Artistic video games

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Artistic video games
Basic Information

Artistic video games (or arthouse video games[1] or less commonly auteur game[2]) is a work of interactive new media digital software art as well as a member of the "art game" subgenre of the serious video game. The term "art game" was first used academically in 2002 and it has come to be understood as describing a video game designed to emphasize art or whose structure is intended to produce some kind of reaction in its audience.[3] Art games are interactive[4] (usually competitive against the computer, self, or other players[5]), and they are the result of artistic intent by the party offering the piece for consideration.[6] They also typically go out of their way to have a unique, unconventional look, often standing out for aesthetic beauty or complexity in design.[7] The concept has been extended by some art theorists to the realm of modified ("modded") gaming when modifications have been made to existing non-art-games to produce graphic results intended to be viewed as an artistic display, as opposed to modifications intended to change game play scenarios or for storytelling. Modified games created for artistic purposes are sometimes referred to as "video game art."

Art games are often considered a means of demonstrating video games as works of art.

List of arthouse games[edit | edit source]

The following list is a collection of examples of video games described as art games or arthouse games by game designers or critics.

  • Otocky (1987, Toshio Iwai, Famicom) – It created a new form "of musical expression, uniting experimental art and computer-generated software", and "exceeded the prevailing conception of what a videogame could be", according to Hardcore Gaming 101.[8]
  • Ico (2001, Team Ico, PlayStation 2) – A title created that has often been cited as an example of art in games due to its immersive gameplay, evoking narrative and unique style.[12][13][14]
  • Killer7[23](2005, Capcom, Gamecube, Playstation 2) A surreal horror neo-noir on rails action adventure game with a cell shaded art style. The games story deals with themes of political extremism and the division of western and eastern cultures.
  • Shadow of the Colossus (2006, PlayStation 2) – A title created by Team Ico that is a spiritual successor and prequel to Ico. The game is regarded as an important work of art due to its minimalist landscape designs, strong aesthetic, immersive gameplay, powerful narrative and emotional journey. Shadow of the Colossus has been referenced numerous times in debates regarding art and video games.[28]
  • Flower[32] (2009, thatgamecompany (TGC), PS3) - Game designed to arouse emotions to the gamer and does not follow normal gameplay.[33] The game has been displayed in art exhibits including the 2010 Game (Life): Video Games in Contemporary Art exhibit at The Firehouse Gallery,[31] the Smithsonian's 2012 *Journey[34] (2012, thatgamecompany, PS3) - A game of exploration which includes an online component, allowing a player to experience the game with another, otherwise unidentified, player, considered to be an "interactive work of art".[35][36] The game has been displayed in art exhibits including the 2012 Game Masters.
  • Papers, Please[37] (2013, Lucas Pope, PC/Mac) - The player takes the role of a checkpoint officer in a fictional Soviet Bloc country, verifying passport information, but as the game develops it forces the player to make moral and ethical choices between his family and their welfare, and those immigrants attempting to pass through.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Schilling, Chris (23 July 2009). "Art house video games". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  2. Wilson, Douglas. Opinion: 'gg Game Auteur, no re'. Gamasutra. 29 August 2008.
  3. Sneidberg, Scott (2010-08-31). "Who says video games aren't art?". CNN. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  4. Holmes, Tiffany. Arcade Classics Span Art? Current Trends in the Art Game Genre. Melbourne DAC 2003. 2003.
  5. Cannon, Rebecca. "Introduction to Artistic Computer Game Modification". Plaything Conference 2003 (Sydney, Australia). October 2003.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Stalker, Phillipa Jane. Gaming In Art: A Case Study Of Two Examples Of The Artistic Appropriation Of Computer Games And The Mapping Of Historical Trajectories Of 'Art Games' Versus Mainstream Computer Games. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 2005.
  7. Staff. Video Game Blogs. Format Magazine - Pushing Play. 5 November 2008.
  8. Otocky, Hardcore Gaming 101
  9. "Okay, kids, play on my lawn". Chicago Sun-Times.  "In my actual experience, I have played Cosmology of Kyoto, which I enormously enjoyed, and Myst, for which I lacked the patience."
  10. Idea Channel: Top 5 Most Artful Video Games. PBS. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Carless, Simon. GameSetMicroLinks: Anacondas Vs. Guitar Keith. GameSetWatch. 21 September 2007.
  12. Hoggins, Tom (24 July 2008). "Why videogamers are artists at heart". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  13. Herold, Charles (15 November 2001). "GAME THEORY; To Play Emperor or God, or Grunt in a Tennis Skirt". The New York Times. 
  14. - Reviews: ICO (PS2). (2008-10-21). Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  15. Microsoft Word - 34. How Games Express Ideas (PDF). Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  16. Top 10 Tuesday: Games as Art - IGN. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  17. Featured Articles, Interviews, and Documents - Metal Gear Solid: The Unofficial Site. Metal Gear Solid (2008-06-22). Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  18. Kojima's Legacy - IGN. (2006-06-29). Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  19. Kojima Productions - Hideoblog English. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  20. Pinckard, Jane (2011-06-29). I Waited a Decade for a Game that Moved Me Like Rez. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  21. Remo, Chris (25 August 2008). News - Creator Of Space Invaders-Based 9/11 Art Piece Pulls Exhibit. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  22. Nieborg, David B. "FCJ-051 Mods, Nay! Tournaments, Yay! - The Appropriation of Contemporary Game Culture by the U.S. Military". The Fibreculture Journal. Issue 8. 2006. ISSN 1449-1443
  23. Casamassina, Matt (5 July 2005). Killer7. Retrieved on 2014-07-08
  24. Rohrer, Jason (1 January 2007). Arthouse Games. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  25. Whiting, Mark. Slamdance Judge Speaks Out Against Censorship: News from. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  26. Staff. (2007-01-06). More Details & Reaction Emerge on Slamdance Festival & Super Columbine Game. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  27. Alexander, Leigh. Serious Gaming For The Greater Good: The 2007 Games For Change Conference. Gamasutra. 14 June 2007.
  28. "Okay, kids, play on my lawn". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  29. Adler, Erik R. (2011-12-12). game-blogs. Retrieved on 2012-11-15
  30. Jenkins, David (25 February 2010). "Return of the British bedroom game designers". BBC. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 Levitt, Alice. "Game On." Seven Days. 13 January 2010.
  32. Garrett, Martin. "Arts and Lifestyle - Well-played: Diverse offerings made '09 a great year." Boston Herald. 31 December 2009.
  33. Parkin, Simon (20 January 2009). Flower. EuroGamer.
  34. Sanchez, David. How Journey changes the art game genre. GameZone. 20 April 2012.
  35. Kelly, Kevin (17 July 2012). The Unfinished Swan Comic-Con 2012 Panel Reveals New Art And Design Details. G4 TV.
  36. Stuart, Keith (15 March 2012). Is Journey a game or a piece of interactive art?. The Guardian. Retrieved on 27 June 2012
  37. Dougherty, Conor (15 August 2013). Videogames About Alcoholism, Depression and Cancer. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 16 August 2013

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Bittanti, Matteo. Gamescenes: art in the age of videogames. Johan & Levi. 2006. ISBN 978-8-86010-010-8
  • Bogost, Ian. How to Do Things With Videogames. U of Minnesota Press. 2011. ISBN 978-1-45293-312-2
  • Clarke, Andy and Grethe Mitchell. Videogames and Art. Bristol: Intellect Books. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84150-142-0.
    • Cannon, Rebecca. "Meltdown" from Videogames and Art (Clarke, Andy and Grethe Mitchell, eds.). Bristol: Intellect Books. pp. 40–42. 2007.
    • Stockburger, Axel. "From Appropriation to Approximation". Videogames and Art (Clarke, Andy and Grethe Mitchell, eds.). Bristol: Intellect Books. Pp. 29, 34-35.
  • DeFanti, Thomas A. "The Mass Impact of Videogame Technology." Advances in Computers. Vol.23. Pg.137. 1984. ISBN 0-12-012123-9
  • Greene, Rachel. "Chapter 3: Themes in Internet Art - Games." In Internet Art. Thames & Hudson. Pp.144-151. ISBN 0-500-20376-8
  • Holmes, Tiffany. "Arcade Classics Span Art? Current Trends in the Art Game Genre." Melbourne DAC 2003. 2003.
  • Jansson, Mathias. Everything I Shoot Is Art. Link Art Center: LINK Editions, Brescia. 2012. ISBN 978-1-291-02050-2
  • Kierkegaard, Alex. On the Genealogy of "Art Games". Insomnia Books. 14 March 2011.
  • Sharp, John. A Curiously Short History of Game Art. Georgia Institute of Technology. Proceedings of the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. pp. 26–32. 29 May - 1 June 2012.
  • Stalker, Phillipa Jane. Gaming In Art: A Case Study Of Two Examples Of The Artistic Appropriation Of Computer Games And The Mapping Of Historical Trajectories Of 'Art Games' Versus Mainstream Computer Games. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 2005.