Disagreements.

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           Coming from a field where great scientist's theories are found out to be wrong about every 200 years, I can see why there are so many disagreements in the video gaming world today. The main question: Is the structure and formula enough to consider video games an art along with things such as literary works, drama, and paintings? This question will never be answered until people can agree on what components make a video game and how they make the video game greater then other video games. Juul, Newman, and Aarseth have very different views on how to judge video games. Juul believes they should fall under his six-part system and I agreed with him. Aarseth said games must be ergodic, "requiring effort." I also agree or a game would not be fun or appealing to the consumer. Last but not least Newman believes that video games should also be enjoyable to those not giving effort or 'onlookers' of a video game.

"The pleasure of videogame play does not simply flow through the lead of a joystick."

            Once again I love the idea. As many of you know, I am a girl who grew up in a boy’s world. Since I was a girl I was not usually allowed to play with my brother or dad so I had to learn how to watch. Some games would be boring to watch and only the person playing would fully get any joy out of it. Other would be exciting for me to watch while getting into the story and I did not even have to play. Some game's stories invite non-players into their world along with the person actually playing the game. I know for a fact I used to get really into the Resident Evil plotlines even though I have never played. Watching my cousin play gave me just as much excitement as playing the game.

All of these authors had great points and when someone is finally able to mash all these together, games are going to have to take it to another level and become an actual art.

Newman, ''The Myth of the Ergodic Videogame''

4 Comments

A fascinating perspective, Ashley. I've enjoyed watching as you've used the readings and the class discussions to find a voice and share it.

When I was a teenager in the 80s, I used to go to the video arcades and watch other kids play games. Sometimes the kid would offer to let me push the "fire" button on Asteroids, so that he could concentrate on moving and avoiding obstacles. But usually I just watched.

I spent probably $1 in coins on Asteroids, but soon realized it was just as much fun to watch (and a lot cheaper). (I saved my money for buying games and peripherals for my home computer, and for upgrading every few years.)

If games aren't yet an *actual* art, Ashley, where do you think they fall short? Where do they come closest to counting as art? Is that even a question that's worth pursuing?

Darrell Kuntz said:

I too agree that watching games can be just as much fun as playing them. When I was about 10, my older sister would play "Turok" and I would watch because it was a one-player shooting game. I am a fan of playing shooters, but this game was one in which I found that I would much rather watch it being played. However, I would have to argue that video games are already an art form, the difference in attitudes about games allows that to be true. Your closing statement makes it sound like you feel that only until there is one idea of what a video game is can it become an artform. But there does not need to be one unifying theory of video games for it to be considered art. If you look at the visual arts, no two artists share the same perspective of art, art is an individualized form of creativitiy that allows each person to find something beautiful or interesting within a given piece. Games are already an artform because there are so many different types of games with in depth stories and cinematic directing that allow the gamer to be taken to another world.

Brandon Gnesda said:

I 100% percent agree with the idea that games can be just as enjoyable as playing them. I think this is an example where non-ergodic elements of a game actually contribute to the ergodic ones. As an observer you mentioned that some games were exciting and some were simply boring. My question would be did you still play the games that you felt were boring to watch? Did you play games you were excited to play just because they were exciting to watch? Or did you kind of play both, to experience both types?

Ashley F said:

Dr. Jerz: If games aren't yet an *actual* art, Ashley, where do you think they fall short? Where do they come closest to counting as art? Is that even a question that's worth pursuing?

It is not necessarily I think games fall short of being considered an art. I said an 'actual art' meaning that it would be accepted by the majority of the population that video game designs are an art form. Right now people high in the food chain like Ebert do not think video games are an art.

Brandon: My question would be did you still play the games that you felt were boring to watch? Did you play games you were excited to play just because they were exciting to watch? Or did you kind of play both, to experience both types?

For all of your questions I have a perfect example, Madden Football. When I was little my dad and uncle used to play Madden. I HATED it. The game took hours and I did not think it was exciting to watch at all. I saw the excitement my dad and uncle had so I knew it was a good game, just not so appealing to me anyhow. After a couple of years I finally got to play Madden and I LOVED it. After I played I could watch the game without playing for hours because I knew what it was like. Point being, it really just depends. I loved watching Resident Evil but I never have had the desire to play and still don't. It really just matters on what is appealing to you.

Response to Darrell:
I would consider video gaming an artform, no doubt. What I was trying to get through in this blog was that for it to be publicly seen as an art form, people are going to have to lay down guidelines on why one game would be better then the other. It is going to take years for that to happen and for people who do not enjoy the medium to realize how much work, effort, and creativity is put into video games.

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Ashley F on Disagreements.: Dr. Jerz: If games aren't yet
Brandon Gnesda on Disagreements.: I 100% percent agree with the
Darrell Kuntz on Disagreements.: I too agree that watching game
Dennis G. Jerz on Disagreements.: A fascinating perspective, Ash