I have another previous work for you today, but this time to participate in a community event: Asking Big Questions #002: “Are video games art?” I also wanted to thank @thewellredmage for putting this idea back into my head.
Feel free to join the discussion by commenting below, reading articles by other contributors to the event, commenting on their posts, or even writing your own post and linking back to the original event (see above).
Keep in mind that the following article is old, further spell-checked, slightly modified (indicated by brackets), and trimmed down quite a bit (indicated by “…”) to be exactly 500 words. Due to this, it may be difficult to read. That said, I hope you enjoy it. Any images referenced can be found here.
If I were to describe art, I’d say that it’s … intended to [express something] When you think of art, your first thoughts are probably not … playing cards … or anything from a video game… I will be showcasing art from … Pokémon trading cards [and] video games such as Fire Emblem Fates … and Shovel Knight... There IS art within games, and I’m ready to point out what lies within.
Each piece of a game has some sort of effect on the senses. Let’s look first at what we see… When we look at the Pokémon trading cards, there are cards that have [different] patterns, and some that would look almost like a painting if you were to remove some things, such as text. When we look at the video games, we see anime-like characters … and pixellated graphics… But what about what we hear, take a listen to A Dark Fall from Fire Emblem Fates, and Fighting with All of Our Might from Shovel Knight. They each have a different feel to them […and are] each best for their own situation... Even simple mechanics can plant an idea in your head, such as the need to [100% complete the game]… When you look at … these aspects, you hopefully see that games function as art.
“What about differences between cultures that made these games?” … [Some] may notice from the artwork and music that the style of art from American games and Japanese games usually varies greatly. The main exception is when one tries to make art of a different style, like when an American draws anime. This also sometimes applies to gameplay. When you … play Xenoblade Chronicles X, you see that they had a Japanese-style framework for their art … however, the city inside the game is based off of Los Angeles, California, the game adopts gameplay features from role-playing games made in the west-coast, and it uses rap in a lot of its music… There is definitely a difference between the styles of games from different regions.
…Games themselves aren’t always the way the art from these games is experienced… Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions is a good representation of this. In its concerts, it would play a few tracks [organized in a special way from one game], display visuals on-screen … and move onto the next game… This kind of thing is also done by fans on social media… Take PokeRemixStudio’s Pokemon X/Y Remix: Legendary Xerneas/Yveltal Battle…You may even want to compare it to the [Original Version]… There are many movements of art even just within games and video games.
As you should be able to realize by now, games are a movement of art. We can see the different types of art inside them, including visual art, music, and more, along with each of their functions. There are also examples of how different cultures’ creations vary in style… Even within gaming, different movements can be experienced, such as orchestras and fan-art. With function, regional differences, and movements, games MUST be a form of art.
McKinley, C. (2016). The Art Within Games Unpublished manuscript, Clark Street Community School.