Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shadow of the Colossus

"Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control."

[T]he nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship [however elegant or sophisticated] to the stature of art. To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic." - Roger Ebert

I find it interesting that the first place I go to seek approval for video games as a viable art form is Roger Ebert. It is also worth noting that I agree with what he has seemingly, thoughtfully commented. Video games are so many things to so many people, it is impossible to pin down exactly what it is the industry wants as a whole. But the same can be said for any art form or medium. "What is art?" Is is more of a modern question in my opinion. The idea that 'something' can be torn apart and be commented on as to if it is 'anything' results in an unending conversation with oneself or others. In fact just asking the question could be considered 'art'. To me the process of creation is art. Simply trying to understand is the result of creation and with out creation you can't have the conversation I am having now.

I'll never forget sitting in a full classroom without any teacher present for over a half hour. Some students left, others just sat there, when finally someone yelled 'why don't i kill myself right now'.

Myself and the remaining students sat stunned for what seemed like minutes. Then the question was repeated 'tell me why i shouldn't shoot myself in the head right now'. It was the teacher. A cheap trick, I thought at the time, but now it has been near on 15 years and I still refer to it when thinking about what art is and the all encompassing power of it.

It's what surrounds us that keeps us going. Our personal ideas we consciously or unconsciously formulate. If we wish to take it farther then that is our own decision. Creation is the foundation for existence. Existence is the adoration of emotion evoked by creation. One can see how this belief can be carried over to the spiritual as well.

Among the many things that energize me in this world are video games. To be honest I do see it as a craft or trade. But does that make it any less 'art' then a singular work in any other widely considered art form. The case in point here may not be Sonic the Hedgehog or Pac-Man (although arguments could be made), but in a game like Shadow of the Colossus.

I don't feel the need to go into the specifics of this game, nor do I feel the need to explain how it relates to the reason I'm posting thoughts on art. If you haven't played a game in a while or need something to invoke enough inspiration to write as I have here then you should find this work of art and play it. You'll need a Playstation 2... that's 100 bucks. Then the game... 20 bucks. 120 dollars. Trust me, it's worth it.

Find yourself a nice warm spring evening, where it is just you, this game, and a good bottle of wine and press the magic button.


1 comment:

mw said...

the many forms of art, a dramatic adventure game, roger ebert,...
thats just my post