Videogames as Art (Chapter #1)
Ian Bogost begins his book by introducing videogames as media that fits into numerous facets of the modern societal context. Art is the first aspect of this medium that is analyzed. In his first chapter, Bogost draws the comparison between art and its history and games/videogames. Whether or not videogames qualify as art has been a long debated topic. According to Bogost both art and videogames reject traditionalism. Over the centuries art has acted within the social context, challenging societal constraints and spearheading revolutions. Art is inherently a tool and agent of representation and change. Much like art, “…it serves pretty much the same purpose…: to issue a specific challenge to a medium from within it. And that if nothing else is most certainly a feature of art” (17).
This comparison of art and videogames led me to draw a connection between Bogost and McGonigal. In Reality is Broken, McGonigal makes the assertion that gamers find real beauty in the incredibly detailed and epic environments created in games such as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy. This representation of beauty and dedication should be considered a form of art. Although seemingly unconventional, the amount of animation, creation, and imagination that is exhibited in these videogames is truly beautiful and most definitely an art form.
Although frequently challenged, videogames as art is not necessarily subjective. While some may not fully understand the purpose or message behind a particular art piece, it does not mean that it loses any significance for the artist or other onlookers. For example:
This piece may seem pointless or even silly to some but to others it is a powerful declaration that provokes uneasy feelings of through unlike associations. Just because you do not fully understand the meaning or purpose behind the piece, does not mean that it is not art.