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Episode 25: *drum roll* Are Games Art?

In this episode of the Game Engine Podcast, Andrew, Saul and Paul bite the bullet and definitively answer that fateful question: “Are videogames art?

When Roger Ebert famously declared that games could not be considered art, many leapt onto soapboxes, outraged, and pointed their fingers at this game or that as an example of why what he said could not be true. Most of what they put forward, it has to be said, was shrill and poorly-argued. Was Roger right? Or were his critics justified in their whining? No-one has yet been able to settle the matter once and for all.

Until now.

Truly, this is our finest hour. Donning our Bullshit-Proof Overcoats, we venture into territory where few have dared to tread. We tie on our Skis of Infallibility and slalom unflinchingly down the treacherous slippery slope of Mount Truth, sailing through gate after gate with supreme precision. When we reach the bottom, we pin down the Butterfly of Art with a single stroke, before finally pulling back the Blanket of Eternity and putting this baby to bed.

Are our conclusions correct? Yes. But we’d still like to hear what you think, via the usual channels of Facebook, Twitter , email (gameenginepodcast@gmail.com), and or Google+. And we love suggestions for new topics, several of which we’ve previously used. This one, for example, was suggested by the indomitable Harrison. Thanks for having faith in us, mate. We hope the discussion was all that you hoped for.

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  • Daniel

    lol, great discussion guys!

  • http://www.flampz.blogspot.com Caroline Gordon

    This was the first game engine podcast I listened to, I have been interested in the topic of games as art for a while now so I was pretty interested to see what real gamers have to say about it. Guys I want to challenge you to have another go at this…please!
    Maybe you need some guest presenter or something but I’d really like to see what you think about games as art, here’s some ideas:
    – art is multilayered and complex, there are ideas behind ideas and lots of those ideas can be metaphores for life and the human condition so what games have complex themes that can be applied to our lives? That can inform us and make us better people?
    – I read somewhere a description of poetry as something that blows the top of your head off, why, because maybe it draws together ideas that so naturally go together but you never before saw them together, because it speaks to something so true and right but you never knew you knew, because the language is just so perfect, so what is it about a game that is just perfect that blows the top of your head off
    – beauty is part of art, which games are simply beautiful?
    – which games are challenging the very art of game design, taking it to new levels and shaking things up, this is likely to be where the art is
    – how about the classic tome the ART of game design – why is game design an ART?
    This is a little presumptuous of me because I have only now listened to half of one of your ‘proper’ podcasts, but sorry I can’t help it – please do this one again!

  • Daniel

    To me there is no discussion to be had about it really lol.
    If story telling is an art, if illustration is an art, if music is an art, then how CAN’T a game be art if it incorporates all those elements in most cases. In others, at least it always has the visual aspect.

  • http://infin8eye.carbonmade.com/ Chris Lee

    Well what can you say to that…

    “Truly, this is our finest hour.”

    I concur.
    Guys you have outdone yourselves!

  • Caroline

    Ok – we will just have to agree to differ on that topic. It’s well worth discussing I think and would love to hear you guys give further thoughts on it, oh well, not going to happen 😉

    • pdyxs

      We discuss it a little in episode 26 (yet to come out) – we particularly talk about why we took this angle on the topic.

  • Daniel

    @Caroline, oh yeh sure lol, there is definitely discussion to be had lol. Thats just kind of my take on it.

  • Ben LaDieu

    hahha.. LOL on that episode.