Of course it comes down to a definition of what is "art". The point of art isn't just to make a pretty picture. And somebody spending many months to animate a car for a modern 3D game isn't necessarily any more artistic than somebody spending the same amount of time designing sprites for a 2D shmup. An artist who produces "art" attempts to convey a message or theme or emotion or something that comes through in the media used. The picture is more than just a picture, for example. Art isn't just about visual style though.GarryG wrote:Doesnâ€™t that depend on your definition of â€˜Artâ€™?Crunchy wrote: There is far more "art" in modern games than there ever was in the stuff we used to play.
Certanly in one very real sence The latest GTA has much more â€˜Artworkâ€™ content than something like REZ. But does someone spending a month to animate twenty different ways od bashing a car, or crushing a coke can make it a more artistic game?
Is REZ, or something Like Fluid, or even D2/E0 intrinsically more artistic because of the design concept?
There are far more modern games that explore themes and philosophies and emotions and moral choices, and subsequently the designer's own personal messages regarding those things, than there is in the older generations of games. In fact, with modern games these sort of things are fast becoming staples of the story driven genres. The designers and developers now have the hardware resources to create games that try to go beyond the usual confines of the hobby and offer genuine, if at times ham-fisted, concepts and subtexts that aren't a requirement of the genre involved. On one level Bioshock is just another fps, and yet the game has a lot to say beyond the obvious game mechanic at its heart. With Bioshock, as in most art, you can ignore the subtext and just like the picture itself. You can just blast through the game and enjoy it at its most basic - a straight fps. In all honesty, how many older games operate on multiple levels of perception in this way? With most older games it really is a case of What You See Is What You Get. And realise that Bioshock was deliberately designed to be the way it is. The retro games we enjoy were almost universally created with whatever the programmer could get to work within the limited hardware they had. Creating a work of art, or anything approaching it, was the absolute last thing on the programmer's mind back then. There was artistic creativity, no doubt about it ... but there was very little in the way of "art". All you can do is take a retro game, view it in a modern context and label it as art because the styling is so different to what we have now and it takes your fancy in some way. That's more of a reflection of the player rather than the original creator of the game and what the creator was aiming at when the game was produced.
Modern games aren't high art. If games can ever be considered art at all. We're unlikely to see any modern game displayed in The Louvre any time soon. But modern games are definitely more "arty" than retro games.
At least from where I'm standing. It's all debatable. Just like real art.