Group Discussion of required reading
A) In your opinion, what are some key feature of the kinds of things we call "art"?
1. Inspire people to think
2. Visual enjoyment
3. Beauty (harmonious arrangement of formal element: color, forms, style)
4. Meaning or artist's expression
6. Educational value
B) How does Adams define art in your reading? Do you agree with his definition?
~The definition of Adams
1. Arts last: People preserve arts as they are aesthetically interesting.
2. Arts conveys message.
3. Art has content.
4. Art has an Aesthetic.
5. Arts contain ideas.
6. Arts make you feel something.
7. Art is not formulaic.
For example, the famous artwork Fountain by Duchamp which is ugly and vulgar. However, it challenged the traditional value of art. It raised a question that whether everything can be art. Then, it becomes an ironic example to criticize the conservative value of arts in 19 century. Can the Fountain be an artwork even if it lack of attractive appearance but contains a message? On the other hand, the luxurious golden toilet cannot be classified as an artwork. In spite of attractive visual effect, it does not have any useful message. So, if the artwork conveys significant or important messages but against formal elements of arts, can that artwork still be claimed as Arts? Or Arts have to include a message and attractive visual effect at the same time?
C) Can video games be classified as art? What does Adams say? What do you think?
Yes. Adams believes that video game can be classified as art. It needs promotion that let the public and the press to accept it as an art form. Also, there are six steps that the game developer must take. Games must to seek to do more than provide fun. There must be an aesthetic for games and game player. Games developer should explore the medium which may take artistic risks and break new ground. Video games should challenge their players and provide a way seeing things. Prizes and award must recognize aesthetic merit and not merely technological prowess or craft. Games must be the subject of genuine criticism, not merely product reviews. Games developer should be well-respected and treated as “artist”.
I agree with the comment of Adam.
Firstly, no matter the media and public need time to accept that videogame can be classified as art. Videogame often just treated as a leisure activity. It needs the publication to promote its aesthetic and artistic quality to convert the impression of majority people. As a result, public may raise their respect to game developers and designers and treated them as artists.
Secondly, in term of artistic value, many videogames achieve an excellent standard already. Because of the advanced technology, videogame can present in 2-dimensional or even 3-dimensional space perfectly. Its possibility to explore the sense of space from the 2-dimensional LED screen is much powerful than the traditional paintings. The pictorial quality is realistic and vivid. The online game characters often have a good modeling and shading which is a common characteristic among videogame. Many videogames fulfill the requirement of art in aspects of artistic value.
Thirdly, videogames should exceed fun which is most important thing to achieve. In the reading, the writer shows an example: The Balance of Power, Chris Crawford. The game reveals the actual constraint and strategy of USSR and USA during WWII. It provides a new perspective to understand the war history. Also, Cooking Mama developed by Office Create exceeds fun and provides a basic concept for cooking. Nowadays, many people don’t know how to cook because of the busy life. Cooking Mama simplified the cooking steps and guides the players to cook step by step. As a result, game players can be more familiar with cooking, or even arouse the interest of real cooking. Therefore, videogame can be popular and claied as “art”, which is not only being fun, but also contains ideas.
In conclusion, videogame can be arts in the future. However, it needs time for public to convert their traditional impression of videogame. Also, videogame developers need to improve the inner quality of videogame like maintaining the outstanding artistic elements and instill a meaningful idea to the videogame.
1) The Background of the Artist- Cory ArcangelCory Arcangel (born May 25, 1978) is a Brooklyn, New York post-conceptual artist who makes work in many different media, including drawing, music, video, performance art, and video game modifications, for which he is perhaps best known. Arcangel often uses the artistic strategy of appropriation, creatively re-using existing materials such as dancing stands, Photoshop gradients, and You Tube videos to create new works of art. His work explores the relationship between digital technology and pop culture.
2) Super Mario Bros
It is a 1985 platform video game initially developed by Nintendo R&D4 and published by Nintendo as a pseudo-sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros, the player controls Mario and in a two-player game, a second player controls Mario’s brother Luigi as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist Bowser. The game has been highly influential; popularizing the side-scrolling genre. It was the best-selling game of all time for approximately three decades. Nintendo released special red variants of the Wii and Nintendo DSi XL consoles in re-packaged, Mario-themed, limited edition bundles in late 2012 as part of the 25th anniversary of the game’s release.
3) Super-Mario Clouds
It is a game
transformed from the Super-Mario. The artist rearranged the game by removing
all the characters and keeps the blue sky and cloud. Compared to the original
version, there is none of the obstacles and magic tools like the ghosts,
tortoises and super-power Mushroom. The game just includes the scene of floating
clouds in various sizes. The sky is in simple blue.
It is a game transformed from the Super-Mario. The artist rearranged the game by removing all the characters and keeps the blue sky and cloud. Compared to the original version, there is none of the obstacles and magic tools like the ghosts, tortoises and super-power Mushroom. The game just includes the scene of floating clouds in various sizes. The sky is in simple blue.
C) Personal Comment
I do not think the Super-Mario Cloud is art.
Neither has it fulfilled the requirement of a game nor art. For game, it should be interactive with the game players. I am shocked to see the constant moving clouds that just feel bored after three seconds and want to switch off the video. You have nothing to control in the game. There is none of the character under your control; none of the enemy for you to defeat; none of any goal or destination for you to achieve. The essence of the game is totally lost.
For art, Adams claimed that should contain message and idea, aesthetic quality and arousal of different feelings. First, it just arouses my negative feeling towards this game. Some may claim that it helps to cool down their emotion with the constant picture which provides a room of reflection of the fast movement of video or online game. However, I cannot connect in this channel. It is a wasting of time to read the boring game and I will turn it off in three seconds. Feeling of being bored leads me to reject to understand or examine the intention of the revised game. It just creates a negative impression to me, so what is the point for it to claim as art?
Secondly, it does not contain any aesthetic quality. Aesthetic quality means the composition of background, the design of character, the setting of the game which can create the sense of pleasure and beauty to the audience. It is ironical that some flat clouds and pure blue sky created a sense of aesthetic feeling and contained pleasure in reading it. The removal of the character, the beautiful scene or background eliminated the sense of beauty and pleasure.
Thirdly, it did not contain a message or idea. For the original version of the game, at least it showed that if you want to upgrade yourself, you may have to deal with different challenge or potential opponents. The challenge in the higher level will be more difficult to achieve. Just like in our life, the person in senior position would have to bear greater responsibility and duty. However, the revised version of the game was blank to tell you anything. The message is repeated movement of clouds and you cannot change it but just look at it and accept it. If this is a new idea or message, I have to say thanks to the hard work of the artist.
In conclusion, the Super-Mario Clouds would not be art as it doesn’t fulfill the basic requirement of the art: contain message and idea, aesthetic quality and arousal of different feelings.