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  1. #1

    Controversial opinion: Game design itself is no art

    .. but only the parts which create art, as like music, sounds, graphics.. game systems itself is simply craftmansship, gameplay is simply craftmansship. So it is open to be criticized rather that art which you have to accept as it is.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Do you understand what my point is?

  2. #2
    Just as the canvas a painting was painted on was specifically chosen by the artist to express his vision, just the same the underlying systems of video games are an integral part of them. A work of art is a work of art, you can't say parts of it are not.

  3. #3
    Not all game design is art, but it surely can be art. As not all woodworking is art but can be art.

    Edit: What makes you think that art could not be criticized?
    Last edited by XDurionX; 2022-05-20 at 01:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cantrip View Post
    .. but only the parts which create art, as like music, sounds, graphics.. game systems itself is simply craftmansship, gameplay is simply craftmansship. So it is open to be criticized rather that art which you have to accept as it is.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Do you understand what my point is?
    I'd say it's part of the art since it forces the art team to follow a specific amount of rules. There are basic rules you have to respect in a specific genre of game. Breaking those rules is also part of the art, and it's their existence that's make some content artistic.

    Also, game design itself can tell its lot of story. An example with World of Warcraft Vanilla when a low level Alliance player reached Stormwind Dungeon for the first time and faced with level ?? drakonids who were part of Onyxia's quest.

    Same thing in a lot of RPG when you have a fight you cannot win. It's part of the story and adds some weight to the narration.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cantrip View Post
    .. but only the parts which create art, as like music, sounds, graphics.. game systems itself is simply craftmansship, gameplay is simply craftmansship. So it is open to be criticized rather that art which you have to accept as it is.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Do you understand what my point is?
    I feel like this whole thing is based on a false premise that art can't be criticized.

  6. #6
    The word "art" holds no prestige for me anyway, never did. What we enjoy pondering is rather arbitrary and capricious.

    On topic, anything can be art if someone calls it art, and no one can refute it. That is because the question being asked by the OP is an opinion and not a fact. In my opinion, anything can be called art and the only thing it takes to be classified as art, is to be called art.

    If one is good enough with a lawn mower, their work could be called art, no? If removing grass can be called art, then why not the game design of Elden Ring or Wind Waker or even Guitar Hero: Metallica, if one calls it so?

    Also, ALL art is completely open to criticization. Just because an artist complains when someone critiques their art, does not mean that critique isn't common, and through metadata, often very accurate. All art is subject to interpretation and then subsequently, critical review. If I say a piece of art sucks, and then give my reasons, that is a valid criticism for me, even if it isn't shared by anyone else. If we give "art" a pass, then actually we are giving everything a pass. Art that is sold, deserves a critical and vocal eye.
    Last edited by Zenfoldor; 2022-05-20 at 01:45 PM.

  7. #7
    I disagree. There are stories about what people have had to do to get games on cartridges and such or the game simply wouldn't fit/ship. I consider that mechanical art.

    The big thing about art, though, is that it is highly subjective. What you consider art may be nothing of the sort to someone else, and vice versa.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cantrip View Post
    .. but only the parts which create art, as like music, sounds, graphics.. game systems itself is simply craftmansship, gameplay is simply craftmansship. So it is open to be criticized rather that art which you have to accept as it is.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Do you understand what my point is?
    I disagree that you have to accept art as it is and art can be criticized. When art is made as a consumer product, it leaves itself open to even more criticism than normal.

    On game design, it's art in the same sense that a structural engineer assisting an architect is creating art. Overcoming challenges and making a vision come to life when faced with real world limitations, is an art unto itself. That being said, if the top of a fancy shaped tower collapses, you can't defend the outcome because art is interpretive and you don't like it.

  9. #9
    You can absolutely criticize the execution of art - this is also craftsmanship. The thing about art is no matter how bad it is *someone* is going to like it - much like video games.

    So yes, regardless of it's designation as art you can criticize gameplay. And should. Loudly. Preferably on video game forums for the entertainment of others.
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  10. #10
    I think I get the point. Game design is in many ways like balancing a complex equation. Like, you can make one class ridiculously overpowered and call it 'art' but it would ruin the game and nobody would play it anymore.

    In that sense, game design is more like designing logistics and infrastructure, but with a dash of chaos and creativity, nobody would call these fields 'art', and nobody would dismiss any criticism of logistics and infrastructure projects as just some subjective opinion.

  11. #11
    Immortal unfilteredJW's Avatar
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    This guy said art can’t be criticized.

    Lol.
    Blessed are the fornicates, may we bend down to be their whores. Blessed are the rich, may our labor deliver them more.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by cantrip View Post
    .. but only the parts which create art, as like music, sounds, graphics.. game systems itself is simply craftmansship, gameplay is simply craftmansship. So it is open to be criticized rather that art which you have to accept as it is.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Do you understand what my point is?
    Disagree because it is nonsensical.

    Art can and is criticized. Since ancient times in fact.

    Craftsmanship is art. It's not a separate thing from Art. It's the definition in some cases; the art or skill of a craftsperson.

    Craftsmanship simply denotes the particular skill of the artist or craftsperson.

    Your premise is faulty on a number of levels. It misunderstands that art is the result of human imagination and creativity. If a human thought of it and executed it in any manner- that is an art.

    Gameplay is operation, the literal rule of play. Gameplay expression is another thing altogether.

    This is a foolish and poorly worded post you made, OP.

  13. #13
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantrip View Post
    .. but only the parts which create art, as like music, sounds, graphics.. game systems itself is simply craftmansship
    Game design can dictate how the art is enjoyed. Many games have great art but most of the time the player doesn't get to appreciate the art because the game design doesn't show off the art very well, or even impedes the player from enjoying it. When you have a billion different grinds and level up systems and perk trees and inventory slots and side quests and stuff circulating around in your mind, you're not paying attention to the art. You are thinking about how to be as efficient as possible. Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, and Ghosts of Tsushima wouldn't have been hailed for their beauty if it wasn't for the minimalist game design that allowed the player to focus on that beauty. Those games also used great camerawork, an art that has been lost today.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-05-21 at 01:41 AM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by unfilteredJW View Post
    This guy said art can’t be criticized.

    Lol.
    I'm sure this guy will be surprised he's been working a fake job.
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  15. #15
    you absolutely CAN and SHOULD critique art (hell it was regular part of the art classes I took where we would critique both our own art and each others). bit there is constructive critique and there's just bitching about something you are not a target audience for.

    don't confuse one for the other.

  16. #16
    The worst thing that ever happened to gaming was when developers began to see themselves as artists.

  17. #17
    Art can absolutely be criticized. There's entire schools of thought and professional fields around that.

    Art also requires craftmanship, I've no idea why they would be distinct. A good sculptor is as much a craftsman as they're a visionary. A good architect even moreso.

    Finally, game design isn't just a question of math and operations. It also concerns expression, fantasy, immersion. Systems inform these aspects, it's not a dirty word at all.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by WinningOne View Post
    The worst thing that ever happened to gaming was when developers began to see themselves as artists.
    So, around 1980?

  19. #19
    Legendary! Ealyssa's Avatar
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    Opinions are like asses

    A lot of them stink
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    When googling 4 letters is asking too much fact-checking.

  20. #20
    I think what you mean is "game engineering itself is no art", which I guess is somewhat debatable depending on your definition of "art".

    Game DESIGN on the other hand requires a lot of creativity. The mechanical part only comes in when the design is put into practice. "Gameplay" as you put it is more than merely the code structure of the game. It's about what options you give a player, why you give them, and how they slot into the rest of the game. That is VERY MUCH an art, because while it can follow certain general design principles, it's not something that can be simply reduced to objective criteria that always apply the same.

    It's comparable to the study of composition in painting: there's lots of theory about the principles that make an accomplished painting, but that doesn't mean you can just check off a list to arrive at a masterpiece. That's why it's art.

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