So the MoMA, or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, is building an exhibit that will be open in March. But what will the contents of this exhibit be? Video Games!? But Video Games Aren’t Art! Or so plenty of critics want to claim.
Except that legally, they are, according to United States Supreme Court. But some of modern culture seems to have hang-ups over the idea. Video games are not new. They’ve been around since the sixties. Yet they’re only now starting to receive mass acceptance, mostly because the adult world has grown up with them. The average age of a person who plays video games is 30 years old, according to studies done by the Entertainment Software Association.
But that isn’t the only reason. Even people under the age of thirty might question the artistic value of video games, and I’ll agree, as a whole, most video games are created with the intention of being entertainment to make the creators money. But not all. And even those video games which are created with this intention can have significant artistic merit, for which Mike Rugnetta from PBS’ Idea Channel happily provides many examples.
That is because video games are a unique type of medium. Unlike almost every type of artistic endeavor commonly accepted as art, video games have interaction. Which is what the MoMA is focusing on for their first exhibit.
Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe. The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design—a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity.
The exhibit opens on in March in New York City and will feature 12 different video games from classics like Tetris, to more modern video games like Portal and flOw, and will attempt to expand to many other types of video games.
Video Games: 14 in the collection, for starters by Paola Antonelli [Museum of Modern Art]
Video Games as art [Wikipedia]
Video games can never be art by Roger Ebert [Chicago Sun Times]
Sorry MoMA, video games are not art by Jonathan Jones [The Guardian UK]
Top 5 Most Artful Video Games with Mike Rugnetta [YouTube PBS Idea Channel]
Industry Facts [Entertainment Software Association]
I may have blogged about this back during E3 but That Game Company, the creators of flOw and Flower, announced a new game called Journey and released some stills of a cloth covered character wandering through some sand.
Just the other day they released the following trailer.
(I highly suggest turning on HD)
True to expectations, this game looks like it is going to be yet another work of art. Beautifully crafted both visually and audibly. There is no concrete news on what exact the game play will entail but from the website we know this much:
- Intuitive Control & Experience – Flower and Flow were both amazing games in terms of Intuitive Experience. Controls usually took some exploration to determine or small helpful guides but I’ll offer this example, my friend’s almost two year old was able to grasp and play Flower, once he understood the idea of holding down a button rather than simply pressing it.
- Lush and Expansive Environments – Flower proved they can do this. The trailer and screenshots prove they can do this. They’re claiming fully simulated sand dunes which would be utterly amazing from a technical standpoint.
- Fresh Online Experience – This is… interesting. So this game is an online game. And according to the description of this on the website, we’ll be primarily exploring the world and learning about it’s history. I love exploration games but apparently this will some kind of game where you can randomly meet people, presumably other players, to explore. So persistent world? For designers who are known for smooth artistic games, how will they handle the usually jarring and incongruent behavior players often exhibit while controlling a character?
Anyway so far everything they’ve listed has me eagerly anticipating this game. What do you think?