If you walk into New York's Museum of Modern Art in the near future, you might discover that its curators have taken a stance on the issue of "Are games art?" And that stance, it seems, is "Yes." Fourteen games including player-driven space MMO EVE Online, perplexing puzzle shooter Portal, and ASCII graphics-based breakdown of civilization simulator Dwarf Fortress will serve as "the seedbed for an initial wish list of about 40 to be acquired in the near future, as well as for a new category of artworks in MoMA’s collection that we hope will grow in the future."
Games as art
Warren Spector, Will Wright, Sid Meier, Tim Schafer, Peter Molyneux, John Carmack. These names and many, many more have been interviewed by the Critical Path team over the last two years as part of a project that aims to "give game designers their due as innovators and influencers of culture." More interviews are due to be added as time goes by, but there's already a fantastic list of participants. Ray Muzyka, Ken Levine, Todd Howard, Rhianna Pratchett, Clint Hocking, Greg Zeschuk, the list goes on. Take a look at the introductory trailer, and challenge yourself not to be infected by the speakers' enthusiasm for games as an art form.
With ITV mistaking games footage for video evidence of terrorists attacking planes and the BBC mistaking a logo from Halo for a genuine UN flag, the boundaries between the real and the virtual are getting interestingly blurred – although not, curiously, by people who actually play a lot of games. Accidents like the BBC and ITV incidents happen, but intentionally confusing games for reality is still rare. Unless you're Sam Orchard, a photography student from Falmouth College hopes.
He's taking screenshots to the art world, with a project called 'Uncanny Valley' which will be exhibited at the Truman Brewery in London. In it, he uses shots from Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 to “question the validity of the perceived ‘real’ war photograph”.
It's an argument that's been beaten to death over the past decade: are video games truly art? The debate might've finally been settled, now that gaming has a place in one of the nation's most distinguished museums. The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. recently unveiled The Art of Video Games exhibit, showcasing 40 years of our favorite pastime's evolution. We decided to drop by, see what all the hubbub was about, and, more importantly, make sure the PC gaming classics made it in.