses in art history, photography, film. this take is so absurd tbh I have a hard time taking any of what you say seriously. films have been considered art for 50-100 years by academia. tbh the barriers between what is and isn't art haven't really existed in the art world for decades now. it seems really silly to start drawing lines now, 100 years after Dada. what's the next line? appropriation isn't art? performance art isn't art? abstract expressionism? face it, the barriers were destroyed in the 20th century. you are living in the past.

I've told you why I don't consider films art but entertainment, you're free to give your own analysis? I don't assume I've articulated it as well as I could verbally but I made the attempt. I see nothing you have provided me to change my mind. I wouldn't bother appealing to vocational qualifications though as a deciding factor. The arguments are broad and wide ranging and are as accepted and criticised by as many academics, critics and directors as not. This isn't something you can be 'right' about. And you'll see I profess no such arrogance. Nor am I here to persuade you differently if you think films are art. I can assure you I went to a very good school though and my experience across theatre, exhibitions, literature, opera, ballet, stageshows, musicals, photography and galleries is actually fairly decent. And one of the reasons I arrived at where I did. Would you hold my opinion higher if I said I had a BA in Film making for example? Would I agree with you if Michael Bay said films were art? I doubt it would make an iota of difference to the disagreement we have. I'm not dismissing Art House films or excellent cinematography as being worthless or without influence, I just refute the fact they should class themselves as art wholly or individually. Although for this debate, it's probably best to keep the focus on videogames and maybe start an OT on films themselves or it becomes me and you derailing the thread.

Your final point misses the mark of what I was saying, or alternatively hits the nail on the head. You seem to be making a point that everything can be art. I fundamentally disagree with that point. If you want to intepret something as art, then that is on the beholder. Art should be profound and evocative, and one of the reasons art endures is because it transcends its generation to reverberate across ages using themes that appeal to raw human constructs (i.e. becoming timeless).

But then I think this simply loses what art is. Art has value, is meaningful and merit. Devaluing a swathe of accomplishment into 'everything can be art' is very reductive I feel. The point about the masterpiece was to highlight the bridge you are discussing. The bridge between masterpiece and not is usually via critical acclaim, or agreed intrepretation of how well or multi-aspected the art is. However, it doesn't really matter. As it is often a concept of measurement that distinguishes how much appreciation, how many levels and what depth exists wihtin each piece. All I am saying is the same exercise/differentiation exists between what constitutes 'art' and what does not.


I'm not sure I agree with you here. I think, in art, you need some sort of skill or a keen eye to make art what it is. You can't just pick up a brush and start drawing and boom it's good art.

That is becoming an artist though, the barriers I was referring to was consuming it. Of which you need just eyes. or ears. You can appreciate the complete works of Beethoven. That was just to highlight the difference between raw art and video games :)

That second point (highlighted) should be aimed at #Phonepunk# #Phonepunk# because that is pretty much what they are saying. Everything can be art.
 
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Thabass

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cormack12 cormack12 - Ah, I see where you're coming from now. Yes, I guess in that case, I can see what you mean. Though, I'm not sure I still agree with you on video games not being art. I don't think you need to play the game to see what makes it fun. I remember watching my cousin play Zelda way back when and I thought to myself: man that looks like fun. That's part of the art in my mind. If I'm somehow moved by it, whether it gameplay, music, visuals or otherwise, I think I can safely say I can see the art in a video game. Even if I'm not playing it.
 

Ballthyrm

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Agreed with cormack12 cormack12 that the biggest issues games have is that they're not timeless.
That's mainly in people heads though. Tetris or pacman are as close to timeless concept as we have.
Does tetris 99 not qualify as the same game that Pajitnov made ?

When we finally hit the technology limit will game start to be art because everyone use the same tools to make them ?
The timeless aspect of video games is mainly judged with graphics, it is a poor way of judging art.

Are the Lascaux painting not art because the proto-humans suck at drawing ?
 
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01011001

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good games are timeless,
average games are somewhat timeless, you feel how they aged but they're still holding up,
bad games are not timeless and were only previously not seen as bad games because there were no points of comparison.

Super Mario World, Day of the Tentacle, Garou, Street Fighter 3, F-Zero, Mario Galaxy, even something ancient like Tetris... all timeless, just as fun now as they were when they first came out, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

then there are games like Jak 2 which aged not as well with camera issues, control issues and general clunkyness that people ignored because 3D platforming was still not perfected by many games.
other examples are GTA3 or the first Sonic... not bad but they didn't age well

and finally stuff like Double Dragon 1, Mortal Kombat 1, many PS1 platformers and many PS2 era shooters like the Medal of Honor games, that just feel absolutely awful to play nowadays.
 

ROMhack

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That's mainly in people heads though. Tetris or pacman are as close to timeless concept as we have.
Does tetris 99 not qualify as the same game that Pajitnov made ?

When we finally hit the technology limit will game start to be art because everyone use the same tools to make them ?
The timeless aspect of video games is mainly judged with graphics, it is a poor way of judging art.

Are the Lascaux painting not art because the proto-humans suck at drawing ?
Dunno really. I don't think tetris or pacman are art myself. I don't think they intended to be either.

Tetris has a better case though.
 

Shai-Tan

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I don't myself, I enjoy just the meandering chat. I don't say what I think or how I think is definitive, I just tend to share because I enjoy the conversations it fosters between people even if they are opposed.

I guess you could term it a dependency barrier. A game is a medium but you need a specific item to play it. For instance, would Chess be considered art? An arrangement of carefully arranged pieces ready to checkmate the King? I don't think so - you can find beauty in the stalking patterns of wolves but it doesn't 'quantify' as art. I can listen to music on a CD, but I need a CD player. But I can just listen to music from an instrument or a voice. Literature is the outlier in the form of a written word - but for example I don't need a kindle to read specific books, and were it penned or copied out it's just there with no barrier. You can't provide the manual of code and have it be meaningful, or use/play the game in any other way than it's intended/facilitated. I tend to seperate the form from the art. I don't consider films art, it does encompass that reason but it's not the only reason. Which is probably best answered below.




High art and low art I'm not sure on. I haven't used those terms before. I would probably reduce it to entertainment versus art. I think there is a conscious effort to push films and games as 'art' to lend them credibility, which I disagree with. Films - to me - are a collection of artistic elements positioned in a way for the director to show you a story, how they have visualised it and framed it. Ultimately your interpretation is constrained with how the director has chosen to frame the scenes (think melancholy scores at sad moment, dashing crescendo's in moments of action, panning shots by the director to draw and fade focus). Effectively you're being given something and then led what to look at to follow the story or what to listen to to evoke an emotion, under the limitation of being greenlit or not. A good analogy would be the difference between an opera/ballet and a musical. One is meant to be enjoyed and consumed as entertainment and one is meant to be contemplated on and the emotions regurgitated and wallowed in. Is Les Miserable on the big stage art? Or is the novel the art itself? Is Paradise Lost art? Does the art transcend the novelisation of the poetry? These are all searching questions and ones I don't think I have authoritative answers (or offer as). But I'm quite happy with that - I'm comfortable enough to work through in my own head why I have my boundaires, but not arrogant enough to try and push them on others. Art is where you personally find it I guess?
That's interesting, because what's called mise en scène is often talked about as a component that makes film distinct compared to other methods to direct attention, on stage for example. Games are supposedly in that adolescent phase where they haven't quite found what makes them distinctive,


So does that mean I think every book, every piece of music or every poem is 'art'. No, not at all. I think there is a clear set of criteria that elevate certain forms to where they can be considered 'art' but I don't think games, marketing or films ever can be, because of their constraints. They can sometimes approximate it when the circle of vision is small, concentrated and narrow but ultimately still fall short for me. They are a way to deliver certain elements of 'art' but in the transition and direction lose what would truly have them be considered as art. This is just my opinion, it's as broad as the debate between what is a masterpiece and what is not :)

I find these conversations difficult to pen out on forums and in type because you can't cover everything in a logical flow. Talking tends to draw the conversation out a bit more organically. The contrary viewpoint could be that ultimately art is about controversy and there is nothing that is more controversial than suggesting games are art. Perhaps the real art is in the ongoing discussion itself and not the medium.

Nevertheless I find it more stimulating than other threads so aye, thanks for the expositions and open mind :)
'What is art?" (and what isn't) is one of those topics with a long history. I've sadly forgotten most of what I learned in the intro course I took on the philosophy of art so I could only hand wave about Immanuel Kant, Arthur Danto, etc.

To put it back on topic one of the tensions in games is how criticism sometimes assumes an ideal of the psychologically realistic novel which is in conflict with various unreal elements in games - explaining many dumb conversations about "ludonarrative dissonance". I've often defended games as forms of genre fiction that don't take themselves too seriously while of course appreciating the craft that goes into those works There is room to blur the line between literary and genre fiction but let's critique content for what it is more than what it's not.

Anyhow, I guess I'm not well equipped to discuss this topic. My minor in philosophy was primarily focused on philosophy of science and philosophy of mind.
 

Shai-Tan

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From other media forms? Their interactivity obviously.
sorry, I didn't mean games as a medium - I was referring to the visual logic in games. What we have is a grab bag of different methods from other mediums that supposedly is a chrysalis that will emerge into a more mature form. I'm fine with games just aping film to get by but there are other possibilities that aren't quite there to also take on board interactivity
 
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Ballthyrm

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Dunno really. I don't think tetris or pacman are art myself. I don't think they intended to be either.
Same here, i'm not here to debate if games are art or not, i think that's a stale useless debate, it boil down to (what if they are, will it change anything ? or anyone mind ?)

I just wanted to point out the fact that timelessness is a not something you can attribute to recent things like video games. Movies are starting to get there but they have been around for 100 years.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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Items of historical importance or cultural significance do endure. Video games do not (and they are mass produced to exceptional levels). Some collector's may keep the odd copies but each year the number gets smaller. They are preserved by hobbyists preference rather than cultural significance or historical importance. Therefore video games are not timeless, therefore not art (in my opinion).
this is getting silly. everything you accuse games of here is also done in the fine art world. timeless works are only well known because the Mona Lisa has been printed and reprinted a zillion times. have you ever seen the actual painting? i have not. granted there are a number of copies of the Mona Lisa which feature in museums of their own, their value as art undisputed even though they are simply copies of the earlier work. a people enjoy prints of art all the time without judging them as lesser experiences. i don't see why video games have to be different. the number getting smaller, that has nothing to do with aesthetics or art history, it is purely a market concern. you seem to be confusing the art market for what is art. though the two are inter-related, making your "It's mass market, thus it's not art" stance absurd. you seem entirely focused on collectors and purchasing with video games, and thinking that excludes them from art, yet you entirely ignore those factors with other artforms. this is denying historical reality.

reproduction of a work does not make it lesser than art, in fact the 80's had a huge movement about appropriation as art. this is largely what birthed the postmodern era we are in, where everyone is commenting & sampling other things, rather than creating new ones. i mean we have already been through this, Lichtenstein painting comic strips, Andy Warhol painting soup cans. by the late 70s we had the Misfits appropriating Warhol appropriating a newspaper photographer covering JFK's assasination. recontextuallization is a huge deal in new/mixed media. video games are a part of new media. they teach classes on this stuff in art school. you can't get any more definitive if you tried.



Warhol happened over 70 years ago, yet you seem to be applied a pre-50's worldview on art history. the art world has moved on. once DuChamp signed a toilet and had it featured in a gallery, all bets were off. video games have been in galleries for decades now. admit it, you have lost.
Games are supposedly in that adolescent phase where they haven't quite found what makes them distinctive
IMO this is a myth, games have always been on another level. it is games critics and journalists who are trapped in adolescence.
 
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ROMhack

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#Phonepunk# #Phonepunk# What's your opinion on the role critics in 2k19? I found a pretty interesting article on PopMatters last night that reminded me that there used to be a time where critics wanted to steer the conversation about the artistry of games. For various reasons - largely I think because it's unprofitable and doesn't get clicks - it doesn't seem like this type of thing that exists so widely anymore. Personally I see one of the biggest issues that there are no strong critical voices to lead the debate.

If you're interested: https://www.popmatters.com/popmatters20-evolution-of-game-criticism-2633950639.html
 
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GreyHorace

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Holy shit. I saw this image on Kiwi Farms and I have to ask, is this for real?

 

Helios

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That ratio, Brutal Savage Rekt!
Here's the archive link of the review





Naff Characters and "archaic sexism"? That means it is a fantastic game coming from Rock Paper Shotgun. Day 1 purchase.
He actually says that the game is good but doesn't want to "endorse" it because of boobs.
These are archaic tropes I can’t endorse.
After which he goes :
But yes, I’m enjoying myself. Mobile, high-stakes combat tied to interesting, ever-expanding abilities is a recipe that can withstand slightly repetitive enemy design and shoddy environments. I still feel the pull to keep playing, to unearth new classes and experiment with all the ways I can mash them together. The only good part of Code Vein is its combat, but for me, that turns out to be enough.
Pretty sure that 50% of the article is how boobs scare him.
Meanwhile, photo taken from the comments :
 
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Helios

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As an aside, I think GameSpot hasn't played more than 2 stealth games if they think this is a new mechanic.
 

SLoWMoTIoN

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Here's the archive link of the review






He actually says that the game is good but doesn't want to "endorse" it because of boobs.

After which he goes :

Pretty sure that 50% of the article is how boobs scare him.
Meanwhile, photo taken from the comments :
Io isn't even that big ffs. What a cuck.
 
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