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On Art and Gaming


Not so long ago, I was working on a collaborative project for a sidescroller game, focusing on creating sprites and all the basic textures one might expect to see. It was at that point when someone who I worked alongside in the studio walked past and uttered the immortal words:

'But is it art?'

This has led me to do a lot of thinking and research. It's very easy to say that something can or cannot be art, and to a point, the design element in a game is simply one form of art.. But it left me curious to know whether or not a game can be 'fine art'. In order to do that, we need a concrete definition of 'fine art', which appears to turn into a rabbit hole so deep, I daren't venture too far at this point lest I lose track of the original question.
I don't have the answer either, but I would like to add my penny to the bottomless well of divided opinion.

The idea of games and art intersecting aren't new, suffice to say that the mix of 'play' with 'art' had already surfaced with Fluxus (with events that are still current, though still not interacting with videogames specifically) and the Situationists - these were more physically interactive. Does this mean that we have simply moved on with the same playful surrealist ideas and developed them into the digital age, or is it really something new?

This is something that I am going to take some time to address, but any light shed on this ongoing debate would be appreciated.

In a similar vein, here's part of an art collaboration that took place a little while back on Second Life with myself and several others. This is Michael Takeo Magruder's Changing Room project. This live event was presented at Queen's University Belfast over the span of three days. Though this strikes the line of art within a game as opposed to an 'art game' in it's entirety, it's the closest I've managed to get to any sort of effective combination so far.

Ooh, shiny!
Over time, this will be turning into a fairly active blog/portfolio site.
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