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Video Games Are An Art Form

1237 words - 5 pages

Art is a powerful form of human expression.  It is a construct of the imagination and skill that can invoke into the audience feelings the artist felt while creating the work; it can be beautiful or hideous while still carrying a powerful message.  A painting of war can instill the sense of dread that the soldiers felt.  The statue, The Thinker, can lead you to ponder the pondering of the statue.  With the help of technology, films and photography have captured people the same way paintings and statues have. More recently video games have exploded in popularity and have left the simplicity of Pong in 1972, to something that is only limited by the imagination and talent of the designers. A game designer can express themselves through the creation of video games with narratives that reflect upon their own past.  A game uses hundreds of thousands lines of code as paint and a powerful game engine as a canvas to create seemingly living, breathing worlds.  Some games have as much written or voice-acted dialog as a movie or novel with stories to engage, morally challenge and absorb the player.

Game designers have many reasons to create a game; profit, entertainment, etc. However, it is those games that show the expression of the designer that speak to a person more than others. While you can go pick up the new “Call of Duty” or “Madden”, those games will not make you think and reflect, much like a painting of a dragon would not make you question what it means to be alive. Miguel Oliveria, a game designer said, “What’s blocking interactive media from being considered art is that most video games focus on primitive feelings of aggressiveness and competitiveness. Art is introspective. It makes you see the stuff that makes us human.” A game called “Papo & Yo” focuses on a young Brazilian boy who is followed by a monster that is normally calm and even playful. However, when this monster eats a frog, it becomes aggressive; it will chase the boy until the boy can calm him with rotten fruit. The designer, Vander Caballero, created the game from his own past, living with an abusive, alcoholic father. The Monster being his father and the frogs being alcohol are the fuel for a game that expresses the instability and fear living with someone who can turn on you at any moment. A game called “Gone Home” expresses the struggles of a young teenage girl as she questions her sexuality and the conflict with her parents through the eyes of her sister finding pieces of her diary in an empty home.

Games support their expressions with beautiful environments crafted from imagination to give an incredible sense of believability and immersion. Game designers create the worlds of their games to reflect the story, so the moment you step foot into it; you understand a basic idea of what is happening. A game called, “Dark Souls”, which prides itself upon having very little given narrative, left it up to the player to draw the history and narrative of the realm...

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