Greg Costikyan has just started a blog called Games * Design * Art * Culture. This is good news because it’s been a while since I last read any essays by him, and he always has something interesting to say.
It’s also good news because it will give me a little more motivation to work on my blog…
His first posting addresses the question: Are Games Art? Discussions involving the A-word can get pretty hairy, because there are so many points of view on art, some of them quite hermetic for a layman (me). Although discussing this question can be illuminating – as Greg shows in his posting – how about another question: Who Cares? It’s not as if I am absolutely unable to imagine any reasons to ask the question, or to convince others that the answer is yes. But I don’t see any pressing need for it.
My position is that computer-based interactive entertainment is patently one of the richest communication media we have right now. Seeing as how we have been able to create art using much more constrained media, obviously interactive entertainment can be art – or rather, it already is art, just most of it is bad. Yes, there are many ways to attack this argument, but it works fine for me.
What counts for me is finding effective techniques to affect the emotions of the player, to create rich and vibrant worlds, to say strange and subtle things. What others call the final result does not affect my efforts.