“Are Videogames Art?” by Smuts

Smuts, Aaron (2005). Are Videogames Art? Contemporary Aesthetics, 3.

(Quotations are from Smuts’ paper.)

Smuths argues that many contemporary computer games should be consider as art based on varius definitions of art. He uses Max Payne (Remedy Entertainment, 2001), Halo (Bungie, 2001), and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (Ubisoft, 2002) as examples.

I do not claim that any of these games are great art, but they are all adept at achieving the goals they set for themselves, goals of provoking specific emotions that are typical of similar genres in other art forms.

Smuts makes interesting point about rules: Computer games lacks them. He compares computer game system to natural laws; games system offers physical limitations comparable to e.g., gravity. “We would not say that the law of gravity is a rule governing our behavior.”

Published by lankoski

Petri Lankoski, D.Arts, is a Associate Professor in Game Studies at the school of Communication, Media and IT at the Södertörn University, Sweden. His research focuses on game design, game characters, role-playing, and playing experience. Petri has been concentrating on single-player video games but researched also (multi-player) pnp and live-action role-playing games. This blog focuses on his research on games and related things.

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