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]
This one really needs no comment. I’d love to see a more full-length feature done in this style. As something separate from an actual Portal movie/television series which I think would also be awesome. Visual effects were amazing.
Starring: Danielle Rayne
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Producers: Cathleen Alexander, Stephen Hens, and Ashely Adams
So far this the only video uploaded by Dan Trachtenberg on YouTube. Hopefully they’ll make more.
Ultimately I was impressed with the first stage, and less so with the second. The third was a masterpiece of scripting but I was hoping for a slightly more interactive reveal. That being said it is utterly awesome that they got Ellen Mclain to make custom lines for GlaDOS!
Following yesterday’s video, we have another production this time exploring what Chell might have done after the original ending of Portal. Excellent production values and special effects.
An excellently done theatrical/dance performance in the style of the video game Portal
Portal is a video game released by Valve Corporation. It featured unique game play in granting a the player the ability to create portals on flat walls that they could walk through and using this game play, made a short but incredibly fun game of puzzles in a first person perspective. To add icing to this, they created a small narrative about an insane artificial intelligence with incredibly witty and dark humor.
A sequel, Portal 2, is being released on the 19th of this month (April). Because of that Valve appears to have released a comic linking the two games:
Portal 2: Lab Rat [Gallery]
Portal 2: Lab Rat [PDF]
It is a very well done comic, although I am not sure if it is cannon or not. I do not suggest reading it if you haven’t finished Portal though, or at least know the ending. That being said it is an excellently drawn and written comic.
You can also find downloads of desktops and such of the comic here.
Hehe. It is not a lie.
I dunno. I found that exciting!
So I couldn’t sleep. So I decided to bit the bullet and finish Portal. I have a bad habit of putting off finishing games as if that might make the game last longer by me not playing it. No I didn’t make sense to me either.
Brilliant. Positively, utterly, fucking, brilliant. Beautifully written. Excellently executed. Masterfully everything! I posted Zero Punctuation’s review of it earlier and he was as utterly dumbstruck as I was about the orgasmic fun of this game.
I mentioned earlier I had played 2d flash version of Portal. No… what I played is a sham. Admittedly an addicting and amusing sham. But a sham none the less compared to the brilliant story, humor, and ending of the actual Portal game. The flash game is simply a set of puzzles. Portal is so much more.
Two words. Jonathan Coulton.
She is still alive isn’t she? I mean… thats the whole point of the song. Telling us that she is still alive, and now we’re stuck in a black mesa fucked world full of aliens and some insane special ops Dr named Freeman running around, right? And that cake… it really did exist?
Did anybody else have a serious problem incinerating their companion cube? I did. I like… waited 15 minuets before I finally threw her away. I felt so bad. And then the bitch had to rub it in and remind me that I killed her. I was happy to throw bits of her into the incinerator! Ha!
It took me three tries to kill her. Ironically enough I was at 15 seconds with her snarling piece, right at the edge of the portal where I dropped her into the incinerator and I died. It kept snarling at me, which I found insanely funny for some reason.
For those of you who don’t know who Jonathan Coulton is, shame on you. I’ve tried very hard to expose all my friends to his songs and if you weren’t listening, pull the stick out of your ass and go listen again. This might help.
I suggest listening to RE: Your Brains, Code Monkey, and Skull Crusher Mountain. But his other songs are great too.
BTW. If you need a copy of orange box and can not directly buy it off Steam like some of my other international friends, drop me a line and we can possibly work out a deal. For those of you who for whatever reason can’t play Portal, come visit and I will make you play.