5
   

Can Video Games be the next great cultural engine like literature, music, and film?

 
 
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 08:16 pm
Quote:
Video Games: The 21st Century's Fine Art Frontier

http://media.npr.org/assets/artslife/books/2010/06/extra-lives-why-video-games-matter/extra-lives_custom.jpg?t=1278444728&s=1

A well-rounded, erudite American could reasonably be expected to have read To Kill A Mockingbird and to have listened to some Miles Davis.

But should "beat Red Dead Redemption" also be on that list?

Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives, thinks we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the value of video games. Bissell tells NPR's Neal Conan that a few years ago he began to notice that the video games he played "were steadily creeping up to a place of aesthetic seriousness."

For example, Bissell says that games like Bioshock "were beginning to push the buttons" that he typically associated with really good films or books. Playing those games prompted him to consider form, narrative and visual meaning, and analyses much like he would with more traditional art forms.

Bissell likens the spectrum of video games to that of movies. In movies, he says, "some of the big blockbuster stuff is actually pretty smart, and some of the art house stuff is actually incredibly drab and dreary. And the opposite is true — some of the art house stuff is great, and some of the blockbuster stuff is stupid."

The same, he says, is true for games.

Game designer Kellee Santiago tells Conan that she hopes the ever-evolving variety of video games will "break down this barrier between what's a gamer and a non-gamer."

She says she tries to design games that are "more relevant or thought-provoking," with a broader emotional perspective: "We really think that a non-gamer is just someone who hasn't found a game that they like yet."


For the great and educational podcast Very Happy:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129256077

What say you? Can Video Games be the next great cultural engine like literature, music, and film? Have you played any video games that can transcend the all too dismissive criticism that it's a medium created strictly to appease the ADHD addled and/or brain dead teenage boys?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 2,264 • Replies: 10
No top replies

 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 08:23 pm
@tsarstepan,
I've found that the top of the line games are artistic masterpieces and often have political or social messages. Games are also expanding the bounds of how players interact with them and often have mini movies embedded in them. Assassins' Creed II probably should have received royalties from the Italian Tourism Bureau for how lovingly it rendered 14th century northern Italy and how it wove history all through the game. Next great cultural engine? No, not really, but I wouldn't dismiss them either.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 08:24 pm
I think video games are under utilized for educational pursuits.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 08:24 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
... What say you? Can Video Games be the next great cultural engine like literature, music, and film? Have you played any video games that can transcend the all too dismissive criticism that it's a medium created strictly to appease the ADHD addled and/or brain dead teenage boys?

My initial opinion is 'no' and I do play an online video game most days. It's great fun, but I don't think it can be said to be on the same level as literature, music, or film.

Not unless there's going to a "dumbing down" as to what is considered 'great'.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 09:23 pm
@tsarstepan,
I probably learned more about politics by playing mayor in Sim City than by reading newspapers and books. One transforming experience came someday in the mid-Nineties, when the telephone interrupted my Sim City game. I picked up the receiver, started talking, and forgot to stop the simulation. The call turned out to be long. When I returned to the game two hours later, an angry mob had fired my incompetent mayor's bum, citizens took over city affairs by themselves, and the city itself was doing just fine. The event clinched my conversion from a Green into a libertarian.

So yes, I can totally see video games replacing books as the culturally dominant expression of how we feel and think.
0 Replies
 
DaFuzz
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 06:00 pm
@tsarstepan,
perhaps they can. many games have begun to have an overwhelmingly large amount of political and social allegory (Bioshock is a good example, to some extent, the same may be said of the Call of Duty franchise). games are becoming less "shoot this, run here, shoot this again" and becoming "you have a wife and keds you deeply love, and koreans are invading your hometown. what are you gonna do about it?" this is allowing the player to not only make their own choices, but allows them to understand the objectives being put forth
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 12:52 pm
No.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 04:17 pm
@DaFuzz,
Yep! Open ended video games are the wave of the future. And hybrids of multiplayer online games and computer bot games with more realistic AI will make these adventure and action games very immersive.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 04:30 pm
@Setanta,
gotta back up set here, i think it's a big market, but still a niche market, like comic books, i believe that Neil Gaiman's Sandman series ranks right up there with the best of literature, but it's still niche culture, i think that in the future more people that might be considered well rounded and erudite will have played video games and read comic books, but that media won't add dramatically to the factors that make them such
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 04:55 pm
@djjd62,
But readers of James Joyce's Ulysses, aficionados of Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky films, and patrons of the symphonies of Philip Glass are also in their own culturally niche markets.

Like hard core gamer, the partakers of these highbrow works of culture tend not be considered those who populate the mainstream consumer population at least in terms of their consuming of this tech saavy focus.

As of right now, video games are not on the same stratum as the above cultivated works of art but I still see their potential. Maybe in a decade or so since we are now entering the Renaissance of independent game makers and publishers.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 05:31 pm
@djjd62,
You betcha. Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury takes its title from Shakespeare; Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle takes its title from John Milton. I doubt that you'll see such powerful cultural "cross-polination" from video games.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

What game are you playing? - Discussion by Seed
World Of Warcraft - Discussion by lazymon
Call of Duty4: Modern Warfare 2 - Discussion by tsarstepan
Spore - Discussion by maporsche
PC Gaming - Discussion by quinn1
Worst video game ever? - Discussion by tsarstepan
skate 2 or skate 3 - Question by kent0111
call of duty black ops - Question by stevencole90
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Can Video Games be the next great cultural engine like literature, music, and film?
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/18/2020 at 10:31:06